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.

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  • 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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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