Berfrois

“Look at reality carefully”

“Look at reality carefully”

It had a focus on being dominant for centuries without change. Whole groups get excluded because a certain kind of dominant discourse is established.

Read More

Captioning the Sitters by Volker M. Welter

Captioning the Sitters by Volker M. Welter

Judging by the crowd, of which I was part when recently visiting London’s National Portrait Gallery, the attraction of portrait painting is undiminished.

Read More

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Mantua Blue

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Mantua Blue

Edi Rama, Blue Lunetta, public intervention, Mantua, Italy (2016). by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei Albania and Mantua, the latter a provincial city in northern Italy, the former a country still somehow pretending to be EU-worthy. No one would ever think that these two geographical entities would have any...

Read More

‘Love’ and ‘God’

‘Love’ and ‘God’

Various contemporary continental philosophers have taken an interest in espousing some form of a 'return to religion' but one devoid of actual, material religious belief and practice.

Read More

Own the End

Own the End

Ever since Underworld, the 1997 book that marked the end of his ambitious middle period, Don DeLillo’s novels have been creepy, inconclusive, and short.

Read More

A New Curating

A New Curating

Consider, Boethius. He was a descendent of a noble Italian family, a beneficiary of a classical education, and in some ways the last of the Romans.

Read More

Alcoholic admissions punctuate Elizabeth Bishop’s narrative…

Alcoholic admissions punctuate Elizabeth Bishop’s narrative…

Bishop’s letters to her psychiatrist are newsy and notational. One begins with a friend surprising her “with a birthday cak and some mimosa” and concludes with a hairstyling appointment before dinner with Randall Jarrell.

Read More

Gertrude Stein on writing and painting and all that

Gertrude Stein on writing and painting and all that

There is singularly nothing that makes a difference a difference in beginning and in the middle and in ending except that each generation has something different at which they are all looking.

Read More

1915 was both too late and too modern a year for someone like Orson Welles…

1915 was both too late and too modern a year for someone like Orson Welles…

Orson Welles was born in 1915, which, in my view, was both lucky and unlucky. Unlucky because it was too late and too modern a year for someone like him—and I’m not referring now to the curious boundary drawn up by my reader, because I think 1914 and 1913...

Read More

Putin’s regime has no real ideology…

Putin’s regime has no real ideology…

Putin is now plainly following the same tactic in US electoral politics that he has successfully promoted in Greece and elsewhere: supporting both far-right and left tendencies indiscriminately.

Read More

Feroz Rather on Kashmir

Feroz Rather on Kashmir

In the mounting heap of blood-soaked images, I have a recurrent dream about Kashmir: a night filled with desolation and toxic smoke. I hear women wailing in the distance. The ground is abysmal and shaky. The street is a litter of limbs and stones and broken glass.

Read More

Storia

Storia

Ferrante, in case you haven’t heard, has become an international phenomenon. She has acquired a certain notoriety not only because her writing is very intense.

Read More

Jessica Sequeira: The Macabre Trunk

Jessica Sequeira: The Macabre Trunk

The poster for the 1936 Mexican film The Macabre Trunk shows a man in dark glasses and fedora, holding up a bloody hand in a menacing gesture, as a pulp dream of a blonde stretches out an arm to stop him.

Read More

Top Tips by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Top Tips by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

The remainders of a socialist realist bas-relief on a heap of former Qemal Stafa Stadium debris. Photo from Edi Rama’s Facebook. by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei For the last two months, I have been woken every day by workmen below my apartment building, viciously attempting to renovate the...

Read More

45˚38’N 13˚46’E

45˚38’N 13˚46’E

This fascinating work of scholarship concerns the association between two great 20th-century writers and the city that brought them together. The writers were the Italian Italo Svevo (1861–1928) and the Irishman James Joyce (1882–1941). The city was Trieste (45˚38’N 13˚46’E).

Read More

Kissing the Pebbles

Kissing the Pebbles

If Basil Bunting were not remembered for “Briggflatts”—his longest and best poem, first published fifty years ago—he might still be remembered as the protagonist of a preposterously eventful twentieth-century life.

Read More

The ghosts of 1984 were Sumerian shape-shifting demons transplanted to Central Park West…

The ghosts of 1984 were Sumerian shape-shifting demons transplanted to Central Park West…

To learn more about ghosts, I recently watched the original “Ghostbusters.” It became clear to me, as it had not been when the movie came out, in 1984, when I was seven years old, that ghosts congregate around the enemies of free-market capitalism.

Read More