Berfrois

Ed Simon: Elsewheres

Ed Simon: Elsewheres

What do you think Ishmael’s life is like after the last page of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick? What ultimately happens to that survivor of the ill-fated Pequod? Where does he go, what does he do, how does he end his days? The “scandal of fiction” is that although these questions make sense, they are meaningless.

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‘The error is to tie a religion to a specific culture’

‘The error is to tie a religion to a specific culture’

Islam is in many ways more European than a conventional notion of 'European heritage' suggests. From 1362 to 1924, the Ottoman sultan bore the title of Caliph.

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Adam Staley Groves: Why I Didn’t Vote

Adam Staley Groves: Why I Didn’t Vote

You don’t get to choose when it’s over but, do you get a chance to recognize that it is? Americans have elected an accused child rapist. An accused rapist who is also accused of sexual assault he condones. And that’s just part of it as you know. Trump may...

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Paws Lifted by Menachem Feuer

Paws Lifted by Menachem Feuer

While Andy Warhol told us that everyone wants to becomes a star, filmmakers like Woody Allen, Judd Apatow, and Seth Rogen show us that even the smallest people – what, in Yiddish, are called schlemiels - are really “larger than life.”

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Beyond and After (Marx)

Beyond and After (Marx)

Marx After Marx takes up the question of the expansion of capitalism outside of Europe, in polemical opposition to a simplified image of ‘Western Marxism’, by constructing a non-European Marxist tradition for which ‘formal subsumption’ is the key to comprehending the unevenness and necessary incompletion of capitalist development.

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Colin Campbell: Never Quite as Modern

Colin Campbell: Never Quite as Modern

In a review essay in the September 5th, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, professor Adam Kirsch poses a problem that is very similar in certain respects to the problem radical general semantics poses for us.

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‘Mexican existentialism provides a template for a kind of liberationist project’

‘Mexican existentialism provides a template for a kind of liberationist project’

In 1948, a group of philosophers in Mexico began a spirited and public engagement with existentialism. The movement flourished for only four years, but Carlos Alberto Sánchez argues that the project was of considerably greater philosophical importance than its brief duration might suggest.

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Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Ed Simon on the Whiskey Rebellion

Herman Husband – itinerant preacher, politician, regulator, radical – would amble among the woods surrounding Pittsburgh. Here on the trans-Appalachian frontier, the native North Carolinian with his shoddy patchwork clothes and with his biblically long beard.

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French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory certainly was not French eventually

French Theory is no theory. It is a well-known fact that “Theory,” as in “French Theory,” is neither a theoretical endeavor nor a theoretical manifestation of thought.

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The Frankfurt School saw no hope for escaping the pathologies of society that they diagnosed…

The Frankfurt School saw no hope for escaping the pathologies of society that they diagnosed…

Benjamin hoped that his kind of writing would be, as Jeffries puts it, “a kind of Marxist shock therapy aimed at reforming consciousness,” waking people up to the dream-world they lived in under capitalism.

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“Look at reality carefully”

“Look at reality carefully”

It had a focus on being dominant for centuries without change. Whole groups get excluded because a certain kind of dominant discourse is established.

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‘Love’ and ‘God’

‘Love’ and ‘God’

Various contemporary continental philosophers have taken an interest in espousing some form of a 'return to religion' but one devoid of actual, material religious belief and practice.

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A New Curating

A New Curating

Consider, Boethius. He was a descendent of a noble Italian family, a beneficiary of a classical education, and in some ways the last of the Romans.

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Jessica Sequeira: The Macabre Trunk

Jessica Sequeira: The Macabre Trunk

The poster for the 1936 Mexican film The Macabre Trunk shows a man in dark glasses and fedora, holding up a bloody hand in a menacing gesture, as a pulp dream of a blonde stretches out an arm to stop him.

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A-M-E-R-I-C-A by Ed Simon

A-M-E-R-I-C-A by Ed Simon

Used cynically, the word “America” is conceptualised not as that undiscovered country yet to be born on maps yet printed, but rather it is to employ the word as simple superstitious talisman. They take the Lord’s name in vain.

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London gave him debate…

London gave him debate…

On an Ash Wednesday in 1583 they sat in this dark-wood panelled dining room, tapestries keeping out the chill of late winter even as the cold couldn’t help but enter through the leaded window with its multicoloured glass diamonds.

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Menachem Feuer: How Simple is Simon?

Menachem Feuer: How Simple is Simon?

His New Job, Charlie Chaplin, 1915 by Menachem Feuer He labored long hours, was the soul of honesty – he could not escape his honesty, it was bedrock; to cheat would cause an explosion in him, yet he trusted cheaters – coveted nobody’s nothing and always got poorer. The...

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We are readers and writers slopping along in the same general aliveness, for the time being…

We are readers and writers slopping along in the same general aliveness, for the time being…

Prince was at the cusp of my unclenching. I’ll never be able to tell the story as long as people are still alive but I won’t tell a cover story either.

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Jessica Sequeira on Olga Olegovna Orlova

Jessica Sequeira on Olga Olegovna Orlova

The phrase from soup to nuts actually comes from a Latin phrase “from the egg to the apples” (“ab ovo usque ad mala”).

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