Ian Buruma (born December 28, 1951) is a Dutch writer, editor and historian who lives and works in the United States. In 2017, he became editor of The New York Review of Books, but left the position in September 2018.
Much of his writing has focused on the culture of Asia, particularly that of China and 20th-century Japan. He was the Paul W. Williams Professor of Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College from 2003 to 2017.
Ian Buruma (2015)
|Born||December 28, 1951|
The Hague, Netherlands
|Subject||China, Japan, Occidentalism, Orientalism|
Buruma was born and raised in The Hague, Netherlands, to Sytze Leonard "Leo" Buruma, a Dutch lawyer and the son of a Mennonite minister, and Gwendolyn Margaret "Wendy" Schlesinger, a Briton of German-Jewish descent. He studied Chinese literature and history at Leiden University, and then Japanese film at Nihon University in Tokyo, Japan. Buruma has married twice, both with Japanese women. He and his first wife Sumie Tani had a daughter Isabel and have divorced. He and his current second wife Hotta Eri have a daughter Josephine. Buruma is a nephew of the English film director John Schlesinger, with whom he published a series of interviews in book form.
He lived in Japan from 1975 to 1981, where he worked as a film reviewer, photographer and documentary filmmaker. During the 1980s, he edited the cultural section of the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong. He later traveled throughout Asia working as a freelance writer. Buruma is a board member of Human Rights in China and a fellow of the European Council of Foreign Relations. Buruma has contributed numerous articles to The New York Review of Books since 1985. He held fellowships at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin (1991) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. (1999), and he was an Alistair Horne fellow of St Antony's College in Oxford, UK. In 2000, he delivered the Huizinga Lecture (on "Neoromanticism of writers in exile") in the Pieterskerk in Leiden, Netherlands.
From 2003 to 2017, Buruma was Luce Professor of Democracy, Human Rights and Journalism at Bard College, New York. In 2017, he became editor of The New York Review of Books, succeeding founding editor Robert B. Silvers.
In September 2018, Buruma left the NYRB position, in the wake of a controversy over an essay by Jian Ghomeshi in which the Canadian talk show host, among other things, claimed that accusations of sexual violence made against him by more than 20 women were "inaccurate". In an interview with Slate magazine, Buruma defended his decision to publish Ghomeshi's piece and denied that the article was misleading because it failed to mention that Ghomeshi was required to issue an apology to one of the victims as part of the terms of a case against him that was settled. He also denied that the title "Reflections from a Hashtag" was dismissive of the #MeToo movement, stated that the movement has resulted in "undesirable consequences", and said: "I’m no judge of the rights and wrongs of every allegation. ... The exact nature of [Ghomeshi's] behavior – how much consent was involved – I have no idea, nor is it really my concern." Buruma subsequently left The New York Review of Books amid "outrage" over his defense of the article. The Review later stated that it departed from its "usual editorial practices", as the essay "was shown to only one male editor during the editing process", and that Buruma's statement to Slate about the staff of the Review "did not accurately represent their views". In fact, two senior editors, apart from Buruma, were involved in the editing process, and the piece was carefully read by two female editors subsequently.  Some commentators expressed fears that Buruma's exit threatened to inhibit the intellectual culture in the United States.
Many liberals these days seem at pains to establish their bona fides as tough-minded hawks when it comes to global threats, but the Dutch man of letters has made a career out of affirming the classic liberalism of the open-door variety. His writing in recent years has attracted the ire of critics who think he equivocates on the dangers of radical Islam, but Ian Buruma made his response this year with a typically judicious and politically relevant book, Taming the Gods, that reflects on the Western capacity for religious pluralism. According to Buruma, Western society is robust enough to embrace even illiberal practices, so long as these are not violent. "Living with values that one does not share", he wrote in a recent column on France's burqa ban, "is a price to be paid for living in a pluralist society".
Buruma has won several prizes for his books, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for Theater of Cruelty. He has held a number of editorial and academic positions and has been termed a "well-regarded European intellectual". He has also been a regular contributor to Project Syndicate since 2001.
Bad Elements is a book about contemporary Chinese history by Ian Buruma, published by Random House on November 20, 2001. The book's subtitle, Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing, indicates the main focus of the book.
