Berfrois

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Rarely have I seen a cityscape more depressing than that part of Beirut we are expected to call its centre-ville. It once contained a real souk, a vital, organic city center.

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Very Much Like a Whale by 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 to produce any satisfactory explanation. Now we only knew how it had entered, but still not why.

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Just Sick Enough

Just Sick Enough

I used to buy The Sun newspaper. Not just to fit in with mates at secondary school but right into my first year at university. I knew there was something to be ashamed of in this filthy habit.

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Vaulting Ambition

Vaulting Ambition

Illustration by Salvador Bartolozzi. Via. by Lauren Berlant This is a very lightly revised version of the paper I tried to deliver at the American Studies Association conference as a performance piece that also riffed on the talks just given around me: a complete failure as a performance. Amitava...

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Thoreau’s Walk

Thoreau’s Walk

Summer and winter our eyes had rested on the dim outline of the mountains in our horizon, to which distance and indistinctness lent a grandeur not their own, so that they served equally to interpret all the allusions of poets and travellers

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Can benevolent autocrats be trusted with development?

Can benevolent autocrats be trusted with development?

Historians have recently begun to investigate how development became central to the global humanitarian politics of the twentieth century, and why it has never been able to deliver on its promises.

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Generation People

Generation People

It’s easy, of course, to make fun of generational analysis. For many years generations have been the favored category of social pseudoscientists, not to mention marketing gurus and breathless lifestyle journalists.

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are,...

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McKenzie Wark
Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Bharat Azad
Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on...

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Andre Gerard: Light Here, Shadow There

The deeper one looks in To the Lighthouse the more one sees. The more one listens the more one hears. Homer, Shakespeare, Conrad and...

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Claudia Landolfi: Europe’s Colonial Perversion

The aftermath of a violent act or after a sharp change of political horizons is also a crisis of imagination and language. The rupture...

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Featured Contributor

I keep getting called a MILF. Like two years ago a male poet called me the “Ultimate Poetry MILF.” He meant it as a compliment. I was like wait a minute that sounds really sketchy and weird. Then about a month ago I told another male poet that that male poet called me the “Ultimate Poetry MILF” and he was like what is wrong with that?

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Information Over Muskets

Information Over Muskets

Kim Jong-un, Vasily Galaktionov, 2013 by Sergei Guriev and Daniel Treisman The changing dictatorships Dictatorships are not what they used to be. The totalitarian tyrants of the past – such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, or Pol Pot – employed terror, indoctrination, and isolation to monopolise power. Although less ideological, many 20th-century...

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‘Academic philosophy is definitely too narcissistic today’

‘Academic philosophy is definitely too narcissistic today’

The history of philosophy looks a bit like a sine wave (or a roller coaster, if you prefer). It goes up and then down, up again, and then down.

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Popomo

Popomo

Let’s call this phase after postmodernism post-postmodernism – “popomo” for short.

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Elias Tezapsidis on Robin Givhan

Elias Tezapsidis on Robin Givhan

by Elias Tezapsidis The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History, by Robin Givhan, Flatiron Books, 320 pp. Fashion critic Robin Givhan’s new book (out this week from Flatiron Books) takes us to The Battle of Versailles Fashion Show, a fundraising event...

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Horses Going Mad by Imprisonment Within the Royal Garden Walls

Horses Going Mad by Imprisonment Within the Royal Garden Walls

Some minutes into the UK premiere of Wim Wenders and Juliano Riberdo Salgado's The Salt of the Earth at the benefit opening of the 2015 Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London, someone whispers in my ear: “So what does this have to do with human rights?”

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‘What is the use’

‘What is the use’

Not everything Gertrude Stein wrote is worth calling poetry. Stein says so herself in “Poetry and Grammar,” because “for me the problem of poetry was and it began with Tender Buttons to constantly realize the thing anything so that I could recreate that thing.”

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Oscillation

Oscillation

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

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This All

This All

You still. Have time. Things can happen in one day.

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Hip-hop is an ecosystem…

Hip-hop is an ecosystem…

I was born in 1989 at the end of hip-hop’s infancy. By the time I dropped into being, hip-hop had a Grammy and platinum records.

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Jerry Moore: Feverish Rivers

I learned that Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff had been a Nazi when I was in a Santa Marta supermarket. I had just stepped into the Exito...

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Lauren Berlant
Lauren Berlant flies

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness. It is a record of where we got stuck on a question...

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Robyn Ferrell on Balthus

The pitfalls of identification, hero-worship, envy and malice can beset the most patient writer in the throes of five hundred-plus pages of attention to...

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Michael Munro on Spinoza

Immanence is not philosophy, nor philosophy immanence. But there is in the passage from one to the other a modification of sense that is...

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David Beer
David Beer: Broadcastwerk

Writing at sometime around 1930 or 1931, Walter Benjamin suggested that the voice on the radio is a like a visitor in the home,...

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Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

At nineteen, it is easy to think that all you're missing is the right movement. But there is something about the young left wing...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Rama’s And

While local journalists were once again busy regurgitating worn-down, coma inducing positions about yet another spectral appearance of Enver Hoxha at the celebration of...

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Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic,...

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