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Results 26 - 50 of 68,765
26. Etymology gleanings for April 2016

Responses to my plea for suggestions concerning spelling reform were very few. I think we can expect a flood of letters of support and protest only if at least part of the much-hoped-for change reaches the stage of implementation. I received one letter telling me to stop bothering about nonsense and to begin doing something sensible.

The post Etymology gleanings for April 2016 appeared first on OUPblog.

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27. The Poetic Edda, Game of Thrones, and Ragnarök

Season Six of Game of Thrones is about to air. One of the great pleasures of watching the show is the way in which George R. R. Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, and the show-producers, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, build their imagined world from the real and […]

The post The Poetic Edda, Game of Thrones, and Ragnarök appeared first on OUPblog.

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28. Austerity and the slow recovery of European city-regions

The 2008 global economic crisis has been the most severe recession since the Great Depression. Notwithstanding its dramatic effects, cross-country analyses on its heterogeneous impacts and its potential causes are still scarce. By analysing the geography of the 2008 crisis, policy-relevant lessons can be learned on how cities and regions react to economic shocks in order to design adequate responses.

The post Austerity and the slow recovery of European city-regions appeared first on OUPblog.

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29. Certain Songs #519: Prince & The Revolution – “Kiss”

Prince kiss Album: Parade
Year: 1986

It took Michael Jackson five years to follow up Thriller. It took Bruce Springsteen three years to follow up Born In The U.S.A. It took Madonna two years to follow up Like a Virgin.

It took Prince ten months to follow up Purple Rain.

That said, after I heard the underwhelming (despite the pure pop glory of “Raspberry Beret”) Around The World in a Day, I started a pattern with Prince that I’ve kept up for three decades: I started dipping in and out of his discography.

Basically, if the critical & cultural buzz was that I needed to check a Prince album out, I did. If not, then I didn’t. After all, there was always a new one right around the corner. For 30 years!

The good and bad news is, of course, is that there are two major swaths of Prince’s career I’ve never (or barely) heard. The Black Album Come. EmancipationN.E.W.S. And while Musicology got me interested again, and I flat-out love Planet Earth I’ve still missed at least half of his output from the last decade.

What all of this means is that I pretty much ignored “Kiss” during its heyday. To be slightly fair to me, the spring of 1986 was a relatively chaotic time in my life, so I didn’t have as much time to devote to anything musically but my core 1980s people.

So I didn’t even really hear “Kiss” until I bought The Hits, the crazy-making singles compilation that shoots itself in the foot by not being in chronological order.

In any event, I’m not even sure I was ready for “Kiss” in 1986. With its spare structure, super-funky guitar and throw-back falsetto, I’m not sure my reference points were there yet.

All these years later, after a couple of decades of digging into the classic soul and funk songs that clearly inspired “Kiss,” I totally get how awesome it is.

Combining one of his most melodic choruses with a free-flowing, slightly off-beat beat and a — for Prince — love > sex lyric, “Kiss” is the primary reason that Parade was the first of the Prince albums that I bought to start filling in the gaps.

Official video for “Kiss”

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #519: Prince & The Revolution – “Kiss” appeared first on Booksquare.

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30. Mario Bellatin Q & A

       At Sampsonia Way they now have a transcript of a Q & A with Beauty Salon-author Mario Bellatin.

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31. Prize: Wellcome Book Prize

       They've announced the winner of this year's Wellcome Book Prize (for a book with a: "central theme that engages with some aspect of medicine, health or illness"), and the £30,000 prize goes to It's All in Your Head (by Suzanne O'Sullivan).
       The US edition is only due out in 2017 (pre-order your copy at Amazon.com), but it's out in paperback in the UK; get your copy at Amazon.co.uk.

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32. Bioinformatics: Breaking the bottleneck for cancer research

In recent years, biological sciences have witnessed a surge in the generation of data. This trend is set to continue, heralding an increased need for bioinformatics research. By 2018, sequencing of patient genomes will likely produce one quintillion bytes of data annually – that is a million times a million times a million bytes of data. Much of this data will derive from studies of patients with cancer.

The post Bioinformatics: Breaking the bottleneck for cancer research appeared first on OUPblog.

