Berfrois

July 2011

‘A quarter-mile of corkline and mesh writhing and splashing’

‘A quarter-mile of corkline and mesh writhing and splashing’

Bristol Bay, Nick Hall From N+1: About half the world’s supply of wild salmon comes from a system of rivers, lakes, and streams in western Alaska that empties into Bristol Bay, a relatively shallow body of water roughly 250 miles long and 180 miles wide. Every summer, 40 million...

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Sabine Feisst: Lonesome Schoenberg

Sabine Feisst: Lonesome Schoenberg

Portrait of Arnold Schoenburg, Egon Schiele, 1917 by Sabine Feisst Arnold Schoenberg, the famous Viennese-born composer and pioneer of musical modernism, was one of the many refugees from Nazi tyranny who settled in the United States in the 1930s and never again set foot on European soil. Yet despite...

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23 Aphorisms by Yahia Lababidi

23 Aphorisms by Yahia Lababidi

Commedia dell’arte, 18th Century engraving by Yahia Lababidi A fraction of a poem’s power resides in words, the remainder belongs to the spirit that moves through them. Poetry: the native tongue of hysterics – adolescents and mystics, alike. Bow so low and you kiss the sky. There are many...

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Able to be Scaled

Able to be Scaled

The Descalations of Will Self | by Geoff Nicholson

Los Angeles Review of Books

I’ve been thinking about the novelist in the lunatic asylum, the one who decides to write a novel that describes the whole world and everything in it.

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Jurassic Park!

Jurassic Park!

Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon in The Trip, BBC From The New York Review of Books: With his fetishistic parochialism, supreme literal-mindedness, and rancid bourgeois complacency, Partridge was a parody not just of English talk show hosts but of contemporary England itself. As with Basil Fawlty of Fawlty Towers...

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{ Advertising Space }

{ Advertising Space }

They Live, Universal Pictures, 1988 by Justin Lewis Advertising is everywhere. Media that were once largely commercial free – from movies to the internet – now come replete with commercial messages. Not so long ago, most musicians were reluctant to see their work used to endorse shampoo or sneakers....

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“Douchebags” in Print

“Douchebags” in Print

Punishment of the Panderers and Seducers and the Flatterers, Sandro Botticelli, c.1480-c.1495 by Elif Batuman Forward-thinking readers! You don’t need me to tell you that our language is a living, growing organism. So, in an effort to stay with the times, I recently attempted to use the word “douchebags”...

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Slave of the Passions

Slave of the Passions

Mark Rothko From The Philosophers’ Magazine: We’ve probably all had the experience of being on the verge of acting from anger or jealousy, when someone advises us to act reasonably. A typical picture of motivation for action is one in which emotions or desires drive us one way and...

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Céline Dauverd: Dynastic Imperialism, Mercantile Interests

Céline Dauverd: Dynastic Imperialism, Mercantile Interests

View of the City of Naples and Vesuvio from Castel Sant’Elmo by Céline Dauverd The word imperialism inevitably conjures up reflections about the relationship –or lack thereof—among western countries and let’s say Algeria, Lebanon, South Africa, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, Mexico or Libya. However, these are all regions plagued by...

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Kathy Rudy: Love All the Animals

Kathy Rudy: Love All the Animals

Stone Age paintings, Chauvet Caves, France by Kathy Rudy At no point in history have humans used animals like we’re using them in America today. Factory farms crank out almost three pounds of meat per person per day from 20 billion food animals who function literally as flesh machines;...

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The fallacy of difference is a fallacy of science but how is it also a fallacy of art?

The fallacy of difference is a fallacy of science but how is it also a fallacy of art?

by Julia Galef It’s not often that you find something that’s a fallacy both logically and creatively — that is, a fallacy to which both researchers and artists are susceptible. Perhaps you’re tempted to tell me I’m committing a category mistake, that artistic fields like fiction and architecture aren’t...

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1/136

1/136

Fellow Prisoners | by John Berger

Guernica

The wonderful American poet Adrienne Rich pointed out in a recent lecture about poetry that “this year, a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics finds that one out of every 136 residents of...

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Foucault’s Will to Know by Stuart Elden

Foucault’s Will to Know by Stuart Elden

Areopagus from the Acropolis, Athens  by Stuart Elden Michel Foucault, Leçons sur la volonté de savoir: Cours au Collège de France, 1970-1971, suivi de Le savoir d’Œdipe, edited by Daniel Defert, Paris: Gallimard/Seuil The most recently published lecture course from Michel Foucault’s time at the Collège de France is...

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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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