Berfrois

Geoffrey Hilsabeck: What Was Vaudeville?

Geoffrey Hilsabeck: What Was Vaudeville?

We are left with the word vaudeville and little more than that. Vaudeville. We are left with traces: a few flat descriptions in books, some scratchy studio recordings, and what survives in early Hollywood.

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‘June whispers that anything is possible’

‘June whispers that anything is possible’

June itself, not the girl but the month, has something about it of the unattainable, the unfulfilled promise. That is, paradoxically, because June, at least in the cities where I have spent my life, is the only reliably spring-like month.

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Precariousness is quite simply the condition of the working class under capitalism…

Precariousness is quite simply the condition of the working class under capitalism…

The terms ‘precarity’ and its derivation, ‘precariat’/precariato gained notoriety after the 2001 Euro May Day parade when a network of casual workers, students, migrants, feminists, LGBT activists

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Nothing, Nothing but Hell

Nothing, Nothing but Hell

The death of champion boxer Muhammad Ali is an occasion to remember one of the strangest moments in popular culture, when Ali collaborated with legendary poet Marianne Moore on a work of verse.

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Virtues and Vices

Virtues and Vices

Hamilton treats the classic so-called paradox of tragedy­ -- why do we enjoy representations of horrible things?­­ -- by suggesting, following Nietzsche, that we may resonate to the glories of poetic language and take comfort in "an illusion about the nature and value of suffering" as somehow ennobling or...

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Ed Simon on Thomas More

Ed Simon on Thomas More

The Garden of Earthly Delights, Hieronymus Bosch, 1490-1510 by Ed Simon For its name literally meaning “No Place,” echoes of Utopia seem to be everywhere. Early autumn and a week before the pope’s visit and I am at the corner of 53rd and 5th, halfway between St. Patrick’s Cathedral...

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Robyn Ferrell: Freedom’s Formula

Robyn Ferrell: Freedom’s Formula

‘The Future is Here – it is just not evenly distributed’ was the catch phrase for the Sydney Biennale, which closed this month. But the experience on offer forecasted an uneven future for a widely distributed art product.

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Scherezade Siobhan: Tabeer

Scherezade Siobhan: Tabeer

I navigate an illness that makes me a protagonist of clichés. Sometimes, the thought of release is a dream of falling through clouds. My friend excitedly speaks about watching the northern lights from the cockpit of a plane — the whole kaleidoscopic spectacle, every inch of that cursive diffusion.

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Rome, If You Want to

Rome, If You Want to

Things are looking good for Movimento Cinque Stelle, Italy’s leading anti-establishment party. (In Italy, being anti-establishment is a competition.)

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Klyfez Cleven

Klyfez Cleven

The medieval poem “Pearl” was written by someone whose identity we do not know, and is set mostly within a dream.

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Her Sorrows and Adversities: Berfrois Interviews Adrian Nathan West

Her Sorrows and Adversities: Berfrois Interviews Adrian Nathan West

The impetus was an account I read as a teenager in John Zerzan’s essay The Case Against Art that describes a couple having sex in a museum in front of a camera that projected them onto a television.

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Wary of the They

Wary of the They

Elon Musk, the billionaire inventor and amateur futurologue, has recently taken to the idea that we may all be living in a simulation akin to Second Life. He has been influenced in his thinking by the philosopher Nick Bostrom.

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QMT feels kind of like a place…

QMT feels kind of like a place…

QMT is everywhere. Place plays a unique role in the magazine’s presence. There’s almost always someone awake in some part of the world who contributes to QMT and their contribution keeps the magazine active around the clock.

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Austen Powers

Austen Powers

When I was working on my doctorate at Oxford, I lived in a large Victorian house with about 10 other students. My room was on the ground floor at the back; in the room above me lived a Canadian woman named Lenore—after the “rare and radiant maiden” in Poe’s...

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