Jan Hein Donner

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I arbejds medfør var jeg forleden til foredrag med John Alexander.

Han talte om kulturforskelle i de nordiske lande, hvilket han gjorde godt og inspirende. Sammenhængene mellem historie, kultur og national identitet mindede mig om følgende citat af Jan Hein Donner.

The game of chess has never been held in great esteem by the North Americans. Their culture is steeped in deeply anti-intellectual tendencies. They pride themselves in having created the game of poker. It is their national game, springing from a tradition of westward expansion, of gun-slinging skirt chasers who slept with cows and horses. They distrust chess as a game of Central European immigrants with a homesick longing for clandestine conspiracies in quiet coffee houses. Their deepest conviction is that bluff and escalation will achieve more than scheming and patience (witness their foreign policy).

Donner døde i 1988, så det er ikke den aktuelle situation i Mellemøsten han har tænkt på. Nogen stor diplomat var han dog heller ikke selv. Bla. var et af hans yndlingsemner, hvorfor kvinder ikke kunne spille skak.

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