Berfrois

How Count Tolstoy Plays

How Count Tolstoy Plays

What brought Tolstoy to tennis so late in his life? Or, better, what brought him around to the game? When he was in his forties, he thought tennis was a faddish luxury, a pastime of the new rich, something imported, inauthentic—a child’s game enthused about by well-to-do grownups who...

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Not many made their living from academia, let alone literature…

Not many made their living from academia, let alone literature…

I find myself drawn, again and again, to the capsule biographies in the two volumes of American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century. The poets of the nineteenth century were not only poets; not many made their living from academia, let alone literature. They were rich and poor.

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How did her dead ladies stay alive?

How did her dead ladies stay alive?

Any number of recent memoirs—most, but not all, by women—face down the question James posed in his essay “Is Life Worth Living?” Should we go on living, and if so, what will our lives look like? If terrible things have happened to us, is healing possible?

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Valley Girl and Surfer Dude Adverbs

Valley Girl and Surfer Dude Adverbs

I’m cursed with a mind that looks at a sentence and sees grammar before it sees meaning. It might be that I’m doing math by other means, that I overdid it with diagramming sentences as a boy, or that my grasp of English was warped by learning Latin.

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A Drop Fell on the Umbrella Magnolias

A Drop Fell on the Umbrella Magnolias

On rare occasions, the townsfolk of Amherst, Massachusetts, would catch a glimpse of a ghostly figure dressed in white, leaning over to tend her flowers by flickering lantern light.

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Prometheus Onward

Prometheus Onward

When Albert Camus said on the evening of December 12, 1957, “I have not yet given my opinion about Algeria, but I will if you ask me,” he was making an offer that students at the University of Stockholm could not refuse.

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Liz Kinnamon: Sensitive ‘LOVE’

Liz Kinnamon: Sensitive ‘LOVE’

The “sensitive guy” should be understood through the lens of what pop psychologists call emotional manipulation, and his proliferation is the result of two things: the rise of feminism and the rise of immaterial labor.

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That Moon by Andre Gerard

That Moon by Andre Gerard

It is a truth too often accepted, that a modernist writer with Virginia Woolf's feminist and elitist tendencies, had no use for Victorians in general and for Charles Dickens in particular.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Minimal Divergence

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Minimal Divergence

Kristi Pinderi (Pro LGBT), then opposition leader now PM Edi Rama, and Xheni Karaj (Aleanca LGBT) in better times (2013) by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Another year, another International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO), another article that takes stock of the progress regarding LGBT rights in Albania. Spoiler alert: It...

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‘Plato is not famous for answering questions but for staking his life on the chance to ask them’

‘Plato is not famous for answering questions but for staking his life on the chance to ask them’

We are on the verge of becoming the best trained, and least educated, society since the Romans — and reducing the humanities to a type of soft science will only hasten this trend.

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Meat

Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Meat

In a 60-page essay I wrote on the nature of a “morbid curiosity,” I struggled not only with the ethics of viewing actualities of death found on shock sites—usually, the premature deaths of non-white victims of car crashes, industrial accidents, drug cartel violence.

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Stuart Elden: Michel

Stuart Elden: Michel

Foucault’s Last Decade is a study of Foucault’s work between 1974 and his death in 1984. In 1974, Foucault began writing the first volume of his History of Sexuality, developing work he had already begun to present in his Collège de France lecture courses.

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