The Gentleman’s Guide to Geopolitics:
James J. O'Meara
Amaury de Riencourt’s American Imperium
Amaury de Riencourt
The Coming Caesars
3rd ed., London: Honeyglen Publishing, 2014 (first published New York: Coward-McCann, 1957)
Part 1 of 2. Part 2 here
“A few decades from now . . . some later historian may dig out this book and proclaim him a prophet.”– The New York Times
“What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.” — William Lamb, Second Viscount Melbourne, 1890
“The danger is in the neatness of identification” — Samuel Beckett
1. An International Man of Mystery
If Jason Jorjani’s Persian Imperium doesn’t float your boat, how about Amaury de Riencourt’s American Caesarium?
Amaury de what? Who de Riencourt? If you’re like me, and you probably are, the name draws a blank. Even his publisher says:
Amaury de Riencourt to most modern readers is an enigma. Even the Internet doesn’t offer much about him.
Indeed; the Wikipedia entry is almost comically brief; here it is in its entirety:
Amaury de Riencourt (born 12 June 1918 in Orleans, France died 13 January 2005 at Bellevue, Switzerland) was a historian, an expert on Southeast Asia, Indian scholar, sinologist, tibetologist, Americanist French writer.
Amaury de Riencourt was born in Orleans in a family of the French nobility which dates back at least to the 12th century. He graduated from university in the Sorbonne and did masters at the University of Algiers.
In 1947, he visited Tibet and stayed in Lhasa where he remained five months, and declared that the country was governed only in all areas, as an independent nation, adding that the orders of his government were underway across the country.
Interestingly, the link to his supposed heritage is wrong, and the link to his birth/death dates is broken. You’ll note the third and last paragraph is sheer puffery.
The publisher goes on to offer something more like a biography:
He was born in 1918 in Orleans France to family of historic nobility. He studied in France, North Africa and Switzerland achieving a Master’s Degree at the University of Algiers. During WWII he spent more than three years in the French Navy. For the next 20 years he traveled Asia, Africa the Balkans and America. He is the author of more than eight books, and he lectured extensively in the United States for four years; visiting 40 of the lower 48 states. His titles range in social commentary, politics, foreign affairs and history. As a gifted writer, his style is axiomatic, even though he cites sources profusely.
“Foreign affairs,” eh? Turns out the one article I can run down online is in … Foreign Affairs, the house organ of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Oddly enough, even the publisher’s bio is merely a paraphrase from a contemporary review; the latter goes on to add that this particular book was:
[P]ublished in June 1957 and was brought to national prominence when the U.S. News and World Report devoted ten pages of its October 25, 1957, issue to extensive excerpts (aggregating about thirty pages of the book) without, however, attempting any critical, judgment of its literary, historical, or political worth.
You don’t have to be a Miles Mathis to think all this just screams “spook”: either a carefully whitewashed bio or none at all; unlimited access to high-profile media; perhaps M. de Riencourt is no more than a character made up to provide Deep State propaganda with a publication byline more plausible than “Anonymous.” One begins to feel one is dealing with Hitchcock’s “George Kaplan”; are we being mocked by the suggestion of “nothing” in his name?
On the other hand, judging by the photo that graces all four volumes of this uniform reissue series, de Riencourt, unlike Kaplan, shares a tailor with the Duke of Windsor, and his hair is perfect. He looks like one of those French aristos Proust details, who not only wear shirts of the finest English weave, but have a special night train that sends them to London for a proper laundering.
Indeed, he seems to evoke a very familiar figure on the Right, the distinguished gentleman, learned but usually not a professional fact-grubbing scholar (so infra dig), with some kind of inherited or otherwise mysterious wealth, a manor or at least a well-appointed apartment of many rooms; well-dressed and groomed, soft spoken but firm in the defense of some kind of tradition. An Evola, a Spengler, an R. Oliver, a Lawrence Dennis, maybe even a Nathaniel Branden.
Not, in short, the more usual Ignatius Reilly type of autodidact.
Well, I suppose enough about the cover – what about the book? Turns out you can judge a book by its cover, at least to a degree. De Riencourt delivers the expected goods, a well-written, well-informed account of America’s history and purported future. He writes as a European, of course, so one expects some more or less small errors as well as some unusual perspectives; unlike most such gentlemen, he writes as something of an Americanophile, at least America as he understands it.
