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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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held...

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

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Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

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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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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

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Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

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Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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