Berfrois

Whenever you hear that whistle…

Whenever you hear that whistle…

I write in my rental apartment on Rue de Seine in Paris, while trying to simultaneously ignore the tolling of the church bells in my vicinity as well as the continuous barking of my next door neighbor, Georges. I have never seen him or his owners; however, given the permanent scolding I hear, he must do things well behaved dogs should only do outside.

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The Pirate’s Prophet

The Pirate’s Prophet

 From The Nation: The desire to preserve what remains apparently pure about the making of art in contemporary life drives much of the argumentation of Common as Air, which emerges over the course of its several hundred pages as a treatise on the uncertain fate of expressive work in...

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Berfrois Interviews Gabriel Josipovici

Berfrois Interviews Gabriel Josipovici

   by Russell Bennetts  Gabriel Josipovici is a prolific and eminent novelist, literary theorist, critic, and scholar. He has won the Somerset Maugham Award for Short Fiction and his The World and The Book remains a landmark text in literary studies. A former Weidenfeld Professor of Comparative Literature at...

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Kidnapped!

Kidnapped!

by A. Roger Ekirch From Common-Place: In London on St. Valentine’s Day in 1945, the aspiring young novelist Patrick O’Brian, today regarded as one of the great twentieth-century writers of historical fiction, received as a gift an early volume of the Gentleman’s Magazine. Published in 1744, it briefly recounted...

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‘In a clear case of fetishistic disavowal, everyone knows that Mao made errors and caused immense suffering, yet his image remains magically untainted’

‘In a clear case of fetishistic disavowal, everyone knows that Mao made errors and caused immense suffering, yet his image remains magically untainted’

by Slavoj Žižek From London Review of Books: True, some Maoist ‘excesses’ and ‘errors’ were denounced (the Great Leap Forward and the widespread famine that followed it; the Cultural Revolution), and Deng’s assessment of Mao’s role (70 per cent positive and 30 per cent negative) is enshrined in official discourse....

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Afflict the Comfortable

Afflict the Comfortable

by Kevin Canfield

Poetry Foundation

Martín Espada looks for poetic life outside the MFA universe.

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‘Of course, there are few things more politically dangerous within an English Department than teaching something popular with students’

‘Of course, there are few things more politically dangerous within an English Department than teaching something popular with students’

Koreanish

"About once a month, I get asked by a colleague or friend for the syllabus I used to teach my seminar on the Graphic Novel at Amherst.."

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Poets are rock stars

Poets are rock stars

by Jen Woods This morning as I sit down to start my work, coffee in hand, the air definitely feels different in that “today-is-my-birthday” kind of way. Typecast Publishing, started a little less than one year ago, now has four authors, one whose book releases this very day.  The...

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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

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Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

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Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

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Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

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John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

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Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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