Berfrois

September 2013

‘Commons’

‘Commons’

Red, Blue, John Hoyland, 1969 From Radical Philosophy: When we speak of the globalization of markets we also speak of a limitation imposed on the sovereignty of nation-states. In Western Europe, the essential error of national left-wing movements and parties has been their failure to understand...

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Jesse Miksic: Fear and Pity and Horror

Jesse Miksic: Fear and Pity and Horror

Don’t Look Now, Casey Productions, 1973 by Jesse Miksic Look at me, my native citizens, as I go on my final journey, as I gaze upon the sunlight one last time, which I’ll never see again—for Hades, who brings all people to their final sleep, leads me on, while...

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A young girl’s strange, erotic journey…

A young girl’s strange, erotic journey…

Young and Beautiful (its English title is far more ungainly than the original) treats in a similar way nascent sexuality and literary awakening, which, once again, go hand in hand. 16-year-old Isabelle (Marine Vacth), takes to prostitution soon after losing her virginity through a holiday fling, but the film...

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Gandhi and Ahmedabad

Gandhi and Ahmedabad

The field of South Asian urban history has a rich history of examining India’s major urban centers. Numerous astute studies of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta, for example, have contributed to our understanding of not only the rapid urbanization (and later suburbanization, as explored in the remarkable collection of essays...

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The bulk of the middle class implicitly accept the graduated political system that the ANC has created…

The bulk of the middle class implicitly accept the graduated political system that the ANC has created…

Abahlali Assembly, Foreman Road Settlement by Richard Pithouse Cities have emerged as a key site of popular struggle in post-apartheid South Africa. But with the ANC responding to independent organisation in an increasingly violent and repressive manner the future of these struggles is deeply uncertain. On the 26th of...

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Model Product

Model Product

Although the myth of Pygmalion is well known, let us recall the principal elements of Ovid's account: Pygmalion, who had never fallen in love with a woman, succeeded in sculpting "in snow-white ivory" the statue of a woman more beautiful than nature had ever made. Amazed by the almost...

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Italian restaurants are congenial to everything from flirting to a rambling philosophical discussion…

Italian restaurants are congenial to everything from flirting to a rambling philosophical discussion…

Photograph by Zbyszek Zolkiewski From The New York Review of Books: The hard-drinking crowd of painters and poets I hung out with at Cedar Bar, White Horse, and San Remo had little interest in fine cooking. With me, the more I drank, the hungrier I became. Also, I preferred...

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Andrea Brady: Food & Play

Andrea Brady: Food & Play

I began writing Mutability, a series of poetic and prose ‘scripts for infancy’, during my pregnancy and in the year following the birth of my first child, Ayla. I started not knowing what I was doing, as a parent or a writer. It was a good place to start....

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Owen and Keats

Owen and Keats

Wilfred Owen by Claire Bowen To read Wilfred Owen as anything other than an English war poet might seem like sheer, anachronistic willfulness. Yet Owen’s generational self-understanding develops as a corollary to his assertion that “English poetry” is un-“fit” to speak of war. Owen makes that assertion outright; it’s...

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David S. Jones: Take Care

David S. Jones: Take Care

Heart and its Blood Vessels, Leonardo Da Vinci, 1452 – 1519 by David S. Jones Every day all over America, ambulances whisk people with chest pain into emergency rooms. Doctors take a history, perform a physical exam, order diagnostic tests, and, when suspicion of a heart attack is high,...

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The Berfrois Manifesto

The Berfrois Manifesto

We stand for the opposite of whatever The Economist says.

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Shakespeare’s Sphere of Humanity

Shakespeare’s Sphere of Humanity

Taking a turn the other day in the Abbey, I was struck with the affected attitude of a figure, which I do not remember to have seen before, and which upon examination proved to be a whole-length of the celebrated Mr. Garrick. Though I would not go so far...

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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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