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33. Enrique Vila-Matas on the future

       At Music & Literature they print Thomas Bumstead's translation of Enrique Vila-Matas' talk when he received the premio Juan Rulfo at the book fair in Guadalajara on 28 November of last year, The Future (original) -- well worth a read.

       (Many Vila-Matas titles are under review at the complete review -- with the recent Because She Never Asked a particular favorite (which I don't think has gotten its due, critically or otherwise).)

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34. Voroshilovgrad review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Ukrainian author Serhiy Zhadan's Jan Michalski Prize-winning Voroshilovgrad, just about out from Deep Vellum.

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35. Prize: International Prize for Arabic Fiction

       They've announced that Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba [مصائر: كونشرتو الهولوكوست والنكبة] by Rabai al-Madhoun has won this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
       The US$50,000 award is one of the leading Arabic literature prizes, and does the best job of publicizing winning works abroad, with most of them appearing in translation in a variety of languages.
       The winning author is not unknown in English, as Telegram published his (IPAF shortlisted) The Lady from Tel Aviv a few years ago; see their publicity page, and get your copy at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

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36. Prizes: Hugo Awards finalists

       They've announced the finalists for the 2016 Hugo Awards -- and there's even one of the novel finalists under review at the complete review, Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.
       Apparently, there are issues regarding the voting process and campaigns by groups -- of 'Sad Puppies' and 'Rabid Puppies' -- but it's all rather beyond me; see, for example, David Barnett on Hugo awards shortlist dominated by rightwing campaign in The Guardian.

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37. A timeline of the dinosaurs [infographic]

Dinosaurs, literally meaning 'terrible lizards', were first recognized by science, and named by Sir Richard Owen (who preferred the translation ‘fearfully great’), in the 1840's. In the intervening 170 years our knowledge of dinosaurs, including whether they all really died out 65 million years ago, has changed dramatically. Take a crash course on the history of the dinosaurs with our infographic.

The post A timeline of the dinosaurs [infographic] appeared first on OUPblog.

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38. MOOCs and higher education: evolution or revolution?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) burst into the public consciousness in 2012 after feverish press reports about elite US universities offering free courses, through the Internet, to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) course on Circuits and Electronics that had attracted 155,000 registrations was a typical example. Pundits proclaimed a revolution in higher education and numerous universities, fearful of being left behind, joined a rush to offer MOOCs.

The post MOOCs and higher education: evolution or revolution? appeared first on OUPblog.

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39. Certain Songs #520: Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man”

Prince I Could Never Album: Sign o’ the Times
Year: 1987

While 1999 broke him into the mainstream and Purple Rain was his biggest record, if there is a consensus “Greatest Prince Album,” it’s 1987’s Sign o’ The Times.

Not only did it feature aspects of everything that he’d done before, it added some new wrinkles to boot. It also spawned three massive singles and was also rapturously received by the critics. And nearly 30 years later, it sounds as much of a tour de force as ever.

I mean, look at “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man,” which starts out as a pure power-pop song with the keyboards and guitar playing call-and-response over handclaps, and then just builds and builds with noisy guitars and harmonies.

Lyrically, it’s ground-breaking as well, as Prince — for the first time in history — turns down a one-night stand. Growth!

And a bit of sadness:

She asked me if we could be friends
And I said, oh, honey baby that’s a dead end
You know and I know
That we wouldn’t be satisfied
No

And I said, baby don’t waste your time
I know what’s on your mind
You wouldn’t be satisfied (wouldn’t be satisfied)
With a one night stand (uh, uh, uh)

And I could never take the place of your man, oh
Yeah, yeah, the place of your man (uh, uh, uh)

But you might not even notice the sadness, because Prince so overloads the line “Oh honey baby that’s a dead end” with maybe his purest pop harmonies on record.

So instead of fucking, he’s gonna play his guitar!! Which might not have been as satisfying for Prince, but Prince playing his guitar always works for us.

So first off, a long fast conventional solo, and then a surprise, as the song suddenly breaks down, and Prince is left just playing almost jazzy notes over the straight-ahead beat. After filling up all of the space, he’s now leaving oceans of space between every little run, even as you start realizing that he’s now overdubbed a second lead guitar.

Of course, eventually the riff thats that started the song kick back in, but only for a moment, and it just kinda stops.

