Berfrois

Jessica Sequeira on Tom Pickard

Jessica Sequeira on Tom Pickard

by Jessica Sequeira Winter Migrants, by Tom Pickard, Carcanet, 80 pp. Winter isn’t so much a season as a state of mind. Midnight blues, slate greys, rich yellows. A Schubert lieder, a Vallotton field, the delicate frame of a tree by Nash. Tom Pickard writes in a particularly north English register; his poems have the harsh…

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Virginia Woolf: Dr. Burney’s Evening Party

Virginia Woolf: Dr. Burney’s Evening Party

The party was given either in 1777 or in 1778; on which day or month of the year is not known, but the night was cold. Fanny Burney, from whom we get much of our information, was accordingly either twenty-five or twenty-six, as we choose.

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Cute and Dirty and Innocent and Experienced

Cute and Dirty and Innocent and Experienced

In her candy-colored new memoir, “Priestdaddy,” Patricia Lockwood describes her father’s conversion this way

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Christopher Woodall: Factory Nightshifts

Christopher Woodall: Factory Nightshifts

At some point in the summer of 1977, roughly eight months into a nightshift factory job in Grenoble, I woke up hungover one sweltering afternoon and decided to phone a close German friend, or perhaps it was my ex in Scotland, or my mother in England.

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Menachem Feuer on Thomas Pynchon’s “V”

Menachem Feuer on Thomas Pynchon’s “V”

Even though they are always going somewhere, schlemiels seem to never know for certain whether they are coming or going. Wandering and bewilderment aside, this comic character is a figure of difficult freedom.

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Joe Linker on Elif Batuman’s The Idiot

Joe Linker on Elif Batuman’s The Idiot

A tale told by an idiot signifying nothing might benefit from Walter Mosley’s advice in “This Year You Write Your Novel” to avoid first person narration unless you have an enthralling character. Elif Batuman’s The Idiot successfully ignores Mosley’s suggestion.

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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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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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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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Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Larry Levis had wanted to die. He’d killed himself, his close friend and fellow poet David St. John told my high school English class years ago during an after-hours reading in Fresno, California, not literally but by habituating himself to so many mundanely self-destructive habits.

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Eric D. Lehman on Martin Amis

Eric D. Lehman on Martin Amis

The long-delayed release of the film version of Martin Amis’s London Fields gives us the opportunity to revisit this prescient novel of murder and crisis.

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Our Eager Running

Our Eager Running

In class today we were talking about the differences between Vergil and Homer. The difference between the deep administrative state that Vergil is describing, and the unchanging, contextualizing hierarchical background against which Homeric personal relations play out.

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“Why wouldn’t you call it a novel?”

“Why wouldn’t you call it a novel?”

Well, it’s actually kind of an accident that I established my career as a nonfiction writer. From childhood I wanted to be a novelist.

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Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Patti had been the one to introduce me to the poets who changed my life, the course of my life. One of them was Dana Levin.

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Nothing can eclipse the first Lord Rothermere’s long infatuation with Hitler…

Nothing can eclipse the first Lord Rothermere’s long infatuation with Hitler…

The daily routine of any newspaper is structured around meetings, known as conferences, but, to quote a regular attender of them, the Mail’s meetings resemble “this weird fucking feudal court”

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