Berfrois

Writing in Buenos Aires by Romina Paula

Writing in Buenos Aires by Romina Paula

It’s extremely uncommon here in Argentina that a writer can make a living as such, all the more so in my generation. Or I guess I should say that it would be rare for a writer to live off the books he or she publishes, because writers do sometimes earn a living off teaching or journalism.

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Books About Books About the Brontës

Books About Books About the Brontës

There are far too many books about the Brontës, and books about books about the Brontës, for us to be able to track and arrange our knowledge exhaustively.

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Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

It is only when we are able to understand the stranger within ourselves (étrangers à nous-mêmes) that we might confront our reasons for creating the stranger.

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Adam Staley Groves on Charmaine Chan

Adam Staley Groves on Charmaine Chan

Recently, I read The Magic Circle, then found some poems when I heard Charmaine Chan read a few excerpts. So here is a review, but it is a review by the criteria of poetry and not, literary or critical, this or that.

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Mystery Maier

Mystery Maier

No one would find the prospect of posthumous fame more appalling than the photographer Vivian Maier.

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Eric D. Lehman on John Fowles

Eric D. Lehman on John Fowles

It’s not an easy thing to watch one of your favorite authors slide into obscurity. John Fowles, once hailed as the greatest living novelist...

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Marigloria Palma is known for her mystery…

Marigloria Palma is known for her mystery…

I didn’t grow up speaking much Spanish. My father doesn’t speak it, and in California, my mother was some 3,500 miles away from her Puerto Rican family...

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Viktor Shklovsky Remixed by Joel Katelnikoff

Viktor Shklovsky Remixed by Joel Katelnikoff

A man is walking alone across the ice; fog is all around him. He believes that he is walking in a straight line. Wind disperses the fog: the man sees his goal, sees his tracks.

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The Don Quixote of Bourgeois Ruin

The Don Quixote of Bourgeois Ruin

“I know of no one today who can make characters come alive the way you do,” Albert Camus wrote to Guilloux in 1946...

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Dying Fall

Dying Fall

There’s an inexhaustible market for stories of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. They are firmly in the weave of heroic modernism, poster-children for a generation’s promise, achievement, excess, and tragic denouement in the wake of Zelda’s diagnosed schizophrenia and Scott’s alcoholism, fragile aging, and early death.

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Thomas Larson on Thomas Merton

Thomas Larson on Thomas Merton

One of Merton’s reveals occurs during a visit to Cuba where the Catholic Church is predominant. There, as a novitiate, he feels so free that he writes “the first real poem I had ever written”

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Wistful Blonde’s Hair

Wistful Blonde’s Hair

The contribution of my former department to the general gaiety was to be a talk by Margaret Drabble, on the topic of young women at university in the 1960s and 1970s.

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One Rapture of an Inspiration

One Rapture of an Inspiration

The fifth (and final) definition of “revision” in the OED is “the fact of seeing a person or thing again; an instance of this; a fresh or new vision of something.”

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Drink Through

Drink Through

Sit in silence in the dark. Vibrate vigorously. Roll on your side. Picture tight, glistening calves and dark eyebrows.

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Uber, Deleted

Uber, Deleted

For about three months this year, I drove an Uber taxi in London (as research for a book about the company). My entry into this world of casual employment was greeted by reams of pseudo-emancipatory rhetoric.

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Plath’s (Crystalline, Determined) Letters

Plath’s (Crystalline, Determined) Letters

When reading Sylvia Plath’s private writing – her letters, her diaries – one always wonders just what her life would have been like had she been born in 1942 rather than in 1932.

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‘We were subversives, a little suspect, a little uncomfortable’

‘We were subversives, a little suspect, a little uncomfortable’

I am not the only woman who worked at Playboy and kept her clothes on. When I was hired as literary editor in 2005...

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