Berfrois

January 2018

Milk and Money

Milk and Money

In October 2016 The Bookseller reported the highest-ever annual sales of poetry books, ‘both in volume and value’.

Read More

Making and Selling Sandwiches

Making and Selling Sandwiches

A young economics graduate named Roger Whiteside was in charge of the M&S sandwich department by then. As a young buyer...

Read More

Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land #5

Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land #5

In Evgenii Zamyatin’s novel We, written in 1921, life unravels within the idyllic metropolis of the One State. The totality of its governance absorbs all within itself, and everything is joyously contributing...

Read More

Kam and Pir

Kam and Pir

The roar, filled with anger and a hot wrath, changed into a long, sad howl. My horror was quickly replaced by doubt, because that scream had sounded on a sunny summer day in Academgorodok...

Read More

A Bulwark Never Failing by Ed Simon

A Bulwark Never Failing by Ed Simon

Anne Dudley, in her father’s Northampton library, had occasion to spend many happy hours as a girl engrossed in reading the hundreds of volumes which he had collected.

Read More

Gerardo Muñoz on Wilson Bueno

Gerardo Muñoz on Wilson Bueno

That the philosopher or the novelist has rarely withstood the moment of shipwreck in the unfolding of metaphoricity as basic substratum for existence...

Read More

Smash the Patriarchy (and Capitalism)!

Smash the Patriarchy (and Capitalism)!

The Time’s Up movement uses the language of radical left-wing politics. But it has yet to do radical left-wing politics...

Read More

‘South Asian speculative fiction has its own monsters to slay’

‘South Asian speculative fiction has its own monsters to slay’

Somewhere in Britain, a dark wizard has gathered his forces, mustering an army that will hold a magical world in thrall. And somewhere in the future, fertile women are enslaved, their bodies turned to the service of a god-fearing state for whom children are the most precious resource.

Read More

“New times elicit new genres”

“New times elicit new genres”

Belarusian journalist and author Svetlana Alexievich was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Literature for her work documenting the lives of Soviet and post-Soviet citizens.

Read More

‘The last thing many voters wanted was a continuation of the status quo’

‘The last thing many voters wanted was a continuation of the status quo’

No doubt the staffers and cabinet members whom Wolff reports as describing Trump as an “idiot” or “moron” have reason to think of him in this way.

Read More

Rime of the Algae Gatherer by Jessica Sequeira

Rime of the Algae Gatherer by Jessica Sequeira

In his Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge describes a ‘rotting sea’ full of ‘slimy things.’ What is a slimy thing?

Read More

Embodiment Beyond the Binary

Embodiment Beyond the Binary

Intersectionality remains a very important tool within any attempt to understand the historical arc of relations between trans* people and feminist...

Read More

Immigrants are 45’s most frightening imaginary enemy…

Immigrants are 45’s most frightening imaginary enemy…

Trump appears to be obsessed with people who embody choice. Immigrants are his most frightening imaginary enemy, the ones who need to be “extremely vetted,” blocked out with a wall...

Read More

Mail-order magazines played a vital role for rural women…

Mail-order magazines played a vital role for rural women…

Little Miss Fannie Allison Troutsmans writes that she is lonesome and would like to hear from Comfort readers,” the column begins.

Read More

‘We aren’t in a position to go offline’

‘We aren’t in a position to go offline’

The more addicted we are, the longer we spend online, the more data we give big technology companies to sell, the less incentive they have to change. We aren’t in a position to go offline.

Read More

Revolution, the Lightning

Revolution, the Lightning

It is often observed that the French Revolution was a revolution of scientists. Nourished by airy abstractions and heartfelt cries to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, its leaders sought a society grounded, not in God or tradition.

Read More

Filtering Out Non-Sense

Filtering Out Non-Sense

Jacques Bouveresse is perhaps best known in the Anglophone world for being among the least well-known of contemporary French thinkers...

Read More

‘Isn’t Cézanne’s art precisely about not knowing?’

‘Isn’t Cézanne’s art precisely about not knowing?’

Woman with a Cafetière, Paul Cézanne, c.1895 From London Review of Books: The critics all seem to know, or think they know, what ‘as if they were apples’ means – what apples are like, and what painting them consists of, technically and temperamentally. But isn’t Cézanne’s art precisely about not knowing? Painting,...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

Read More
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...

Read More
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.

Read More
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....

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More