Berfrois

D. Joyce-Ahearne on Federico García Lorca

D. Joyce-Ahearne on Federico García Lorca

If duende, the source of inspiration that Lorca sets out to champion in his essay at the expense of the Muse, is “in sum, the spirit of the earth”, a force linking body and soil through a struggle akin to death, then the Muse is a force that speaks to the head and inspires art that is, in the words’ most negative senses, cerebral and high-minded.

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

‘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...

Read More

If some books are good because they don’t sell, others are just as likely to be judged good because they do…

If some books are good because they don’t sell, others are just as likely to be judged good because they do…

Readers of the Pack: American Best-Selling | by Ruth Franklin,

Bookforum 

In Making The List, his 2001 book about best sellers, former Simon & Schuster editor in chief Michael Korda recalls that the publishing house once commissioned a study of which...

Read More

Judie Newman: Bellow & Trotsky

Judie Newman: Bellow & Trotsky

by Judie Newman The later Bellow’s reputation as a neoconservative has obscured the centrality of his early enthusiasm for Trotskyism to his life and writings. The 2010 publication of a selection of his letters opens with Saul Bellow aged 17 writing to Yetta Barshevsky, a fellow high school student...

Read More

The Ultimate Rose

The Ultimate Rose

Plucking the Red and White Roses in the Old Temple Gardens, Henry Arthur Payne, 1908 From Times Literary Supplement: The rose was made for symbolism, metaphor, allusion. Its beautiful flowers – in the wild, each bearing the symbolically charged number of five petals – bloom alongside vicious thorns. Sight,...

Read More

Why Elif Batuman doesn’t read reviews

Why Elif Batuman doesn’t read reviews

by Elif Batuman Let’s say you’re writing a book.  Every day you get up and think about it and work on it and change it. Then, at some more-or-less arbitrary point (I didn’t realize before I published a book how arbitrary this point is), it’s taken away from you...

Read More

Téa Obreht’s Well-Told Tiger Tale

Téa Obreht’s Well-Told Tiger Tale

From The New York Review of Books: The Tiger’s Wife, by a twenty-five-year-old Serbian who came to the US in 1997 at the age of twelve, has been praised-rightly in my view-as a remarkable first novel. Téa Obreht is an extraordinarily talented writer, skilled at combining different types of...

Read More

‘The world I longed for was the world of the X-Men’

‘The world I longed for was the world of the X-Men’

From The Morning News: There’s a comic Freud used to illustrate his famous essay, “Interpretation of Dreams,” called “A French Nurse’s Dream.” The connection between comics and dreams is apparently so direct even Freud did not feel it necessary to explain why he would use a comic to illustrate...

Read More

Coca Flows

Coca Flows

Coca Plantation, Madre de Dios, Peru, Benedicte Desrus  by Elaine Carey Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug, by Paul Gootenberg, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 442 pp. As someone who also has become interested in the scholarly analysis of the commodity flows of miracle powders, tinctures, and...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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.

Read More
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 —...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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.

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

Read More