Berfrois

Felix Haas on J.A Baker

Felix Haas on J.A Baker

Imagine a land untouched by civilization, unstained by man's machines. Imagine a land where cities and roads and electric lights only live on the far horizons edging its borders, where concrete and steel are ideas so remote, no one has dreamt them up yet.

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Menachem Feuer: Pynchon and the Schlemiel

Menachem Feuer: Pynchon and the Schlemiel

What many literary critics overlook, however, is the fact that the schlemiel has also found its way into the pages of great Anglo-American writers like John Updike (see his “Beck” series) and Thomas Pynchon.

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John Canaday: Unriddling

John Canaday: Unriddling

Jeredith Merrin’s Owling, winner of the 2016 Grayson Chapbook contest, consists of 19 poems, each named after one of 18 species of owls from around the world.

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It was the voice of Fancy; it was the face of Poetry…

It was the voice of Fancy; it was the face of Poetry…

As we passed along between Wem and Shrewsbury, and I eyed their blue tops seen through the wintry branches, or the red rustling leaves of the sturdy oak-trees by the road-side, a sound was in my ears as of a Siren's song; I was stunned

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Without the Comfort of Solitude

Without the Comfort of Solitude

At college, dormitory suites had single and double bedrooms. For three years, I lived in one bedroom crowded with everything I owned. During my senior year, I managed to secure a single suite: bedroom and sitting room and bath.

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Democracy Is Coming

Democracy Is Coming

Cohen admitted in television interviews that he feared a rise of extremism, a growing feeling of dangerous hospitability to “the extremist position” which ends in his song’s decree “I’ve seen the future, brother: / It is murder.”

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Kings Lear by Stuart Elden

Kings Lear by Stuart Elden

by Stuart Elden The One King Lear, by Brian Vickers, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 416 pp. Anyone who has seen more than one production of a Shakespeare play in a theatre, or watched a film version, will know that the words said by the actors can change. Speeches are...

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Scarfed in Mist

Scarfed in Mist

I had been living in Scotland for more than five years before I found The Living Mountain through two recommendations that came in quick succession.

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Poetry Prize II

Poetry Prize II

Berfrois is delighted to announce that the Berfrois Poetry Prize is back.

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The rhythm all ripple and suspended fall…

The rhythm all ripple and suspended fall…

A week or so back I found with some difficulty a friend who even in his own judgment has no claim to the vacant office, and we set out together across Dartmoor

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Pleasure………Profit by Eric D. Lehman

Pleasure………Profit by Eric D. Lehman

I was forcefully discouraged from reading by parents and teachers, because I was not reading the “right” things, and furthermore was not reading them in the “right” way.

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Joe Linker: All the World’s a Bill-bard

Joe Linker: All the World’s a Bill-bard

The Captain-elect of a new Ship of Fools, his vassals jockeying for position aboard the whirling vessel, packing for the move, appears to be offering a revision of Snyder’s argument – to wit: The free world is simply a racket.

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Lying?

Lying?

Did the world already end? Did we miss the moment of our own expiration? That seems to be the question we are collectively asking ourselves at this moment through the medium of popular culture.

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Nominalisms Ancient and Modern

Nominalisms Ancient and Modern

If Beckett’s “changing tense” was postmodernism’s last gasp then perhaps it first spluttered into life with the culmination of his great aesthetic transition.

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The Famous Black Poet

The Famous Black Poet

It was only as a teenager that I thought to ask my parents why they hadn’t been activists, why they’d never joined any protests and fought for the cause.

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Humanity had conquered time…

Humanity had conquered time…

Wells was onto something. The Victorians had already been thinking about the mathematical qualities of extra dimensions, but with the discoveries of Einstein.

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Graduate school in literature can ruin your ability to read for pleasure…

Graduate school in literature can ruin your ability to read for pleasure…

The hermeneutics of suspicion is built on centuries of philosophical and pedagogical ideologies that separate body and mind, then rank the mind above the body.

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