Berfrois

Two Lines of Poetic Development

Two Lines of Poetic Development

What seems to me chiefly remarkable in the popular conception of a Poet is its unlikeness to the truth. Misconception in this case has been flattered, I fear, by the poets themselves.

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In sci-fi, Kurt Vonnegut found an improbable moral purpose…

In sci-fi, Kurt Vonnegut found an improbable moral purpose…

Slaughterhouse 5.5, photograph by Alev Adil From New York Magazine: A cranky ostrich in a rumpled suit, Kurt Vonnegut might seem an odd fit for the staid Library of America. (His advice to young writers? “Literature should not disappear up its own asshole, so to speak.”) But Vonnegut, like...

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Catch Hearts

Catch Hearts

M. S. Corley by Michael Moats In the ‘Backstage with Esquire’ piece accompanying “This Sandwich Has No Mayonnaise” Salinger wrote of himself, “I am a dash man and not a miler, and it is probable that I will never write a novel.” At the time, he had been overseas...

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Able to be Scaled

Able to be Scaled

The Descalations of Will Self | by Geoff Nicholson

Los Angeles Review of Books

I’ve been thinking about the novelist in the lunatic asylum, the one who decides to write a novel that describes the whole world and everything in it.

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“I am honest. I will not steal. If I do steal I will be caught and sent to jail”

“I am honest. I will not steal. If I do steal I will be caught and sent to jail”

From Barnes and Noble Review: “All money represents theft,” wrote the yippie guru Jerry Rubin. “Shoplifting gets you high. Don’t buy. Steal. If you act like it’s yours, no one will ask you to pay for it.” Like Abbie Hoffman, whose Steal This Book! argued that it was immoral...

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Catherine Flynn: Out of the Exploration of Paris

Catherine Flynn: Out of the Exploration of Paris

André Kertész by Catherine Flynn Learning to read Ulysses means tracing a path through its strangeness. Becoming familiar with the twists and turns of its prose and the multitude of characters that pass through its pages can also mean forgetting the work’s initial effects of disorientation and fragmentation. It...

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The HTML Scene

The HTML Scene

by Gregory Jusdanis The world is text. Mallarmé and Flaubert described this possibility at the end of the nineteenth century and Derrida proclaimed it again more recently. But now we can say that the world is literature. It is turning literary through the Internet. What is taking place today...

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Mycophilia

Mycophilia

by Justin E. H. Smith Surely the single largest category of folk names for mushrooms is the one having to do with evil and death, and with the beings who bode and bring these: Witch’s Hat, Death Cap, Destroying Angel, Poison Pie, Lead Poisoner, Corpse Finder, Witches’ Butter, Devil’s...

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‘Whoever follows Alice down the rabbit hole and through the Red Queen’s labyrinthine kingdom never does it for the first time’

‘Whoever follows Alice down the rabbit hole and through the Red Queen’s labyrinthine kingdom never does it for the first time’

“Ahem!” said the Mouse, with an important air, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Charles Robinson, 1907 From Threepenny Review: It may be that Carroll’s tale has deeper roots in the human psyche than its nursery reputation might suggest. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland does not...

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Autumn Morn

Autumn Morn

From Image Text: Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing #40, “The Curse,” is a product of the complex history of race relations within the feminist movement. It presented a powerful portrait of the experience of women living under patriarchy to a mostly male audience of comic book readers. This audience, most...

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Madhavi Menon: Queering the Bard

Madhavi Menon: Queering the Bard

by Madhavi Menon Surprisingly, queer theorists have rarely encountered Shakespeare. Not because they are badly-read or have blinkers on, but because of a deep belief that Shakespeare existed “before” the days of queer theory, and so it would be anachronistic to put the one in conversation with the other....

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