Berfrois

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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Rebecca Suter on Murakami

Rebecca Suter on Murakami

Norwegian Wood, ToHo, 2011 by Rebecca Suter Murakami Haruki is perhaps the best known and most widely translated Japanese author of his generation. His latest novel, three-volume, 1600-page 1Q84, was an instant success: the first print sold out on the day it was released, and the first two volumes...

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Dinnseanchas

Dinnseanchas

Ben Bulben, County Slingo, Ireland by Eamonn Wall As an immigrant from Ireland settled in Nebraska for an extended period, I was immediately excited to seek out the landscapes that comprise the American West. The western journeys I made were full of the purest pleasure. I was entering places...

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Deborah Dash Moore: West Coast Jews

Deborah Dash Moore: West Coast Jews

by Deborah Dash Moore Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America’s Edge, by Ellen Eisenberg, Ava F. Kahn, and William Toll, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 336 pp. Three talented historians, Ellen Eisenberg, Ava F. Kahn, and William Toll, have teamed up to write this history of...

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You Jane

You Jane

He had become my Tarzan | by Jason Haslam

Open Letters Monthly

More than any other of Burroughs’ many creations, Tarzan has become a staple of popular culture, a process which began almost immediately...

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Is there an Indian way of thinking about politics?

Is there an Indian way of thinking about politics?

Rashtrapati Bhawan From The Caravan: Is there an Indian way of thinking? The poet and scholar AK Ramanujan considered the question at length in a celebrated essay on the subject. The answer, he decided, would depend on which word of the question one chose to stress. The same is...

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‘A one-armed man (or more precisely, The Man With One Arm) knocked Kimble out and escaped from the house…’

‘A one-armed man (or more precisely, The Man With One Arm) knocked Kimble out and escaped from the house…’

The Fugitive, Quinn Martin Productions, 1963-1967 From London Review of Books: Academics: beware of loving what you write about. Fandom can tempt intellectuals to take uncharacteristic risks with their primary sources. Even Stanley Fish, who as the author of Is There a Text In This Class? knows better than...

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Every Time We Ride

Every Time We Ride

From Poetry: Lupe Fiasco, who Bradley praises in Book of Rhymes, is represented in the Anthology by “Dumb It Down,” in which his bravura performance— I’m earless and I’m peer-less, that means I’m eyeless Which means I’m tearless, which means my iris Resides where my ears is —is met...

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Amelia Atlas on Mr. Talk

Amelia Atlas on Mr. Talk

Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Possessed), Fritz Eichenberg, 1959 by Amelia Atlas It is often said that one is either a Tolstoy person or a Dostoevsky person, in the same way that one is either a cat person or a dog person.  I used to want to be a Dostoevsky person,...

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“Better listen to him, he’s in pre-corporate”

“Better listen to him, he’s in pre-corporate”

The College Sweethearts, Saturday Evening Post Cover, Monte Crews by Rick Popp For nineteenth-century industrialists, college was seen as a great way to insure against a successful career in business. As ambitious young clerks learned the ins and outs of commerce, balancing accounts and scribbling correspondence, college students diddled...

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are,...

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McKenzie Wark
Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information...

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Bobbi Lurie
Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Bharat Azad
Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on...

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Andre Gerard: Light Here, Shadow There

The deeper one looks in To the Lighthouse the more one sees. The more one listens the more one hears. Homer, Shakespeare, Conrad and...

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Claudia Landolfi: Europe’s Colonial Perversion

The aftermath of a violent act or after a sharp change of political horizons is also a crisis of imagination and language. The rupture...

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Jerry Moore: Feverish Rivers

I learned that Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff had been a Nazi when I was in a Santa Marta supermarket. I had just stepped into the Exito...

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Lauren Berlant
Lauren Berlant flies

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness. It is a record of where we got stuck on a question...

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Robyn Ferrell on Balthus

The pitfalls of identification, hero-worship, envy and malice can beset the most patient writer in the throes of five hundred-plus pages of attention to...

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Michael Munro on Spinoza

Immanence is not philosophy, nor philosophy immanence. But there is in the passage from one to the other a modification of sense that is...

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David Beer
David Beer: Broadcastwerk

Writing at sometime around 1930 or 1931, Walter Benjamin suggested that the voice on the radio is a like a visitor in the home,...

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Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

At nineteen, it is easy to think that all you're missing is the right movement. But there is something about the young left wing...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Rama’s And

While local journalists were once again busy regurgitating worn-down, coma inducing positions about yet another spectral appearance of Enver Hoxha at the celebration of...

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Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic,...

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