Berfrois

Threats

Threats

One of the inexhaustible sources of conversation among fans of hardcore punk is the attempt to identify the onset of a band’s (or scene’s, or label’s) irremediable decline. For example: When did Black Flag lapse into long-haired, noodling weirdness?

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The Immortality Stakes

The Immortality Stakes

Cicero thought superior writers, or their souls, would survive death and enter an eternal realm "where eminent and excellent men find their true reward."

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Kevin Higgins’ 21 Poem Corbyn Salute

Kevin Higgins’ 21 Poem Corbyn Salute

As Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign exploded throughout an otherwise decidedly damp July, it became clear that I had left two factors out of my back of the envelope political calculations.

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“This was no Well of Loneliness”

“This was no Well of Loneliness”

Around that same time I think I read the whole Ladies Almanack in my studio, across the hall from Daviel. I asked her to let me know if she wanted to make that film. She told me the whole wish: the dream of Cixous, and Myles narrating; everything.

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Peter Marshall reviews Purity

Peter Marshall reviews Purity

Purity can be a bit overstuffed with newsworthy items and references from the past several years of American life. He seems to want to write novels that would be candidates for the time vault, so that if people ever wonder what life was like in America at a certain...

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‘It’s legal to drink on the street in Louisiana’

‘It’s legal to drink on the street in Louisiana’

I wasn’t technically a food bank employee, but rather a “fellow.” Every two weeks I got $415 from the government program and about $100 from the food bank itself.

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Arundhati Roy’s Return to Fiction

Arundhati Roy’s Return to Fiction

Arundhathi Roy in 2013. Photograph by Augustus Binu. From The New York Times: “I’ve always been slightly short with people who say, ‘You haven’t written anything again,’ as if all the nonfiction I’ve written is not writing,” Arundhati Roy said. It was July, and we were sitting in Roy’s living...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Concrete Passion

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Concrete Passion

A bit over a year ago, while documenting the partisan monuments from the Albanian communist period, I got a phone call from the Ministry of Culture: whether I can send them a list of the twenty most important monuments to restore.

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An Accidental Archivist

An Accidental Archivist

Naming is powerful. A name can be a gift or a burden. Choosing or discarding a name can make you feel free. A nickname can make you feel loved or crushed.

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Rohan Maitzen on George Eliot

Rohan Maitzen on George Eliot

George Eliot’s novels are often painful places to be. Her characters frequently find themselves embroiled in circumstances beyond their control or understanding, struggling to find their way forward in the face of incompatible desires or competing goods.

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Remembrance of Translations Past

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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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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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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Daniel Bosch on Yang Mu

Daniel Bosch on Yang Mu

Yang Mu’s verse autobiographical prose, like his verse, relies on close observation of Taiwan’s landscape, flora, and fauna for imagery and metaphor. Yet if the humidity, the light, the tang in the breeze—the embodied experiences of the young Yang Mu—are distinctly Taiwanese, his themes are broadly human.

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Virginia Woolf on Mrs. Grey

Virginia Woolf on Mrs. Grey

There are moments even in England, now, when even the busiest, most contented suddenly let fall what they hold — it may be the week’s washing.

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Chris Moffat on Anand Patwardhan

Chris Moffat on Anand Patwardhan

Patwardhan both captures and manifests this wavering time of modern India: history exists in his films not as a static object for reflection, nostalgia or mourning, but as something which constantly returns, flashing up, animating politics and inflecting horizons of possibility in the present.

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“To walk into a library is like listening to an orchestra tuning its instruments”

“To walk into a library is like listening to an orchestra tuning its instruments”

When I pick up a new novel, I will start in the middle. I will read ten pages in the middle, and if get interested in the sound of the writer’s voice I will go back and start at the beginning.

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Rahul M Meets Aaraveeti Ramayogiah

Rahul M Meets Aaraveeti Ramayogiah

Ramayogiah, a sixty-five year old doctor with a thick white mustache and childlike glee in his face, has written over 27,000 postcards enumerating ways to prevent diseases to low-income people in India.

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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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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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