Berfrois

December 2010

‘A sprite of the meadow, a naiad of lakes, a nymph of the woods’

‘A sprite of the meadow, a naiad of lakes, a nymph of the woods’

From Lapham’s Quarterly: In a New Hampshire apartment during the winter of 1923, this typewritten notice was fastened squarely against a closed door: NOBODY MAY COME INTO THIS ROOM IF THE DOOR IS SHUT TIGHT (IF IT IS SHUT NOT QUITE LATCHED IT IS ALL RIGHT) WITHOUT KNOCKING. THE...

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With sources like these

With sources like these

From Sign and Sight: When “The Coming Insurrection” (here in English) was published anonymously in France the state authorities came down hard on its presumed authors. Based on the theories of the Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt, the manifesto calls for political violence and fulminates against democracy and the rule...

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The Body’s Last House

The Body’s Last House

Mott grave monument, Mississippi. Photograph by Walker Evans, 1935 From The Design Observer: The grave or tomb is the body’s last bed, or its last house. This last house is in many cases more permanent, if not more splendid, than anything occupied in life. This was clearly the case...

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The idea was “dianetics”

The idea was “dianetics”

Battlefield Earth, Warner Bros., 2000 From New Humanist: I once knew a man who sat next to a couple of guys in a Los Angeles diner and overheard them starting a religion. “So. We’ll need a saviour,” said one, “and a prophet.” “Well,” said the other, “I don’t know...

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Pankaj Mishra on Mao and the Maoists

Pankaj Mishra on Mao and the Maoists

From The New Yorker: Just five years after his death, the C.C.P. officially blamed the “mistaken leadership of Mao Zedong” for the “serious disaster and turmoil” of the Cultural Revolution, and the garishly consumerist and inegalitarian China of today seems to mock Mao’s fantasies of a Communist paradise. Nevertheless,...

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‘It was a find, a treasure, twenty bucks for a flight jacket in a narrow, basement shop on 77th St in 1978′

‘It was a find, a treasure, twenty bucks for a flight jacket in a narrow, basement shop on 77th St in 1978′

From AGNI: Ingrate. My daughter the beautiful ingrate. It was supposed to have gone with her to college, to Boston. That was the plan, and she left it in her closet. Look here, my flight jacket, with the green ticket stub from the dry cleaner safety-pinned to one of...

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British Literature

British Literature

  by Michael Gardiner Eng Lit (English Literature), as a discipline of study and textual circulation, is not English. On the contrary, English Literature is a thoroughly British discipline – in a sense the cultural form of the British state – and its greatest period of blossoming was during...

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Natural Philosophy and a New World Picture

Natural Philosophy and a New World Picture

by Stephen Gaukroger The core question dealt with in The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of Sensibility concerns the way in which, and the extent to which, natural philosophy comes to occupy the position of the paradigm bearer of cognitive values in the period between the 1680s and...

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“Why does he hate Samis?”

“Why does he hate Samis?”

From Eurozine: We have all seen the blonde-fringed Tintin wriggle his way out of one sticky situation after another. But early 2010 saw the Belgian national hero’s past catch up with him; a past most of us had forgotten he had. Congolese Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo believes the comic book...

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Oberiu Underground

Oberiu Underground

Conversations at the End of the Avant Garde | by Ann Kjellberg

Little Star

Of all insects, crickets make the most loyal spouses, like zebras among animals. I used to keep two crickets in a cage, male and female. When the...

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Manifesto of the Appalled Economists

Manifesto of the Appalled Economists

Atelier Tee From European Alternatives: The world economic recovery, permitted by a massive injection of public spending into the economy, is fragile but real. One continent lags behind, Europe. Finding again the path of growth is no longer its priority policy. Europe has embarked on another path: the fight...

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If the Coffee is Good, Who Cares about the Graphics?

If the Coffee is Good, Who Cares about the Graphics?

Deadly Premonition, Twin Peaks and Cult Fandom by Nate Garrelts When it was released in the United States and Japan during the Spring of 2010, the game Deadly Premonition (Xbox360) received a disparate set of reviews. Notable among these were those featured on two popular game sites, IGN and...

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Jeremy Fernando: Not

A response — Bartleby’s response — foregrounding the fact that it is the “I” that “prefers not to”: not that ‘I cannot’ nor ‘I...

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Owen Vince on HARK

As a poet, you are your grandmother; you are browsing the obituaries with a red pen and an address book in your hand. The...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

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Collective Destruction by Keith Doubt

What, then, is sociocide? Sociocide resonates with the term demodernization formulated by A. V. Tishkov to account for the consequences of the war in...

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Heather Lang on Fiona Sampson and Sarah Morgan

Poet Fiona Sampson is a former career violinist, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, overt references to music appear in her work.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom....

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Joe Linker
Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping....

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Luc Moullet

To begin at the end: After nearly two hours exploring facets of exploitation in the globalized food system, Luc Moullet closes Genèse d’un repas/Origins...

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Adam Staley Groves: Iowa Nasty

Now it seems the state’s radical conservatives are degrading the historic, populist-provincial mentality of Iowa; they are revising the state’s legacy within the broader...

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Animal Spirits at the Nueva Burdalesa Bakery by Jessica Sequeira

A few years ago all I had was a certain ambition and an understanding, more or less, of how things work in this world....

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Sebastian Normandin
Meaning and Pseudoscience by Sebastian Normandin

The persistence and proliferation of pseudoscientific thinking in contemporary culture demands explanation. Clearly there are some pragmatic reasons for its expanded existence, and people...

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost....

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind...

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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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