Berfrois

March 2013

A Litter From Vladimir Dixon

A Litter From Vladimir Dixon

Dear Mister Germ's Choice, in gutter dispear I am taking my pen toilet you know that, being Leyde up in bad with the prewailent distemper (I opened the window and in flew Enza), I have been reeding one half ter one other the numboars of "transition" in witch are printed...

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Russell Bennetts: Jarredhead

Russell Bennetts: Jarredhead

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal at the 85th Academy Awards; screengrabs by X by Russell Bennetts 1. John Barrowman. 2. All-too pertinent news clips are shown in the background of two discussion scenes. 3. Music I listen to for pleasure being used for pain. (I know this happened IRL,...

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Technical Estrangement

Technical Estrangement

Implicit in the Google view is the idea that our consciousness itself is no longer capable of attending to thought, communication, and reflection without technical assistance. In the same year, the Ars Industrialis group declared in their Manifesto that we must “struggle against carelessness , against the destruction of...

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Smiling Moon

Smiling Moon

Le voyage dans la lune, en plein dans l’oeil!!, Georges Méliès, 1902 From Poetry: Schnackenberg’s best poems play form against theme, to the point of subverting form altogether. They are virtuoso creations that mock their own virtuosity, exposing the hollowness beneath the dazzle. They remind us that even in...

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Mind Out

Mind Out

Kurzweil has honors from three US presidents (so says Wikipedia) and was the “principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner” and other useful devices, as well as receiving many other entrepreneurial awards. He is clearly a man of many parts—but is ultimate theoretician of the mind one of...

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Always to be Blest

Always to be Blest

by Justin E. H. Smith I’ve been reading Thomas de Quincey’s 1827 essay, The Last Days of Immanuel Kant, which is really little more than a massively long quotation, in English translation, of Ehregott Andreas Wasianski’s 1804 work, Immanuel Kant in seinen letzten Lebensjahren. In fact, Wasianski’s entire work is cited, after a few...

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Kant’s Last Days

Kant’s Last Days

Death mask of Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottfried Schadow, 1804 by Thomas De Quincey I take it for granted that every person of education will acknowledge some interest in the personal history of Immanuel Kant. A great man, though in an unpopular path, must always be an object of liberal...

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‘Perfectly comfortable to live in when the hour means idleness’

‘Perfectly comfortable to live in when the hour means idleness’

Mrs. Schuyler Van Rensselaer (Mariana Griswold), Augustus Saint Gaudens, 1888 From The Design Observer: Many of Van Rensselaer’s essays focus on country houses, and can be read as offering a counter-narrative to the better-known contemporaneous essays on high-rise architecture by Louis Sullivan and Montgomery Schuyler.  In his seminal “The...

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The United States has always had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce…

The United States has always had an intimate relationship with clandestine commerce…

In the years before the American War of Independence, Colonial merchants were leading players in the Atlantic smuggling economy, most notably in the illegal importation of molasses from the West Indies for distilleries in New England.

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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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