The author states his thesis with admirable clarity right at the beginning, and spends the rest of his time accumulating his evidence:
It is the contention of this book that expanding democracy leads unintentionally to imperialism and that imperialism inevitably ends in destroying the republican institutions of earlier days; as society becomes more equalitarian, it tends increasingly to concentrate absolute power in the hands of one single man.
Caesarism is not dictatorship, not the result of one man’s overriding ambition, not a brutal seizure of power through revolution. It is a slow, often centuries-old, unconscious development that ends in a voluntary surrender of a free people escaping from freedom to one autocratic master.
The Coming Caesars arrives exactly 40 years after Spengler’s Decline of the West, and a couple years after Toynbee’s A Study of History made a similar splash in Anglophone circles. Yet, he deigns to mention neither. What’s up with that? Did he think no one would notice?
It’s as if the spooks wanted us to not pay too much attention as they offer up a kind of domesticated Spengler; replacing Germany with the USA as the coming post-war world power.
Clearly he is of the Spengler persuasion: the “organic” theory of history; you know the routine. Cultures are living creatures, organic, like trees or springboks. They are born, develop, thrive or not, but ultimately die. The death rattle of cultures is the rigor mortis of civilization, followed only by the false dawn of “second religiosity” (i.e., the “New Age”) and the sterile rule of the Caesars.
Very unlike Spengler, though, who at least made the effort of outlining six or seven world cultures from which shared organic traits could be inferred or intuited, de Riencourt confines himself to the classic world – Greece and Rome – and the modern Anglosphere – America and Britain, though the rest of Western Europe has some role as well.
In fact, he makes use of what I would call the Joycean method; just as Joyce supposedly overlaid the characters and events of The Odyssey onto turn of the century Dublin, allowing generations of pupils to “discern” the meanings of various characters and events in Ulysses, so de Riencourt continually draws parallels and makes deductions about England and America on the basis of Greek and Roman history, respectively. 
What is being compared, let us remember, is not so much the facts of history as their symbolic meaning.
2. America the Ample and Ancient
Rather than emerging out of the comparison of cultures, the key insight here arises from the realization that America is not only vast in space, but also is not the “New World” but rather an old society:
America’s destiny is conditioned by the fact it is an old and not a young nation, as far as essential age goes…America represents, in world history, the old age of Europe…This essential oldness is rooted in an eighteenth-century atmosphere where optimism still survives in America and wears the mask of youth, but has disappeared in Europe as outdated. 
Europe, like Ancient Greece, supplies the Culture, which in Rome or America hardens and solidifies into Civilization; a consummation that though necessary and inevitable is not to be devoutly wished. Thus his book naturally has four parts:
Europe: The New Greece
America: The New Rome
The Decline of Europe
The Rise of America
America is old in that it represents a “prolongation” (as the Traditionalists would say) of Christian Europe – specifically, Calvinism, as the later was taken up and developed by the Anglo-Saxons. Although challenged by the more aristocratic and traditional character of Virginia — and the South in general — with the Civil War the Northern — particularly New England – Yankee became the default template for America business, politics and culture.
The Puritans founded communities of self-disciplined men whose unremitting toil was wholly dedicated to abstract entities… Theirs was therefore a psychological condition eminently favorable to the building of powerful, compact societies as efficiently and cooperatively organized as beehives.
Space, however, was also a determining factor in the American character and system. Founded by people seeking either the religious freedom or economic advancement no longer available in crowded Europe, moving away became the typical method of solving, or at least shelving, social problems; Rome too was able to handle problems by dispersing them into the vast Empire.
Thus started America’s traditional solution to most human conflicts—a solution made possible by the almost infinite extension of land in the interior—re-emigration of dissenters and foundation of new colonies away from the increasingly congested seaboard. The American pattern was set. Mobility in space could dispose of most human conflicts by merely widening distances.
Thus, while the South itself was vanquished, the conflict was only a part of a pre-existing and continuing pattern: a conservative demand for unity, balanced by an escape route for recalcitrant dissenters: “thus started the fateful, unintentional, and unplanned expansionism which, in less than two centuries, was to establish the frontiers of American security well into the heart of the European and Asiatic continents.”
