Berfrois

April 2017

Gerardo Muñoz on Andrés Ajens

Gerardo Muñoz on Andrés Ajens

To write or speak on behalf of Ajens’ recent book, Cúmulo Lúcumo (Das Kapital, 2017), is already to allude to its secret vortex. Cúmulo is a book that we welcome and celebrate yet another feat of language that dwells in a threshold.

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Lauren Berlant on Writing Light

Lauren Berlant on Writing Light

I don’t even care about secrecy, usually, because the scenario of exposing what’s unjustly censored has always seemed overdramatic to me, a distraction: all communication amounts to a defense.

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Scherezade and Theophilus win!

Scherezade and Theophilus win!

Congratulations to Scherezade Siobhan and Theophilus Kwek, the winners of the second Berfrois Poetry Prize!

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Chris Townsend: Video Games for Transcendentalists

Chris Townsend: Video Games for Transcendentalists

The University of Southern California’s “Game Innovation Lab” recently made the press with its adaptation of Henry David Thoreau’s autobiographical work of philosophy, Walden.

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: Contemplating Existence

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: Contemplating Existence

I imagine this concrete structure next to a row of outdoor dining tables in Tsim Sha Tsui to be a time machine, covered with fauna and largely forgotten.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Albania is the Future of Europe

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Albania is the Future of Europe

For seven years now I have lived in Albania. I have seen ambassadors and foreign representatives come and go. And they all, so they say, share this same ideal: to make Albania a better place.

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The Hermeneutics of Babies

The Hermeneutics of Babies

Babies are usually the stuff of private life, clichés, and endearing memories that we check out as we set foot on campus grounds. Yet babies are the greatest--and arguably the cutest--hermeneutic subjects.

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On the Knocking at the Gate, in Macbeth

On the Knocking at the Gate, in Macbeth

From my boyish days I had always felt a great perplexity on one point in Macbeth. It was this: the knocking at the gate, which succeeds to the murder of Duncan.

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Felix Haas on J.A Baker

Felix Haas on J.A Baker

Imagine a land untouched by civilization, unstained by man's machines. Imagine a land where cities and roads and electric lights only live on the far horizons edging its borders, where concrete and steel are ideas so remote, no one has dreamt them up yet.

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Protest

Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Protest

In some ways, I feel I shouldn’t go there, so naturally I am drawn like a moth to the flame. I can’t get around race and identity politics, and I shouldn’t. But as deliciously pearly white as I am—and given that it’s ipso facto my “identity”—I have still never...

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Grant Maierhofer on Gordon Lish

Grant Maierhofer on Gordon Lish

Lish refers to the writings herein as "pieces and witherlings," and they're referred to elsewhere as "Fictions," as was the case with Collected Fictions. This is only important insofar as one is interested in Lish's methods from a compositional as well as readerly standpoint.

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j/j hastain: Priest/ess

j/j hastain: Priest/ess

My thought-forms don’t appear to me as grammar. For so long in my life I felt taxed by this—a kind of soul stressor. Would I have to translate these thought-forms pure from mystery into normative grammar for my entire life?

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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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