Berfrois

March 2015

In the Politics

In the Politics

In the Politics, Aristotle famously defines man as zoon politikon, the political animal. But what does it mean to say of man that he is the political animal?

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Three Ways of Arguing With a Communist

Three Ways of Arguing With a Communist

They do not seem to see that, to such young people, the Capitalist in question only seems to be saying, "I am a greedy old scoundrel, and I forbid you to be anything else."

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Neither Cheerleader Nor Prophet

Neither Cheerleader Nor Prophet

Literature on the social impact of the internet has always struggled to keep up with the breakneck pace set by its subject.

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Dada’s Sex

Dada’s Sex

We are getting close to the 100 year anniversary of Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich and I dedicate my post to Tzara while reading the recent biography about him.

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Has American poetry become more politically relevant lately?

Has American poetry become more politically relevant lately?

The claim for a “new” American poetry of engagement would seem to imply an earlier American poetry that lacked such engagement.

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Street Fighter: Berfrois Interviews Tariq Ali

Street Fighter: Berfrois Interviews Tariq Ali

The extreme centre is a form of government that arose out of neoliberal economics and exists today in virtually the whole of Europe, North America and Australia.

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Performing Gender

Performing Gender

Carlos Motta has spent the past few years creating an archive of documentary video portraits of activists and people who perform gender as a personal, social and political opportunity rather than as a social denunciation.

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“It’s difficult to remove intransigence from political thought”

“It’s difficult to remove intransigence from political thought”

You use the expression "antinomies of fanaticism", which we might rephrase as the paradoxes or inherent contradictions of fanaticism: on the one hand, fanaticism as the opposite of reason and, on the other, fanaticism as an excess of reason.

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Volker M. Welter on Michael Graves

Volker M. Welter on Michael Graves

The designer Michael Graves, who passed away at the age of 80 on March 12th, was widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of postmodernism in architecture.

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Breaking TV

Breaking TV

Yet some said that “Breaking Bad” was television finally or finely elevated to art. The art of the installment, the fix, waiting for the next episode, the episodic adventure induced by Walter who like Fagin in Dickens’s “Oliver Twist” lives and thrives in a world of children.

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Around 1815

Around 1815

She is either Italian, Jewish, Arab, Turkish, Kurdish or Greek. She has olive skin and is wearing high heels with gold tips, a white jacket, oyster coloured skirt and carrying two iPhones, one in a black case and one red.

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Society for the Confused

Society for the Confused

Drawn by caricaturist John Leech, the illustrations of Gilbert Abbott à Beckett’s The Comic History of Rome are a Victorian fever dream of ancient Rome.

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A Constant Draft of Fiction

A Constant Draft of Fiction

You will write less than you feel for me. The one before you was all writing.

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Amanda Gray: Beyond Good Coffee

Amanda Gray: Beyond Good Coffee

In countries like Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Macedonia, the coworking spaces aren’t simply jumping on a trend, but are rather looking at public space and sharing economies as a tool to administer community and social change.

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Don’t Mention the Dawn

Don’t Mention the Dawn

I had never seen a neo-Nazi before. On a cloudless Sunday morning in January, the day of the Greek elections, I was making my way through people holding cups of coffee and pushing strollers in a polling station.

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Pittsburgh Publisher-Poet

Pittsburgh Publisher-Poet

Vladimir Nabokov was hiking down a mountain on a summer afternoon. It was 1943, and he and his companion, James Laughlin, had made their way up a peak in northern Utah to find butterflies for Nabokov’s collection.

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Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

How may we speak of that which goes off the record in an age of digital colonisation?

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Philosophy as It Is

Philosophy as It Is

Williams had a famously adversarial relationship toward some leading philosophical movements of the modern era, particularly Utilitarianism and Kantianism.

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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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