Oct/Nov 2010

e c l e c t i c a  
t r a v e l


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Greetings from Grand Isle, Louisiana!
The pirate Jean LaFitte and his lieutenant Nez Coupé, old Cut Nose, built a red brick fort to guard the inlet that leads to Barataria Bay, Grand Bayou, and the inland route to the west bank of the Mississippi at New Orleans and Empire. In its store rooms they traded chandlery items from ships they had plundered and burned, cargo, supplies and groceries—all for sale at a high price to captains with a need for speedy resupply on their way somewhere else.
Jim Parks


Pole Position—Krakow, Poland
The beer was excellent and came in an oversize bottle, but the sausages sucked—little more than glorified hot dogs. Unlike Magyarorstag (Hungary) where the food was fantastic, Poland, I realized, would force me to downgrade my ethnic culinary expectations.
John M. Edwards


Crossing the Canal St. Martin
In the United States, philosophy departments are typically divided into warring factions that style themselves "analytic" and "continental," depending on whether they owe their allegiance to Rudolf Carnap or Martin Heidegger, but at Nanterre the warring factions bear the standards of two seventeenth century philosophers: there are the Leibnizians on the one hand and the Spinozists on the other. My colleagues were apparently distracted by a flare in hostilities over the metaphysical conundrum of the reality of the unactualized possibles, which Spinoza rejects and Leibniz makes the centerpiece of his doctrine of human freedom.
Emily Grosholz


Keepers of the Faith
But when Ignacio Castillo took his first bus ride over the mountain from Maracay to Choroní in the early 80s and heard about this place, it had been abandoned for some twenty years and the jungle had crept back in on it. Perhaps only a man with years of study in philosophy, anthropology and the humanities could imagine this decaying cement hulk as the staging ground for the arts. And perhaps only a man backed by family wealth and strong connections could bring it off.
William Reese Hamilton


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