Berfrois

June 2013

Outclassed?

Outclassed?

Despite not employing much of the jargon, Stephen Schryer is resolutely Marxist - and not New Left or post - Marxist either, but the old-style, “primacy of class,” bourgeoisie vs. proletariat kind. His excellent first book, Fantasies of the New Class: Ideologies of Professionalism in Post-World War II American...

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Apples Explode

Apples Explode

James Salter speaking at Tulane University, New Orleans, 2010 From London Review of Books: It isn’t Salter’s language alone that numbers him among the masters, but it is what strikes you first. From Light Years of 1975: ‘On the stands in nearby orchards were hard, yellow apples filled with...

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Masha Tupitsyn: Made It

Masha Tupitsyn: Made It

The problem with fame, or any unanimous praise, is twofold: 1. You are saying exactly what everyone is ready to hear and you are doing exactly what everyone is ready to see. There is almost no tension between yes-no. Ready not ready.

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Daniel Bosch on William Pope.L

Daniel Bosch on William Pope.L

William Pope.L is famous for (among other things) carrying a business card that identifies him as “The Friendliest Black Artist in America.” It’s a clever gag because it makes itself true, in a way, every time it draws people closer. The card must be especially useful when Pope.L does...

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A Punk Controversy

A Punk Controversy

From music video “Big City Nights” for Da Funk, by Daft Punk, 1995. Directed by Spike Jonze by Enrique Lima It is nearly impossible for popular music to represent history. The historiographic imagination is beyond it, I think. Linearity, plot, and telos are too important to the telling of...

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A Strawberry Vestibule

A Strawberry Vestibule

I have just now fallen upon a darling literary curiosity. It is a little book, a manuscript compilation, and the compiler sent it to me with the request that I say whether I think it ought to be published or not. I said, Yes; but as I slowly grow...

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Rauan Klassnik: yr True Verdict

Rauan Klassnik: yr True Verdict

by Rauan Klassnik (written while watching Nancy Grace and her live coverage on CNN just before and after the Murder One verdict came down). I am not talking here about Jodi Arias’ obvious penchant for blood (or the way blood was splashed all over that bathroom and hallway as...

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Passed Times

Passed Times

The 1695 frontispiece to the manuscript pages which, in 1697, were to become the first edition of Perrault’s Histoires ou Contes du temps passé. On the door, behind the old woman telling the tales, is written “Contes de ma mère l’Oye”, Tales of Mother Goose, a subtitle which was...

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Who’s Gezi?

Who’s Gezi?

Turkey is living through remarkable days which will be long remembered. Many thousands of people have taken to the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and other big cities, braving the teargas liberally sprayed by riot-police. Their cause: the future of Turkish politics and society.

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Keith Doubt on Elizabeth Dauphinee

Keith Doubt on Elizabeth Dauphinee

Impressions from Serbia, Dragan Papić – Dr. Agan by Keith Doubt The Politics of Exile, by Elizabeth Dauphinee, Routledge, 224 pp. The subject of Elizabeth Dauphinee’s The Politics of Exile is a man who committed a war crime in Bosnia. Being a war criminal does not define who the man is, but...

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Whatever Fitz

Whatever Fitz

Baz Luhrmann adapts Fitzgerald and the result is pretty much as you might expect. There are no surprises here. You have a continual sense that you have seen this film before. That is largely because you have – if, that is, you happened to chance upon any of Luhrmann’s...

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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....

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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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