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Category Archives: Concealment

‘Coalgate’: corruption, an honest bureaucrat and a deeper malaise in India

Nayanika Mathur, University of Cambridge “Corruption. It’s like a demon sitting on my brain and eating it with a fork and knife.” So bemoans a character in the novelist Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assasinations set in India. While it is commonplace and easy to bemoan the pervasiveness of corruption in India, it is harder to […]

23 August 2016
Taking Seneca to the Cinema: On Wild Tales, anger and conspiracy
Taking Seneca to the Cinema: On Wild Tales, anger and conspiracy

You would be ill-advised to watch Wild Tales (2014) when feeling on edge. The brilliant ensemble film comprises six discrete stories that depict moments when pent-up passions are set explosively, terrifyingly – and often hilariously – free. The result is at once mesmerizing and, in its moments of unbounded brutality, rebarbative to the extreme. Four […]

3 May 2015
Must a conspiracy always go right up to the top?

“This goes all the way to the top” is one of the great clichés of conspiracy theory. It conjures an image of a group of cackling evildoers hatching a nefarious plot in a smoky room, swearing an oath and then secretly carrying out their elaborate design. In this model of a conspiracy, a small secret […]

2 February 2015
Conspiracy, Concealment and Persecution

In Bloomberg Business Week, of all places, I came across this piece on Proust and the Dreyfus affair by Caroline Weber, an associate professor of French at Barnard College. Weber draws on material from a secret dossier that was used by the French army to convict Alfred Dreyfus for treason. The dossier contains letters exchanged by two foreign […]

31 May 2013
Cover-ups and conspiracies

There is a good summary of many of the themes we’ve been discussing in this recent piece in the NYT: One claim here is that ‘conspiracy theories wouldn’t exist in a world in which real conspiracies don’t exist’.  The examples given of the latter are Watergate and the Iran-contra Affair.  In both these cases […]

23 May 2013