Berfrois

May 2014

  • B. Alexandra Szerlip: Dream Train

    May 2014 Highlights

    B. Alexandra Szerlip: Dream Train

    Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware of the Mexicans in their midst. The popularity of so-called Mexican food (fajitas, burritos, chili and nachos, like Chinese fortune cookies, are north-of-the-border inventions) dates from the 1950s.

    Read More
  • Lauren Berlant’s Love Theory

    May 2014 Highlights

    Lauren Berlant’s Love Theory

    Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is affected by distortion and delay, and that the telephone as technological apparatus not so much adds to these inherent obstructions as it stands model for them.

    Read More

Advertising Isn’t Free

Advertising Isn’t Free

Photograph by L. From Literary Review: Technology has no morality but merely reflects the human values we require of it – so the current system reflects the values of those Silicon Valley businessmen who built and benefit most from it. Pushing past the clouds of airy democratising rhetoric, she...

Read More

John Beckman: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Americans!

John Beckman: The Pirates! In an Adventure with Americans!

Blackbeard in Smoke and Flames, Frank E. Schoonover, 1922 by John Beckman While writing an early draft of my recent book, American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt, I became impatient with the Northeastern cultural glacier that stretched between the wild party that was 1620s Merry Mount and obstreperous...

Read More

Aye?

Aye?

Music Hall Buildings, Aberdeen, 1885 From Radical Philosophy: For socialists the question is about whether or not independence strengthens the working class. But the working class with which we should be concerned is not only British, still less only Scottish, but international. Furthermore, the question cannot be posed in...

Read More

Dead Thought-Forms Talk

Dead Thought-Forms Talk

“The music of Mendelssohn” by Benjamin Breen Piece originally posted at The Public Domain Review. “I have always considered myself a voice of what I believe to be a greater renaissance — the revolt of the soul against the intellect — now beginning in the world,” wrote William Butler...

Read More

The Blackness by Jenny Diski

The Blackness by Jenny Diski

It’s spring again. I know that because the frogs are furiously at it in the pond and the faintest of greens is appearing on the birch tree. There’s even a hint of sun after the Cambridge morning mist has passed. Why am I sunk in gloom, barely able to...

Read More

Liberating Angels by Justin E. H. Smith

Liberating Angels by Justin E. H. Smith

The Good and Evil Angels, William Blake, c.1805 by Justin E. H. Smith God, on a certain widespread understanding, is an imaginary friend for the childish and simpleminded. Those so accused will often defend themselves: but I don’t mean a white-bearded old-man God. I just mean, you know, something. A...

Read More

Woolf on De Quincey

Woolf on De Quincey

It must often strike the reader that very little criticism worthy of being called so has been written in English of prose — our great critics have given the best of their minds to poetry. And the reason perhaps why prose so seldom calls out the higher faculties of...

Read More

Victoria Brockmeier: Captain Planet

Victoria Brockmeier: Captain Planet

Early in Matthew Cooperman and Marius Lehene’s collaborative masterpiece, Imago for the Fallen World, we’re told that “a fresh look and a fierce listen induce a lump in the throat.” (11) Certainly the case when the object of one’s attention is a work like this one. The book’s substantial...

Read More

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: No Stopping

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: No Stopping

This Saturday, in the streaming rain, the Albanian LGBT community successfully held several events to mark the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Like in 2012 and 2013, there was the Tirana Gay Ride, a "pride on bikes," which this year for the first time passed without any incident,...

Read More

70-Minute Mark by Nicholas Rombes et al.

70-Minute Mark by Nicholas Rombes et al.

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered anyway, not always as pristine HD, but sometimes smudged and tangled up with our variances of mood. In The Pleasure of the Text, Roland Barthes...

Read More

Bobbi Lurie and Marcel Duchamp on Lena Dunham’s Girls

Bobbi Lurie and Marcel Duchamp on Lena Dunham’s Girls

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing in the way of sustenance from this earthly realm. But the man behind the cracked glass of the restaurant, the same Marcel Duchamp I knew from...

Read More

You may say Rauan Klassnik’s a dreamer…

You may say Rauan Klassnik’s a dreamer…

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from us, flanked by a couple of tough, angry looking lawyers. Ron looks absolutely soulless.

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