Berfrois

November 2014

  • Jenny Diski keeps up

    November 2014 Highlights

    Jenny Diski keeps up

    Some things are best met with silence. If I were to proceed with this month’s column in an honest way, it would be a blank page, without words.

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  • From Fashion by Tracy O’Neill

    November 2014 Highlights

    From Fashion by Tracy O’Neill

    The man who brought us a disembodied protagonist alluringly voiced by Scarlett Johansson has now issued a drama — starring apparel. Recently, Opening Ceremony decided that in a break from the runway, it would present its Spring/Summer line through a play written by Spike Jonze and Jonah Hill called “100% Lost Cotton.”

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  • Taran N. Khan on Kabul

    November 2014 Highlights

    Taran N. Khan on Kabul

    This spring, I spent some time watching these films from Kabul in a small room deep in the depths of the ICRC building, a room located inside a network of corridors and sliding doors. It was a silent, small room, a room with space for the past, filled up with the tools of bearing witness, from U-Matic to Beta players.

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  • Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

    November 2014 Highlights

    Playing the Percentages: Berfrois Interviews Danny Dorling

    The portrait of the 1% in your book is one of sociopathic, power-hungry narcissists with a striking lack of empathy. This may seem antagonistic, but you also write that we “may be making a mistake when we blame them [the 1%] for being greedy. Many of them may not be able to help it. The very rich desperately need the help of the better-adjusted majority.” What can we, the 99%, do to help?

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  • Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

    November 2014 Highlights

    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. In this case, the former boyfriend of independent game developer Zoe Quinn, Eron Gjoni, charged that Quinn had received positive media coverage for her game Depression Quest by then-boyfriend Nathan Grayson.

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Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

Philippe Theophanidis on Jean-Luc Godard

At one point near the end of his unfinished novel Jean Santeuil, Marcel Proust describes a painting by Claude Monet from 1897, titled “Bras de Seine près de Giverny”. It shows, in the painter’s hazy and colorful style, the branch of a river as it peacefully makes its way...

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Berfrois Films

Berfrois Films

I’d rather it was an adventure novel, or a sex-romp novel. As it is, you’ve got me holed up in a rather ratty motel (not even hotel!) for three days, drinking bourbon every time a reader picks up the book and reads about me drinking bourbon.

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Street Haunting in Winter

Street Haunting in Winter

No one perhaps has ever felt passionately towards a lead pencil. But there are circumstances in which it can become supremely desirable to possess one; moments when we are set upon having an object, an excuse for walking half across London between tea and dinner.

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Postgraduate education has been one of our culture’s most prominent expressions of upper-class privilege…

Postgraduate education has been one of our culture’s most prominent expressions of upper-class privilege…

My father wrote his share of poems in high school in India. He still recites verses—though never his own—in Punjabi on occasional late evenings. My mother, the daughter of a schoolteacher and at the top of her high school class in a village not far from my father’s, could...

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Blue Flakes

Blue Flakes

One evening during the westward retreat of the defeated Austro-Hungarian forces, he announced his own intention to shoot himself, but was forcefully disarmed by his comrades. His committal followed on October 6, and he died in hospital on November 3. His medical file lists the cause of death, complete...

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Whenever you hear that whistle…

Whenever you hear that whistle…

I write in my rental apartment on Rue de Seine in Paris, while trying to simultaneously ignore the tolling of the church bells in my vicinity as well as the continuous barking of my next door neighbor, Georges. I have never seen him or his owners; however, given...

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Menachem Feuer: American Schlemiels

Menachem Feuer: American Schlemiels

Jewish-American comedy, in particular, has Eastern European and Germanic roots. It came over from Europe; and in many ways, as Jews became more and more assimilated, Jewish comedy became… American comedy. It lost a lot of its ethnic particularity and has, to a major extent, become generic. Nonetheless, Jewish-Americans...

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Couple Love, Pet Care

Couple Love, Pet Care

by Lauren Berlant I experimented with taking a day off. It was likely to be a failure, because it had to be an experiment, as I have no habits of leaving the desk, only habits of clawing a path back to it, which is odd because I never leave...

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Austin Carder on Tara Donovan

Austin Carder on Tara Donovan

The best way to encounter Tara Donovan’s work for the first time may be by accident. I walked into her show at Pace on a whim (I had come for Joel Shapiro next door) and was immediately transported into her world, or rather the two worlds of her massive...

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QUEENMOBSQUEENMOBS QUEENMOBS

QUEENMOBSQUEENMOBS QUEENMOBS

Our new sister publication, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, is now open for submissions.

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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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Menachem Feuer on Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham

Elle called Silverman’s image of her wearing a shirt with several naked Lena Dunhams a “beautiful tribute.” Dunham, the article tells us, “seemed to...

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