Thus, through Yankee character and an abundance of real estate, the spirit of Compromise becomes the leitmotiv of the American polity, epitomized by the Constitution, itself a system of compromises, which requires lawyerly adjudication rather than the quasi-scientific application of law in Europe; this has enabled America to absorb any number of progressive notions that in Europe resulted in fanatical political violence.
America was destined to become the expression of Europe’s dream, a dream which could never come true in the Old World because the cramping limitations imposed by tradition, and the pressure of relatively large populations impinging on one another in a limited space, stood in the way.
Alas, there is a fatal flaw here: democracy too expands, the franchise is extended further and further, until it becomes a cumbersome mechanism, too complex to get anything done. Democracy may be a fine notion for a Greek city-state, or a small oligarchy, like the Baltic merchants of the Hanseatic league (so lovingly detailed in Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks) but as the demand for representation leads to the expansion of the franchise, government becomes more like a gigantic committee meeting where nothing ever gets done.
Moreover, the expansion of democracy knows no borders. One thing that the democratic populace can agree on is the need for defense, and this inevitably leads to the demand that America has a presence in, if not control, foreign lands that are or may become enemies; all of which can be neatly disguised by the idea of expanding … democracy.
The demand to manage internal and external chaos inevitably leads to the demand for a Caesar:
[E]xpanding democracy leads unintentionally to imperialism and…imperialism inevitably ends in destroying the republican institutions of earlier days… [T]he greater the social equality, the dimmer the prospects of liberty…as society becomes more egalitarian, it tends increasingly to concentrate absolute power in the hands of a single man.
3. Anglo-American or Alt-Right?
De Riencourt’s book, essentially parallel histories of Rome and America, touches on a number of alt-Right themes. His Anglo-American (or rather, American-Anglo or perhaps just American) Imperium is certainly at least implicitly White, being based on the longstanding traits of a particular ethnic group; in particular, the kind of “high trust” culture that makes compromise, rather than annihilation, a preferred option.
The prevailing ideology had two apparently contradictory goals in view: the preservation of human liberty and dignity and yet the curbing of men’s selfishness whenever it came into conflict with public interest.
He is not, however, racially aware, to say nothing of being a White Nationalist; he is most obviously a Constitutionalist or Citizenist or Culturalist. Writing some years before the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, which opened the floodgates, de Riencourt can afford to be a full-throated enthusiast for America’s apparent ability to assimilate anyone. He even compares this to Roman slavery – positively! – since foreign slaves were eventually granted manumission and became full-fledged Roman citizens. Invade the world, invite the world, indeed!
At this distance, it’s rather charming to hear what immigration looked like back in the day.
The millions of immigrants who would pour in during the following centuries would have to go through the filter thus set up along the eastern seaboard and slough off their European baggage. They would enter a New World whose soul was born in the seventeenth century and matured in the twentieth.
And his discussions of what might be called the American “flight not fight” syndrome take on an ominous tone if one notes the resemblance to the “white flight” response to immigration and compulsory integration of native African-Americans.
Perhaps most intriguingly, de Riencourt provides confirmation – or a challenge – to the notion, common on not just the alt-right, of the “feminization” of society and especially of politics.:
It is this fundamental conservatism that gives Americans in the modern world a position almost identical with that of the Romans, a conservatism bolstered by the complete ascendancy of the conservative-minded sex – women.
As John Reilly describes it,
The author makes a great deal of this point: “All this links up with the best-known characteristic of American life: the hen-pecked nature of American men…the childish desire for love that Americans display in their contacts throughout the world is a direct consequence of the absolute predominance of the female principle…[I]ntimacy, familiarity, lack of reverence have become the dominant themes of American life. Nothing leads more implacably to Caesarism than these traits.” Noting that the emancipation of women was also a feature of the late Roman Republic, the author asserts that a democratic electorate tends to become “feminine,” emotional, eager for leadership. A feminine public opinion looks for a virile Caesar.
