Berfrois

Anthony Ausiello on Magical Realism

Anthony Ausiello on Magical Realism

Reading Hari Kunzru’s Gods Without Men made me realize magical realism could play a complex role in fiction, that it could be utilized as another literary tool in an author’s craft.

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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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Cynthia Ozick advocates for no theory…

Cynthia Ozick advocates for no theory…

Unlike the literature it marshals as its subject, literary criticism frequently finds itself in the position of having to defend its existence, of taking breaks from dealing with fiction and poetry in order to deal with itself.

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Jessica Sequeira on Janice Lee

Jessica Sequeira on Janice Lee

by Jessica Sequeira The Sky Isn’t Blue by Janice Lee Civil Coping Mechanisms, 226 pp. Los Angeles is a city of sprawl and sunshine, but it can also be a very lonely place. When Maggie Nelson moved out there from New York to teach at CalArts, heartbroken, she wrote her collection of...

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Joseph Conrad on the Titanic

Joseph Conrad on the Titanic

S.S. Titanic at the docks of Southampton, April 1912. by Joseph Conrad It is with a certain bitterness that one must admit to oneself that the late S.S. Titanic had a “good press.” It is perhaps because I have no great practice of daily newspapers (I have never seen so many...

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Ah, the insistent buzz of corporate machinery and techno-capitalist communication…

Ah, the insistent buzz of corporate machinery and techno-capitalist communication…

To pick up on the cultural dissonances around the crisis of man discourse we need to look no further than to the thoughts of two of the key figures engaged with this discourse, Hannah Arendt and Susan Sontag.

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Daniel Bosch: Brogue, Seriously?

Daniel Bosch: Brogue, Seriously?

On April 6, 1327, in Avignon, in the Kingdom of Arles, an Italian scholar named Petrarch saw and fell for a young girl named Laura.

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Funds for Tuition by Setsuko Adachi

Funds for Tuition by Setsuko Adachi

A machine, a replicant, utters: I think therefore I am.

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“Classics was a minority subject, very twee”

“Classics was a minority subject, very twee”

DeWitt had her first sense of real academic or literary possibility after arriving at Smith College in 1975, and even that was a letdown.

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None of Us Can Escape

None of Us Can Escape

Published in The Dial in November of 1923, T.S. Eliot’s essay “‘Ulysses,’ Order, and Myth” is a rare opportunity to see one of modernism’s giants grappling with one of modernism’s greatest works.

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Virginia Woolf invents human intercourse

Virginia Woolf invents human intercourse

When the first number of Lysistrata appeared, I confess that I was deeply disappointed. It was so well printed, on such good paper. It looked established, prosperous.

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Oliver Farry on Patrick Modiano

Oliver Farry on Patrick Modiano

The latest of his novels to belatedly see the light of day in English is his 1975 work Villa Triste, published by the Other Press, in a translation by John Cullen. Unusually for Modiano, it takes place entirely outside his usual Parisian hinterland.

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