Bad Elements is divided into three parts: The Exiles, Greater China and the Motherland. The book has been cited as a source in at least twelve other published works.Baden-Powell (book)
Baden-Powell is a 1989 biography of Robert Baden-Powell by Tim Jeal. Tim Jeal's work, researched over five years, was first published by Hutchinson in the UK and Yale University Press . It was reviewed by The New York Times. As James Casada writes in his review for Library Journal, it is "a balanced, definitive assessment which so far transcends previous treatments as to make them almost meaningless."Although Jeal's Baden-Powell "transcends previous treatments" and is exceptionally well referenced, as a "balanced, definitive assessment" it has come under criticism from academics who had earlier charged Baden-Powell with militarism. Several of their books and articles on Baden-Powell had become critical and negative since the 1960s, culminating in Michael Rosenthal's The Character Factory (1986), which added to the charge of militarism one of antisemitism. Jeal rebutted these in his chapters 'Character Factory or Helping Hand' (409-415) and 'Baden-Powell and the Dictators' (543-553). The leading scholar and critic, Ian Buruma (international Erasmus Prize Winner 2008), assessed the relative merits of Jeal's and Rosenthal's arguments in the New York Review of Books; and on the charges that the Boy Scouts had been primarily militaristic in inspiration, and Baden-Powell antisemitic in the 1930s, came down on the side of Jeal's vindications both in his original article 'Boy's Will be Boys' and in his response to Rosenthal's reply. Allen Warren, a historian, and former provost of Vanbrugh College, York University, also supported Jeal's arguments in both fields in a four-page review. Paul Fussell in reviewing Jeal's book in the Times Literary Supplement wrote stressing the civic rather than the military motivation behind Baden-Powell's Boy Scouts and opining that Jeal had done 'full justice to Baden-Powell's complexity and contradictions, his military delight and his pacifism, his fondness for groups and his stress on the individual...[and his dictum that] 'the real way to get happiness is giving out happiness to other people.' Although Jeal's earlier biography of David Livingstone had been highly critical, establishing that he had only made a single convert and had failed in many important geographical objectives, Jeal defended Baden-Powell not just against accusations of racism, militarism, but of having starved the Africans at Mafeking and stolen the basic idea for the Boy Scouts. Jeal relied on material from the archives of established Scout organizations and from Baden-Powell's own writings, diaries and private correspondence.
He also interviewed Baden-Powell's daughters and traced along with Scouting colleagues, his last serving private secretary and many members of his domestic staff still alive in the 1980s. His use of the letters written to Olave Baden-Powell by her favourite niece, Christian Davidson, (who lived with the Baden-Powells after her mother's death) enabled him to write in detail about Baden-Powell's relationship with his wife and with his three children. Jeal gives the only detailed account of Baden-Powell's marriage and his tragic relationship with his only son Peter and his disagreements with his daughters about their marriages.Particular attention in reviews has been given to Jeal's analysis of whether Baden-Powell was homosexual. Nelson Block states: "While the professional history community generally considers Jeal's conclusions on this topic to be speculative, the mainstream press seems to have taken them as fact". He then notes that there has been no published scholarly critique of Jeal. But Jeal devoted the whole of Chapter Three "Men's Man" to the subject of his sexuality and quotes from Baden-Powell's own account of his dreams and also considered many other intimate papers before reaching his conclusion that Baden-Powell had been a repressed rather than an active homosexual.Bishōnen
Bishōnen (美少年, also transliterated bishounen ) is a Japanese term literally meaning "beautiful youth (boy)" and describes an aesthetic that can be found in disparate areas in East Asia: a young man whose beauty (and sexual appeal) transcends the boundary of gender or sexual orientation. It has always shown the strongest manifestation in Japanese pop culture, gaining in popularity due to the androgynous glam rock bands of the 1970s, but it has roots in ancient Japanese literature, the homosocial and homoerotic ideals of the medieval Chinese imperial court and intellectuals, and Indian aesthetic concepts carried over from Hinduism, imported with Buddhism to China.
Today, bishōnen are very popular among girls and women in Japan. Reasons for this social phenomenon may include the unique male and female social relationships found within the genre. Some have theorized that bishōnen provide a non-traditional outlet for gender relations. Moreover, it breaks down stereotypes surrounding feminine male characters. These are often depicted with very strong martial arts abilities, sports talent, high intelligence, dandy fashion, or comedic flair, traits that are usually assigned to the hero/protagonist.Buruma
Buruma may refer to:
Buruma, Japanese for bloomers (clothing), specifically athletic bloomers
Bulma (ブルマ, Buruma), a character in the Japanese comic series Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama
Ian Buruma, pen-name of an author on Japanese culture
Buruma (Baucau), a village in East Timor in the district of Baucau.Daniel Micka
Daniel Micka (born 22 April 1963 in Prague) is a Czech writer and translator from English.
