Berfrois

Economic trends are made manifest by people with plans…

Economic trends are made manifest by people with plans…

New York used to be a place where fishmongers, seamstresses, and dock workers lived a stone’s throw from Rockefellers.

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The Mary Shelley Who Endures

The Mary Shelley Who Endures

For 200 years, the freewheeling, chaotic lives of the Romantic poets, replete with sexual emancipation, elopement, teenage pregnancies and tragic death, have provided biographers with abundant riches. Mary Shelley’s illustrious parentage...

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60s nostalgia now or 60s nostalgia later?

60s nostalgia now or 60s nostalgia later?

The clever adage that “anyone who claims to remember the 1960s wasn’t really there” is amusing only because so many people associate the Age of Aquarius with a drug-induced haze.

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A New Year’s X

A New Year’s X

And to think, fair Bennetts, that I’d always misheard iron as island. “The tolling of the island bell.” The new year dawns.

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Turn On, Log In, Tune Out

Turn On, Log In, Tune Out

In 1970, Americans were on edge over terrorist activities, a bellicose president railed against his enemies and an energized left argued among its factions.

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A New Diski Fan

A New Diski Fan

What is meant when a person is deemed ahead of her time? It sounds like a fantastic compliment, yet the circumstances under which people hear it, in reference to themselves, are not always so positive.

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Bennett’s 2017

Bennett’s 2017

12 January. At seven to the National Gallery for Beyond Caravaggio, now in its last week. It’s a mixed bag, with far and away the best picture The Taking of Christ on loan from Dublin...

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Perfect, Fancy, Choice

Perfect, Fancy, Choice

My first summer job was trimming Christmas trees in July. It was a shitty job, like most summer employment, badly paid and of dubious purpose.

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NOW

Bad Readers

Bad Readers

Quizzing the students in his European literature class at Cornell on their reading habits, the Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov observed in 1948, “The students leaned heavily on emotional identification, action, and the social-economic or historical angle. "

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Vine After Vine

Vine After Vine

Contemporary discussions of wine quality tend to oscillate unhelpfully between subjectivism and objectivism.

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A wandering, restless existence…

A wandering, restless existence…

To work in academe is to live at an angle slightly askew to the regular run of American life.

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Instagramm’d Nevertheless

Instagramm’d Nevertheless

While touring England’s Lake District, poet Thomas Gray suffered what we might call a selfie-induced injury.

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‘There hasn’t been a generational divide this pronounced since the 1960s.’

‘There hasn’t been a generational divide this pronounced since the 1960s.’

On a recent visit to my parents, my mother asked me whether I want to have kids. Being 30 and single, an uncle to a niece and a nephew...

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The Way We Were is devastating…

The Way We Were is devastating…

There’s a whole feminist thesis in this admission. And I’m going to teach it in my Love (in film) class next semester. It wasn’t on the syllabus last year. Somehow I forgot to include it.

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Emma Bovary absolutely refuses to be good…

Emma Bovary absolutely refuses to be good…

Maybe Flaubert intends for us to loathe the characters: he was famously disgusted by everything around him...

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The Manson Bloggers

The Manson Bloggers

An interest in murders and cults and cult murders makes sense in teenagers. Being sixteen feels chaotic and a little insane, even under the best circumstances

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