Indeed, de Riencourt does “make a great deal of this point” – commonly made by critics from Evola to Burroughs – as he devotes a whole book to the general theme of Sex and Power in History.  I have not examined this work – yet – but it seems rather intriguing, based on this recent online review:
Western Civilization is the only civilization that has had feminist revolts. He attributes that fact to a fundamental imbalance between the masculine and the feminine principle that set in at its very beginnings. De Riencourt follows Jungian psychology on this point, that each individual as well as the society at large has a combination of anima, the feminine principle, and animus, the masculine principle. In a healthy individual both principles are at work, but in men the animus should dominate and in women the anima should dominate, but it should not prevail exclusively. Each man should have some anima and each woman should have some animus. In that sense, de Riencourt says, we are all psychologically androgynous.
By the same token a healthy society has a balance between the anima and the animus. In that sense, Western Civilization has not been as healthy as it could be. From its beginning, the animus has been too dominant, suppressing the anima almost, sometimes, to the point of extinction. This is due in large part to the fact that it was formed by a blending of Jewish and Greek culture and both cultures were emphatically, exuberantly masculine.
De Riencourt’s theory is that both cultures were founded by nomads and nomadic societies tend to be strongly masculine. Agricultural societies, which prevailed during a great part of pre-history, tend to emphasize the feminine. In such societies women are involved in the farm work, and women enjoy more social equality. In addition, farmers rely on the bounty of “Mother Earth” and adapt themselves to a seasonal cycle which sees growth, harvesting, death, and rebirth… and this cycle inclines societies toward worshipping female deities, in particular “the Great Mother.” In those societies, the anima is very strong if not dominant.
It turns out that Western Civilization was not only founded by two heavily masculine cultures. It has been periodically reinvigorated by still other masculine cultures. There have been a number of invasions into Europe initiated by barbaric Asian tribes, such as the Goths, the Huns, and the Mongols, all of them herdsmen, all of them super macho.
The nomads and barbarians, of course, are the founders of the aforementioned stages of Culture. It would be interesting to see how two such different cultures as the Greek and Hebrew could share such origins, and to see how de Riencourt reconciles this with the birth and growth of democracy in Greece but not Israel; as well as to compare and contrast it with the writings of Evola and other on the primitive Männerbund as the origin of Aryan societies.
4. Anglo-American or Aryan?
While on the topic of invading hordes, it would also be an interesting and perhaps useful exercise to compare the contrasting visions articulated here and in Jason Jorjani’s recent World State of Emergency.
Despite identifying a “state of emergency” that would require a world state within a generation, Jorjani, though recognizing the need to rely on a proven, concrete culture rather than some abstract, bureaucratic ideal, rests his hopes on a hypothetical post-revolution Aryan Republic of Iran, which would implement some equally hypothetical “Aryan Tradition” supposedly formulated by Zoroaster. De Riencourt, by contrast, rests his hopes in the real, historically existing Anglosphere.
Also unlike Jorjani, de Riencourt is emphatically pro-UN and pro-NATO, although he accords them only secondary status as flawed anticipations of, and ultimately mere administrative arms, of the inevitable Anglo-American Imperium.
But also like Jorjani, our sage can’t resist a little surprise at the end. In an Appendix, where he allows himself to meditate on his historical method, de Riencourt contrasts the pagan cyclical view of history with the Hebraic linear model, which Europe and America absorbed along with Christianity. Though seeming to view this as an advance, he ultimately delivers this punch line:
The final answer to the riddle of history, the true answer, is a synthesis of the linear and cyclical interpretations. The true answer, therefore, is that historical progress moves along the lines of a spiral.
The spiral! — the dear, the blessed spiral! – which we have on so many occasions noted as the symbol of true metaphysical transcendence, in contrast to the circle of mundane determinism.
And both end their books on a decidedly Nietzschean clarion:
De Riencourt: [Man] is not merely going through a change of historical phase but … in the coming centuries, he will be stepping out of history altogether into a new “geological” age. Man is gradually becoming the “leading fossil” of this new geological age—man alone, distinct from all other mammals. He is becoming, for the first time, a planetary phenomenon.
Jorjani: Those left behind [by the coming apocalypse] will not be human beings. They will be the forerunners of a new species, which Nietzsche called the Superman and which he claimed would be as different form Man as Man is from the Ape. The world state of emergency is the concrete historical context for the fulfillment of this prophecy uttered by the returned Zarathustra.
 W. M. Torrens, Memoirs of William Lamb, Second Viscount Melbourne (1890), p. 234.
 Dante … Bruno … Vico … Joyce (1929)
 Hmm, sounds like my kinda guy!
