memory's sacred domain

moments mundane and magical

Archive for March 2008

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Between books and love

A good friend of mine introduced me to the world of book-banditry — and my life has never been the same again. I recall his girlfriend complainining — good-naturedly of course — how my friend and I never seemed to run out of stories to tell to each other about our life-long weakness for the printed page. I could only hope she didn’t mean she simply disappeared in the background the moment her boyfriend and I started chattering happily about a beloved vice.

As economists would say, ceteris paribus, could books indeed get in the way of love? A recent essay in the New York Times takes stock of the situation and comes away with a conclusion that for most, it’s really up to the parties to make an act of will and say otherwise.

In my friend’s case, it didn’t seem to be the case. His girlfriend supported his interests, and took the effort to survey the lay of the land, so to speak. They may have differing tastes as far as books were were concerned, but early on in the relationship, they decided together that love was far more important than literary taste. And there is no greater proof to that commitment to love, I think, than the fact that they later tied the knot, for better or for worse, books or no books. Alas, love conquers all, including the allure of books.

Written by Romel

March 30, 2008 at 12:59 pm

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Just off the press

The venerable Philippine Law Journal has just published a long essay of mine with the title: Rethinking the Foundations: Sovereignty, Community and the International Legal Order from a Social Pluralist Perspective.

The book-length essay, a revised version of my master’s thesis, came out on issue 1 of Vol. 82 — the PLJ’s international law issue (pp. 68-237). I have the happy privilege of having this article of mine published in the law journal’s volume marking the University of the Philippines’ centenary.

I haven’t seen my complimentary copy yet but the editors sent me a PDF file of the article’s pre-publication final draft. When I was negotiating with the editors for the possible publication of the piece in the pages of the journal, my first concern was that they’ll instead require a shortened version; I didn’t want it published in abridged form. In the end, they agreed that the essay should be published in full, all 170 pages of it. Perhaps, it helped that I used to be an editor of the PLJ and that I sent them the piece with a note that it is in fact a work-in-progress that will be printed in book form in Amsterdam.

Written by Romel

March 19, 2008 at 3:12 am

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Losing my Religion, Part II

Finally, a reply by Franky Schaeffer to Os Guinness’ review of his book Crazy for God, an unflattering look at his father, the late evangelical thinker Francis Schaeffer.

In the same pages of Books & Culture, we also find a rejoinder by Guinness.

Written by Romel

March 5, 2008 at 10:39 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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