Berfrois

March 2013

Lateness

Lateness

Relativism apart, I do not doubt that one can point to processes like the six developments described by Van Dijk and Vaessens. However, I am not convinced by their overall interpretation of the situation as testifying to the emergence of a new kind of postmodernism, ‘Late Postmodern Literature’, or...

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Masha Tupitsyn on Steubenville

Masha Tupitsyn on Steubenville

Last week I emailed Laurie Penny's article "Steubenville: This is rape culture's Abu Ghraib moment" to my mother. We talked about it. She called it "sexual fascism." She always has the right words. I asked her how it is possible to raise human beings who are capable of things...

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‘A visit to Hebron eats into one’s soul’

‘A visit to Hebron eats into one’s soul’

Hebron, West Bank. Photograph by Synne Tonidas From The New York Review of Books: On March 16, I joined some twenty-five children, aged about eight to thirteen, who had gathered with Palestinian peace activists in a house in Hebron city to write letters to President Obama on the eve...

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Always Delighted

Always Delighted

Henry James, 1890 by Willa Cather Their mania for careless and hasty work is not confined to the lesser men. Howells and Hardy have gone with the crowd. Now that Stevenson is dead I can think of but one English speaking author who is really keeping his self-respect and...

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Daniel Tutt on Badiou’s Plato

Daniel Tutt on Badiou’s Plato

In what Alain Badiou calls his "hyper-translation" of Plato's Republic, we are taken into the world of Plato's classic dialogue on politics and justice, sped up to the pace of a 21st century New York street corner. Socrates and his sophist interlocutors speak a gritty street talk that is...

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‘Establishing schools is an age-old missionary strategy’

‘Establishing schools is an age-old missionary strategy’

Annunciation, Sandro Botticelli, 1489 – 1490 by Rahila Gupta The narrative of splits in Protestantism which is based on convenient binaries, with African and Asian churches emerging as the conservatives, and the US and Europe as the liberals, fails to capture the complexity of what is going on at...

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See Prog 0

See Prog 0

From From Hell, by Alan Moore, 1999. Illustrated by Eddie Campbell From The Comics Journal: I have in my l life met one or two people who were so well brought up that they had never read a comic. They tended to have an underdeveloped sense of humour. Whether...

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M’Dada

M’Dada

Dada is a new tendency in art. One can tell this from the fact that until now nobody knew anything about it, and tomorrow everyone in Zurich will be talking about it. Dada comes from the dictionary. It is terribly simple. In French it means "hobby horse". In German...

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Bobbi Lurie: @EnlightenedHBO

Bobbi Lurie: @EnlightenedHBO

by Bobbi Lurie  @    xxx I am ur first follower-i hope you saw no. 1 the way Amy did in #Enlightened: watch tonight- @mikewhiteMW =Chekov of t.v. in U.S.A   @HBO_Enlightened most unifying statement i’ve read = “i wanted 2 keep it a secret but they won’t renew if so” #myfaultsorry  ...

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33.333

33.333

As if the name alone weren’t troubling enough, the fact that No New York is, was and forever shall be a compilation proves equally as troublous. More so than anyone else, it was Brian Eno who committed these four bands to wax. So, yet again, an essay explicitly devoted...

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Gentlemen Prefer Loos

Gentlemen Prefer Loos

L-R: Jean Harlow and Anita Loos promoting Red-Headed Woman, 1932 by Elyse Graham When James Joyce was nearly blind and working on the first draft of Finnegans Wake, the book he permitted himself during his daily reading window was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a best-selling satire by Anita Loos. ...

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A Monk Surfing

A Monk Surfing

What is prayer? When I was a kid, I learned the Catholic prayers, and believed Sister Mary Annette, who liked to quote Shakespeare, when she said, “Words without thought never to heaven go.” King Claudius is trying to pray, looks like he is praying, to Hamlet, anyway, and so...

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[redacted]@[redacted].[redacted]

[redacted]@[redacted].[redacted]

Claude Monet’s signature in the Dulwich Picture Gallery visitors’ book From Paper Monument: By now, commercial galleries know to make an artist’s CV, press clippings, and images readily available for download by prospective collectors and critics alike. Email blasts and rich media campaigns have all but replaced snail-mailed press...

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Jewish and Not Laughing

Jewish and Not Laughing

I was born in central London two years after the Second World War. My parents were first-generation British Jews, brought up in London’s East End by their immigrant parents who had escaped from the Eastern European pogroms in the early years of the twentieth century. Since my birth in...

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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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