Berfrois

Peter Marshall reviews Purity

Peter Marshall reviews Purity

Purity can be a bit overstuffed with newsworthy items and references from the past several years of American life. He seems to want to write novels that would be candidates for the time vault, so that if people ever wonder what life was like in America at a certain point in the past thirty years, his novels, with all their material and cultural details, will let them know.

Read More

A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows: “Gosse is dead, & I am half reconciled to him by their saying in the papers that he chose to risk a dangerous operation rather...

Read More

Remembering St. Geraud

Remembering St. Geraud

From The New Yorker: When word came again, last week, that Knott had died, no one knew quite whether to believe it. Death makes deniers of us all, but in Knott’s case we had good reason to trust our instinctive disbelief. This time, unfortunately, the facts were unrelenting: on...

Read More

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Living Classic

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Living Classic

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya in 2009. Photograph by David Shankbone From The Nation: We are likely to hear a lot more of this woman. Some October, perhaps, from the Nobel Prize committee. She certainly has the stature. Translated into many languages, the winner of multiple major awards, not only is she...

Read More

Will Rees on Federico Campagna

Will Rees on Federico Campagna

There is an oft-ignored detail about Nietzsche’s story of the madman in the marketplace: the good townspeople who aren’t ready to receive the news of God’s death aren’t Christians — they’re atheists. Today’s marketplace is no longer the town square; it’s the hyper-connected virtual world of global commerce.

Read More

Carolyn Guertin’s Cyberfeminism

Carolyn Guertin’s Cyberfeminism

Androla in Labyrinth, Shusei Nagaoka, 1984. Image via by Carolyn Guertin For many the term postfeminist might call to mind the vanilla pleasures of metrosexuality, webcams, online soaps, and blog culture, but, for me, a 40-something cyberfeminist scholar, curator and some time activist, the politically-minded feminist texts I work...

Read More

Bishop to Lowell

Bishop to Lowell

Elizabeth Bishop’s most impactful letter of the summer of 1947 was the first substantive one she ever wrote to Robert Lowell. Written from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia on August 14, that first real letter of the poets’ storied epistolary friendship begins with a parenthetical aside that nods to their...

Read More

Maglifting Jenny Diski’s shoplifting book review

Maglifting Jenny Diski’s shoplifting book review

In 1980, Lady Isobel Barnett was found guilty of stealing a can of tuna and a carton of cream and fined about £75. Barnett was a very public figure. For a decade or more, from the early nineteen-fifties, she had been a regular on the English version of “What’s...

Read More

The Sun Shone

The Sun Shone

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, c.1558 From VQR: If my love for poetry could be said to have begun in childhood wonder, in the afternoons spent with my father, in the excitement of early school days, my need for poetry, my faith in it,...

Read More

Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine, the heckling would start around page 10. ‘So Doc,’ relates a character called Denis (whose name, we are informed, is commonly pronounced to rhyme with...

Read More

Clayton Eshleman: North American Poetry Today

Clayton Eshleman: North American Poetry Today

While living in Kyoto, I would ride my motorcycle downtown in the afternoon and work on my translations of César Vallejo’s Poemas humanos in the Yorunomado (“Night Window”) coffee shop. I had determined that a publishable version of this 1989 poem collection would constitute my apprenticeship to poetry. As...

Read More

Real World

Real World

“Utopiæ insulæ tabula.” Woodcut map, From Utopia, by Thomas More, 1518 by Jenny C. Mann Is there anything more tedious than the facile distinction between university study and the “real world”? (The only thing that annoys me more is being called “Miss” by teenage restaurant workers — as if...

Read More

Rumpled Sheet

Rumpled Sheet

Sisyphus, Anna Chromy, 2003 From The American Poetry Review: We cannot escape metaphor: there are “metaphors we live by,” according to George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. Philosophically minded modern writers from Jacques Derrida to William Gass have tried to make sure that we know how thoroughly metaphor saturates even...

Read More
Remembrance of Translations Past

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

Read More
Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held...

Read More
Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

Read More
Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

Read More
Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

Read More
Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

Read More
Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

Read More
Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

Read More
David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

Read More
Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

Read More
Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

Read More
Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

Read More
En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

Read More
Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

Read More