Berfrois

Ed Simon: When Books Read You

Ed Simon: When Books Read You

Towards the end of 1642, or possibly the beginning of 1643, but either way in the midst of a miserable winter of civil war, King Charles I found himself...

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Alt-Reaction

Alt-Reaction

The socialist left were once the champions of science and reason, of the rationally planned society directed towards meeting the material needs of humanity.

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M. Munro on Messianism as Method

M. Munro on Messianism as Method

“World history is not the place for happiness,” Hegel writes. “Periods of happiness are empty pages (leere Blätter) in history.”

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A Bulwark Never Failing by Ed Simon

A Bulwark Never Failing by Ed Simon

Anne Dudley, in her father’s Northampton library, had occasion to spend many happy hours as a girl engrossed in reading the hundreds of volumes which he had collected.

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Filtering Out Non-Sense

Filtering Out Non-Sense

Jacques Bouveresse is perhaps best known in the Anglophone world for being among the least well-known of contemporary French thinkers...

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Steven Felicelli on Navid Kermani

Steven Felicelli on Navid Kermani

With the penetrating eye of Roland Barthes, bursting heart of a love-drunk Rumi and ironic conscience of Günter Grass, Navid Kermani appraises...

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Ed Simon: Final Twelve Observations about Goodness

Ed Simon: Final Twelve Observations about Goodness

Who would have expected the origin to have been with a castration? A consummately violent act. Hacking away at flesh, and the discarding of that bit of intrinsic manhood.

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Laboratories and Workshops

Laboratories and Workshops

Yhy it is that the oppressors can be seen as the liberators? You are going to ask about Trump, you are going to ask about Erdogan, you are going to ask about others...

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Beloved Elders

Beloved Elders

Not long before he died, I sat in hospital with my grandfather, keeping him company as he waited, gowned and gaunt, for whatever the doctors might do...

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Ed Simon: Resurrecting American Civil Religion

Ed Simon: Resurrecting American Civil Religion

What ten sentences have been more scriptural than the ones delivered by Abraham Lincoln in that southern Pennsylvanian killing field? Not just scriptural in rhetoric...

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Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Social Media and Autocracy

Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Social Media and Autocracy

We have learned that part of Russia's intervention in the 2016 US election included placing ads on Facebook that spanned the political spectrum...

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Residents of Reality

Residents of Reality

‘Postmodernity’ has a history. It came not from nowhere, but rather from ‘modernity,’ which in Europe historians have traditionally dated from the eighteenth-century French Enlightenment.

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Ed Simon: Second Twelve Observations about Goodness

Ed Simon: Second Twelve Observations about Goodness

by Ed Simon XIII. Blessed is he among all the saints, for spurned though he is, Judas Iscariot was the one who first set the world toward its redemption, with a kiss. For that loyalty to God, Christ was resurrected, but lamentable Judas must forever sit in the frozen...

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Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Yer

Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Yer

In Old Church Slavonic there were two letters representing short vowels. These were called ‘yer’, and there were two species of them: the ‘front yer’, ‘ь’, and the ‘back yer’, ‘ъ’.

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Ed Simon: First Twelve Observations about Goodness

Ed Simon: First Twelve Observations about Goodness

One fourteenth century morning in the village of Montalilou, a simple woman named Bartholomette d’Urs, who slept every evening in her bed next to her young son, awoke to find that her boy had died of some unknown cause in the night.

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Jeremy Fernando: Nine Steps on the Ladder of Writhing

Jeremy Fernando: Nine Steps on the Ladder of Writhing

this is perhaps the tragedy of the photographic object, the object that is photographed: that in order to preserve its writing — the writing of light — the object has to be consigned into the shadows of time.

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Read Barthes

Read Barthes

The ad was meticulously crafted to foster outrage. I reposted it, commenting that it was “the most disgusting ad I’ve ever seen,” disregarding the inevitable: that my conservative friends might repost it.

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Somewhere Between Solitude and Loneliness

Somewhere Between Solitude and Loneliness

In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn.

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That Time the Way That It Is and Was

That Time the Way That It Is and Was

So far this makes it sound as if philosophers are a bunch of science fiction spoil sports. Not so! Although philosophers typically agree that we cannot change the past, most think it possible to causally affect the past.

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