Berfrois

June 2017

  • Eric D. Lehman: Sharing Stories at Kinlochard

    June 2017 Highlights

    Eric D. Lehman: Sharing Stories at Kinlochard

    We took a wrong turn in Aberfoyle. Instead of heading toward Loch Katrine, the home of Sir Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake, my wife Amy and I headed along a sketchy broken road to Loch Ard.

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Paul Johnathan on Édouard Louis

Paul Johnathan on Édouard Louis

Eddy is a deromanticised account on all fronts. Divided into two parts and structured as a collection of vignettes, the main frame of the text is a confident reconciliation of the author with his working class background

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Hannah Hughes: My Gray City

Hannah Hughes: My Gray City

I was eighteen years old when I was introduced to the fascinating world of Alasdair Gray. I read Poor Things (1992) in the second year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow,

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Translators and Queers

Translators and Queers

It’s time for LGBTQ texts to be translated and for those translations to be analyzed, and it’s time for translators to consider what it might mean to translate LGBTQ texts and authors

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Microdosing LSD really quieted that “Hey! You suck!” voice…

Microdosing LSD really quieted that “Hey! You suck!” voice…

Well, I still have that voice in my head that tells me, “Hey! You suck!” But the thing about microdosing is that it really quieted that voice.

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America’s id is racist…

America’s id is racist…

Cuck videos frequently have racial dynamics — white men eroticize their anxiety about black-male sexuality by creating humiliation fantasies that involve sexually superior black rivals.

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Sean Carroll: Is Inflationary Cosmology Science?

Sean Carroll: Is Inflationary Cosmology Science?

Inflationary cosmology is the clever idea that the early universe underwent a brief period of accelerated expansion at an enormously high energy density, before that energy converted in a flash into ordinary hot matter and radiation.

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Missing Nostalgia in Alexandria

Missing Nostalgia in Alexandria

Cavafy’s apartment, my first stop, has been converted into a museum and contains some of his furniture. His office of employment is part of the majestic Metropole Hotel on the Alexandrian waterfront, or corniche.

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The World Cash Money Reflected

The World Cash Money Reflected

Cash Money grew slowly before it grew quickly. They became fixtures in local clubs, hole-in-the-wall spots with noirish names like Rumors and Detour and Whispers and Ghost Town.

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Be Better Buzzfeeders

Be Better Buzzfeeders

Before the books arrived, Adam Gopnik, in an effort to be polite, almost contradicted the essential insight of his life.

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Elizabeth Currid-Halkett: Conspicuous Consumption Is Over

Elizabeth Currid-Halkett: Conspicuous Consumption Is Over

In the face of rising social inequality, both the rich and the middle classes own fancy TVs and nice handbags.

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Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land

Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land

by Lital Khaikin 1 – Introduction   *   This text is part of a series of texts called To Justify Land.   *    “…those who believe the land belongs to them cannot ever really understand” — Elder William Commanda   *   I  am  in  the  earth,  wind ...

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Thomas Hardy was both drawn to city life and repelled by it…

Thomas Hardy was both drawn to city life and repelled by it…

Ford makes the convincing claim that London turned Hardy into ‘a modern type’ (a tag the novelist bestowed on Clym Yeobright in The Return of the Native); in city life

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OK Computer was profoundly prog rock…

OK Computer was profoundly prog rock…

In April, 1971, Rolling Stone reviewed the début album by a band with a name better suited to a law firm: Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

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‘Theresa May is a classic phony Brexiter’

‘Theresa May is a classic phony Brexiter’

As recently as late April, with the Labour Party in disarray and its leftist leader Jeremy Corbyn deemed unelectable, the polls were putting the Tories twenty points ahead and telling May that her coronation was inevitable.

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Justin E. H. Smith: The Search for Intelligent Life

Justin E. H. Smith: The Search for Intelligent Life

It is hard to read about SETI and more recent related projects looking for intelligent life in the stars without discerning in them certain silent presuppositions about what counts or should count as intelligent life on earth.

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Joseph Spece on Wonder Woman

Joseph Spece on Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. Pictures, 2017 by Joseph Spece Reflections on Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman (2017). The lilt and lyric oilpaint technique used to illustrate Hippolyta’s tale of gods and men aspires to be Michelangelo, but succeeds more in being Rubens. And like a Rubens, Wonder Woman has superior...

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Henry David Thoreau: Walking

Henry David Thoreau: Walking

I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.

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Claire Provost: A ‘spiritual war’ for the ‘traditional family.’

Claire Provost: A ‘spiritual war’ for the ‘traditional family.’

In a darkened hall at the Budapest Congress Centre, an image of the classic American TV show, The Brady Bunch, appears illuminated on a giant screen.

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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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