Berfrois

November 2015

Then Years Skip

Then Years Skip

Last night I dreamt of a New York landscape that doesn’t exist. A historisization, not a history. The lost city of Acropolis, curated from and by and for film.

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Adam Staley Groves: Trump

Adam Staley Groves: Trump

Trump’s popular appeal may hinge on the fact that he is an elder baby boomer. Clearly the candidate’s on-stage behavior speaks to the generation’s contrarian disposition. For Trump rejects tradition with persistent rebelliousness.

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Russell Bennetts: Coffee’s On

Russell Bennetts: Coffee’s On

As far as your questions goes, I’m going to have to defer the question the same way I defer my loans: indefinitely.

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Menachem Feuer on Franz Kafka

Menachem Feuer on Franz Kafka

What is most fascinating about all this is the fact that we, Kafka’s readers also return but, like Sancho Panza, we must entertain the possibility that in following Kafka we have decided to follow a modern Don Quixote.

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Remembering Gamal al-Ghitani

Remembering Gamal al-Ghitani

It is difficult to bid farewell to Gamal al-Ghitani: a friend, an author, a true Cairene who taught us how to read and admire our history, walk in our cities, feel the power of narrative, and stand in awe of its literal and allegorical significations.

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Holes

Holes

It was a crocheted brown-gold sweater my mother handed down to me before I went to college. It was, frankly, a bit granny-ish.

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Robyn Ferrell on Julia Margaret Cameron

Robyn Ferrell on Julia Margaret Cameron

The rise of a woman photographer with the advent of photography and of women’s emancipation presents an irresistible moment of reflection.

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It’s the Architecture

It’s the Architecture

“I think it’s the architecture,” Dina says, after delivering a line during freshman orientation at Yale that earns her a year of therapy and a small audience of concerned white people writing in notebooks.

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Daniel Fraser on Robert MacFarlane’s Landmarks

Daniel Fraser on Robert MacFarlane’s Landmarks

In the resurgent ‘field’ of lyrical British nature writing, a prosaic form given to delight in the relationship of language and landscape, to relish and revel in the world and in words, Robert MacFarlane is one of the leading lights.

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A perpetual round of giddy innovation and restless vanity…

A perpetual round of giddy innovation and restless vanity…

The Beat Generation’s undergraduate auxiliaries at Yale in the 1950s—edgy, bad boy, unafraid—had neither love nor money for leather, but they grasped the idea that fashion was the placement of the product of self.

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Difficulties With Prizes

Difficulties With Prizes

The Booker prize website says ‘It is a measure of quality of the original drafting that the main ambitions of the prize have not changed.

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There Is Nowhere Else to Go

There Is Nowhere Else to Go

On the train, out in the fields, I was among the only people whose 4G connection was working, and so I became an information-relay station for frightened Italian vacationers and Parisian students returning home to their families.

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‘After June 4, everyone loved the renminbi’

‘After June 4, everyone loved the renminbi’

Before the Tiananmen Square massacre, I was a rebel poet, volatile and impulsive, who liked picking fights and telling tall tales. I’d won more than 20 state literary prizes, and I figured that one day I would earn international fame in the literary world.

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We Drank Wine

We Drank Wine

June. The sound of his voice, things he would say. I wish I could freeze them so that I could thaw them out now and again. I know, she says. Me too.

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Goya With Doctor Arrieta

Goya With Doctor Arrieta

The last room of the exhibition gathers together portraits of friends and exiles done in Bordeaux, and puts at the centre the masterpiece Goya painted in 1820, Self-Portrait with Doctor Arrieta. It is the show’s most daunting moment.

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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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