The Tangled Path to Glory: A Novel Approach to One Man’s Search for the Infinite Connection

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Click here for New Vessel Press catalogue. Ten years ago, I worked in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in a job that consisted of ensuring the two groups that came to the massive church every day—the worshipers and the tourists in the tens of thousands—got along with each other. Notre Dame de Paris is as much a Tower of Babel as a Christian bastion, performing a dual role as a church and a monument accessible to the world. One summer afternoon, I took a break from my task as a crowd monitor in the sanctuary and managed to ascend to the upper framework of the building.

The ascent into the heart of this structure was like finding oneself in the hold of an immense galleon. To be there was also to come into dialogue with those whose hands created it in the 13 th century, working with the knowledge that they themselves would never see the result of this phenomenally long-range construction project.

To ascend into the forest was to feel roots under your feet. A small door gave onto the roof. The lead tiles gave off a blinding light and radiated intense heat. Notre Dame de Paris is a vessel that navigates along the River Seine between a glorious past and the challenge of a globalized modernity. On April 15, the forest burned. The upper level, where it was possible to see things in perspective, is no more. That night, the people of Paris gathered to watch their cathedral ablaze.

Believers and non-believers, each suddenly feeling less anchored in the earth. In the ensuing hours, an amazing mobilization occurred. The French government called for a restoration within five years. An architectural competition was announced. And nearly a billion euros were collected from businesses and private individuals to reconstruct the ravaged Notre Dame. Then the first controversies broke out—very French battles: Should the reconstruction be identical to the old? Notre Dame de Paris is, in both its sublime history and its tragic fire, the symbol of nation consumed in its opposition to the past and the future, the right and the left, rich and poor.

A country no longer in harmony nor even capable of self-understanding. France is a living democracy in a Europe that has ensured us decades of peace and, no matter what one says today, a certain degree of prosperity. Perhaps we have come to take it for granted, to consider it a given, just as we have at times passed by Notre-Dame without even seeing it. To see the big picture, as you say in English, and God knows that our British friends are taking the measure of the violent fire now ravaging their own country. Certain ideas and values have united us as a people. The artisans who built them piece by piece made sure everyone could take refuge in them and feel reassured.

That terrible night, around 9 p. The heroic firefighters managed to contain it. If the north tower had collapsed, the entire cathedral would have fallen, and all would have been lost. Click here to download the New Vessel Press Catalogue. Below please find a schedule below. Emotions in Bronze. Click here to download our catalogue for , featuring works from around the globe.

It began as idle chatter. Why not, they thought, open a publishing house and translate their favorites? The men travel to book fairs in Germany and the United Arab Emirates, get recommendations from friends and read voraciously—Wise is fluent in German and French, and Ufberg, in Polish and Russian. They have become a go-to outlet for foreign publishers.

Oblivion, a dive into the legacy of Soviet-era prisons by Sergei Lebedev, was chosen by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 10 novels of last year. Critical success aside, making money in the book business is tough. Grants from foreign cultural institutions cover about a third of the cost of translation. The partners say they are approaching profitability, with revenue in the low six figures. New Vessel buys worldwide English-language rights, making some money by selling to publishers in Great Britain and Canada.

Actor Richard Gere helped convince Hollywood studio Tadmor Films to option the screen rights for the tale of two down-and-out Poles scamming lovelorn women in s Tel Aviv, Israel. New Vessel stands to earn a six-figure fee. Another strategy is to find the next Stieg Larsson, the late Swedish author of the best-selling Millennium trilogy. The pair sees potential in Martin Suter, a German-Swiss crime writer who sells hundreds of thousands of books in Europe.

His art-fraud thriller The Last Weynfeldt, published last year by New Vessel, is the first of a three-book deal that Ufberg hopes will gradually seed the market. Marketing remains a challenge. Volume is still low, so Ufberg wraps all the subscription books in pastel crepe paper himself, the kind of personal touch that distinguishes New Vessel from large-scale publishers. They organize tours of major U. And they are reassured that enough people want what they can provide. Tuesday, October 25, 7 p. Brown University lecture; Providence, R.

Thursday, October 27, p. Library of Congress; Washington, D. Sunday, October 30, 2 p. Wednesday, Nov. Saturday, Nov. You speak about it a bit in the book, but could you tell us the impetus for The Last Supper? After the collapse of the peace negotiations in the Second Intifada began. I reported from the Palestinian side and it became clear from talking to Christian Palestinians that a shift had taken place in the struggle for Palestinian nationhood. Palestinian Christians had always been a crucial part of the nationalist movement. The Palestinian cause was about culture, history, and language before religion, which meant the both Christians and Muslims could partake in this endeavor.

