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SPOTLIGHT: BREXIT, VIOLENCE AND EUROPE'S PAST

Tributes are pouring in for slain British lawmaker Jo Cox, 41, who was fatally stabbed and shot during a meeting yesterday with constituents in northern England. The mother of two young children, Cox was praised as a big-hearted defender of human rights and refugees and was most recently an advocate for UK remaining in the European Union, ahead of next week's so-called "Brexit" referendum. A 52-year-old man, identified as Tommy Mair, has been arrested, and at least one local witness apparently heard him yell "Britain first!" during the attack. Mair is reported to have had ties to a U.S.-based neo-Nazi group called National Alliance, according to racism watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center.


Whether or not police determine that Cox's support of the European Union or immigrant rights was a motive in the murder, the stakes are high for the June 23 Brexit vote. Writing last week from Berlin for French daily Les Echos, political scientist Dominique Moisi said the West should not forget the still relatively recent history of Germany's descent into Nazism. "It's the democratic world that needs to remember the lessons from the collapse of the Weimar Republic. Fritz Stern, the great German-born American historian who passed away recently, was always obsessed with how quickly a sophisticated society that produced giants such as Kant or Beethoven could sink easily into utter savagery. If it happened in Germany, it could happen anywhere if we're not careful — through a tragic succession of events interacting with one another, without any apparent logic or causality." Though written before Cox's murder, Monsieur Moisi's piece is worth a close read today.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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