Berfrois

Our Shared Epistemology

Our Shared Epistemology

Like a lot of black girls coming of age in the final years of the 20th century, I had an adolescent fascination with Prince.

Read More

Pound’s Ill Politics

Pound’s Ill Politics

In December 1945, Ezra Pound was committed to St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, DC. He was then 60 years old, internationally famous, and under indictment for treason against the United States.

Read More

Effectively Extract

Effectively Extract

Surveillance capitalism – with smartphones, laptops, and the increasing numbers of ‘internet of things’ devices making up its physical infrastructure, watching and tracking everything we do...

Read More

Believing Takes Practice

Believing Takes Practice

As a kid, you are tossed incessantly against your own limitations. So much about the world is unfathomable; your job is to dispel some of the dimness, with help from adults and firsthand experience.

Read More

Gyms are not sites of spontaneity and play…

Gyms are not sites of spontaneity and play…

Despite the pulsing pop music and comfortable clothes, gyms are not sites of spontaneity and play. There are rules beamed out from video monitors, mostly innocuous ones, like no cursing, “staring” at others, or expressing effort in audible form such as grunts or panting.

Read More

Are ‘you’ just inside your skin or is your smartphone part of you?

Are ‘you’ just inside your skin or is your smartphone part of you?

Your phone ‘knows’ whom you speak to, when you speak to them, what you said, where you have been, your purchases, photos, biometric data, even your notes to yourself – and all this dating back years...

Read More

It’s Your Letters

It’s Your Letters

I started writing in isolation. For me, it was the natural result of reading too much: those extra words bred in the pools between my ears, multiplying and evolving, and finally spilled out of me in a tidal rush.

Read More

They Didn’t Know Any Women

They Didn’t Know Any Women

Beware the callow misfit who becomes part of the ruling class; rather than disrupt the social order that excluded him, he might just reap its spoils for himself.

Read More

Drinking at the Ladbroke Arms

Drinking at the Ladbroke Arms

The Ladbroke Arms, Notting Hill. Photograph by Ewan Munro. From London Review of Books: The Ladbroke Arms is a pub in Notting Hill known for years as the policemen’s pub. The explanation is obvious: over the road is the local police station. Two decades ago, if you went for a drink...

Read More

‘Tea began our mornings and punctuated long afternoons’

‘Tea began our mornings and punctuated long afternoons’

At the studio, along with a box of tea bags and a bag of powdered milk, the cheaply made kettle assumed its place on my vast stone counter.

Read More

Craft beer and cucumber water pours from kitchen taps…

Craft beer and cucumber water pours from kitchen taps…

In march 2017, the New York City–based editors and writers of The Atlantic moved to a WeWork office in Brooklyn. I remember our first morning vividly...

Read More

Real Friends #1 by Elias Tezapsidis and Anthony Strain

Real Friends #1 by Elias Tezapsidis and Anthony Strain

This is the first in a monthly series of conversations between two writers attempting to also be friends! Hilariously, this sort of exchange is the sort of thing they derided seeing online a few years ago, but oh well, 2018!

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

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

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...

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More