The video below is a live version from I don’t know when, and is heavy on the guitar pyrotechnics while downplaying the pop aspects of the song.

“I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man” performed live

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #520: Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man” appeared first on Booksquare.

0 Comments on Certain Songs #520: Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man” as of 4/29/2016 8:22:00 PM
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40. A prickly pair: Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter

Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter never got on. Theirs was, in fact, one of the most explosive relationships in postwar, transatlantic history and it strained to the limit the bond between West Germany and America. The problems all started before Carter became president, when the German chancellor unwisely chose to meddle in American electoral politics.

The post A prickly pair: Helmut Schmidt and Jimmy Carter appeared first on OUPblog.

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41. Certain Songs #520: Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man”

Prince I Could Never Album: Sign o’ the Times
Year: 1987

While 1999 broke him into the mainstream and Purple Rain was his biggest record, if there is a consensus “Greatest Prince Album,” it’s 1987’s Sign o’ The Times.

Not only did it feature aspects of everything that he’d done before, it added some new wrinkles to boot. It also spawned three massive singles and was also rapturously received by the critics. And nearly 30 years later, it sounds as much of a tour de force as ever.

I mean, look at “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man,” which starts out as a pure power-pop song with the keyboards and guitar playing call-and-response over handclaps, and then just builds and builds with noisy guitars and harmonies.

Lyrically, it’s ground-breaking as well, as Prince — for the first time in history — turns down a one-night stand. Growth!

And a bit of sadness:

She asked me if we could be friends
And I said, oh, honey baby that’s a dead end
You know and I know
That we wouldn’t be satisfied
No

And I said, baby don’t waste your time
I know what’s on your mind
You wouldn’t be satisfied (wouldn’t be satisfied)
With a one night stand (uh, uh, uh)

And I could never take the place of your man, oh
Yeah, yeah, the place of your man (uh, uh, uh)

But you might not even notice the sadness, because Prince so overloads the line “Oh honey baby that’s a dead end” with maybe his purest pop harmonies on record.

So instead of fucking, he’s gonna play his guitar!! Which might not have been as satisfying for Prince, but Prince playing his guitar always works for us.

So first off, a long fast conventional solo, and then a surprise, as the song suddenly breaks down, and Prince is left just playing almost jazzy notes over the straight-ahead beat. After filling up all of the space, he’s now leaving oceans of space between every little run, even as you start realizing that he’s now overdubbed a second lead guitar.

Of course, eventually the riff thats that started the song kick back in, but only for a moment, and it just kinda stops.

The video below is a live version from I don’t know when, and is heavy on the guitar pyrotechnics while downplaying the pop aspects of the song.

“I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man” performed live

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #520: Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man” appeared first on Booksquare.

0 Comments on Certain Songs #520: Prince – “I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man” as of 4/29/2016 8:22:00 PM
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42. Why hasn’t the rise of new media transformed refugee status determination?

Information now moves at a much greater speed than migrants. In earlier eras, the arrival of refugees in flight was often the first indication that grave human rights abuses were underway in distant parts of the world.

The post Why hasn’t the rise of new media transformed refugee status determination? appeared first on OUPblog.

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43. Nigeria Prize for Literature entries

       In The Nation Evelyn Osagie reports that 173 authors in race for NLNG $100k literary prize (meaning, presumably, 173 books, since it's a book prize (though possibly some authors might have entered more than one title ...)).
       The Nigeria Prize for Literature rotates through four different genres (poetry, drama, kids' stuff, and prose fiction) -- and they're finally back to the one that counts, which Chika Unigwe won in 2013 -- as she: "beat 213 authors to the prize". (Interesting that there were considerably more entries (entrants) last time around.) Last year was the kid-lit turn, but they didn't find anything was deserving of the prize.
       While this prize will pay out in US dollars (if they award it ...), there's also a literary criticism prize ("open to literary critics from all over the world") which only pays out in local currency -- and while NGN 1,000,000 might sound good, well, it's only about US$5000. Even more depressingly, Osagie reports that they got all of ... two entries for the prize.

