Berfrois

Writing Differently

Writing Differently

Danilo Kiš famously observed that the western bracketing of Balkan literature as narrowly ‘political’ rested on a set of mutually reinforcing stereotypes.

Read More

Trauma in Motherwell

Trauma in Motherwell

John and Winifred met, and had their miscegenated, crossborder romance, because of the war. Without the war, I was always told, I wouldn’t have existed.

Read More

2020 Public Funding for Berfrois

2020 Public Funding for Berfrois

Help keep Berfrois publicly funded and advertisement free.

Read More

Role-Models of Humility

Role-Models of Humility

‘The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.’ This phenomenon – observed in the 1930s by the English philosopher Bertrand Russell – has a technical name...

Read More

Jessica Sequeira: A Wager with Nectar

Jessica Sequeira: A Wager with Nectar

You can get a sense of the tone of this book before even opening it. The title, a dizzy mirror and paradoxical double, casts into doubt fixed ideas of both “India” and “translation”...

Read More

Elias Tezapsidis: Bergolo Disconnection

Elias Tezapsidis: Bergolo Disconnection

The healthiest way to have dealt with being rejected (or “not having received”) the Erasmus Mundus scholarship from the European Commission is something close to my current plan...

Read More

Work Is Work

Work Is Work

Why do we work? Many of us might give a simple transactional answer to the question: we work in order to make money. For the American psychologist Abraham Maslow

Read More

Sparking a Fever for Botanical Knowledge

Sparking a Fever for Botanical Knowledge

Mimosa pudica. Image via Wikimedia Commons From Lapham’s Quarterly: Sometime around the late eighteenth century, the French botanist René-Louiche Desfontaines took a plant on an outing around Paris in a horse-drawn carriage. At the time, botany was just emerging as an independent science separate from medicine and herbalism. Desfontaines, who’d...

Read More

Suffering and Soul

Suffering and Soul

I’m a Christian and may be a Nietzschean. Not the whole overwrought overman stuff, and not the conflation of pity and weakness.

Read More

A loss in the vocabulary of attention…

A loss in the vocabulary of attention…

I am 18 years old. It’s the first week of college. I’m sitting in the third row. The classroom is overflowing — students are spilling out of benches, their voices bigger than their bodies — when the professor walks in.

Read More

Click. Or don’t. Your call.

Click. Or don’t. Your call.

A growing chorus says that science has shown free will to be an illusion. But it actually has offered arguments in its favor.

Read More

The Sea’s Breathin: Medha Singh Interviews Gregory Leadbetter

The Sea’s Breathin: Medha Singh Interviews Gregory Leadbetter

I first met Gregory Leadbetter in Trivandrum, in its notorious, sweltering heat. Curiously enough, I'd been placed in a couple of panels on love and feminism...

Read More

Tragic FM

Tragic FM

Stormzy’s love of Magic is sincere and profound – and sometimes it cannot be contained. A year earlier, at the Mercury prize...

Read More

Cacophonous cross talk that’s only seen when there’s no real news to report…

Cacophonous cross talk that’s only seen when there’s no real news to report…

A third-party app the party had deployed to count and transmit votes, apparently without adequately training precinct chairs in its use...

Read More

Elias Tezapsidis: Athenian Getaway

Elias Tezapsidis: Athenian Getaway

There is a certain beauty in personal disappointment, that is the disappointment we feel liable for ourselves. Knowing that if you miss a goal

Read More

Track 99

Track 99

Holding down the fast forward button on your CD player, eventually the sound of a mysterious hidden track would rush by. An all-too-quick blur of noise. Then you'd have to skip back a bit to get to the start of the song.

Read More

Dealing With Book Deals

Dealing With Book Deals

As my own publicist, I researched book contests and entered a couple, because that was all I could afford. Small presses often don’t have print galleys to offer six months prior to publication...

Read More

The Salvors! In an Adventure With Marine Archaeologists!

The Salvors! In an Adventure With Marine Archaeologists!

In May 2016, a salvor named Bobby Pritchett, president of Global Marine Exploration (GME) in Tampa, Florida, announced that he had discovered scattered remains of a ship buried a kilometer off Cape Canaveral

Read More

That’s the Real Quiz

That’s the Real Quiz

Last March, when I went to Las Vegas for the very first time, I made sure to pack pens and paper. I knew we would need the supplies.

Read More