 “The author is a native of Orleans, France, and was educated in Switzerland, France, where he received his liberal arts degree from the Sorbonne, and in North Africa, where he received his master’s degree from the University of Algiers. After service in the French Navy during World War II he travelled extensively and has lived for ten years in the United States.” Zinn, Charles J. (2013) “The Coming Caesars (Book Review),” St. John’s Law Review: Vol. 32: Iss. 2, Article 26. Available at: http://scholarship.law.stjohns.edu/lawreview/vol32/iss2/26.
 “Shipp expressed that the CIA was created through the Council on Foreign relations with no congressional approval, and historically the CFR is also tied into the mainstream media (MSM.) He elaborated that the CIA was the “central node” of the shadow government and controlled all of other 16 intelligence agencies despite the existence of the DNI. The agency also controls defense and intelligence contractors, can manipulate the president and political decisions, has the power to start wars, torture, initiate coups, and commit false flag attacks he said.” Tyler Durden, “High-Ranking CIA Agent Blows Whistle On The Deep State And Shadow Government,” here.
 The Professor: “We created George Kaplan, established elaborate behavior patterns for him, moved his prop belongings in and out of hotel rooms, labored successfully to convinced Vandamm that this was our own agent hot on his trail.” Thornhill: “I suppose it wouldn’t do any good to show you ID cards… a driver’s license, things like that?” George: “They provide you with such good ones.” North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959).
 As Thornhill searches Kaplan’s supposed hotel room, he determines by his suits that Kaplan is much shorter than he; also, “News bulletin: Kaplan has dandruff.” “His hair was perfect… I’d like to meet his tailor” Warren Zevon, “Werewolves of London.”
 Irrelevant? “This is an information war. Impressions, narratives and imagery are the weapons of this war. Defending reckless lunatics or feckless trouble makers just hands the other side ammo.” The ZMan, “Total Information War,” here.
 Or Richard Spencer.
 Behind the laughter, Ignatius seems to have gone off his head after his father’s death. As we’ll see, de Riencourt diagnoses America as a fundamentally feminized nation, like all democracies, in search of a strong father figure. … when I think of my dear departed father barely cold in his grave, (Ignatius murmured, pretending to wipe some moisture from his eyes).” Toole, John Kennedy, A confederacy of dunces, Penguin Classics, 2000, p312. For a psychoanalytic reading of Toole, with “the text as phallus” that instances the Lacanian “Law of the Father,” see Mårten Bjertner, “Ignatius descending — A psychoanalytical reading of a confederacy of letters” (C-Essay, Högskolan i Halmstad Sektionen för Humaniora Engelska 41-60), online here. “To begin with, the father in the Reilly family is not only dead; he is abnormally nonexistent. … Ignatius’ father represents a lack of ‘phallus’, a void which is never filled. The reader is not allowed any information on how he died, or what the man was like as a person. It seems the text wants to hide he were ever there. The only emotional references to the father are made towards the very end of the book, and even then they appear insincere.” p1, 8ff. Our Scandinavian scholar does not, I think, link Toole and phallus, as does the doughty James Bond, who quips, when Plenty O’Toole introduces herself: “Named after your father perhaps? “― (Diamonds are Forever, 1971).
 The President of my college, a historian by trade, “dined out”, as Henry James would say, for years on having been quoted in Toynbee’s book.
 For which process Spengler called upon “physiognomic tact”; see H. Stuart Hughes, Oswald Spengler: A Critical Estimate (New York: Scribner’s, 1952), p. 71.
 Remember, his bio calls him “an expert on Southeast Asia, Indian scholar, sinologist, tibetologist,” and he is indeed the author of books on China and Japan, as well as one of the “physics and mysticism” school and another on “female power in history,” of which more anon.
 “Joyce divided Ulysses into 18 episodes. … The two schemata which Stuart Gilbert and Herbert Gorman released after publication to defend Joyce from the obscenity accusations made the links to the Odyssey clear, and also explained the work’s internal structure. Every episode of Ulysses has a theme, technique and correspondence between its characters and those of the Odyssey. The original text did not include these episode titles and the correspondences; instead, they originate from the Linati and Gilbert schemata.” Wikipedia, here.
