Berfrois

November 2012

Show a Little Leg

Show a Little Leg

Drop Dead, Amie Dicke, 2007 From The Virginia Quarterly Review: My favorite definition of a feminist is one offered by Su, an Australian woman who, when interviewed for Kathy Bail’s 1996 anthology DIY Feminism, described them simply as “women who don’t want to be treated like shit.” This definition...

Read More

A Ferryman is What We Need by Daniel Bosch

A Ferryman is What We Need by Daniel Bosch

Charon the Ferryman, Jose Benlliure y Gil, 1919 by Daniel Bosch “Ferry,” the English noun and verb, is derived from the Old Norse “ferja,” to move across a body of water. “Ferry” is related to German “fahren,” to ride, or to travel, the sense of which includes duration. It...

Read More

When angst was in fashion, writing was angelic and crazy…

When angst was in fashion, writing was angelic and crazy…

‘All pens are filled with potential’. So begins an advertisement in the Guardian newspaper for its ‘new idea’. The paper is offering weekend masterclasses in creative writing and publishing, taught by novelists (‘discover the novelist within’), historical fiction writers (‘Historical novels have been riding high in the best-seller lists...

Read More

A Collision with the Scylla of Russell and the Charybdis of Wikipedia

A Collision with the Scylla of Russell and the Charybdis of Wikipedia

Odysseus in front of Scylla and Charybdis, Johann Heinrich Füssli, 1794-1796 by Justin E. H. Smith I may have mentioned already that I am in the beginning stages of a massively ambitious, multi-year project: I have been asked to write a very long, but not nearly long enough, book...

Read More

Fireside

Fireside

I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking — with the comparatively few who understand the mechanics of banking but more particularly with the overwhelming majority who use banks for the making of deposits and the drawing of checks.

Read More

Is context a “thing” at all?

Is context a “thing” at all?

Ms.B86 fol.55b Poem by Ibn Quzman by Vincent Barletta Focused as some of us are on medieval and early modern literature, the question of context comes up a great deal. Is our work sufficiently contextualized? Where and how do modern theories of language and meaning (our inevitable toolkit) fit...

Read More

5X Worse

5X Worse

From N+1: I’m sitting at home one day a few weeks later, early hours, bang, bang! Seven o’clock in the morning. I was just about to open it but they banged through. I was so calm, they were shouting so loud, all red in their faces, shouting at the...

Read More

Eli Evans: Spacefall

Eli Evans: Spacefall

On the morning that, due to wind (a light breeze, in any event), Felix Baumgartner – “Fearless” Felix, as he is known by his supporters – was forced to abort his plan to float up to the “edge of space” (actually 128,000 feet, which is officially well short of...

Read More

Adam Staley Groves: Large Cavity

Adam Staley Groves: Large Cavity

ronically or not it seems lost on those in the news business that information tends to standardize what is ‘diverse’ among us: the ability to question. Political media standardizes thinking capacity by the material it is composed of: speculative information based on polling data, based on nothing.

Read More

Shifting Winds

Shifting Winds

by Elvin Lim Everything is political at this time of the electoral calendar, so there is no use pretending that Hurricane Sandy will not have an effect on the presidential race. President Obama has been given a new life line. Forced to take politics out of his campaign, he...

Read More
Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

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

Read More
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...

Read More
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.

Read More
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....

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More