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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Jerry Moore: Feverish Rivers

I learned that Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff had been a Nazi when I was in a Santa Marta supermarket. I had just stepped into the Exito...

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Lauren Berlant
Lauren Berlant flies

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness. It is a record of where we got stuck on a question...

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Robyn Ferrell on Balthus

The pitfalls of identification, hero-worship, envy and malice can beset the most patient writer in the throes of five hundred-plus pages of attention to...

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Michael Munro on Spinoza

Immanence is not philosophy, nor philosophy immanence. But there is in the passage from one to the other a modification of sense that is...

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David Beer
David Beer: Broadcastwerk

Writing at sometime around 1930 or 1931, Walter Benjamin suggested that the voice on the radio is a like a visitor in the home,...

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Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

At nineteen, it is easy to think that all you're missing is the right movement. But there is something about the young left wing...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Rama’s And

While local journalists were once again busy regurgitating worn-down, coma inducing positions about yet another spectral appearance of Enver Hoxha at the celebration of...

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Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic,...

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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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Lauren Berlant performs by clicking

Today I introduced Facebook to someone older than me and had a long conversation about what the point of networking amongst “friends” is. The...

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Tinder Times by Bibi Deitz

I am in bed with a man. He has to go home. He is not staying the night. So he pulls out his iPhone...

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Jenny Diski keeps up

Some things are best met with silence. If I were to proceed with this month’s column in an honest way, it would be a...

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From Fashion by Tracy O’Neill

The man who brought us a disembodied protagonist alluringly voiced by Scarlett Johansson has now issued a drama — starring apparel. Recently, Opening Ceremony...

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras...

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