 “Superimposing the thousand years of Greek culture that started in Homeric days with the thousand years of European culture that started at the dawn of the Gothic age’, he follows the development of European and American society during the last four centuries, focusing particularly on the rise of the United States’ global economic, political and military power and influence. In the light of comparison with Greece and Rome, the resemblance of certain historical events and tendencies and their symbolic meaning, The Coming Caesars proposes the possible threat of a re-emerging Caesarism.” – Publisher’s note.
 Cf.: “America is not a young land: it is old and dirty and evil. Before the settlers, before the Indians… the evil was there… waiting.” William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch, Chapter One. Spengler was an important influence on Burroughs (see “’Giving Away the Basic American Rottenness’: William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch as an Historical Document” by A. D. Parkinson; realitystudio.org, here), and through Burroughs, on the Beats (Burroughs was handing out copies to his new young pals in 1945; see “Eating the Beat Menu” by Nick Meador, Beatdom, Issue 10 (online here). Burroughs also had an International Man of Mystery biography and was likely a spook – he liked to call himself el hombre invisible, get it? — see Miles Mathis, “From Theosophy to the Beat Generation or How even the Occult was Disguised,” here, where Mathis asks “Was Burroughs ever young, or was he born at 40? I could find no pictures of him looking less than 40.”
 As we’ll see, de Riencourt wavers a bit on how inevitable Caesarism is.
 “Calvin’s doctrine as applied at Geneva was based on a spiritual legalism, mechanical, stern, without compassion and without appreciation for art, inhumanly practical, and in many respects iconoclastic. In Geneva were sown the spiritual seeds of what was to become the New Rome of the West.”
 As Steve Sailer says, “Invade the world, invite the world.”
 An interesting paradox is that Anglo-America’s dedication to equality has led to a distrust of the military as an example of hierarchy; neither the British (Mosely’s Blackshirts) nor the Americans (Pelley’s Silver Shirts) wanted anything to do with uniformed Fascism. See my “There’s Something about a Man in Uniform: Reflections on Sartorial Fascism,” here. Despite movieland hysteria (Seven Days in May etc.), America’s Caesar will not be a military dictator, but a “man of the people.”
 Not that that isn’t enough to get in trouble today: “All cultures are not equal. Or at least they are not equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy. The culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-“acting white” rap culture of inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants. These cultural orientations are not only incompatible with what an advanced free-market economy and a viable democracy require, they are also destructive of a sense of solidarity and reciprocity among Americans. If the bourgeois cultural script — which the upper-middle class still largely observes but now hesitates to preach — cannot be widely reinstated, things are likely to get worse for us all.” Sunday, September 10, 2017
“ Law Students Try To Ban Amy Wax From Teaching Civil Procedure Due To Her Breakdown Of The Bourgeois Culture Op-Ed” by Paul Caron; TaxProf Blog, September 10, 2017, here.
 “Race” and its derivatives only appears as “the human race” or in the archaic or British sense of “ethnic group,” as in “the British race,” although he does on one occasion note that “the widely different human races has produced either slavery, caste, or miscegenation.”
 Reilly, op. cit.
 New York, NY: Dell, 1974; reprinted by Honeyglen as Women and Power in History (1983, 2014).
 In yet another work, The Soul of India (1960; reprinted by Honeyglen in 1986 and 2015), de Riencourt attributes the origins of Hindu culture to the reinvigoration of Dravidian civilization by the culture brought by invading hordes of Indo-European barbarians; a characterization sure to rile up, for opposite reasons, both the partisans of Evola and of Danielou.
 See the literature cited throughout my collection, The Homo and the Negro: Masculinist Meditations on Politics and Popular Culture; ed. by Greg Johnson (San Francisco: Counter-Currents, 2012), especially the essay “A Band Apart: Wulf Grimsson’s Loki’s Way.”
 It occurs to me that if de Riencourt were a spook, he was designed to promote the Atlantic Alliance.
 “Hamid’s choice in The Reluctant Fundamentalist of a form that’s unpopular in Anglophone writing: what Henry James called ‘the dear, the blessed nouvelle’.” Amit Chaudhuri, “Qatrina and the Books,” London Review of Books, Vol. 31 No. 16 · 27 August 2009, pages 3-6, online here.