Berfrois

Reflections of a DFW Guy

Reflections of a DFW Guy

It is not the fashion in literary assessment to admit that we might have thought differently about a book if we’d read it at another time — older or younger, maybe next week instead of last week.

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Idol Landlords

Idol Landlords

Hindu gods are in a litigious mood these days. Following the struggle by Ram Lalla—the Hindu deity’s infant form—to lay claim to the 2.77 acres of land where the Babri Masjid once stood

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Remembering Uri Avnery

Remembering Uri Avnery

In some ways, Avnery – as the name he chose implies – is emblematic of the Zionist story. At the age of 15, as an admirer of the revisionist Zionist leader Jabotinsky...

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Erica X Eisen: Paint It Black

Erica X Eisen: Paint It Black

Possibly because the current global political landscape resembles less a plausible point on the universe’s long arc towards justice than the dread outcome of a Koch brothers blood-pact with the Lord of the Flies...

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Tinkering with Media and Fiction

Tinkering with Media and Fiction

According to George Slusser, science fiction is "the sole literary form that examines the ways in which science penetrates, alters, and transforms the themes, forms, and worldview of fiction"...

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Foucault, the Drowned and the Saved

Foucault, the Drowned and the Saved

Foucault would have wanted 'very important people of the world' to refer to the refugees, not himself...

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Ed Simon: Last Five Observations about the Moment

Ed Simon: Last Five Observations about the Moment

Panther Hollow hasn’t seen any panthers since the 19th Century. As Oakland increasingly became a cultural waystation ...

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Labour and Anti-Semitism

Labour and Anti-Semitism

It is surreal for the Labour Party to be tearing itself apart over quasi-theological questions about which clauses from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism it will adopt and which it won’t.

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David Beer: Grasping at Upheaval

David Beer: Grasping at Upheaval

In their uncertain but foreboding style, the Jesus and Mary Chain once sang of how heaven is too close to hell. It’s not entirely clear what they were inferring, but it remains an intriguing image.

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All Day Twitter

All Day Twitter

What is it about social media that’s so depressing? I’m asking for myself. And I mean beyond the obvious: that much of the imagery and information presented there accelerates suffering and despair...

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Auerbach’s Simplicity

Auerbach’s Simplicity

"A good writer must write in such a way that one infers from the text what he intended to express. That is not easy.” So declared Erich Auerbach...

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Set the World on Fire

Set the World on Fire

In 1937, the black nationalist activist Celia Jane Allen packed her bags and headed from Chicago to Mississippi. Working for the Peace Movement of Ethiopia (PME), she traveled against the tide of the Great Migration with the specific aim of promoting black emigration to West Africa...

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Planesgamers

Planesgamers

In his youth, Richard Garfield, the mathematician who created Magic: The Gathering, liked to play and invent games. Before his family settled in Oregon, in the mid-seventies...

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‘Her desire to break into prestigious New York magazines’

‘Her desire to break into prestigious New York magazines’

Although millennials are most often compared to baby boomers, the generation with which they’re locked in economic and Oedipal struggle...

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Genia Blum: Ten Questions

Genia Blum: Ten Questions

Did your classy overcoat make me think you were a doctor, or a lawyer, or a dentist like my father?

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Sumana Roy: On Greatness and Uselessness

Sumana Roy: On Greatness and Uselessness

I was carrying a copy of the Bengali poet Binoy Majumdar’s Hashpatal Thhekey Lekha Kobitaguchho (Poems Written from Hospital) with me...

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Eric D. Lehman: The Next Thirty Years War

Eric D. Lehman: The Next Thirty Years War

It is a time of great unrest in Europe. A large portion of the population is connected by a loose confederation, which threatens to fall apart at any moment. This unstable situation is made worse by false news flooding the continent...

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Uncritical Practice

Uncritical Practice

A broader window into the corner of academia that is “theory” is provided by the defenders of Ronell. In May, some 50 prominent academics signed a pro-Ronell letter that was sent privately to NYU’s president and its provost.

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