Berfrois

“The ecstasy of being so high up that you no longer belong to the world below”

“The ecstasy of being so high up that you no longer belong to the world below”

A man in a purple tracksuit jogs along a concrete path across the cemetery. Does the jogger know that he is crossing the escape route of a twenty-nine-year-old man who was shot dead as he attempted to climb the cemetery wall, bound for the canal?

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When Book Reviews Kill

When Book Reviews Kill

David Graham Philips From The New York Times: It’s easy to imagine how a novelist might use a real person as a basis for a fictional character. It’s equally easy to imagine how such a person could notice the similarities and perhaps become offended. After all, the fiction writer...

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The desirable difficulty of sleeve and paint

The desirable difficulty of sleeve and paint

The Jewish Bride, Rembrandt, c. 1667 by Emma Darwin Oh, how I do love a thoroughly counter-intuitive discovery! Apparently, the plainer and cleaner the typeface, the less a reader will learn and remember of the detail of the text. A typeface which slows the reader means they learn and...

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Wanted: Bad Women

Wanted: Bad Women

Bonnie Parker, circa 1933 by  Kathleen Cairns Wanted Women: An American Obsession in the Reign of J. Edgar Hoover, by Mary Elizabeth Strunk, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 304 pp. Female “outlaws” have been a staple of American popular culture at least since the 1830s, when New York Herald publisher...

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Derek Beaulieu: A Future for the Novel

Derek Beaulieu: A Future for the Novel

A Christmas Carol, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1938 by Derek Beaulieu It seems hardly reasonable at first glance to suppose that an entirely new literature might one day—now, for instance—be possible. The many attempts made these last thirty years to drag literature out of its ruts have resulted at best, in no...

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Croatia picked the wrong witch

Croatia picked the wrong witch

Picking the Wrong Witch | Richard Byrne

The Common Review

Once upon a time there was a magical empire of letters called Central Europe. Its borders were fuzzy but recognizable....

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‘A sprite of the meadow, a naiad of lakes, a nymph of the woods’

‘A sprite of the meadow, a naiad of lakes, a nymph of the woods’

From Lapham’s Quarterly: In a New Hampshire apartment during the winter of 1923, this typewritten notice was fastened squarely against a closed door: NOBODY MAY COME INTO THIS ROOM IF THE DOOR IS SHUT TIGHT (IF IT IS SHUT NOT QUITE LATCHED IT IS ALL RIGHT) WITHOUT KNOCKING. THE...

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British Literature

British Literature

  by Michael Gardiner Eng Lit (English Literature), as a discipline of study and textual circulation, is not English. On the contrary, English Literature is a thoroughly British discipline – in a sense the cultural form of the British state – and its greatest period of blossoming was during...

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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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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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Lauren Berlant performs by clicking

Today I introduced Facebook to someone older than me and had a long conversation about what the point of networking amongst “friends” is. The...

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Tinder Times by Bibi Deitz

I am in bed with a man. He has to go home. He is not staying the night. So he pulls out his iPhone...

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Jenny Diski keeps up

Some things are best met with silence. If I were to proceed with this month’s column in an honest way, it would be a...

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From Fashion by Tracy O’Neill

The man who brought us a disembodied protagonist alluringly voiced by Scarlett Johansson has now issued a drama — starring apparel. Recently, Opening Ceremony...

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras...

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An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous...

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