Berfrois

Ed Simon: The Brooklyn Project

Ed Simon: The Brooklyn Project

“What, what exactly have we done here?” asked Lynn Jackson, her heavy dreadlocks falling like curtains over her tasteful kente cloth blouse, which did not hide but rather emphasized her heavy, yet stately, if not regal, countenance.

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Daniel Bosch on Gertrude Stein

Daniel Bosch on Gertrude Stein

Portrait of Gertrude Stein, Félix Vallotton, 1907 by Daniel Bosch Gertrude Stein exploited every freedom in language she knew about and when she reached the end of her list she invented some more. Gertrude Stein set many of the best passages of her writing into extremely deep and confusing...

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Didion didn’t even do acid…

Didion didn’t even do acid…

You are heading into the future on a voyage of sexual discovery, and here is what it’s like. Drinking beers with a man you’ve just met online, you think of five or ten other men you already know and would prefer to drink with, were it not for the...

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Beyoncé’s Spinning Sexuality

Beyoncé’s Spinning Sexuality

Fifteen-year-olds may go online to learn how to perform fellatio, but they also post fearsome rebukes to boorish boys on Facebook and have lengthy debates on Twitter about whether or not Kim Kardashian is really a good “role model.”

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Jessica Sequeira on Rion Amilcar Scott

Jessica Sequeira on Rion Amilcar Scott

At the heart of satire is a stereotype, a simplistic dichotomy, an obvious truth or an unquestioned form ready to be taken to its limits and dismantled.

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My Sex App

My Sex App

Mayer is “just like / A person with a device” because she doesn’t have one—not a smartphone, not a computer. At seventy-one years old, she writes on a blue Smith-Corona typewriter, tapping at the keys with a single finger.

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Somewhere and Everywhere

Somewhere and Everywhere

Lucy Sprague Mitchell, founder of the Bank Street College of Education, was sick of children’s books. She didn’t want didactic moral tales that told kids what to do, or mythological flights of fancy.

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Manifesting Canada’s Identity by Julian Hanna

Manifesting Canada’s Identity by Julian Hanna

As a genre, the manifesto (the avant-garde variety, not the mainstream political platform) moves in and out of fashion. Political and social upheaval tends to put manifestos back in vogue.

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Own the End

Own the End

Ever since Underworld, the 1997 book that marked the end of his ambitious middle period, Don DeLillo’s novels have been creepy, inconclusive, and short.

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Alcoholic admissions punctuate Elizabeth Bishop’s narrative…

Alcoholic admissions punctuate Elizabeth Bishop’s narrative…

Bishop’s letters to her psychiatrist are newsy and notational. One begins with a friend surprising her “with a birthday cak and some mimosa” and concludes with a hairstyling appointment before dinner with Randall Jarrell.

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Gertrude Stein on writing and painting and all that

Gertrude Stein on writing and painting and all that

There is singularly nothing that makes a difference a difference in beginning and in the middle and in ending except that each generation has something different at which they are all looking.

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Storia

Storia

Ferrante, in case you haven’t heard, has become an international phenomenon. She has acquired a certain notoriety not only because her writing is very intense.

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45˚38’N 13˚46’E

45˚38’N 13˚46’E

This fascinating work of scholarship concerns the association between two great 20th-century writers and the city that brought them together. The writers were the Italian Italo Svevo (1861–1928) and the Irishman James Joyce (1882–1941). The city was Trieste (45˚38’N 13˚46’E).

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Kissing the Pebbles

Kissing the Pebbles

If Basil Bunting were not remembered for “Briggflatts”—his longest and best poem, first published fifty years ago—he might still be remembered as the protagonist of a preposterously eventful twentieth-century life.

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Jay Merill on Joanna Walsh

Jay Merill on Joanna Walsh

Hotel by Joanna Walsh, is a book in Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. It is essentially a memoir in the context of visits made to hotels by a reviewer who is at that time undergoing a personal marital breakdown.

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Your Version Perfect

Your Version Perfect

I never met Vladimir Nabokov face to face, though I exchanged phone calls and letters with him. My psychiatrist encouraged me to visit him in Switzerland, but I was too afraid that I would quickly sabotage close-up whatever good impression I might have managed to create long-distance.

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Black history has too often been stolen by white narrators…

Black history has too often been stolen by white narrators…

Colson Whitehead’s novels are rebellious creatures: Each one of them goes to great lengths to break free of the last one, of its structure and language, of its areas of interest.

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