Berfrois

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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“it’s a’ as it is”

“it’s a’ as it is”

For most of its short generic life, the novel has depended on marriage and childbirth as signs of sexual relationship, and has had a difficulty representing sexual life beyond marriage and childbirth without the assistance of figurative language.

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They Are Beautiful, Irresolute

They Are Beautiful, Irresolute

The island of Runmarö lies an hour east of Stockholm, ringed by skerries that rise out of the water. To journey there one must catch a ferry that gurgles through the chop at about 20 knots per hour.

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Albert Rolls: Contagious Magic

Albert Rolls: Contagious Magic

What I did, wanted to do, was to read Renaissance texts, those of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as if they were integrated into a cosmos that was held together with the laws of contagious and sympathetic magic.

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Where Headlong Stars Have Gone

Where Headlong Stars Have Gone

The last couple of years have finally allowed us to say this safely about Georgia – a nation, which, prior to the time of Shakespeare, possessed a literary inheritance almost comparable to that of England.

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Moby Dick is a wonderful target for critics who like to identify the books that Melville plundered…

Moby Dick is a wonderful target for critics who like to identify the books that Melville plundered…

Who Herman Melville was and what he actually thought about anything are altogether unsatisfying questions that have never been answered in a satisfying way.

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A Year Without Summer

A Year Without Summer

A vampire is a thirsty thing, spreading metaphors like antigens through its victim’s blood. It is a rare situation that is not revealingly defamiliarized by the introduction of a vampiric motif, whether it be migration and industrial change in Dracula, adolescent sexuality inTwilight, or racism in True Blood.

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I, I, I, I

I, I, I, I

The most compelling feature of William Carlos Williams’s poetry, for me, has perhaps always been the complex tango of virility and fragility that fight it out in his deeply autobiographical poetry.

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Lost and not knowing where to go next…

Lost and not knowing where to go next…

You can find his lost interview on YouTube—or the surviving fifteen minutes of it at least. In 1971 Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky participated in the now famous debate on the topic of human nature, live on Dutch television.

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On Cide Hamete Benengeli

On Cide Hamete Benengeli

Nabokov said its humor did not age well, and unlike Moby-Dick, which is occasionally dismissed as a school-boy's adventure story but never as hokey or stale.

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Art is long, but life is short…

Art is long, but life is short…

Image by RubyGoes From Slate: All poetry critics are on the hunt for neon-lined, essential truths about their subjects—but James has an uncanny instinct for where to look. It’s precision not just of vocabulary—of intuiting the right words to describe a tone or style—but of thought. James has mastered...

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The Pleasures of Readerly Discomfort and Difficulty

The Pleasures of Readerly Discomfort and Difficulty

I was an undergraduate at Cambridge at an interesting moment in the history of the university’s curriculum in English literature. When I matriculated in 1993, more than ten years had elapsed since the Leavisites had failed to promote Colin MacCabe due to his teaching of “structuralism.”

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Words went scuttling past like beetles…

Words went scuttling past like beetles…

Alongside Schulz’s extraordinary fiction and his horrendous death, there remains one more element of his legend.

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Michael Munro: Clarity

Michael Munro: Clarity

“If reading is not to be simply synonymous with deciphering, commentary or even interpretation,” Geoffrey Bennington has written, “then it must inevitably encounter the question of the unreadable”

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Amy Glynn: Call Me Back

Amy Glynn: Call Me Back

Dear You, I am writing these lines from northern Washington on the day of the year when I most hate northern Washington; the one that does not end.

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Good books are the sort for the young to read…

Good books are the sort for the young to read…

Being told I would be expected to talk here, I inquired what sort of talk I ought to make. They said it should be something suitable to youth-something didactic, instructive, or something in the nature of good advice.

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Popomo

Popomo

Let’s call this phase after postmodernism post-postmodernism – “popomo” for short.

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‘What is the use’

‘What is the use’

Not everything Gertrude Stein wrote is worth calling poetry. Stein says so herself in “Poetry and Grammar,” because “for me the problem of poetry was and it began with Tender Buttons to constantly realize the thing anything so that I could recreate that thing.”

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