Berfrois

September 2011

Angus Cleghorn on Elizabeth Bishop’s Brazil

Angus Cleghorn on Elizabeth Bishop’s Brazil

Brazilian Landscape, Eizabeth Bishop by Angus Cleghorn After a decade in Brazil, Elizabeth Bishop was offered a $10,000 advance “to provide the text for the Life World Library Brazil, but famously disliked how the editors changed what she wrote” (Bishop: Poems, Prose & Letters viii) in the 1962 volume....

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Park Melodrama

Park Melodrama

Bird’s eye view of Central Park, New York, John Bachman, 1859 by Katy Layton-Jones Melodramatic Landscapes: Urban Parks in the Nineteenth Century, by Heath Massey Schenker, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 232 pp. At the end of a decade during which urban green space ascended the hierarchy of public and...

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As an antidote to Modernist despair, Les Murray recommended a dose of late nineteenth century Australian verse…

As an antidote to Modernist despair, Les Murray recommended a dose of late nineteenth century Australian verse…

Les Murray, David Naseby, 1995 From The New York Review of Books: The New American Poetry both captured and helped to create the spirit of the 1960s. In its first decade it sold a hundred thousand copies; in 1999—by which time half the young rebels it had announced were...

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Alan Montefiore: Jewish Identity

Alan Montefiore: Jewish Identity

Rabbi with Torah, Hyman Bloom, 1955 by Alan Montefiore The origins of A Philosophical Retrospective – Facts, Values and Jewish Identity lie in a much more ambitious project, one of looking back on all that I have written over the years on the topics which have been of most...

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“A” 1-24

“A” 1-24

Things, Boundlessly | by Justin Taylor

Poetry

The question of whether Zukofsky is truly neglected (and of whether said neglect has been just) is far less interesting than the simple fact that one can approach Zukofsky with a readerly freshness—an innocence, if...

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Markha Valenta on the Utøya island shooting

Markha Valenta on the Utøya island shooting

AUF Summer Camp on Utøya, 2010, photograph by Arbeidernes Ungdomsfylking (AUF)  by Markha Valenta However nuanced, it is striking how little extant interpretations attend to the fact that Breivik’s most grotesque violence was not directed at Muslims or immigrants as such but at the youth members of the Norwegian...

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Calvin Schermerhorn: Family and Freedom

Calvin Schermerhorn: Family and Freedom

After the Sale: Slaves Going South, Eyre Crowe, 1853 by Calvin Schermerhorn When enslaved Americans confronted the intensifying market economy of the nineteenth-century United States, they faced ominous changes and serious challenges.  If they lived in the coastal upper South – Delaware plus the eastern portions of Maryland, Virginia,...

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‘A blistered FDNY here, a melted AMBULANCE there’

‘A blistered FDNY here, a melted AMBULANCE there’

Photograph by Francesc Torres, from Memory Remains: 9/11 Artefacts at Hangar 17   From London Review of Books: Long resident in New York, the Catalan artist Francesc Torres was two blocks from the WTC when the first jet struck the north tower, and he witnessed the collapse of both buildings...

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Carolyn Bronstein: Feminism and Porn

Carolyn Bronstein: Feminism and Porn

Women’s First March Against Porn, Broadway and Columbus, 1977, photograph from San Francisco History Center, SF Public Library by Carolyn Bronstein Beginning in the mid-1970s, many American feminists viewed pornography (and its presumed causal relationship to violence against women) as the single greatest threat to female autonomy.  Ideological changes...

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Zonkers

Zonkers

When Kerouac Met Kesey | by Sterling Lord

The American Scholar

During his trip back to Oregon in 1963, Ken and his entourage began to think about what would become the Merry Pranksters’ bus trip to New York the following year...

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Jeremy Fernando: Not

A response — Bartleby’s response — foregrounding the fact that it is the “I” that “prefers not to”: not that ‘I cannot’ nor ‘I...

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Owen Vince on HARK

As a poet, you are your grandmother; you are browsing the obituaries with a red pen and an address book in your hand. The...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

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Collective Destruction by Keith Doubt

What, then, is sociocide? Sociocide resonates with the term demodernization formulated by A. V. Tishkov to account for the consequences of the war in...

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Heather Lang on Fiona Sampson and Sarah Morgan

Poet Fiona Sampson is a former career violinist, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, overt references to music appear in her work.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom....

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Joe Linker
Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping....

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Luc Moullet

To begin at the end: After nearly two hours exploring facets of exploitation in the globalized food system, Luc Moullet closes Genèse d’un repas/Origins...

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Adam Staley Groves: Iowa Nasty

Now it seems the state’s radical conservatives are degrading the historic, populist-provincial mentality of Iowa; they are revising the state’s legacy within the broader...

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Animal Spirits at the Nueva Burdalesa Bakery by Jessica Sequeira

A few years ago all I had was a certain ambition and an understanding, more or less, of how things work in this world....

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Sebastian Normandin
Meaning and Pseudoscience by Sebastian Normandin

The persistence and proliferation of pseudoscientific thinking in contemporary culture demands explanation. Clearly there are some pragmatic reasons for its expanded existence, and people...

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost....

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind...

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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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