Web: Sign and Sight | clivejames.com
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Sign and Sight

A member of the German-based Perlentaucher Group, Signandsight is a website that samples all the major intellectual discussions in continental Europe, translates the key articles into English and puts them together in the one spot almost in real time. There is no site like it for following a debate on any topic that threatens to affect the stability of liberal democracy: it’s as if the whole thing had been wished into existence by the Allied Control Commission in the late 1940s. It hardly needs saying, however, that this is modern German democracy, home-grown and very proud. The translations are almost invariably adequate and often very good indeed. Sometimes one wishes that the site could be easier to use. It flashes current topics on the front page but you have to find the side-box at the lower right, the one without the photographs, before you track down the vital list of topics that were hot last month and now you need to see them again. The ideal example of a debate with all the big names in action at once is “Islam in Europe”. I would recommend starting there, especially if you haven’t yet encountered the name of Pascal Bruckner. Signandsight is his stamping ground: it helps to make a French philosopher a European presence in a way that hasn’t been seen since the heyday of Raymond Aron. Bristling with critical departments, the site has corridors leading everywhere but you can get the essence of it with a single visit to the front page every week.

Enter the Signandsight website here