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44. Prize: Austrian State Prize for European Literature

       The Austrian State Prize for European Literature only honors European authors, but as that list of previous winners shows, they have a pretty damn good track record.
       They've now announced the 2016 winner -- albeit only in a ridiculous summary-press release unworthy of the prize -- and it's Polish author Andrzej Stasiuk, who has been reasonably well translated into English. Two of his books are under review at the complete review: Fado and Nine.

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45. A General Theory of Oblivion review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of José Eduardo Agualusa's A General Theory of Oblivion.

       This is one of two titles -- along with the latest Elena Ferrante -- that is a finalist for both the Best Translated Book Award and the Man Booker International Prize this year, so it's hard not to consider it one of the biggest titles-in-translation of 2015.

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46. Certain Songs #518: Prince & The Revolution – “Purple Rain”

Prince purple rain Album: Purple Rain
Year: 1984

Literally don’t even know where to start here. How about this: this was Prince’s signature song. Sure, he had bigger singles (and in fact, cutting the “Purple Rain” down to 4:05 for its single was as stupid as when The Who cut “Won’t Get Fooled Again” down to 3:36, I mean why even bother?), but I don’t think he had a bigger song. On every level.

I mean, you could imagine going to a Prince concert and not seeing any other song, but going to a Prince concert and not seeing “Purple Rain” seems totally unimaginable.

I don’t know, of course, because the only Prince concert I ever saw was when Tim & I saw the infamous opening set for the Rolling Stones. You know, where the fucking “only one way to rock” assholes booed and booed and threw stuff at him.

I don’t think I had heard Prince yet, but I certainly had been reading about him in the wake of Dirty Mind, and I was dead curious. At the time, I was more dismayed at the booing, and I seem to recall that the sound volume was underwhelming, to boot. All in all, all I knew for sure was that Prince in 1981 was a thing I didn’t quite get.

But as always, I assumed that was on me.

Meanwhile, I’ve often wondered how many of the bros who booed him ended up loving him just a few years later. I’d like to think all of them, but that’s probably optimistic. At least some of them, right?

I mean, how can you not love “Purple Rain?”

First off, it’s got that big, repeaty gospelish chorus, with a shitton of reverb on Prince as if he’s preaching from a radio station that’s beaming god’s own word directly into our souls.

And then there’s the guitar solo, which — along with the equally transcendent “whoooo-hooo-hooo-hooos” — dominates the back half of the song.

I’ve just now made up a theory that iconic guitar solos often fall into one of two categories. There are the ones that build and build into their climax: you know, like “Stairway to Heaven” or “Rock Bottom.” Then there are those ones that kind of meander out ahead of the song for a while until the song catches back up with them, like “Down by The River” or “Marquee Moon.”

While “Purple Rain” is closer to the latter than the former, it charts a different path. It starts off wandering around, flirts with the conventional “deedleley-deedlely-deedleley” for a bit, but settles instead for a repeating phrase that anchors the rest of the song.

It is, of course, the sound of the purple rain falling from the skies. What else could it be?

That’s what’s on the album, and the film. And, of course, the performance in the film was transcendent enough to justify all of the self-indulgence that preceded it.

One of the tropes that’s been resurrected in the wake of Prince’s passing was that 1984 was one of the greatest years ever for pop music, what with the waning of Thriller coinciding with Purple Rain, Like a Virgin and Born in the U.S.A., to say nothing of Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, The Police and Van Halen.

All I can say is, sure why not? These things are nearly impossible to quantify, but there was great music everywhere in 1984, coming from every part of the dial and still spewing 24 hours a day from the MTV, and it sure seemed like the confluence of “good” and “popular” was extremely high that year.

So if you could somehow create a graph of 1984 in music with “Good” as the X-axis and “Popular” as the Y-axis, there would probably be an abnormally high number of entires in the upper right-hand quadrant. And uppermost, of course, would be Purple Rain.


“Purple Rain” from the film


“Purple Rain” live at the American Music Awards, 1985

“Purple Rain” performed at the Super Bowl, 2007

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #518: Prince & The Revolution – “Purple Rain” appeared first on Booksquare.

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47. Marie Darrieussecq profile

       At news.com.au Emma Reynolds profiles Marie Darrieussecq (Pig Tales, etc.) -- and I was not aware of her role at Charlie Hebdo.

