Berfrois

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 of them together lying about my…

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Sorokin has long been tarred as a scandalmonger and, even worse, a postmodernist…

Sorokin has long been tarred as a scandalmonger and, even worse, a postmodernist…

I’ve been waiting for years for Vladimir Sorokin’s second novel, Norma (The Norm), to appear in English translation. It wasn’t published in the author’s native Russia until 1994, a decade after Sorokin finished it, so perhaps there’s hope yet.

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The Goethezeit

The Goethezeit

If he hadn’t lived from 1749 to 1832, safely into the modern era and the age of print, but had instead flourished when Shakespeare did, there would certainly be scholars today theorizing that the life and work of half a dozen men had been combined under Goethe’s name.

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Jenny Diski on the enormity of that lost word

Jenny Diski on the enormity of that lost word

For the third time this month I’ve locked myself out of my online banking facility. Each time I have run over the limit of making three mistakes in my password.

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Supremacy or Privilege?

Supremacy or Privilege?

From the cover of Black Panther No. 1, to be published this year, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Drawn by Brian Stelfreeze. From Dublin Review of Books: The ubiquity of smartphones and dashboard cameras has meant that digital capture of police transgression is more available than ever, and the viral spread of...

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Tomoé Hill on scent and sex in Ulysses

Tomoé Hill on scent and sex in Ulysses

As a scent obsessive, these lines from the “Nausicaa” chapter in Ulysses represent much more than they might seem.

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Tui

Tui

Here are some words I’ve been writing down recently: Mingimingi. Ponga. Horoeka. Titoki.

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Max Ritvo on family, Mortal Kombat and cancer

Max Ritvo on family, Mortal Kombat and cancer

Illustration by Victoria Ritvo by Max Ritvo 1 My only act of violence as a child was one of mutual play. I was friends with Miranda, our housekeeper’s niece, and we were playing pretend Mortal Kombat. We were very conscious of the fact that it was a game. Neither...

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An ecopoem is urgent, it aims to unsettle…

An ecopoem is urgent, it aims to unsettle…

A familiar argument against didactic poetry is that it preaches to the choir. A poem should not preach, but it may teach the choir a new tune, the chorus a new step.

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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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