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

Enchanting All

Enchanting All

The Weird Sisters, Henry Fuseli, 1783 From The Threepenny Review: The haggard sisters’ brew in Macbeth would have remained a ghastly soup had they not chanted over it, and made “the charm firm and good” with their tripping rhyming curses. Spells can be cast by various means, foul and...

Read More

David Palumbo-Liu on Chinua Achebe

David Palumbo-Liu on Chinua Achebe

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe replied, “Listen, just listen.” I would like to add that there is listening, and there is listening.

Read More

Elias Tezapsidis on Grant Maierhofer

Elias Tezapsidis on Grant Maierhofer

The notion of an art world devoid of dark subjects is dangerous: it would construct a dishonestly escapist field. To attempt isolating sinister themes would be disastrous, because art needs them to continue being a catalyst for meaningful discourse. The tediousness of depression is perhaps inherent in the creative...

Read More

The Stand by Legacy Russell

The Stand by Legacy Russell

In this final apology, the figure of the wife is removed from the frame entirely. With Abedin absent and therefore invisible, Congressman Weiner takes on a sort of ventriloquism, speaking on the behalf of his partner. Here, Weiner assumes the role of both husband and wife, performing his own...

Read More

The Russell Doctrine

The Russell Doctrine

The Fight For The Standard, Richard Ansdell, 1847 by Bertrand Russell I. The principle that it is always wrong to employ force against another human being has been held in its extreme form by Quakersand by Tolstoï, but has been rejected by the great majority of mankind as inconsistent...

Read More

Adam Staley Groves: Fight Night!

Adam Staley Groves: Fight Night!

Tonight, Marcos “El Chino” Maidana (35-3) will fight Floyd “Money” Mayweather Jr. (45-0) to unify the WBC and WBA Welterweight titles. The event promises drama given Maidana’s December 2013 victory over Mayweather’s protégé Adrian Broner (27-1). Dedicated boxing fans are right to consider Mayweather’s redemption for “little brother” Broner...

Read More

Radical Love

Radical Love

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s desires. Hence why Žižek (who I normally can’t stand) warned, “Don’t be afraid to really want what you desire” at an Occupy Wall Street rally...

Read More

Koizumi Yakumo

Koizumi Yakumo

How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story of Lafcadio Hearn, whose life was global, bi-racial, and multicultural a century before these concepts became fashionable. Without knowing it, Hearn turned himself into a...

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