And at one point Jumblatt fetched Curzio Malaparte's hideous, brilliant account of the Second World War on the eastern front – Kaputt – and presented it to me with his personal inscription. "To Robert Fisk," he wrote. "I hope I will not surrender, but this book is horribly cruel and somehow beautiful. W Joumblatt [sic]." And I wondered how cruelty and beauty can come together.
Is Kaputt morphing into some kind of esoteric bible for sinister pols? Relatedly, the Nerd does Lebanon again:
What I love is the way the Syrian PR service was online instantly condemning the "criminal act" of blowing up Antoine. It's almost like they had their official denial in hand before the bomb went off:
"President Assad is disgusted by this bombing which occurred—what's that, Raheem?—oh, sorry, my aide has just informed me that this regrettable bombing will not happen for another half-hour, so have some tea, my journalist friends, have some of our delicious Syrian coffee and come back after lunch, when I will have something to deny for you!"