Berfrois

February 2013

Clara Rockmore’s Theremin by Shane Jesse Christmass

Clara Rockmore’s Theremin by Shane Jesse Christmass

Take one look at Clara Rockmore, what do you see? Massive piled-upon Beehive, frail hands, but it is the eyes, and the eyes are fixed upon one predetermined point in the universe, a single ligature, like a somnambulist cheating in someone’s dressing room.

Read More

Maryann Corbett on Alan Sullivan

Maryann Corbett on Alan Sullivan

It was jarring to realize it, but there it was: I nearly wished evil on someone. Alan Sullivan’s cancer was starting to close in on him, and I should have been sobered. But what I felt was startlingly close to Schadenfreude. Admittedly, I was lurking on the outskirts of...

Read More

A Day for Gifts

A Day for Gifts

Adam and Eve, Sara Chong by Jeremy Fernando … love is much more than love: love is something before love … — Clarice Lispector Almost without fail, on the fourteenth day of February, one is bound to hear numerous complaints from just about everyone (besides florists, perhaps even them)...

Read More

Flicks

Flicks

A friend of mine in his mid-twenties is a Film Studies graduate, and like a typical old person – both somewhat right and very annoying – I’m always mentioning old movies to him, being surprised he hasn’t seen them, and pointing out earlier connections to films he has seen,...

Read More

Shaggy Hearts

Shaggy Hearts

Monsters University, Walt Disney Pictures, forthcoming 2013 by Eileen A. Joy This time it is not I who seek it out it is the element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me. A Latin word exists to designate this wound,...

Read More

An Adventure in Spanish

An Adventure in Spanish

‘Ernest Hemingway’, illustrated by Ralph Barton, from Vanity Fair, c.1927 by Gregory Jusdanis My adventure in Spanish started a couple of years ago with a promise I threw out to the audience at the Universidad de Cartagena. Feeling elated that so many students had come to my talk, I...

Read More

Wander and the Colossi by Jesse Miksic

Wander and the Colossi by Jesse Miksic

We are drowning in myths. Of course, I don't mean myths like primitive folk stories transcribed in anthropology textbooks, transmitted in a way that no shaman could have foreseen. Those myths are under glass, specimens preserved for our edification and amusement. Some commentators – like the great Claude Levi-Strauss...

Read More

How will it be with those dreams which take such dear reality upon themselves?

How will it be with those dreams which take such dear reality upon themselves?

Bust of James Clarence Mangan by Oliver Sheppard in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin by James Joyce ‘Memorial I would have… a constant presence with those that love me.’ It is many a day since the dispute of the classical and romantic schools began in the quiet city of the...

Read More

Mick Jagger says he’s acting…

Mick Jagger says he’s acting…

The new, old Rolling Stones film, “Charlie Is My Darling,” played at Portland’s Hollywood Theatre this past weekend, and we joined a mellow crowd of folks carrying beers and popcorn into the main auditorium, most of us probably able to claim that we had been raised on the Stones.

Read More

Eefing and Beatboxing

Eefing and Beatboxing

Hee Haw, CBS-TV, June 15, 1969 – September 19, 1992 by Justin E. H. Smith I mentioned recently that whenever I come back to the US (I’m writing from Chicago), I enjoy immersing myself in this country’s rich cultural history. This, for example: My friends imagined that I was...

Read More

Is communization theory a kind of political sideshow?

Is communization theory a kind of political sideshow?

Exit-communism is politically to the left of Badiou and Negri and the current debate on the Communist Idea. Although it draws on the same anti-statist and post-party connections as Badiou and Negri, its critique of political mediation is defined by an uncompromising non-identitary revolutionary politics.

Read More

A Letter From X

A Letter From X

The frame is blood-soaked by the invisible hand of the one who watches over the video. Detached from the flow of images that make up “Carmen,” the video frame serves as an omen revealing—for an instant—that this is not just another music video, but rather a horror film.

Read More

Legacy Russell: Do the Perp Walk

Legacy Russell: Do the Perp Walk

“Adam and Eve Driven Out of Paradise”, from The Story of the Bible by Charles Foster. Illustrations by F.B. Schell by Legacy Russell The cultural practice of the “perp walk” is a form of social performativity. The perp walk itself is not a performance, singular. Rather, it is a...

Read More

Silencing Irish

Silencing Irish

Galway bay. Photograph by Bhalash. by Patricia Palmer Anyone familiar with the story of language in Elizabethan Ireland can only feel impatience – if not despair – at the latter-day triumphalism of works like Melvyn Bragg’s best-selling The Adventure of English. I One late-September night, I was having a...

Read More

Bobbi Lurie on Homeland

Bobbi Lurie on Homeland

Homeland is an inside look into who is keeping America safe from terrorist attacks. Answer: it’s a 33 year-old woman named Carrie, whose sex life is under surveillance. Carrie, played by Claire Danes, was 21 when 9/11 happened. For some inexplicable reason, she can’t forgive herself for not preventing...

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
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...

Read More