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Winning when losing

July 04, 2008 01:00

I love Ben Mcintyre's columns. They're always so different. Today's, on Abba, is a real treat:

Waterloo, for example, won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, even though it refers to a military victory that only the British care about. “My my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender.”

One Abbaologist has suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that this is “clearly an attempt to recontextualise 19th-century European geopolitics. Napoleon had so subverted the principles of the French Revolution that for most Frenchmen his defeat was the only way civilisation could be saved.” I feel like I win when I lose. How typically French. Do read it all.

BTW, his biography of Agent Zigzag is a classic. I'd put it in the same class as Bernard Wasserstein's simply wonderful Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln. Anyone who hasn't read that should drop everything now and make good that ommission.




July 04, 2008 01:00

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