Berfrois

October 2014

  • Jason S. Polley: Prawns

    October 2014 Highlights

    Jason S. Polley: Prawns

    The suburbs, aka first-world neighborhoods, are present via their conspicuous near visual absence in 2009’s District 9, a film focusing on an increasingly disorderly assortment of itinerant “aliens” in an informal zone, aka a third-world slum.

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  • An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

    October 2014 Highlights

    An Enigma Wrapped Inside an Enigma by Michael Munro

    There is perhaps nothing more enigmatic in the history of philosophy than that which in the tradition is known as the active intellect (nous poiêtikos, al-‘aql al-fa‘‘āl). The few dense, cryptic sentences in which Aristotle gives it its inaugural formulation, which comprise the whole of the fifth chapter of book three of the De Anima, are on one scholar’s estimation the “most intensely studied sentences in the history of philosophy.”

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Jesse Miksic: FromGothic

Jesse Miksic: FromGothic

There's an odd asymmetry about the enemies' genders in Dark Souls II. It could be attributed to the adolescent target demo, or to the fantasy genre's immaturity, but in the context of this analysis, it takes on a special literary importance. This is the gender asymmetry of the game's...

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CREATIONGIANT: Berfrois Interviews Blake Butler

CREATIONGIANT: Berfrois Interviews Blake Butler

When I first moved online with my fiction in 2006 the first name to repeat consistently in literary circles was Blake Butler. I remember those first days, clicking from online journal to online journal, from blog to blog, feeling inspired from what he was doing.

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There is nothing that costs less to acquire than the name of philosophe…

There is nothing that costs less to acquire than the name of philosophe…

The professional conception of ‘philosopher’ in the early-21st-century United States bears an interesting comparison to the figure of the ‘philosophe’ in 18th-century France. As is well-known, the philosophes, like most current members in good standing of the APA, were often seen from the outside as not really being philosophers...

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Mungo knew their names, but he wouldn’t tell…

Mungo knew their names, but he wouldn’t tell…

Bunty was my last cat. She stars in my book What I Don’t Know About Animals, and it was her picture at the back of the book where the author photo is supposed to be. She sits on my keyboard, glaring and daring me to try and get access...

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Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Tjoa Shze Hui: 1920s

Of the many witticisms that make up The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, one voiced by Picasso really gets under the skin. He says it, as I remember, while loafing around Gertrude Stein’s weekly picture exhibition at the rue de Fleurus, studying the foreigners who have come to pay...

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“Another movement”

“Another movement”

On the eve of the publication of her new book, ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate,’ Klein sat down with Liam Barrington-Bush. She reminds us that in a culture that treats people as consumers and relationships as transactions, ‘we’re not who we were told we were.’

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Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Elias Tezapsidis on Lorentzen, Batuman, Lerner, Smallwood and Stein

Contemporary narrators feel entitled to their own realities now more than ever. The internet has created this fascinating binary, one in which individuals can become extremely aware of their circumstances or get lost in a delusional microcosm they created for themselves.

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“If you look at any corner of Kentish Town…”

“If you look at any corner of Kentish Town…”

Selma James is an activist and a prolific writer on anti-racism and women’s rights, founder of the International Wages for Housework campaign, and current coordinator of Global Women’s Strike. The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, co-authored with Mariarosa Dalla Costa, launched the ‘domestic labour’ debate.

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Jesse Miksic in Drangleic

Jesse Miksic in Drangleic

Dark Souls II makes a wild, echoing declaration of its Gothic influences, throwing itself full-force into every dark-medieval trope it could get in its undead fingers. Of course, the designers realized how important the Mysterious Castle was to Gothic, so they didn't hold back.

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Keep Occupying Central!

Keep Occupying Central!

The city has decided to stand up and fight. And it has brought umbrellas. At times, I have been worried. I have never been so proud of Hong Kong. It has never been so determined.

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Daniel Bosch: 99 + 1

Daniel Bosch: 99 + 1

The last gasps of the American revolutionary spirit were choked out in the Civil War, when the most conservative form of liberal government ever invented unhinged its jaws and swallowed its antithetical self, the South, whole — only to have to regurgitate some of its bones, of course, every...

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Berfrois Munches

Berfrois Munches

A red duck is no joke. Neither is ringworm, which my Sheridan got from an auld cat while he was exploring an alley in London for artistic purposes. Speaking of Sheridan, my lovely boy’s now residing in Birmingham: you should see his new series of watercolours entitled Lord of...

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