Berfrois

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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The Same Lakeside House

The Same Lakeside House

“In the sand of Brandenburg, every square foot of ground has its story and is telling it, too – but one has to be willing to listen to these often quiet voices.” Thomas Harding chooses this quote, from Theodor Fontane, to open his personal, yet historically wide-ranging, account.

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Paul Rowe and Daniel Simonds on Peter Caputo

Paul Rowe and Daniel Simonds on Peter Caputo

Peter Caputo’s oneiric imagination divines prose poems capable of warding off the curse of having gazed upon too many shattered mirrors, broken lines.

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Engineering Screak

Engineering Screak

A School for Fools is a Soviet underground classic of the 1970s, circulating only in samizdat, or self-published literature.

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Obama on Eliot

Obama on Eliot

Obama begins with a strikingly suggestive insight into Eliot’s literary and religious tradition and his special relation to it: Eliot is one of a line of Protestant visionary and apocalyptic writers from Thomas Münzer (or Müntzer) in the sixteenth century to Yeats in the twentieth.

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Elisa Gabbert Talks Twitter

Elisa Gabbert Talks Twitter

Some of my tweets are aphoristic, absolutely. Like “Aphorisms are essays,” the tweet that I turned into the title of that essay.

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Daniel Bosch on Adam Kirsch

Daniel Bosch on Adam Kirsch

When it comes to the photograph’s translation into language, shouldn’t the elements of such a speechless photograph have a literal and figurative priority over my “speech”?

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With Weighty Grief

With Weighty Grief

Seminole Chief Osceola (1804–1838), George Catlin, 1838 From Poets.org: The earliest recorded written poem by a native person was composed by “Eleazer” who was a senior at Harvard College in 1678. He most likely died before graduating. We do not know anything about Eleazer’s life. All we have is his...

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What is blue?

What is blue?

Maggie Nelson’s Bluets takes aim at one of today’s most beloved forms of writing—the autobiography—coyly challenging the genre’s attachment to truthful stories of the self and the form thought best to convey them.

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‘Children confiscate your mask, leaving you far more exposed than lovers can’

‘Children confiscate your mask, leaving you far more exposed than lovers can’

A few months ago, I had to go through all of my photo albums, starting from early childhood, in conjunction with a film project with which I am involved.

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Is writing an art or a career?

Is writing an art or a career?

Writers as varied as Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, and Mary McCarthy would have been outraged to be called anything other than professionals, and when you push past Mark Twain’s most renowned books, you find a lot of writing that did little more than spin off from his celebrity.

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‘Tupitsyn is a kind of heretic’

‘Tupitsyn is a kind of heretic’

Whether voiced in the first, second or third person, I take the stories that Masha Tupitsyn tells about her person to be selectively true.

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Popular poetry aspires to a public life in the United Kingdom…

Popular poetry aspires to a public life in the United Kingdom…

As I read postwar British poetry fully, I became less enamoured with the Movement tones of Phillip Larkin or Donald Davie and reviled their small, digestible, miserable artifacts of everyday British life.

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Alone With the Cat

Alone With the Cat

Born in 1972 (or, as the back cover of his new book of poems puts it, “during the Nixon administration”), Michael Robbins experienced, growing up, a tremendous run of good luck.

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What remained but to fly to a third corner and then a fourth?

What remained but to fly to a third corner and then a fourth?

Moths that fly by day are not properly to be called moths; they do not excite that pleasant sense of dark autumn nights and ivy-blossom which the commonest yellow-underwing asleep in the shadow of the curtain never fails to rouse in us.

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Menachem Feuer on Franz Kafka

Menachem Feuer on Franz Kafka

What is most fascinating about all this is the fact that we, Kafka’s readers also return but, like Sancho Panza, we must entertain the possibility that in following Kafka we have decided to follow a modern Don Quixote.

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