Berfrois

We want the suffering and scandal in books to be real, but not so real….

We want the suffering and scandal in books to be real, but not so real….

There are few things to do in Anacostia, Maryland, besides visit the home of Frederick Douglass. It’s an estate called Cedar Hill, a large, white, red-gabled colonial with the type of rocking chair-laden porch that begs you to sit down with an iced tea and a bowl of strawberries.

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Eric Beck Rubin on Daniel Libeskind

Eric Beck Rubin on Daniel Libeskind

Dresden Museum of Military History by Eric Beck Rubin In late Spring of 2013, the Canadian federal government announced a design competition for a National Holocaust Monument in the capital, Ottawa. The response was diverse. Was this another part of the reigning Conservative party’s strategy of appealing to Canadian-Jewish...

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Carolina Armenteros on Dominican Gagá

Carolina Armenteros on Dominican Gagá

The feast, for which around 100 people are present, takes place in the backyard of one of Bocachica’s poor homes, where a goat was killed that morning to honor the saint. On entering the yard, I walk past a cauldron containing the remains of the goat looking for Gambao,...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Two Fingers

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Two Fingers

The former “Obelisk of Democracy” a.k.a. “Monument with Two Fingers” in Kavajë by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Being the son of a famed sculptor from the communist period who co-created, amongst many other works, the Independence Monument in Vlorë, and the Mother Albania statue on the National Martyrs’...

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“Martin Luther King’s the Greatest Artist of the Twentieth Century”

“Martin Luther King’s the Greatest Artist of the Twentieth Century”

Martin Luther King’s not just a political martyr and the Civil Rights Movement is not just some political phenomenon. Nope. Instead: Ta-dah! Martin Luther King’s the Greatest Artist of the Twentieth Century and the Civil Rights Movement is the greatest exhibition of performance art ever...

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O, Scotland

O, Scotland

Many ‘No’ voters wanted what a plurality of Scots have wanted for nearly forty years: to govern themselves as other small nations do but, if possible, within the United Kingdom. They were cheated too. Devo-max, whose minimum version means full fiscal autonomy, would have suited them.

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Heidegger’s Little Black Books

Heidegger’s Little Black Books

For Heidegger the “inner truth and greatness” of the Nazi movement lay in “the encounter between global technology and modern humanity” (a specification he secretly added to a 1935 lecture when it was published in 1953). These are not the words of a brutal realist

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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I Know I Have to Go by Rick Whitaker

W.G. Sebald’s father joined the Reichswehr in 1929 and remained in the Wehrmacht under the Nazis. He was captured by the French and remained...

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B. Alexandra Szerlip: Vertigo

Vertigo has been scrutinized under the rubric of scopophilia, fetishism, voyeurism, the sadistic male gaze, objectification of the female body, “a dream substrate of...

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Featured Contributor

You should read MY book because it’s the official (offal) sequel (squeak) to Cynthia, how spells your name?. The difference is seeding.
Cynthia was about all the feelings I didn’t feel while playing an online match of Call of Duty. I didn’t feel angry; I didn’t feel fanous; I didn’t feel frozen.

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Jesse Miksic: FromGothic

Jesse Miksic: FromGothic

There's an odd asymmetry about the enemies' genders in Dark Souls II. It could be attributed to the adolescent target demo, or to the fantasy genre's immaturity, but in the context of this analysis, it takes on a special literary importance. This is the gender asymmetry of the game's...

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CREATIONGIANT: Berfrois Interviews Blake Butler

CREATIONGIANT: Berfrois Interviews Blake Butler

When I first moved online with my fiction in 2006 the first name to repeat consistently in literary circles was Blake Butler. I remember those first days, clicking from online journal to online journal, from blog to blog, feeling inspired from what he was doing.

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There is nothing that costs less to acquire than the name of philosophe…

There is nothing that costs less to acquire than the name of philosophe…

The professional conception of ‘philosopher’ in the early-21st-century United States bears an interesting comparison to the figure of the ‘philosophe’ in 18th-century France. As is well-known, the philosophes, like most current members in good standing of the APA, were often seen from the outside as not really being philosophers...

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Mungo knew their names, but he wouldn’t tell…

Mungo knew their names, but he wouldn’t tell…

Bunty was my last cat. She stars in my book What I Don’t Know About Animals, and it was her picture at the back of the book where the author photo is supposed to be. She sits on my keyboard, glaring and daring me to try and get access...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says it, as I remember, while loafing around Gertrude Stein’s weekly picture exhibition at the rue de Fleurus, studying the foreigners who have come to pay...

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“Another movement”

“Another movement”

On the eve of the publication of her new book, ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate,’ Klein sat down with Liam Barrington-Bush. She reminds us that in a culture that treats people as consumers and relationships as transactions, ‘we’re not who we were told we were.’

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Photograph by Editrix by Elias Tezapsidis Christian Lorentzen→ CL (host, Senior Editor London Review of Books) Elif Batuman → EB (Author POSSESSED, Staff The New Yorker) Ben Lerner → BL (Author 10:04, Leaving The Atocha Station) Christine Smallwood → CS (Columnist Harper’s) Lorin Stein → LS (Editor The Paris Review)...

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Bobbi Lurie With Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie and Marcel Duchamp on Lena Dunham’s Girls

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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Europe’s Fascists in Suits by John Gaffney

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

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Lauren Berlant’s Love Theory

Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

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B. Alexandra Szerlip: Dream Train

Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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70-Minute Mark by Nicholas Rombes et al.

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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You may say Rauan Klassnik’s a dreamer…

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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David Palumbo-Liu on Chinua Achebe

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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