Posts Tagged: voltaire

An Erasure of Distance: Traveling in Circles with Nathan Englander

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Nathan Englander talks about his new novel, Dinner at the Center of the Earth, the experience of being interviewed, and why he believes books can save lives. ...more

The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #63: Patrick Madden

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Patrick Madden teaches writing at Brigham Young University and is the author of the essay collection Quotidiana. His essays frequently appear in literary magazines and have been featured in The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies.

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True Detective

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Voltaire became steeped in the country’s rules of criminal procedure, a labyrinth he found appalling: “As there are half-proofs, that is to say, half-truths, it is clear that there are half-innocent and half-guilty persons. So we start by giving them a half-death, after which we go to lunch.” He fretted at how France appeared to other nations—“Do they not say that we know how to break a man on the wheel but do not know how to fight?”—and steamed at the judicial system’s secrecy, which allowed Toulouse’s Parlement to keep to itself the evidence used to convict.

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