Berfrois

October 2013

Nicholas Rombes on Lou Reed

Nicholas Rombes on Lou Reed

This is not another obituary, another retrospective, another "Lou Reed's songs were the soundtrack to my life" essay. It is instead an attempt to find, in the small, quiet pockets of air in Lou Reed's 1975 album Metal Machine Music trace elements of the less obvious ingredients that made...

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“Übersetzung” and “Übersetzen”

“Übersetzung” and “Übersetzen”

The German dramatist Gerhart Hauptmann (1862-1946) wrote his first drama Vor Sonnenaufgang at the age of 27. Hauptmann, though living in the small town of Erkner, a couple of miles southeast from Berlin, was in lively exchange with the newly established Berliner naturalistic group “Durch” (Engl.: “Through” or “By”)....

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Jenny Diski: August in Cambridge

Jenny Diski: August in Cambridge

Cambridge Market Square. Photograph by inkelv1122 by Jenny Diski August is the worst month to be living in Cambridge. It’s quite a small town, with a population of about 120,000, very small compared to Gothenburg with 510,000 inhabitants. It has local areas, but the centre is a functioning part...

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The Gaze Drifts

The Gaze Drifts

by R. H. Jackson This piece, included in the drift special issue of continent., was created as one step in a thread of inquiry. While each of the contributions to drift stand on their own, the project was an attempt to follow a line of theoretical inquiry as it...

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There was nothing remotely tame about Mallarmé’s approach to publishing…

There was nothing remotely tame about Mallarmé’s approach to publishing…

Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé, Édouard Manet, 1876 From Humanities: French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé lived in culturally unsettled times. Bicycle riding had become fashionable, newspaper reading was up, and the book trade was undergoing a crisis of identity. But all this was logs to the fire for Mallarmé, who...

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Elias Tezapsidis on DMX

Elias Tezapsidis on DMX

The rapper DMX is famous for his infamy. Fame came to him through his trademark rapping style and emotionally staggering songwriting, letting him become the powerhouse that has had five consecutive No. 1 albums. Infamy came to him through his continuous trouble in abiding several legal frameworks and law-enforcing...

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Melissa Broder’s Universe

Melissa Broder’s Universe

sexting the abyss it may not be the coolest depression but it's mine the void got me turnt chromed out humanity w the cosmic loneliness interior

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Two Visual Tropes = Love by Masha Tupitsyn

Two Visual Tropes = Love by Masha Tupitsyn

Do we see (have) these kinds of moments of seeing in real life or do they happen only in camera space? In the fiction of movies. Is the face of the lover loving and seeing the lover restricted to mise-en-scène? Is the lover's face just another visual trope? Two...

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‘40-‘47

‘40-‘47

Victor Serge From The New Left Review: 31 March 1941. People on the Ship. In search of a comfortable corner, the ‘economic emigrants’ have installed themselves between the central deck and the boiler room. Jews with money. Rent the crew’s cabins, stuff themselves, do deals with the personnel, keep...

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Bridget Alsdorf on Henri Fantin-Latour

Bridget Alsdorf on Henri Fantin-Latour

The term avant-garde simultaneously conjures images of renegade individuals and cooperative groups. As an adjective, it usually designates something experimental and ground-breaking, often describing the work of a singular, exceptional mind; while as a noun it refers to a zealous association, formed around a set of innovative ideas and...

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Here’s Us With the News

Here’s Us With the News

Another One Bites The Dust, Cory Arcangel, 2007 Thanking You Thanks to our incredibly generous 132 funders, Berfrois will continue publication. We have even raised enough to spruce things up around here. Cheers! Introducing Our New Editorial Team Our new senior editors are: Daniel Bosch Nicholas Rombes Legacy Russell...

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Youssef Rakha on Egypt

Youssef Rakha on Egypt

Two and a half years after the January 25, 2011 uprising, I’m with my friend Aboulliel in the room I still have at my parents’ house. We’re slurping Turkish coffee and dragging on Marlboros, absorbed in conversation, when suddenly it feels as if we’ve been on the same topic...

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Just Keep Driving

Just Keep Driving

Photograph by Krisztina Tordai From The American Scholar: The road was two-laned, the landscape dour, as gray as the skies. Belgrade was sophisticated, dense with promenaders, and large enough to confuse a driver. We had no idea where we were, and it was difficult to ask directions because of...

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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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