Berfrois

April 2015

Michael Munro: Clarity

Michael Munro: Clarity

“If reading is not to be simply synonymous with deciphering, commentary or even interpretation,” Geoffrey Bennington has written, “then it must inevitably encounter the question of the unreadable”

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A German Europe

A German Europe

Almost all EU regulations made in recent years show the hand of Germany – starting with the Lisbon Treaty, which remains the EU's primary law.

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Amy Glynn: Call Me Back

Amy Glynn: Call Me Back

Dear You, I am writing these lines from northern Washington on the day of the year when I most hate northern Washington; the one that does not end.

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Shut Not Your Doors

Shut Not Your Doors

In October 1865, a 22-year-old wordsmith living on Ashburton Place, behind the Massachusetts State House, filed what has to be one of the nastiest book reviews ever published.

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Good books are the sort for the young to read…

Good books are the sort for the young to read…

Being told I would be expected to talk here, I inquired what sort of talk I ought to make. They said it should be something suitable to youth-something didactic, instructive, or something in the nature of good advice.

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Munchies

Munchies

Over the years I’ve known many people with nicknames, including Lucky, Big O, Haywire, Turtle Eggs, Hercules, two guys named Hollywood, and three guys called Booger.

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All That Paper

All That Paper

Is there a relationship between the quantity of books available to us, the ease with which they can be written and published, and our reading experience?

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BBB

BBB

Rarely have I seen a cityscape more depressing than that part of Beirut we are expected to call its centre-ville. It once contained a real souk, a vital, organic city center.

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Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Very Much Like a Whale by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

They had obviously taken the pictures of the whale, and the group of people carrying it, out of curiosity. But still the images failed to produce any satisfactory explanation. Now we only knew how it had entered, but still not why.

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Just Sick Enough

Just Sick Enough

I used to buy The Sun newspaper. Not just to fit in with mates at secondary school but right into my first year at university. I knew there was something to be ashamed of in this filthy habit.

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Vaulting Ambition

Vaulting Ambition

Illustration by Salvador Bartolozzi. Via. by Lauren Berlant This is a very lightly revised version of the paper I tried to deliver at the American Studies Association conference as a performance piece that also riffed on the talks just given around me: a complete failure as a performance. Amitava...

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Thoreau’s Walk

Thoreau’s Walk

Summer and winter our eyes had rested on the dim outline of the mountains in our horizon, to which distance and indistinctness lent a grandeur not their own, so that they served equally to interpret all the allusions of poets and travellers

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Can benevolent autocrats be trusted with development?

Can benevolent autocrats be trusted with development?

Historians have recently begun to investigate how development became central to the global humanitarian politics of the twentieth century, and why it has never been able to deliver on its promises.

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Generation People

Generation People

It’s easy, of course, to make fun of generational analysis. For many years generations have been the favored category of social pseudoscientists, not to mention marketing gurus and breathless lifestyle journalists.

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