Berfrois

Translators and Queers

Translators and Queers

It’s time for LGBTQ texts to be translated and for those translations to be analyzed, and it’s time for translators to consider what it might mean to translate LGBTQ texts and authors

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Henry David Thoreau: Walking

Henry David Thoreau: Walking

I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.

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Ed Simon on Denis Johnson

Ed Simon on Denis Johnson

Sinners always make the greatest Christian writers. Last month we lost one of the greatest, who was also a self-declared “criminal hedonist.”

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Jane Austen would not have been rushed by the importunity of publishers…

Jane Austen would not have been rushed by the importunity of publishers…

It is probable that if Miss Cassandra Austen had had her way we should have had nothing of Jane Austen's except her novels.

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Must Be Mega

Must Be Mega

My daughter is ten. She doesn’t know about boys yet and she wants to be a star of some undetermined variety — an opera singer or actor maybe. She is beautiful in every way the word beautiful signifies itself, with brown skin that gets some red in it under the summer...

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Robert L. Kehoe III on Robert Silvers

Robert L. Kehoe III on Robert Silvers

I was not raised on fancy magazines. In fact, I don’t think I ever saw or heard of The Atlantic Monthly until my older brother came home with a copy after his first semester of college.

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Eric D. Lehman: Macbeth as Zen Stick

Eric D. Lehman: Macbeth as Zen Stick

When I was a college freshman, I took a Shakespeare class with a very old-fashioned professor. It was a fun class for someone like me, who loved the Bard, didn’t mind memorizing sonnets

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Rebuilding Cities

Rebuilding Cities

What is a lost city? The vanished metropolises of myth and history are one sort: Atlantis plunged into the sea, Troy razed, ghost towns littered across the American West.

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The Pirate’s Tale

The Pirate’s Tale

In front of me were three pamphlets of poetry by Tennyson: two titled The Lover’s Tale (both dated 1870) and another called The New Timon and the Poets (dated 1876).

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‘Seth Abramson wants you to know that he is not a conspiracy theorist’

‘Seth Abramson wants you to know that he is not a conspiracy theorist’

Since November, Abramson — professor, experimental poet, onetime lawyer — has been building a case against Trump’s administration in the court of public opinion.

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Jessica Sequeira on Tom Pickard

Jessica Sequeira on Tom Pickard

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.

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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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