Berfrois

February 2015

Greece Rejects Austerity!

Greece Rejects Austerity!

In one week I had seen plenty of misery in Greece’s train of misfortune. Apart from protest slogans covering public and private walls, the homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks, and the soup kitchens, it is the generalized distress that has struck me.

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With a Dying Catfish as Witness

With a Dying Catfish as Witness

Robinson’s latest novel, Lila, turns our attention to Lila Ames, who wanders into Gilead in search of work and soon becomes Ames’s second wife.

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Sebastian Normandin on Steven Pinker

Sebastian Normandin on Steven Pinker

“The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists.” So begins Steven Pinker’s recent controversial essay on scientism and its virtues. At the risk of pedantry, it seems important to point out that the word “scientist” didn’t even exist in the period Pinker references

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Metabolic Rifts

Metabolic Rifts

A central problem for #Marx21c is that as commodification becomes more abstract, the concrete comes back to haunt it in the form of the metabolic rifts characteristic of the Anthropocene. What resources do we have for thinking this?

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Colin Dickey: Time’s Resistless Stream

Colin Dickey: Time’s Resistless Stream

By now, we are all of us more or less apocalyptic. Our calendar is itself based on the apocalyptic return of Jesus Christ, counting up from Anno Domini towards the End.

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Which Faith of Kierkegaard’s?

Which Faith of Kierkegaard’s?

Reading Merold Westphal's new book is like taking an insightful tour along the manifold paths that compose the landscape of Kierkegaardian faith.

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Jenny Wills: Invisible Lives

Jenny Wills: Invisible Lives

Sure, #AllLivesMatter — but this is a call to remember basic human rights. No, #BlackLivesMatter is not the same thing, it is not a special interest within a larger existential frame. #BlackLivesMatter is not a reminder. It is a proclamation that enough is enough.

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Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

Oliver Farry on Michel Houellebecq

The peculiar circumstances surrounding the publication of Michel Houellebecq’s latest novel constitute a case study in how even the biggest literary news stories are, in the wider scheme of things, small potatoes.

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Joel Gn on free speech

Joel Gn on free speech

A question that perplexed many in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack was whether the law will still continue to defend the right of free speech.

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Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

Bharat Azad Meets Adair Turner

In a quiet office tucked away in Mayfair – over a long table so white I am hesitant to even place my fingers on it – Adair Turner is speaking to me about the nature of money.

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Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

Bobbi Lurie: Organic Fortune

isis - ebola - obama hit by halal truck (where is duchamp?)

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Information in Chains

Information in Chains

“Information wants to be free, but is everywhere in chains.” The development of the forces of production took a qualitatively different turn when information became digital.

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Andre Gerard Wins!

Andre Gerard Wins!

Congratulations to Andre Gerard of Vancouver, British Columbia, the winner of the inaugural Berfrois Poetry Prize!

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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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