Berfrois

Joseph Conrad on the Titanic

Joseph Conrad on the Titanic

S.S. Titanic at the docks of Southampton, April 1912. by Joseph Conrad It is with a certain bitterness that one must admit to oneself that the late S.S. Titanic had a “good press.” It is perhaps because I have no great practice of daily newspapers (I have never seen so many of them together lying about my…

Read More

Split Hair

Split Hair

“Only three years had passed,” Lewish Warsh writes of publishing the journal Angel Hair, “but it felt like many lifetimes.”

Read More

Are you reading this on a screen?

Are you reading this on a screen?

Joshua Cohen (born 1980) is somewhat younger than Shteyngart and company. His 2015 novel, Book of Numbers, was the first of his books to appear in hardcover and to be brought out by a large publisher.

Read More

Not many made their living from academia, let alone literature…

Not many made their living from academia, let alone literature…

I find myself drawn, again and again, to the capsule biographies in the two volumes of American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century. The poets of the nineteenth century were not only poets; not many made their living from academia, let alone literature. They were rich and poor.

Read More

How did her dead ladies stay alive?

How did her dead ladies stay alive?

Any number of recent memoirs—most, but not all, by women—face down the question James posed in his essay “Is Life Worth Living?” Should we go on living, and if so, what will our lives look like? If terrible things have happened to us, is healing possible?

Read More

That Moon by Andre Gerard

That Moon by Andre Gerard

It is a truth too often accepted, that a modernist writer with Virginia Woolf's feminist and elitist tendencies, had no use for Victorians in general and for Charles Dickens in particular.

Read More

What Giants!

What Giants!

This April 23rd, the International Day of the Book, we especially commemorated the 400th anniversary of the near simultaneous deaths of two of history’s greatest writers.

Read More

Outside of sex, the New Yorker is not too stylistically risky…

Outside of sex, the New Yorker is not too stylistically risky…

I’ve sent poems to the New Yorker for about 30-40 years. Through three different editors. Not every day or every year but it would strike me every now and then that it was something I ought to do.

Read More

Ed Simon: NPM

Ed Simon: NPM

National Poetry Month recently ended in that cruelest of months. Critics may take aim at the kitschification of poetry which once supposedly existed at the heights of Parnassian influence.

Read More

Greg Bem on Don Mee Choi

Greg Bem on Don Mee Choi

It is difficult to talk about war. And yet many humans do. But how we do it and for how long is another question. Especially with relationships to information today, and relationships to time, I am thinking of fragments.

Read More

Prose With a Poet’s Head

Prose With a Poet’s Head

Lines and sentences: even now, nonfiction—including nonfiction by poets—is approached by readers, and sometimes by writers, chiefly as information, argument, or anecdote.

Read More

Remembering Jenny Diski

Remembering Jenny Diski

Below are Jenny’s thoughts on being quoted. It’s quintessential Jenny. Wonderfully quintessential Jenny.

Read More

Peter Marshall on Wallace Stevens

Peter Marshall on Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens lived, for the most part, the life of the neighbor you would probably avoid.

Read More