Berfrois

‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

That the object of education should be to fit the child for life is such a trite and well-worn saying that people smile at its commonplaceness even while they agree with its obvious common sense.

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Tomoé Hill on Scarlet West

Tomoé Hill on Scarlet West

A good diarist, like the diaries they write, is always greater than the sum of their parts. That is to say, the dissection of a life day-to-day, looked at randomly, can seem uninteresting, lifeless, not worthwhile.

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It is tenable that the democratic ideal was too idealist to succeed…

It is tenable that the democratic ideal was too idealist to succeed…

The West Wing, Warner Bros. Television, 1999-2006 by G.K. Chesterton It grows plainer, every day, that those of us who cling to crumbling creeds and dogmas, and defend the dying traditions of the Dark Ages, will soon be left alone defending the most obviously decaying of all those ancient...

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David Beer on Walter Benjamin’s Fiction

David Beer on Walter Benjamin’s Fiction

Main Scene from the Ballet “The False Oath”, Paul Klee, 1922 by David Beer The Storyteller: Tales out of Loneliness, by Walter Benjamin. Translated and introduced by Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie and Sebastian Truskolaski. Illustrated by Paul Klee. London: Verso Books, 240 pp. Walter Benjamin is full of surprises. This...

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Too Few Butterflies

Too Few Butterflies

There were too few butterflies in Atlanta for Vladimir Nabokov’s tastes. In a letter to his wife Vera (dated October 11, 1942), the astute lepidopterist complained that the city was too far above sea level (1,000 feet) to do much in the way of butterfly catching.

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Scherezade Siobhan on Maged Zaher

Scherezade Siobhan on Maged Zaher

The Anatomy of the Bones, J. Barclay, 1829 by Scherezade Siobhan The Consequences of My Body, by Maged Zaher, Nightboat Books, 160 pp. When I begin to think of a (any) body and its liminal (autocorrect wants to reaffirm it as “luminal”) itineraries in a world that aches to slap a...

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In England’s Boroughs

In England’s Boroughs

The comics that Moore is best known for writing (“Watchmen,” “From Hell,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” etc.) generally make no secret of their sources of inspiration.

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Jessica Sequeira: Warp Fields

Jessica Sequeira: Warp Fields

A star sends its light through space, and this passes through the strong gravitational field of the sun. The field bends the light, so the position of the star changes.

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Farewell, Mr. Hooper

Farewell, Mr. Hooper

I used to joke that between apparel, toys, books and DVDs, my family was, for a time, single-handedly funding Sesame Workshop, the non-profit that produces Sesame Street.

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Justin E. H. Smith remembers Kenneth Von Smith

Justin E. H. Smith remembers Kenneth Von Smith

In the week leading up to Friday, September 2, 2016, I accompanied my father in his transition to death. I came back and he did not. I am not yet old, and was only there to help him across.

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I Stop, You Stop

I Stop, You Stop

My husband and I went to the grocery store that evening and my doctor called right as I put my pickup in park. I answered my cell phone and with a kiss I waved my husband off to field the call by myself.

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Greg Bem on Samuel Ligon

Greg Bem on Samuel Ligon

The writing brings you in close, allows you to relearn the concept of gasping, guffawing, choking on one’s tongue. It’s almost as real as you could imagine it, happening around the corner, down the street.

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Buzz. Buzz.

Buzz. Buzz.

Balliol College, Monday.—Read aloud my Essay on Equality to the Master. It began: "Treat all men as your equals, especially the rich." The Master commented on this sentence. He said, "Very ribald, Prince Hamlet, very ribald."

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Ben Fama Interviews Precious Okoyomon

Ben Fama Interviews Precious Okoyomon

Precious Okoyomon’s writing is like local honey I see being sold at the rest stops in upstate NY: raw and sweet, with positive health benefits if you consume regularly.

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Sara Coleridge was very still, but always in motion…

Sara Coleridge was very still, but always in motion…

Coleridge also left children of his body. One, his daughter, Sara, was a continuation of him, not of his flesh indeed, for she was minute, aetherial, but of his mind, his temperament.

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That final inhale/exhale of life…

That final inhale/exhale of life…

He was gone. I heard the final, awful rattle, the ragged, gasping breath that I couldn’t help thinking was full of his angry, determined desire to beat this impossible thing that had happened to him. He’d taken a fall. He’d hit his head. Now he was dead.

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Navigating public space is never a neutral act…

Navigating public space is never a neutral act…

It’s never a neutral act, to navigate public space, not for anyone. I’d like to hope that Flâneuse troubles the act of walking in the city for those who would consider themselves flâneurs as well.

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