However, from the definition of being Palestinian shifted and Islam became more and more the main denominator. This meant the Palestinian Christians began to feel like strangers in their own land. On top of that the methods in combatting the Israelis also shifted to include suicide bombings, which Palestinian Christians did not want to be a part of.

Hence, they where looked upon by many militant, Islamic Palestinians as traitors to the cause. Thousands of Palestinian Christians began to emigrate. They felt trapped between the Israeli military on the one side and the militant Palestinian Islamic fundamentalists on the other. Christians in Bethlehem told me that if the level of emigration continued at this pace, Bethlehem would be emptied of Christians within a few decades.

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The Tangled Path to Glory: A Novel Approach to One Man's Search for the Infinite Connection

I knew this had to be an enormous story in the West, that the birth place of Christ was being abandoned by Christians. However, the story never really got much attention. This puzzled me. I also learned about Christians leaving other Arab countries. In , for instance, it was mentioned that two thirds of the Christians in Iraq had fled the country following the Iraq War. Churches were being bombed, Christians kidnapped, priests killed and whole Christian neighborhoods in the two biggest cities, Mosul and Baghdad, ethnically cleansed.

This too failed to create a big media story in the West, despite the fact that the Christian community in Iraq is one of the oldest in the world. When Copts in Egypt became the target of persecution after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak and began to leave by the thousands, I wrote an open letter in my newspaper, the Danish weekly Weekendavisen , calling upon the new Danish foreign minister to arrange a meeting with ambassadors from the Muslim countries and ask them how they were going to protect the Christian minorities in their countries.

He never answered. I decided that it was time to pay the Christians a visit in the Arab countries and ask why so many were leaving. The entryway to the small church of St. What was the most difficult part about covering this story? Were you ever in danger? Tahrir Square has become notorious for the mistreatment, harassment and raping of women—three women had been stripped nude by a major crowd the day before our encounter—which is why women at that time more or less stayed away from the square unless they were completely covered up.

The boys that encircled us began to harass the woman who, being a Christian, refused to wear a headscarf. We were completely outmatched, but she managed to talk her way out of the crisis and we were able to get away shaken, but unharmed. Ask me why they want to stay. There are many moving and troubling passages in this book.

But one of the strangest stories, by far, is that of Andrew White, the pastor of St. We get to meet him, of course, but tell us a little more about your experience with him, what he is like as a person. I had heard of him in Christian circles in Denmark where he was spoken of as an almost mythic figure, because he is among the only Westerners with the guts to stay in Baghdad outside of the Green Zone during the Iraq War despite having a prize on his head from Islamist groups.

Churches had been bombed in the city, Christians had been kidnapped and most of the Christians had left. But he stayed on to help both Christians and Muslims get through the horrible war with a school and medical clinic. When I went to Baghdad to meet him he me picked at the airport with a heavily armed military escort that drove me through town at 90 miles per hour to his church in the middle of Baghdad, probably the most fortified church in the world.

The vicar is huge in every way—big feet, big body, big head, big ideas—but since he suffers from sclerosis, he walks with a cane and often has to be seated. As a friend of Denmark, he had erected a monument in the middle of the courtyard with the names of the nine Danish soldiers who had died during the Iraq War. The vicar had been in favor of the war but not how it was being fought , he cherished living dangerously while helping the poor, there were books on Jewish mysticism on his night table, and he spoke with warmth about Israel.

It seems as though in all of them Christians face a bleak future. However, did you see any chance for survival there, any reason to hope? It differs from country to country. The Iraqi situation is the bleakest. I visited areas around Mosul to the northeast that were conquered by ISIS in the summer of and where all the Christians, over , of them, have had to flee. In Iraq they face ethnic cleansing. Outside the Kurdish areas there are only few Christians left.


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They are not likely to return any time soon, if ever. In the West Bank, however, the situation for the Christians today is better than in many years. In the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Army drove Hamas underground and since then some Christians have returned.

In Egypt, Christians are also doing better since the Muslim Brotherhood was evicted from power in the summer of Just to give one example: A Muslim man can marry a Christian woman, and then their children will become Muslim. But a Christian man cannot marry Muslim woman. Discrimination like that—and there are many more examples—relegates the Christians to second-class citizens. In times of crisis the Christians are the group that is being scapegoated. How long did it take you to write this book?

When did you do the research? A little less than a year, from the autumn of to the summer of I took one country at a time and wrote the chapter on each before travelling to a new country, except for the chapter on the Palestinian Christians, for which I returned to visit the Christians in Gaza. Were you afraid that people would see your reporting as being mission-driven: in other words, that when you were writing, you already had an objective and an ulterior motive in mind? I knew I would be accused of having an ulterior agenda. Some told me before I began that I only was writing this book because I was Christian.

