Berfrois

Joe Linker: Read Surfing

Joe Linker: Read Surfing

What is it about the predicament of digital writing and reading that has so many literary provocateurs abuzz? “Mies van der Rohe said, ‘The least is the most.’..

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It is a Melancholy Conversation that hath no sound…

It is a Melancholy Conversation that hath no sound…

It is said, That Silence a great virtue: It is true, in a Sick person’s chamber, that loves no noise; or at the dead time of night; or at lunchtimes that natural rest

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The Literature of Cold by Eric D. Lehman

The Literature of Cold by Eric D. Lehman

Many years ago, influenced and inspired by several years of reading Arctic and Antarctic literature, I took a January hike in the northern mountains.

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The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia by Virginia Woolf

The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia by Virginia Woolf

If it is true that there are books written to escape from the present moment, and its meanness and its sordidity...

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Rime of the Algae Gatherer by Jessica Sequeira

Rime of the Algae Gatherer by Jessica Sequeira

In his Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge describes a ‘rotting sea’ full of ‘slimy things.’ What is a slimy thing?

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Eric D. Lehman on Edmund Gosse

Eric D. Lehman on Edmund Gosse

Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son: A Study of Two Temperaments was anonymously published in 1907 and faced immediate backlash in England due to its apparent criticism of Victorian morality.

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‘I was happy living on my own’

‘I was happy living on my own’

The apartment was a dive. There was no way to defrost the freezer. It was just a solid block of ice. When you opened the door, it was like looking out a small window after an avalanche.

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The Art of Fiction by Willa Cather

The Art of Fiction by Willa Cather

One is sometimes asked about the "obstacles" that confront young writers who are trying to do good work...

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Illegal Literature

Illegal Literature

It was by happy coincidence that my review copy of David S. Roh’s Illegal Literature arrived in my mailbox the day I started sending out permission requests for reuse of material for a forthcoming manuscript.

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Michael J. Seidlinger: An Incomplete List

Michael J. Seidlinger: An Incomplete List

The walking, always the walking, worse when with the wonderful people that opened their lives to me for the day, day and a half, before I returned to the road...

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Up to Heaven All Alone

Up to Heaven All Alone

It was 1995, the year Joan Osborne’s “One of Us” was released, the end of my eighth-grade year, in rural Kentucky where homophobia was—and continues to be—rampant. My secret boyfriend and I—the one I had kissed in darkened classrooms

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Power and New York’s Forgotten Waterfronts

Power and New York’s Forgotten Waterfronts

In Jennifer Egan’s The Keep, a former New York club promoter boasts a sixth sense for authority: “Danny could walk in a room and know who had power the way some people know from the feel of the air that it’s going to snow.”

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In November, we hear death’s footsteps..

In November, we hear death’s footsteps..

We have a little bit more time. It’s one of the last days of the month, and the clouds have come and so the rain will come and then the snow will come.

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Ecstasy and Turmoil

Ecstasy and Turmoil

Boris Pasternak is best known for writing Doctor Zhivago, a novel which documents these years of national upheaval through the eyes of a poet...

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The Shape of an Egg by Amy Glynn

The Shape of an Egg by Amy Glynn

Our first Christmas together, I was 39 weeks pregnant. He let me drag a seven-foot fir tree up the stairs to the flat and sat on the couch with a beer...

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Virginia Woolf on Dorothy Osborne

Virginia Woolf on Dorothy Osborne

Our early literature owes something of its magnificence to the fact that writing was an uncommon art, practised, rather for fame than for money...

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James Miller: Towards a Deranged Realism

James Miller: Towards a Deranged Realism

Before the confusion sets in, I’m going to try to make some statements, set out a few positions that will also be provocations and, inevitably, generalisations.

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Books About Books About the Brontës

Books About Books About the Brontës

There are far too many books about the Brontës, and books about books about the Brontës, for us to be able to track and arrange our knowledge exhaustively.

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Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

It is only when we are able to understand the stranger within ourselves (étrangers à nous-mêmes) that we might confront our reasons for creating the stranger.

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Mystery Maier

Mystery Maier

No one would find the prospect of posthumous fame more appalling than the photographer Vivian Maier.

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