His stories have been published since 1992 in a range of Czech literary periodicals, later he has published three collections of his stories in a book form. The first book Overwhelmed by Love for Someone was published in 1996, and its sequel Fear of People in 2001. His next related collection Looking for Someone and Dreaming About Making Love to Them was released first in 2007 as an e-book and in a book form in 2011. His stories became the inspiration for two plays and some have been published in translation into Finnish, Dutch and Polish in foreign literary anthologies and magazines.
He translates books about philosophy, psychology and religion from various English-language authors, including Stuart Wilde, Norman Vincent Peale, Henryk Skolimowski, John N. Gray, Daniel A. Helminiak, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ian Buruma, David Benatar, Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Dambisa Moyo, Christopher Lasch, David Bakan, Dan Allender and others. The subject of several books he translated are views of Sigmund Freud and Otto Weininger. He has also translated films, documentaries and screenplays for Czechoslovak Television and the company Alfafilm.
Daniel Micka, in addition to writing prose now dedicates himself to translating from English into Czech for various publishers. He also works as a book editor.
He lives and works in Prague in the Czech Republic.Der Freund
Der Freund ("The Friend") was a literary magazine published by Axel Springer AG. It was produced by Christian Kracht (publisher) and Eckhart Nickel (editor-in-chief) in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Der Freund appeared every three months, with a total of eight editions between September 2004 and June 2006. Its visual style was elaborate, with artistic designs and arcane illustrations, and its range of (often light-hearted) material included essays, short stories, literary miniatures, poems, opinion columns and in-depth interviews. Most pieces were in German, but occasionally English or French.
Authors published in Der Freund included Julia Franck, David Woodard, Albert Hofmann, Ian Buruma, Eduardo Kac, Rem Koolhaas, Reinhold Messner, Ira Cohen, Momus, Ingo Niermann, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Notable illustrators were Neue Slowenische Kunst and Fischli & Weiss. The magazine also reprinted pieces by major writers such as Allen Ginsberg and Truman Capote under licence. Interviewees included Albert Hofmann, Stanisław Lem, David Lynch and Nam June Paik.
Der Freund was critically acclaimed for its design and cover pages, and won two awards in 2006: a bronze award from the Art Directors Club of Germany for magazine design, and the gold prize for "cover of the year" from the LeadAcademy in Hamburg.Erasmus Prize
The Erasmus Prize is an annual prize awarded by the board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation to individuals or institutions that have made exceptional contributions to culture, society, or social science in Europe and the rest of the world. It is one of Europe's most distinguished recognitions. The prize is named after Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch Renaissance humanist.Ero guro
Ero guro nansensu, frequently shortened to ero guro or just guro, (エログロ, ero-guro) is a literary and artistic movement originating c. 1930 in Japan. Ero guro puts its focus on eroticism, sexual corruption, and decadence. While ero guro is a specific movement, many of its components can be found throughout Japanese history and culture.
The term itself is an example of wasei-eigo, a Japanese combination of English words or abbreviated words: ero from "ero(tic)", guro from "gro(tesque)", and nansensu from "nonsense".
In actuality the "grotesqueness" implied in the term refers to things that are malformed, unnatural, or horrific. Items that are pornographic and bloody are not necessarily ero guro, and vice versa. The term is often used incorrectly by western audiences to mean "gore"—depictions of horror, blood, and guts.International Research Center for Japanese Studies
The International Research Center for Japanese Studies (国際日本文化研究センター, Kokusai Nihon Bunka Kenkyū Sentā), or Nichibunken (日文研), is an inter-university research institute in Kyoto. Along with the National Institute of Japanese Literature, the National Museum of Japanese History, and the National Museum of Ethnology, it is one of the National Institutes for the Humanities. The center is devoted to research related to Japanese culture.Le Conversazioni
Le Conversazioni is an anglophone literary festival organized by Italian film personalities Antonio Monda and Davide Azzolini, and financed by the Italian government and various corporations. It is held on the island of Capri. The festival was first held in 2006. These gatherings have attracted a wide range of notable writers, including Martin Amis, Paul Auster, Chuck Palahniuk, Elizabeth Strout, Colum McCann, Donna Tartt, Nathan Englander, Nicole Krauss, EL Doctorow, Jeffrey Eugenides, Ian McEwan, Claire Messud, Annie Proulx, Stephen Sondheim, Michael Chabon, Wole Soyinka, Jamaica Kincaid, Jonathan Safran Foer, David Sedaris, Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Philip Gourevitch, David Foster Wallace, and others. In 2009 Le Conversazioni became a global festival with events at the Morgan Library in New York. Amongst the guests have been: Renzo Piano, Marina Abramović, Jonathan Franzen, Ian Buruma, Paul Schrader, Daniel Mendelsohn, AM Homes, Mark DiSuvero, Daniel Libeskind, Gay Talese, Michael Cunningham.Maoqiang
Maoqiang Opera (Chinese: 茂腔; pinyin: Màoqiāng) is a local folk opera style from the Jiaozhou area of Shandong Peninsula (Jiaodong Peninsula) in eastern China. It has been listed as a national intangible cultural heritage since 2006.