I was never baptized. I consider myself an atheist. Others were certain that I wrote the book to put Muslims in a bad light. How this can be seen as a morally right thing to do escapes me. Some would also criticize me for only focusing on the Christians when other minorities in the Middle East also are suffering. But despite my secularity I fail to see why being interested in the fate of the Christians in the Middle East, the origin of the dominant religion of the West, can be seen as dubious.

In a word: Anyone who reads the book will hopefully understand that this is a piece of journalistic work. I aim to convey that the situation for Christians in the countries I visit is so dire that we must shed light on it. There was great controversy in Denmark after the book was published there in What were the different responses to your book? And how did you react? Were you surprised? The book certainly received a lot of attention when it came out, mostly because most Danes were simply unaware of what was going on when it came to the Christians in the Middle East.

But the book mostly got fine reviews on all sides of the political spectrum. I hope it shone through that I managed to be balanced and fair. Naturally they were not too fond of this. Last fall the new center-right Danish government included in its platform that it would show special attention to the persecution of Christians and other minorities around the world.

How would you respond to politicians and other persons of influence who might be reluctant to speak out about the persecution of Christians for fear of inflaming tensions between U. We cannot afford to abandon minorities facing extinction, and we are not doing the Muslim countries any favors by evading a forceful response. Christians in the Middle East have been great merchants, businessmen and artists for centuries, and many Muslims are well aware how much more impoverished and monolithic the area would become if the Christians left. We cannot close our eyes to the fact that for years Islamists have persecuted Christians all over the Middle East.

As I write this, at the end of March , an attack on Christians in Pakistan has just killed over 70 people. Are you planning to return to the region yourself to do further reporting of this kind? How do you see the outlook for similar reportage on human rights conditions in the societies you visited?

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For years there was too much focus on Israeli atrocities and way too little attention given to abuses in other Middle Eastern states. A critical press is good for any country. We take this for granted in the West. And on the flipside: the lack of scrutiny given to Arab regimes especially in the European press has been a betrayal of the Arab peoples living there.

It treats them as if they were too fragile and immature to deal with the inquiry we expect the press to accord our own Western societies. Human rights groups have had the same fundamentally flawed approach to the Middle East. Since the Arab Spring this has changed. At the moment I think we have many excellent and courageous journalists living in the Middle East doing important human rights stories. Say something about the people who helped you on the ground. Journalists often forget to state the obvious: that there is very little freedom of speech in some of these places.

In Egypt and the Palestinian Territories dissidents are in fear of ending up in jail. It was highly evident among the few thousands Christian who were still living in Gaza under Hamas rule. Christians—especially here, but in many other places—are in a way doubly oppressed. Not only by a government that allows little dissent from Muslims and Christians alike, but also from a dominant Muslim society where Christians are treated with contempt amid increasing radicalization.

In such places you have to rely on anonymous sources. What other stories have you covered? What have you been covering since you left the Middle East? You worked for a year as the New York correspondent for Weekendavisen. What was your favorite story here? Of course, like everybody else he had been doping too, and he spilled the beans to me. I actually spent two years writing from New York: I came back to Copenhagen last summer. Of course, I wanted to know where they went and what they did when they left the Middle East. They played soccer, I guess. Thursday, April 28 — 10 p.

Friday, April 29 p. How did you first hear about the idea of the Animal Internet, and what was it that got you interested enough to write a book about it?

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The whole thing started when I encountered Waldrapp Shorty on Facebook. This bird is part of a zoological project, but on Facebook it looked like a joke. First I thought it was fake—an ugly bird with its own Facebook account? Serious for the bird, serious for the people trying to reintroduce nearly extinct Waldrapps into the European wilderness—which is, by the way, a tough job—and even more serious for the social media followers who spent days and days with Shorty, taking and posting photos, commenting on his behavior and so on.

This became the first chapter of the book. What were some of the most fascinating stories you investigated for Animal Internet? What were the most memorable of the locations you visited and the animals you saw? Some years ago a big brown bear turned up in the village where I live. He came from Italy, crossed two borders and some highways and started to ramble around in the Bavarian Prealps. Finally he was killed by hunters because nobody was able to catch him. Today Bruno stands as a trophy in a Munich museum. The whole affair was a big scandal because it showed the distance between people and nature in modern Europe.

In the book I retell the story and ask: What would have happened if Bruno had been tagged? What would be the attitude of the public if it could follow this predator in real-time on Facebook and YouTube? But these are only a few of the many fascinating animal stories ranging from tagged butterflies to whales which I tell in the book. Were you putting on a brave face in the book, or do you really believe that the digitization of animals is our only hope to save them?

