Berfrois

David Beer: Broadcastwerk

David Beer: Broadcastwerk

Writing at sometime around 1930 or 1931, Walter Benjamin suggested that the voice on the radio is a like a visitor in the home, as such it is “assessed just as quickly and sharply” as any other houseguest.

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Pinsky on Hayden

Pinsky on Hayden

Poetry is not the same as mere eloquence or high language. That’s a truism. The stock modernist examples demonstrating it include William Carlos Williams’ “This is just to say.” In a related way, Marianne Moore clearly enjoys saying, in the first line of her “Poetry,” “there are things that...

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Adam Staley Groves: Warlike Reality

Adam Staley Groves: Warlike Reality

You may say the essence of privilege is to deny its existence, yet there are people in this world who seek to move beyond such a simple rationale or logic of existence.

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Michael Munro on Spinoza

Michael Munro on Spinoza

Immanence is not philosophy, nor philosophy immanence. But there is in the passage from one to the other a modification of sense that is not without significance. It is perhaps for that reason that the two formulas are best read together. At the point of vertigo.

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Lauren Berlant flies

Lauren Berlant flies

Most of the writing we do is actually a performance of stuckness. It is a record of where we got stuck on a question for long enough to do some research and write out the whole knot until the original passion and curiosity that made us want to try...

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From Dugin to Putin

From Dugin to Putin

I have been reading Aleksandr Dugin's Foundations of Geopolitics (Russia's Geopolitical Future), and translating bits as I go. This 1997 work is widely appreciated among Russian military and foreign-policy elites, and while there is broad official denial many believe that Dugin has a more or less direct line to...

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Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

Rose Barnsley: Young, Gifted and Žižekian

Photograph by UnB Agência by Rose Barnsley These squares are outwardly similar to existing squares and yet we have never seen them…we are in an immense previously inconceivable world. —Paul Eluard on de Chirico’s The Uncertainty of the Poet At nineteen, it is easy to think that all you’re...

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All About the Benjamin

All About the Benjamin

by Nitzan Lebovic Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, by Howard Eiland and Michael E. Jennings, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 755 pp. Working with Walter Benjamin: Recovering a Political Philosophy, by Andrew Benjamin, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 272 pp.. Walter Benjamin’s name is known for several reasons. He is known...

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Stuart Elden: Confessio

Stuart Elden: Confessio

Foucault promised various books on the relation between power, subjectivity and truth in his career. In the first volume of the History of Sexuality, published in 1976, he said that it would be followed by a series of five books, of which the first was under the title La...

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We might reflect on the ambiguity manifested in bisexuality…

We might reflect on the ambiguity manifested in bisexuality…

The prevailing attitude in political and journalistic circles is to cling onto this widely-held belief, rooted in the philosophical and social systems of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, that individualism remains triumphant. Yet the plural person and emotional tribes – this is the reality we see all around us...

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Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

Jeremy Fernando on Tan Chui Mui

For, it is not as if films speak; nor are their filmmakers there—at the site where this alleged speaking to, speech, takes place — as one is watching the film. And even if one knows the filmmaker, even if one has watched the film because the filmmaker is a...

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An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

The Anatomy of the Brain, Explained in a Series of Engravings, Charles Bell, 1802. by Michael Munro There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous poiêtikos, al-‘aql al-fa‘‘āl). The few dense, cryptic sentences...

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Heidegger’s Little Black Books

Heidegger’s Little Black Books

For Heidegger the “inner truth and greatness” of the Nazi movement lay in “the encounter between global technology and modern humanity” (a specification he secretly added to a 1935 lecture when it was published in 1953). These are not the words of a brutal realist

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There is nothing that costs less to acquire than the name of philosophe…

There is nothing that costs less to acquire than the name of philosophe…

The professional conception of ‘philosopher’ in the early-21st-century United States bears an interesting comparison to the figure of the ‘philosophe’ in 18th-century France. As is well-known, the philosophes, like most current members in good standing of the APA, were often seen from the outside as not really being philosophers...

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Abercrombie & Pinch?

Abercrombie & Pinch?

The superstar of left critical theory, Slavoj Žižek, faces allegations of lifting passages from a white supremacist magazine. The history of Zizek’s “fraudulences”, both real and imagined, is rooted in the anxiety of the romantic Left itself.

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Claudia Landolfi on Ubaldo Fadini

Claudia Landolfi on Ubaldo Fadini

In recent years there has been great attention paid to the so-called Italian theory in the field of political philosophy. This definition has brought to the fore Italian thinking, but at the same time also covers many reflections of the past several decades, by creating a category easily disclosable...

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Discourse on the Modern

Discourse on the Modern

If philosophy questions everything, surely it must also question the periodization of its own history. Professional historians themselves tend to agree that the imposition of periods on the past –premodern, Renaissance, early modern, and so on-- is always to some degree arbitrary, even if it is also impossible to...

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Logan K. Young on The Replacements

I, myself, was barely six months old when Twin/Tone put out The Mats’ Let It Be. The day, they say, was Orwellian: Tuesday, October...

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Tyranny Is a Growth Industry by Vladimir Savich and Zachary Bos

Tyranny is a growth industry. Each day brings exciting new developments. These events imprint themselves upon the world in the form of newspapers, magazines,...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says...

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can...

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Henry Giardina on Bob Hope

All mythical creatures need an origin story. The Bob Hope character springs into being, Athena-like, from out of the head of Preston Sturges in...

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Mattilda B. Sycamore: Yearning From Spurning

One problem with gentrification is that it always gets worse. But then I go into a Hooters, and it’s a vintage clothing store. A...

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Alexander McGregor
Alexander McGregor: Trauma

Following World War II, the German philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote, “Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”: to write poetry after Auschwitz is...

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John Crutchfield: Chords

But music, even bad music, is a symptom of hope, is it not? Naturally one would prefer the music to be good, but any...

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Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the...

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Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

I don't know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it's a hystericized — and therefore...

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Albert Rolls: Which (Side) Are You On, Man?

James Parker begins his review of Inherent Vice with the quip, “If Thomas Pynchon were a stand-up comedian, and Inherent Vice his newest routine,...

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Keith Doubt
Keith Doubt on Serbia

The intellectual integrity of cultural anthropology is based largely on its commitment to cultural relativism as a principled notion. Cultural relativism is the principle...

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A Gosse in Woolf’s Clothing by Andre Gerard

On May 31, two weeks after his death, and the day before Orlando was sent to the printer, Woolf noted his death as follows:...

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Andrew Gallix: Let’s Go!

Retro-futurism, as we now call it, came out of the closet in the late '70s due to the widespread feeling that there was indeed...

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