Berfrois

Joseph Conrad on the Titanic

Joseph Conrad on the Titanic

S.S. Titanic at the docks of Southampton, April 1912. by Joseph Conrad It is with a certain bitterness that one must admit to oneself that the late S.S. Titanic had a “good press.” It is perhaps because I have no great practice of daily newspapers (I have never seen so many of them together lying about my…

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Ah, the insistent buzz of corporate machinery and techno-capitalist communication…

Ah, the insistent buzz of corporate machinery and techno-capitalist communication…

To pick up on the cultural dissonances around the crisis of man discourse we need to look no further than to the thoughts of two of the key figures engaged with this discourse, Hannah Arendt and Susan Sontag.

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Daniel Bosch: Brogue, Seriously?

Daniel Bosch: Brogue, Seriously?

On April 6, 1327, in Avignon, in the Kingdom of Arles, an Italian scholar named Petrarch saw and fell for a young girl named Laura.

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Funds for Tuition by Setsuko Adachi

Funds for Tuition by Setsuko Adachi

A machine, a replicant, utters: I think therefore I am.

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“Classics was a minority subject, very twee”

“Classics was a minority subject, very twee”

DeWitt had her first sense of real academic or literary possibility after arriving at Smith College in 1975, and even that was a letdown.

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None of Us Can Escape

None of Us Can Escape

Published in The Dial in November of 1923, T.S. Eliot’s essay “‘Ulysses,’ Order, and Myth” is a rare opportunity to see one of modernism’s giants grappling with one of modernism’s greatest works.

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Virginia Woolf invents human intercourse

Virginia Woolf invents human intercourse

When the first number of Lysistrata appeared, I confess that I was deeply disappointed. It was so well printed, on such good paper. It looked established, prosperous.

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Oliver Farry on Patrick Modiano

Oliver Farry on Patrick Modiano

The latest of his novels to belatedly see the light of day in English is his 1975 work Villa Triste, published by the Other Press, in a translation by John Cullen. Unusually for Modiano, it takes place entirely outside his usual Parisian hinterland.

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Adrienne Rich had run-ins with literary men throughout her life…

Adrienne Rich had run-ins with literary men throughout her life…

“One rainy day in the spring of 1960, the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan arrived at my door,” Adrienne Rich wrote in her essay “A Communal Poetry.”

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Nothing, Nothing but Hell

Nothing, Nothing but Hell

The death of champion boxer Muhammad Ali is an occasion to remember one of the strangest moments in popular culture, when Ali collaborated with legendary poet Marianne Moore on a work of verse.

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Scherezade Siobhan: Tabeer

Scherezade Siobhan: Tabeer

I navigate an illness that makes me a protagonist of clichés. Sometimes, the thought of release is a dream of falling through clouds. My friend excitedly speaks about watching the northern lights from the cockpit of a plane — the whole kaleidoscopic spectacle, every inch of that cursive diffusion.

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Klyfez Cleven

Klyfez Cleven

The medieval poem “Pearl” was written by someone whose identity we do not know, and is set mostly within a dream.

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Greg Bem on Mathias Svalina

Greg Bem on Mathias Svalina

The fifth book by American poet Mathias Svalina, The Wine-Dark Sea, confronts this image of strange beauty in its own complex way, and as an object representing a body of poems.

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Miniature, Scythes

Miniature, Scythes

To read the poems of Rita Dove, to go where they take you, is to follow her deeply into a series of themes and their subsets: African-Americans in history and right now, ideas of indenture and independence, sex, travel, language.

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Cody Stephens on Amit Majmudar

Cody Stephens on Amit Majmudar

The cover image of Amit Majmudar’s Dothead depicts Shiva in a yogic pose, his third eye obscured by a red laser sight—a projected, menacing bindi. Was it too much to expect a book primarily about race and ethnicity?

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Timothy Duffy on Ocean Vuong

Timothy Duffy on Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong’s Whiting Award-winning collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds is indeed an event, a collection that stays with the reader and insists upon its own importance without a shred of entitlement.

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Setsuko Adachi: Humanism, Deteriorating

Setsuko Adachi: Humanism, Deteriorating

The bullet train southbound from the capital on a weekend was very crowded. The train conductor apologized: Due to a three-day weekend coming up, the train is very crowded, we apologize for your inconvenience.

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