Berfrois

Facebook’ll Deadname Ya

Facebook’ll Deadname Ya

Last week my phone company made me cry. Waiting excitedly for a new phone, I received an email from EE. “We just need a bit more information from you”, they said. “Call us”.

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Through Art and Buried Memory

Through Art and Buried Memory

From American Poetry Review: Lately, the word extinction floats around in my interior conversations, spurred most obviously by environmental destruction, endless and senseless wars, and of course my own awareness of personal mortality. In the trips I’ve made over the last five years to see the Ice Age painted caves...

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Meowzart

Meowzart

The absurdity of a cat piano has no doubt contributed to its appeal across the centuries. But the license granted in the space of the imaginary points to illicit aspects of the real.

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K. Thomas Kahn fills his pen

K. Thomas Kahn fills his pen

I am always getting lost, but there are countless parables about this already that make me hesitate to add my own version of events, my own alternate history.

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The letters of Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg chart a 40-year friendship…

The letters of Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg chart a 40-year friendship…

The story now feels nearly inevitable. In 1955, Allen Ginsberg moved into an apartment in the San Francisco North Beach area, just a few blocks away from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Pocket Bookshop.

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English/Beatnik

English/Beatnik

Irving Howe’s criticism is consistently compelling. He is truly a brilliant critic and his writing is pedagogical in a deep sense. Howe writes like a Magid tells a story.

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Oh, Sheila

Oh, Sheila

Near the beginning of Sheila Heti’s 2012 novel, How Should a Person Be?, the narrator—coyly, “Sheila”—recalls a jilted ex-lover’s composition of “an outline for a play about life—how it would unfold, decade by decade.”

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Them’s the Rules

Them’s the Rules

The Internet is surely a remarkable thing. Still, if a fifties sci-fi fan were to appear in the present and ask what the most dramatic technological achievement of the intervening sixty years had been, it’s hard to imagine the reaction would have been anything but bitter disappointment.

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‘This book would never be published’

‘This book would never be published’

Was I really willing to write a book that wouldn’t be seen (let alone read) by anyone I knew, or anyone who might want to hire me in the future?

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held...

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

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Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

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Featured Contributor

Recently, one of my colleagues decided to give me his thoughts on teaching—a kind of mini lecture—as I was waiting for the microwave to heat up my soup. He was eating a microwave corn dog in a paper sleeve decorated with circus drawings. Crunching into it. Talking about paradigms and benchmarks. Corndog. Evaulations. Corndog. User outcomes.

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Drained Pools

Drained Pools

In Frank Perry and Sydney Pollack’s Connecticut-set film The Swimmer (1968), based on John Cheever’s 1964 short story of the same name, Ned Merrill, a middle-aged man, decides to “swim home”.

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Heritage

Heritage

It had been nine days since the young white supremacist Dylann Roof had massacred nine black churchgoers in Charleston, and Coates, whose great theme is the intractability of racial history, had helped to orient the debate.

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Aalooran Rahman Bora Meets Jessica Sequeira

Aalooran Rahman Bora Meets Jessica Sequeira

Those few lovely hours – of talking books, selecting books, buying books – consisted our brief encounter.

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee, My House, Be There

Russell Bennetts: Coffee, My House, Be There

When I was three I’d toddled into our kitchen and spied my older sister lifting a steaming cup of chocolate-colored brew to her lips and I’d begged – begged – for a taste. It was likely something 1960s and horrible, like Folgers with some powdered creamer.

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The absence of crystals seemed to bewilder some of the more serious fans of the series…

The absence of crystals seemed to bewilder some of the more serious fans of the series…

Even back in 1994, the Final Fantasy series was settling into the sort of routine for which it later became well known – and was often scorned for.

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Chinese Communism

Chinese Communism

An article in the newsletter of the party's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection claims that since it is a 'founding ideological principle that Communist Party members cannot be religious', party members don't enjoy the right to religious freedom

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There were gummy bears and chocolate…

There were gummy bears and chocolate…

I was embarking on an adventure—an experimental procedure called a dorsal rhizotomy, where groupings of spinal nerve roots are cut to reduce the effects of interference, or the reduction of contradictory messages to and from the brain which contributed to my spasticity.

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Abundant Ownership

Abundant Ownership

Back in our day, our children were the center of our lives,” Mother said. “It seems like it’s so different for your generation. You just keep doing what you were doing before the baby arrived. It’s amazing to me.”

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European Community? Pah!

European Community? Pah!

The imposition of German demands on Greece, without consideration for its democracy, sovereignty or interests, is one of those moments that changes everything.

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All That Frustration by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

All That Frustration by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Edi Rama must be a frustrated man. Frustrated by the provincial tastelessness of the director he chose for the National Gallery of Arts. Frustrated by the utter lack of vision of his Minister of Culture.

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Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

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Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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Menachem Feuer: Body

While Sarah Silverman jokingly tells us that her Jewish identity has more to do with her body than with the “responsibilities and limitations” that...

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Jeremy Fernando: Pink

An offering that might well remain in its being offered.

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Rosie Clarke Chats to Amelia Gray

I get the impulse to look to the canon, but I think we should try and challenge and squash the canon, too.

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