The Maoqiang Opera has a history of about 200 years and has incorporated local folk songs and dances from the region. Musical instruments used include drum, cymbal, gong, jinghu, suona, flute, and sheng. The main roles are shared with Peking opera: sheng (生, main male roles), dan (旦, female roles), and chou (丑, male clown). There more than 140 Maoqiang plays including "Dongjing", "Xijing", "Nanjing", "Beijing", and "Luoshanji" and the opera is particularly popular in the cities of Qingdao, Yantai, Rizhao, Weifang, and Gaomi.The novel "Sandalwood Death" by Chinese writer Mo Yan is written in the style of the Maoqiang opera.Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh (born 20 February 1943) is an English writer and director of film and theatre. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) before honing his directing skills at East 15 Acting School and further at the Camberwell School of Art, the Central School of Art and Design and London Film School. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid-1960s.
In the 1970s and '80s his career moved between theatre work and making films for BBC Television, many of which were characterised by a gritty "kitchen sink realism" style. His well-known films include the comedy-dramas Life is Sweet (1990) and Career Girls (1997), the Gilbert and Sullivan biographical film Topsy-Turvy (1999), and the bleak working-class drama All or Nothing (2002). His most notable works are the black comedy-drama Naked (1993), for which he won the Best Director Award at Cannes, the Oscar-nominated, BAFTA and Palme d'Or-winning drama Secrets & Lies (1996), the Golden Lion winning working-class drama Vera Drake (2004), and the Palme d'Or nominated biopic Mr. Turner (2014). Some of his notable stage plays include Smelling A Rat, It's A Great Big Shame, Greek Tragedy, Goose-Pimples, Ecstasy, and Abigail's Party.
Leigh is known for his lengthy rehearsal and improvisation techniques with actors to build characters and narrative for his films. His purpose is to capture reality and present "emotional, subjective, intuitive, instinctive, vulnerable films." His aesthetic has been compared to the sensibility of the Japanese director Yasujirō Ozu. His films and stage plays, according to critic Michael Coveney, "comprise a distinctive, homogenous body of work which stands comparison with anyone's in the British theatre and cinema over the same period." Coveney further noted Leigh's role in helping to create stars – Liz Smith in Hard Labour, Alison Steadman in Abigail's Party, Brenda Blethyn in Grown-Ups, Antony Sher in Goose-Pimples, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth in Meantime, Jane Horrocks in Life is Sweet, David Thewlis in Naked—and remarked that the list of actors who have worked with him over the years—including Paul Jesson, Phil Daniels, Lindsay Duncan, Lesley Sharp, Kathy Burke, Stephen Rea, Julie Walters – "comprises an impressive, almost representative, nucleus of outstanding British acting talent." Ian Buruma, writing in The New York Review of Books in January 1994, noted: "It is hard to get on a London bus or listen to the people at the next table in a cafeteria without thinking of Mike Leigh. Like other wholly original artists, he has staked out his own territory. Leigh's London is as distinctive as Fellini's Rome or Ozu's Tokyo."Modern Library Chronicles
The Modern Library Chronicles are a series of short books published by the American publisher, Modern Library. Most of the books are under 150 pages in length and intended to introduce readers to a period of history.A partial list includes:
The Renaissance, by Paul Johnson
Islam, by Karen Armstrong
The Balkans, by Mark Mazower
The German Empire: 1870-1918, by Michael Stürmer
The Catholic Church, by Hans Küng
Peoples and Empires, by Anthony Pagden
Communism, by Richard Pipes
Hitler and the Holocaust, by Robert S. Wistrich
The American Revolution, by Gordon S. Wood
Law in America, by Lawrence Friedman
Inventing Japan: 1853-1964, by Ian Buruma
The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea, by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge
The Americas: A Hemispheric History, by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
The Boys' Crusade, by Paul Fussell
The Age of Shakespeare, by Frank Kermode
The Age of Napoleon, by Alistair Horne
Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory, by Edward J. Larson
London: A History, by A.N. Wilson
The Reformation: A History, by Patrick Collinson
Nazism and War, by Richard Bessel
The City, by Joel Kotkin
Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics, by David Berlinski
California: A History, by Kevin Starr
Storm from the East: The Struggle Between the Arab World and the Christian West, by Milton Viorst
Baseball: A History of America's Favorite Game, by George Vecsey
Nonviolence: Twenty-five Lessons from the History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky
The Hellenistic Age: A Short History, by Peter Green
A Short History of Medicine, by F. Gonzalez-Crussi
The Christian World, by Martin Marty
Prehistory, by Colin Renfrew
Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History, by Margaret MacMillan
Uncivil Society: 1989 and the Implosion of the Communist Establishment, by Stephen Kotkin
The Korean War: A History, by Bruce Cummings
The Romantic Revolution: A History, by Tim BlanningMurder in Amsterdam
Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance is a 2006 book by Ian Buruma. The Guardian describes it as, "part reportage, part essay." It explores the impact of mass immigration from Muslim countries on Dutch culture through the lens of the murder of film director and anti-immigration activist, Theo van Gogh.Murder in Amsterdam won the 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.Occidentalism
Occidentalism refers to and identifies representations of the Western world (the Occident) in two ways: (i) as dehumanizing stereotypes of the Western world, Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Israel, usually from the Muslim world; and (ii) as ideological representations of the West, as applied in Occidentalism: A Theory of Counter-Discourse in Post-Mao China (1995), by Chen Xiaomei; Occidentalism: Images of the West (1995), by James G. Carrier; and Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of its Enemies (2004), Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit. Occidentalism is often counterpart to the term orientalism as used by Edward Said in his book of that title, which refers to and identifies Western stereotypes of the Eastern world, the Orient.Project Syndicate
Project Syndicate is an international media organization that publishes and syndicates commentary and analysis on a variety of important global topics. All opinion pieces are published on the Project Syndicate website, but are also distributed to a wide network of partner publications for print. As of 2016, it has a network of 459 media outlets in 155 countries.Project Syndicate, which Ezra Klein described as "the world's smartest op-ed page," provides commentaries on a wide range of topics, from economic policy and strategies for growth worldwide to human rights, Islam, and the environment. It also offers monthly series dedicated to Africa, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, as well as to China and Russia. RealClearWorld also named Project Syndicate one of the top five world news sites for 2012.A non-profit organization, Project Syndicate relies primarily on contributions from newspapers in developed countries,which make up roughly 60% of its membership base, to enable it to offer its services at reduced rates, or for free, to newspapers in countries where journalistic resources may not be readily available. Project Syndicate has also received grants from the Open Society Foundation, The Politiken Foundation in Denmark, Die Zeit, ZEIT-Stiftung, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Project Syndicate translates its columns from English into 13 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Kazakh, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. More than half of Project Syndicate's partners receive their content at a discounted rate, enabling relevant and valuable content to reach readers in areas where media freedom and funding are restricted.The New York Review of Books
The New York Review of Books (or NYREV or NYRB) is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of important books is an indispensable literary activity. Esquire called it "the premier literary-intellectual magazine in the English language." In 1970 writer Tom Wolfe described it as "the chief theoretical organ of Radical chic".The Review publishes long-form reviews and essays, often by well-known writers, original poetry, and has letters and personals advertising sections that had attracted critical comment. In 1979 the magazine founded the London Review of Books, which soon became independent. In 1990 it founded an Italian edition, la Rivista dei Libri, published until 2010. Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein edited the paper together from its founding in 1963, until her death in 2006. From then until his death in 2017, Silvers was the sole editor. Ian Buruma became editor in September 2017 and left the post in September 2018. Gabriel Winslow-Yost and Emily Greenhouse were named co-editors in February 2019. The Review has a book publishing division, established in 1999, called New York Review Books, which publishes classics, collections, comics and children's books. Since 2010, the journal has hosted an online blog written by its contributors.
The Review celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, and a Martin Scorsese film called The 50 Year Argument documents the history and influence of the paper.