Berfrois

Literary Schemes

Literary Schemes

“Mystery, humor, romance, realism, risquéness—nothing is barred.” In 1915, Blue Moon, a new magazine, sought submissions from unpublished writers. They already had two stories from “a new and original humorist” whom the editor, Alexander Jessup, had “discovered laying tin roofs in a village in central Indiana.”

Read More

Change the Moral Climate

Change the Moral Climate

The U.S. now has two coal-burning power plants that avoid dumping carbon dioxide into the air.

Read More

Beloved Toni Morrison

Beloved Toni Morrison

What I cherish most about Toni Morrison’s work is the way that she used the English language: to its fullest, across its entire range.

Read More

A Catalogue of Sins in the 20th Century

A Catalogue of Sins in the 20th Century

As a citizen in North America, I have done these things unthinkingly in many cases and knowingly in others, but still I have committed these sins and continue to commit them.

Read More

What binds Hongkongers?

What binds Hongkongers?

What binds Hongkongers as a human collective to speak truth to power? Generations have experienced Hong Kong as a land of opportunities and refuge.

Read More

Kashmir Cut Off

Kashmir Cut Off

In an unsettled world, amid violent wars and imperial occupations, with all norms ruthlessly cast aside, did Kashmir really have a chance to be free?

Read More

After the Revolution

After the Revolution

If I could walk, I would go to the streets again”, Muna*, a 25-year-old Sudanese protester, told me over the phone recently. She was shot and severely injured by the army...

Read More

How to Party Like an Existentialist

How to Party Like an Existentialist

Existentialism has a reputation for being angst-ridden and gloomy mostly because of its emphasis on pondering the meaninglessness of existence, but two of the best-known existentialists knew how to have fun in the face of absurdity.

Read More

Eric D. Lehman: Art Below Sea Level

Eric D. Lehman: Art Below Sea Level

Whoever decided to keep the most art per square mile anywhere in the world below sea level had a singular faith in human civilization...

Read More

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #8

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #8

In Kwon’s novel, this line is overheard by Will as he observes the young woman of his obsession—Phoebe—drift slowly into the orbit of cultist John Leal.

Read More

Triple Bluffs by Jessica Sequeira

Triple Bluffs by Jessica Sequeira

Two books about solitary poets travelling the Mediterranean and writing poems came my way within a relatively short period of time; it made sense to treat them within the same space.

Read More

Bumbling Brexit

Bumbling Brexit

In his only novel, Seventy-Two Virgins, published in 2004, Boris Johnson uses a strange word. The hero, like Johnson himself at the time, is a backbench Conservative member of the House of Commons.

Read More

Ed Simon: The Final Sentence

Ed Simon: The Final Sentence

Narrative is a strange thing, that little circumscribed universe bound between the covers of a book. Unlike life, a novel actually draws to a close.

Read More

Britain after Brexit

Britain after Brexit

"Britain has no leverage, Britain is desperate … it needs an agreement very soon. When you have a desperate partner, that’s when you strike the hardest bargain.” So warned former US treasury secretary Larry Summers...

Read More

Exhausting concepts

Exhausting concepts

Despite its philosophical underpinnings, Pascal Chabot’s treatise Global Burnout broadly overlaps with Petersen’s article: ‘Burnout is a disease of civilization’...

Read More

What Goodness Knows

What Goodness Knows

Central to Ed Simon’s 100 page immersion in goodness is a discussion of Judas, who betrayed Jesus. It’s a little forced, but the idea is that without the betrayal, Jesus can’t save the world.

Read More

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #7

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #7

"If you’re too loyal to your own suffering, you forget that others suffer, too." This is spoken comes during a dinner in Brussels with Dr. Maillotte...

Read More

Jessica Sequeira Interviews H.S. Shivaprakash

Jessica Sequeira Interviews H.S. Shivaprakash

H.S. Shivaprakash (Hulkuntemath Shivamurthy Sastri Shivaprakash) is a poet, playwright and translator who writes in the Kannada language.

Read More

Debating the Debates

Debating the Debates

Former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm sighed after the second group of 10 Democratic presidential candidates finished the second night of the the second round of the exercises that the Democratic National Committee refers to as “debates.”

Read More