Berfrois

Fur, Pleated

Fur, Pleated

“My own autobiography has never interested me very much,” John Ashbery once told an interviewer. “Whenever I try to think about it, I seem to draw a complete blank.”

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Commerce, Religion and Sex

Commerce, Religion and Sex

The friendship between Shahane and Kolatkar began in the late 1950s, in Pune. Shahane had gone to Pune for college, but formal education was not for him.

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VAVOOM

VAVOOM

Like many people, I discovered Raymond Pettibon’s artwork through his ink drawings that were used on a few SST Records album covers, most notably Black Flag’s Slip It In, which my neighbor had somehow procured in 1984.

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That Group Selfie Moment

That Group Selfie Moment

Earlier this summer, I saw a photo on a lifestyle blog of three women by a pool, drinking rosé. They are taking a group selfie — one woman’s arm is extended, holding a black iPhone

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Plath’s (Blessed, Excellent) Doctors

Plath’s (Blessed, Excellent) Doctors

When Plath moved from Devon back to London in the late autumn, one of the things that seemed to thrill her most was the easy access to medical care.

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Was Virgil commissioned by Augustus to write the Aeneid?

Was Virgil commissioned by Augustus to write the Aeneid?

The tactic of alluding to an idealised point in the past, embodying all of a country’s best values, while glossing over times of hardship, is nothing new. In fact it’s as old as the hills, and at least as old as the seven hills of Ancient Rome.

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Virginia Woolf on Daniel Defoe

Virginia Woolf on Daniel Defoe

One way of approaching Robinson Crusoe is through the development of the novel; but another immediately suggests itself--through the life of the author.

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Andre Gerard: A Meredithian Reading of To the Lighthouse

Andre Gerard: A Meredithian Reading of To the Lighthouse

George Meredith as caricatured by Max Beerbohm in Vanity Fair, September 1896 by Andre Gerard I hope that, like me, you enjoy reading other people’s letters, as this essay depends heavily on personal correspondence. By means of letters I want to make a case that the conception of Mr....

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Michael Hoak: My Yard/My Life

Michael Hoak: My Yard/My Life

Yard work is never ending. We have a lot of concrete in our back yard, it’s cracked and uneven and we always trip on it. I hate it. Yesterday I dug up concrete with a big sledge hammer and a pry bar.

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‘Humans survive through an intricate logic of interdependence’

‘Humans survive through an intricate logic of interdependence’

Octavia Butler’s tenth novel, “Parable of the Sower,” which was published in 1993, opens in Los Angeles in 2024. Global warming has brought drought and rising seawater...

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Primo Levi on Translating and Being Translated

Primo Levi on Translating and Being Translated

Genesis tells us that the first men had only one language: this made them so ambitious and powerful they began building a tower high into the sky.

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Nest Fling

Nest Fling

What are we when we become mothers? We may not ever be fully ourselves again, but that’s because our selves have blurred into looser but more schematic ways of being—ways of being that are communitarian, multiple, and endlessly dissolvable.

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Life slips away in the reworking of one’s writings…

Life slips away in the reworking of one’s writings…

by Michael Wood But the desire of the essay is not to seek and filter the eternal out of the transitory; it wants, rather, to make the transitory eternal. —T. W. Adorno Current conversations about the essay—and there are many—emphasize the provisional, speculative nature of the genre, the suggestion of a...

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Keith Kopka on Christine de Pizan and Emily Dickinson

Keith Kopka on Christine de Pizan and Emily Dickinson

Christine de Pizan and Emily Dickinson are unlikely literary figures to link together. The two wrote hundreds of years apart, in different cultures, on entirely different continents.

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Who needs a perfect language?

Who needs a perfect language?

Poets, historians, scientists, philosophers – we all seek to capture the world in a net of language. Yet it is the nature of nets to capture some things while letting others slip away.

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Paul Johnathan on Édouard Louis

Paul Johnathan on Édouard Louis

Eddy is a deromanticised account on all fronts. Divided into two parts and structured as a collection of vignettes, the main frame of the text is a confident reconciliation of the author with his working class background

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Hannah Hughes: My Gray City

Hannah Hughes: My Gray City

I was eighteen years old when I was introduced to the fascinating world of Alasdair Gray. I read Poor Things (1992) in the second year of my undergraduate degree at the University of Glasgow,

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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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