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48. Certain Songs #518: Prince & The Revolution – “Purple Rain”

Prince purple rain Album: Purple Rain
Year: 1984

Literally don’t even know where to start here. How about this: this was Prince’s signature song. Sure, he had bigger singles (and in fact, cutting the “Purple Rain” down to 4:05 for its single was as stupid as when The Who cut “Won’t Get Fooled Again” down to 3:36, I mean why even bother?), but I don’t think he had a bigger song. On every level.

I mean, you could imagine going to a Prince concert and not seeing any other song, but going to a Prince concert and not seeing “Purple Rain” seems totally unimaginable.

I don’t know, of course, because the only Prince concert I ever saw was when Tim & I saw the infamous opening set for the Rolling Stones. You know, where the fucking “only one way to rock” assholes booed and booed and threw stuff at him.

I don’t think I had heard Prince yet, but I certainly had been reading about him in the wake of Dirty Mind, and I was dead curious. At the time, I was more dismayed at the booing, and I seem to recall that the sound volume was underwhelming, to boot. All in all, all I knew for sure was that Prince in 1981 was a thing I didn’t quite get.

But as always, I assumed that was on me.

Meanwhile, I’ve often wondered how many of the bros who booed him ended up loving him just a few years later. I’d like to think all of them, but that’s probably optimistic. At least some of them, right?

I mean, how can you not love “Purple Rain?”

First off, it’s got that big, repeaty gospelish chorus, with a shitton of reverb on Prince as if he’s preaching from a radio station that’s beaming god’s own word directly into our souls.

And then there’s the guitar solo, which — along with the equally transcendent “whoooo-hooo-hooo-hooos” — dominates the back half of the song.

I’ve just now made up a theory that iconic guitar solos often fall into one of two categories. There are the ones that build and build into they climax: you know, like “Stairway to Heaven” or “Rock Bottom.” Then there are those ones that kind of meander out ahead of the song for a while until the song catches back up with them, like “Down by The River” or “Marquee Moon.”

While “Purple Rain” is closer to the latter than the former, it charts a different path. It starts off wandering around, flirts with the conventional “deedleley-deedlely-deedleley” for a bit, but settles instead for a repeating phrase that anchors the rest of the song.

It is, of course, the sound of the purple rain falling from the skies. What else could it be?

That’s what’s on the album, and the film. And, of course, the performance in the film was transcendent enough to justify all of the self-indulgence that preceded it.

One of the tropes that’s been resurrected in the wake of Prince’s passing was that 1984 was one of the greatest years ever for pop music, what with the waning of Thriller coinciding with Purple Rain, Like a Virgin and Born in the U.S.A., to say nothing of Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner, The Police and Van Halen.

All I can say is, sure why not? These things are nearly impossible to quantify, but there was great music everywhere in 1984, coming from every part of the dial and still spewing 24 hours a day from the MTV, and it sure seemed like the confluence of “good” and “popular” was extremely high that year.

So if you could somehow create a graph of 1984 in music with “Good” as the X-axis and “Popular” as the Y-axis, there would probably be an abnormally high number of entires in the upper right-hand quadrant. And uppermost, of course, would be Purple Rain.


“Purple Rain” from the film


“Purple Rain” live at the American Music Awards, 1985

“Purple Rain” performed at the Super Bowl, 2007

Every Certain Song Ever
A filterable, searchable & sortable database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.

Check it out!

Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)

Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page

The post Certain Songs #518: Prince & The Revolution – “Purple Rain” appeared first on Booksquare.

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49. Kertész Imre funeral

       As, for example, hlo reports, Imre Kertész laid to rest last Friday, with The Book of Hrabal-author Esterházy Péter and Captivity-author Spiró György delivering the funeral orations for the deceased great.
       The hlo piece has speech excerpts, but you can listen to the Esterházy speech in its entirety in the original -- or read full German and Swedish transcripts. (English ? Ha ... dream on.)

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50. A new European Regulation on insolvency proceedings

In June 2015, EU Regulation 2015/848 of 20 May 2015 on insolvency proceedings entered into force. This Regulation reformed – or, to be more precise, recast – EC Regulation 1346/2000, in order to tackle in a much more modern way cross-border insolvency cases involving at least one Member State of the EU (except Denmark).

The post A new European Regulation on insolvency proceedings appeared first on OUPblog.

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