Berfrois

Arundhati Roy’s Return to Fiction

Arundhati Roy’s Return to Fiction

Arundhathi Roy in 2013. Photograph by Augustus Binu. From The New York Times: “I’ve always been slightly short with people who say, ‘You haven’t written anything again,’ as if all the nonfiction I’ve written is not writing,” Arundhati Roy said. It was July, and we were sitting in Roy’s living room, the windows closed against the…

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When reality inserted itself, it discomforted James Parks Caldwell…

When reality inserted itself, it discomforted James Parks Caldwell…

James Parks Caldwell by Mark Lause A Northern Confederate at Johnson’s Island Prison: The Civil War Diaries of James Parks Caldwell, Edited by George H. Jones, Jefferson: Mcfarland, 277 pp. An Ohio-born writer, James Parks Caldwell left us a remarkable set of documents, including his diary of eighteen months...

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Notes from a Literary Apprenticeship

Notes from a Literary Apprenticeship

Trading Stories | by Jhumpa Lahiri

The New Yorker

Books, and the stories they contained, were the only things I felt I was able to possess as a child. Even then, the possession was not literal; my father is...

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Amanda Sigler: Scandalous Ulysses

Amanda Sigler: Scandalous Ulysses

by Amanda Sigler On Bloomsday—June 16th—scholars from around the world gather together to celebrate the day on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. Boasting a scandalous history, Joyce’s novel is famous for the controversy it caused when it was serialized in the Little Review, a New York magazine that dared...

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The Bishop-Hemingway Connection by Thomas Travisano

The Bishop-Hemingway Connection by Thomas Travisano

by Thomas Travisano The poet Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) was once considered a comparatively isolated figure. Because she shunned labels and avoided becoming identified with well-publicized literary movements, she was once considered—as David Kalstone wrote in 1977— a “hard to ‘place.’” However, as her posthumous fame has grown and...

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Flat-Packs and Prose

Flat-Packs and Prose

Graffiti art by Banksy, near Ikea Croydon From Boston Review: Every Sunday morning I spend a few hours with the colossal edition of the New York Times and its tendency to sum up because I don’t want to see the week coming; I’d rather watch it going. One Sunday...

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‘Charmed sentences follow one another like dance steps along the winding road itself’

‘Charmed sentences follow one another like dance steps along the winding road itself’

Yellow Brick Philosophy | by Ellen Handler Spitz

The Book

Although details have not yet been released, The Los Angeles Times reported last year that preliminary plans are in the works for an upcoming movie of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard...

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Thomas Pynchon, (Relative) Feminist by Joanna Freer

Thomas Pynchon, (Relative) Feminist by Joanna Freer

From the cover of The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon, 1964 by Joanna Freer Over the years Thomas Pynchon has gained a reputation as a writer with strong humanist principles. His representations of the suffering of the South-West African Herero under the genocidal German imperial regime are particularly notable...

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Ship Out

Ship Out

Allen Ginsberg dressed up for working at his Market Research job, Berkely, 1954, Allen Ginsberg Project by Joe Linker When did literature become an elitist game? When we started writing? Literature both reflects and influences culture, society, and the individual, but there are many things that reflect our values (what...

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‘The New York hustler was both homosexual object-choice and heterosexual subject par excellence’

‘The New York hustler was both homosexual object-choice and heterosexual subject par excellence’

Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman as Joe Buck and Enrico Rizzo, Midnight Cowboy, United Artists, 1969  by Jason Narlock New York Hustlers: Masculinity and Sex in Modern America, by Barry Reay, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 279 pp. One of the most enduring legacies of the lesbian and gay rights movement...

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Remembrance of Translations Past

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: LGBT Struggles in Albania

This morning I woke up to a rather surprising headline: "first gay marriage in Tirana." The article referred to the marriage ceremony recently held...

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Feroz Rather in Srinagar

Though the war was still going on, it was not a terribly sad time in my life; at least, I had the consolation of...

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Foucault’s Politics of Truth by Stuart Elden

The key figures are Cardinal Richelieu and Chancellor Séguier, and Foucault thinks it is important that he can discern the “first great deployment of...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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Mediamacro are very good at pretending…

A few weeks ago I was having dinner with David Cameron. Well, almost - we were at the same restaurant but on tables at...

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: One Little Room

A room with graffitied walls. Inside this room the dogs bark. A room cluttered with porcelain figurines. A room decorated with binary numbers.

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Jeremy Fernando
Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place —...

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David Beer
David Beer: Make Happy, Happy, Happy

As I read through William Davies’ engaging new book, I can’t help but wonder what Mad Men’s Don Draper would have made of John...

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee for 8 More

I might be the last person you should ask about St. Paul coffee in general. On an ordinary day I make do with drip...

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Emeline Edgewood
In X the Promise

X seems to want to be both the equivalent of The Giant and of Laura Palmer’s mother in Twin Peaks.

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Municipal

Although there are also some independent candidates who may take a few votes here and there, the general opinion of the Tirana public and...

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En Liang Khong: Full Bloom

The cross-dressing Qiu Jin was emblematic of a revolutionary feminist current at the end of the Qing era, writing urgently on women’s emancipation: “While...

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei
Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed...

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