Berfrois

February 2017

Little, Chiron, Black

Little, Chiron, Black

Did I ever imagine, during my anxious, closeted childhood, that I’d live long enough to see a movie like “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s brilliant, achingly alive new work about black queerness?

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What if the Oulipian constraint is the body?

What if the Oulipian constraint is the body?

Is this mental/intellectual/psychological focus within Conceptualism ableist? At the very least it seems to be one-dimensional: the body marks a caesura, and it is a product of Conceptualism’s relationship with the body and its positioning of itself in relation to it.

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Sterile and Tuneless

Sterile and Tuneless

For all of six weeks in the spring of 1891, Claire Saint (close friend of Laura Marx) was an enthused member of the proto-Situationist International group, the Hampstead Tree-Huggers.

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They Manufacture Napalm

They Manufacture Napalm

We made our way slowly up the mountain, separately and singly, my mother light and limber leading the charge, my father with his bad knees sometimes lagging far behind, and me shuttling somewhere in between.

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People With Their Walking Sticks

People With Their Walking Sticks

Münsing (population scarcely 4,200) is among the towns that lie along the Starnberger See, a large lake where, in 1886, King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found dead, strangled, together with his doctor.

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‘The underfunding of healthcare in the UK is a political decision’

‘The underfunding of healthcare in the UK is a political decision’

My first home visit of the day was to a 97-year-old woman who just ‘wasn’t right’. Her daughter had phoned around ten, while I was still doing the morning clinic. Between patients I’d noticed her name pop up on the screen.

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Why do some rare individuals become the vehicles of universal ideas?

Why do some rare individuals become the vehicles of universal ideas?

Born on May 5, 1818, in Trier, a city in the German Rhineland, Marx was the third child of Jewish converts to Christianity. His father Heinrich, né Herschel, had no choice except to fall in with the Lutheran Church if he wished to practice law in Prussia.

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Jerry D. Moore: The River of Paintings

Jerry D. Moore: The River of Paintings

One cannot travel in Patagonia uninfluenced by Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin portrayed Patagonia as a landscape of impermanence, a region of wind-blown steppe sparsely inhabited by displaced lives.

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‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

That the object of education should be to fit the child for life is such a trite and well-worn saying that people smile at its commonplaceness even while they agree with its obvious common sense.

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Grief Gave Agency

Grief Gave Agency

Translation is the loss of one form of communication but the gaining of another. A non-dualistic understanding of the world can in turn lead to a non-dualistic form(s) of communication within language.

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Stuart Elden on Ernst Kantorowicz

Stuart Elden on Ernst Kantorowicz

Kantorowicz led a remarkable life, and it seems only right to wonder what else he might have achieved as a scholar had he not encountered so many challenges to his academic career.

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Gerardo Muñoz on Jean-Luc Nancy

Gerardo Muñoz on Jean-Luc Nancy

Jean Luc Nancy’s The Banality of Heidegger (Fordham, 2017) is yet another contribution to the ongoing debate on Heidegger and Nazism, in the wake of the publication of the Black Notebooks in recent years.

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In Italy’s centre-left, the hyphen is morphing into a wide blank space

In Italy’s centre-left, the hyphen is morphing into a wide blank space

The centre-right is still leaderless. The future is very uncertain for everyone. As a show, Italian politics is never dull – especially now.

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Michael O’Rourke: The Afterlives of Queer Theory

Michael O’Rourke: The Afterlives of Queer Theory

If queer thinking were reduced to being the province of one particular thinker then its multiple localities would be worryingly narrowed and its localities would become merely parochial.

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Ed Simon: The Brooklyn Project

Ed Simon: The Brooklyn Project

“What, what exactly have we done here?” asked Lynn Jackson, her heavy dreadlocks falling like curtains over her tasteful kente cloth blouse, which did not hide but rather emphasized her heavy, yet stately, if not regal, countenance.

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‘Slurring as if toothless and drunk’

‘Slurring as if toothless and drunk’

The van was a way to navigate through my grief. I imagined I was driving away from pain but in fact it filled the four corners of my vehicle. I drove the long way to LA, through the South and along the Mexican border.

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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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