Apr. 3rd, 2006

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Margaret Atwood's "Gertrude Talks Back", a short story--fan fiction, if you would--set in the universe of Hamlet and originally published in the 1994 collection Good Bones and Simple Murders, should acquit her of charges of lacking a sense of humour. Besides, it's good.
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[livejournal.com profile] eveglass has kindly typed up (1, 2) yesterday's gaming.

Yes, there will be more tonight.
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In May of this year, Mary Cheney will be coming out with a book, Now It's My Turn: A Daughter's Chronicle of Political Life. I'll be interested to see how, exactly, this book feeds into the minor controversy about Cheney's sexual orientation and the way that this feeds into the politics of the Republican Party and its homophobia. I can't help but wonder whether her genealogy bought her honourary heterosexuality. By the same coin, I can't help but think that the past six years haven't been fun for her.
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The abortive recent call made by Romania's Szekler leadership to establish an autonomous region of Székelyföld in southeastern Transylvania, as Razvan Amariei outlined at Transitions Online ("Shelving the Szekler Land"), has caught significant attention and no small amount of tumult in Romania.

The recent tension started in December, when Jozsef Csapo, the head of the Szekler National Council (CNS), a Hungarian community organization, asked for a referendum to be organized on the issue of territorial autonomy for a region in central Romania.

“We want to become autonomous, like the Albanians in Kosovo,” CNS Deputy Chairman Ferencz Csaba said in a reference to the troubled province that formally still belongs to Serbia and whose status is now the subject of international negotiations.

Known as “Szekler Land,” the area would include Covasna county (with 74 percent ethnic Hungarians and 23 percent Romanians), Harghita county (85 and 14 percent), and about half of Mures county (53 percent Romanians and 39 percent ethnic Hungarians).

The new territory would have about 750,000 inhabitants, 500,000 of them ethnic Hungarians, 220,000 ethnic Romanians, and 30,000 belonging to other ethnic communities, mostly Roma.

According to the CNS, the region should have its own president and government, its own police force and education system.


Amariei concludes, as does Marian Chiriac at IWPR, that the strong hostility felt in Romania towards even potentially secessionist movements and Romanian centralization will prevent Székelyföld from quickly copying Catalonia's model. This hostility was caused partly by Romania's late and prolonged coalescence as a nation-state, and partly by the permanent loss of Moldova.

One interesting fact brought up by this call for autonomy is the apparent lack of identity felt by the Szeklers and the other Hungarians in Transylvania, who mostly live as minorities close to the Hungarian frontier. I'm reminded of the relationship in Canada between Québécois and Acadians, who share a common language and many elements of culture but which remain distinct population groups.
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