Berfrois

Disruption, Disrupted

Disruption, Disrupted

WeWork was the latest and greatest “unicorn,” a massive disrupter to the commercial real estate industry, for whom the sky was literally the limit.

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Ed Simon: Still Nervous about Harold Bloom

Ed Simon: Still Nervous about Harold Bloom

We come to bury Harold Bloom, not to praise him. The misinterpretations, reactionary poses, and grandiose sentiments too often live after our seemingly once-omnipotent critics pass...

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Adventure Is In Here!

Adventure Is In Here!

You materialize at a sprawling ranch near a snowcapped mountain covered with freshly powdered pines. Three horses graze nearby behind a purplish wooden fence.

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Substrata of Substratum

Substrata of Substratum

The title of Lee Smolin’s new book may seem a little puzzling, given that Albert Einstein notoriously chose to disregard quantum mechanics rather than suggesting an alternative to it.

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Portrait of a Londoner

Portrait of a Londoner

Nobody can be said to know London who does not know one true cockney - who cannot turn down a side street, away from the shops and the theatres, and knock at a private door in a street of private houses.

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Voters had tired of her imperial style…

Voters had tired of her imperial style…

In 1991, less than a year after Tory MPs deposed her as party leader and prime minister, Margaret Thatcher appeared on the platform at the Conservatives’ annual conference with her successor...

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Popular Music and Everyday Resistance in WWII

Popular Music and Everyday Resistance in WWII

In the 1940s, the French faced a series of threats to their national integrity and pride—first from the Germans and then from the Americans, who both wielded military dominance and a powerful cultural model.

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Janky Machines

Janky Machines

We live in machines but are not machines. Restless forms imagine new presents, where past and future meet. As becoming-digital beings, we retain and engage the problem of embodiment...

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“my right arm hurts so much”

“my right arm hurts so much”

Last summer, I woke up one morning to find my right hand couldn’t grab the doorknob to turn it open. The next thing I knew was that no matter how many times I shook it, it remained numb.

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M. Munro: Making It Explicit

M. Munro: Making It Explicit

One of Kafka’s posthumously published fragments concerns a philosopher whose sole activity, as a philosopher, consists in giving chase to a child’s toy.

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Jessica Sequeira: Gloss on a Betel Nut

Jessica Sequeira: Gloss on a Betel Nut

Fodder: cows and horses eat the stuff, dried hay or straw, but what is it exactly? A beige substance to be consumed and excreted, a material to be burnt, pure fuel.

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Privileging Fleabag

Privileging Fleabag

When a young woman’s cultural output becomes critically admired and held up as representative of other, maybe all, young women, she becomes a shorthand...

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Medha Singh on Octavio Paz

Medha Singh on Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz grants himself the permission to write long poems, and in doing so he grants it to all the imitators he knows his work will engender.

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Katharine Coldiron Interviews Christopher Higgs

Katharine Coldiron Interviews Christopher Higgs

I saw Christopher Higgs at an English department event before I had a class with him, and I thought he looked like a homeless hipster. His hair stood on end...

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Ed Simon: Breaking the Third Commandment

Ed Simon: Breaking the Third Commandment

What exactly does it mean that the Bible has a story where the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Creator of the universe gets into a wrestling match...

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Genia Blum: Slaves of Dance

Genia Blum: Slaves of Dance

My mother fled Lviv at the end of the Second World War. She met my father in a displaced persons’ camp in Austria; they married and immigrated to Canada.

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Wright From the Bottle

Wright From the Bottle

The decades of near-silence that came in the wake of Charles Wright’s trilogy of short novels seem almost as aberrant and disquieting as the novels themselves.

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Ergodicity Economics

Ergodicity Economics

The principles of economics form the intellectual atmosphere in which most political discussion takes place. Its prevailing ideas are often invoked to justify the organisation of modern society...

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Cavafy wrote his poetry here…

Cavafy wrote his poetry here…

I arrived in Istanbul with the hope of solving a literary mystery. Like many readers before me, I wanted to locate the house where Cavafy had lived...

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