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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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

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Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

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Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

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Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

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John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

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Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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