Let me put it this way: I am a huge fan of the real wilderness. I am very much analogue out there. This was my starting point. But when I started talking to experts, park rangers and zoologists who really cared about their animals, I gradually understood that the mysterious opacity of nature which we hold up as romantic ideal actually is killing animals.

So, at the end of the process of writing the book, I came to the conclusion which is pretty much backed up by famous and influential scientists like Professor Martin Wikelski who is the successor of Konrad Lorenz and Professor Josef Reichholf, that analogue and digital must merge in order to create a new space of nature in which the positive, empathic, loving relationship between mankind and creation is the most important condition for the survival of most of the species. And the Internet is the key to this new space. So, theologically speaking, one could say as has been done before by media thinkers : It looks like the Internet is God.

You speak a bit about climate change in Animal Internet ; in your view, is that the greatest threat facing animals today? And will any amount of digitization and tracking be enough to stop humans from polluting the earth into extinction? Some species will disappear, others are benefiting from climate change and global warming. Nature reconstructed itself after the ice age. Creation is resilient.

Climate change will not kill gorillas or orangutans, but deforestation will. Digital tracking is a feeble measure against this global bulldozer. So the book definitely has a melancholy note. You have a chapter in your book that deals with house pets—we love our dogs and cats more than ever, and spend billions of dollars a year on pet-related products.

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Do you think that the increasing closeness of humans to our pets obscures our views of animals in the wild, to the detriment of the latter? That is definitely so. We look at house pets more as family members, as parts of a social structure than as animals. Every dog species once had a duty, at least in old Europe.

Dalmatians escorted stagecoaches, Schnauzers protected breweries, Rottweilers cleaned up stockyards. This is all long gone. Today we choose a dog not because of his abilities agility excepted but because of his shape, color and so on. We make an aesthetic decision—as if we are picking out a new table or TV set. This has nothing to do with the substance and essence of nature which used to be present in the way people looked at farm and working animals all through history up to the beginning of World War Two.

Then came technology, and it was all was gone. You mention the popularity of bird watching in the book. Birding is an old discipline. It started with Aristotle and used to be an aristocratic pastime especially in Great Britain. The other explanation would be: Americans especially are bored with democratic mass civilization and want to turn into real Englishman again with Barbour jackets and gumboots.

And this might also explain the shift from baseball to birding B2B : Birding is as much impregnated with statistics as baseball. You count, you make lists, you share your numbers.


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Do you have a sense at this point about the differences in how the tracking of animals is received in the United States versus Europe? Very much. Europeans are technophobes. Americans are technophiles. In Germany we are curbing our use of nuclear power and going back to the Middle Ages in terms of energy production. The U. He has a lot of trouble with German colleagues and environmentalists who believe that the new transparency of nature represents more of a risk than of a chance.

And then there is the European obsession with data security. We are already talking about data protection for individual animals. All this is patent nonsense because why should we care about the data set of a sea turtle which our ignorance has killed? I would recommend these ecological conservatives read Animal Internet. There they will find the future of humanity and nature. Alexander Pschera, author of Animal Internet: Nature and the Digital Revolution , will be reading at the following venues.

Check back here for more updates on Animal Internet:. One day, on a cold winter eve, my father took his rifle down from the rafter to clean it. My book of desires was a geographical atlas of the USSR, a giant folio with maps on the scale of ,,, twenty-five kilometers to one centimeter. Neither my friends nor my comrades appeared in these dreams. Only untamed spaces, and their calling out to me. What could I comprehend of this?

But those far-off evenings, those voices, they did something to me, mingling with the inner whisperings of blood; something further sharpened, further aimed the arrow of the compass: North, and East. There was only one figure of childhood that was able to, if you will, divert the arrow.

It weighed a kilogram or two. The Order of Lenin, two Red Banners, two Red Stars, countless medals; sometimes I was allowed to look at them, hold them in my hands, my fingers growing numb. My grandfather, first husband of my grandmother, was a company commander in Stalingrad, and I always knew, though nobody ever told me, that these were his decorations, the decorations of a true hero. When nobody was looking, hesitating out my own impudence, I would pin one of the orders onto my shirt and stand in front of the mirror. NOOK Book. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book!

Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Overview It's the journey, not the destination. Russ Oyer took his final step on this tangled path in March and now is a permanent resident in heaven. In this work, Russ shares how God revealed Himself to him throughout his adolescent years. As many do, Russ tried to find fulfillment through a variety of vices, adventures, scholarships, friendships, humor, etc. He kept saying to himself, "Is this all there is?

Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Boleto: A Novel. An unforgettable story of men and horses, the American West, and the dream of a Money is View Product. Bronx Man.

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