Berfrois

September 2014

  • Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

    September 2014 Highlights

    Reality Principles: Berfrois Interviews Frank Smecker

    I don’t know if I ever wanted to become a theorist. I struggle with this position. For me, it’s a hystericized — and therefore neurotic — position, through and through. I’m sometimes repulsed by my own behavior; I hate theorizing because I can’t stop doing it. It’s lunacy. I question too much, I always have, and I’m often too hasty with it all.

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  • Jesse Miksic on Dark Souls II

    September 2014 Highlights

    Jesse Miksic on Dark Souls II

    Is Dark Souls II the crowning rebirth of Gothic Romance for the digital age? I’m being dramatic, I realize. The spirit of Gothic has permeated our literary landscape so deeply, influencing so many genres and movements, that it would be unfair to single out any particular artifact as its rightful successor. Nevermind the overwhelming, almost parodic proliferation of Gothic imagery spread throughout the game, from the brooding castles to the inhumanly large swords to the incredibly expressive weather patterns.

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  • Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

    September 2014 Highlights

    Menachem Feuer on Robin Williams

    Regardless of whether you are from Europe, the United States, Asia, or Africa, we can all agree that there is something special about the simpleton. In Hebrew (and Yiddish), a language I am culturally familiar with, the simpleton, otherwise known as the schlemiel, is called a “tam.” The interesting thing about the word “tam” is that it means not only “the simpleton” – it also means a “person who is complete.”

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Driving With Virginia Woolf

Driving With Virginia Woolf

Bayeux Tapestry Horses in Battle of Hastings by Virginia Woolf Evening is kind to Sussex, for Sussex is no longer young, and she is grateful for the veil of evening as an elderly woman is glad when a shade is drawn over a lamp, and only the outline of...

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Algorhythms

Algorhythms

We have had a hard time thinking clearly about companies like Google and Facebook because we have never before had to deal with companies like Google and Facebook. They are something new in the world, and they don’t fit neatly into our existing legal and cultural templates.

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Coining It

Coining It

In the case of ‘The awful cult of the talentless hipster has taken over’—an article of some interest otherwise—how can one possibly take Self’s critique of ‘capitalism’s blitzkrieg,’ his lament over his generation being ‘the idiots who scrumped the golden apples from the Tree of Jobs until our bellies...

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Ezequiel Alemian on Boris Pasternak

Ezequiel Alemian on Boris Pasternak

During a visit to Buenos Aires a few years ago, the saxophonist Ornette Coleman, an old trailblazer of free jazz, went out to explore the area near the hotel where he was staying his first night in the city, and got lost.

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Bleeding Edgers

Bleeding Edgers

by Hanjo Berressem In “…without shame of concern for etymology,” Hanjo Berressem discusses Pynchon’s Bleeding Edge in the context post-9/11 fiction. In contrast to narratives of posttraumatic melancholy, Berressem argues that Bleeding Edge is a “Jeremiad about the fall and the sins of America.” The result is an essay...

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Fidesz’s Mix

Fidesz’s Mix

Photograph via EPP by Yudit Kiss Fidesz does not have any coherent ideology, but depending on the context, employs elements of various currents, mixing neo-conservative tropes (God, Patria, Family) with anti-globalization arguments (anti-corporation, anti-finance), classic populist slogans with anti-EU and anti-minority refrains echoed by extreme right groups. After Prime...

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Abercrombie & Pinch?

Abercrombie & Pinch?

The superstar of left critical theory, Slavoj Žižek, faces allegations of lifting passages from a white supremacist magazine. The history of Zizek’s “fraudulences”, both real and imagined, is rooted in the anxiety of the romantic Left itself.

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Papasee by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Papasee by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

The Pope is coming to Tirana and I won't be there. I am stationed for the semester in Singapore, but nevertheless I will attempt to continue to write about Albania even though my distance from the real events on the ground may impede a thorough understanding. But perhaps this...

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Bubbling Bubbelehs

Bubbling Bubbelehs

In spite of The Poet and me being pretty old, we’re still young enough to remember from our childhood being told off for watching too much television and not, like the parents, making our own entertainment. That claim always makes me think of a small crowd gathered around an...

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Claudia Landolfi on Ubaldo Fadini

Claudia Landolfi on Ubaldo Fadini

In recent years there has been great attention paid to the so-called Italian theory in the field of political philosophy. This definition has brought to the fore Italian thinking, but at the same time also covers many reflections of the past several decades, by creating a category easily disclosable...

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Discourse on the Modern

Discourse on the Modern

If philosophy questions everything, surely it must also question the periodization of its own history. Professional historians themselves tend to agree that the imposition of periods on the past –premodern, Renaissance, early modern, and so on-- is always to some degree arbitrary, even if it is also impossible to...

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Campbell’s School

Campbell’s School

A little less than a year back, I wrote about Edgar Guest, the longtime poet of the Detroit Free Press who published a poem in that paper seven days a week for thirty years. The national syndication of his verse made Guest a household name, got him dubbed the...

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XX

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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