Berfrois

November 2015

Liminal Trains

Liminal Trains

In America, the idea of traveling by train is something of a touchstone. Mention it to some people and their eyes light up; an instant bond is formed and stories of memorable journeys tumble out.

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Ireland’s Fight Against Big Water

Ireland’s Fight Against Big Water

If the potential was there for an outbreak by the autumn of 2014, why did water charges come to be its focal point?

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Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Winning

Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei: Winning

Once upon a time a young man ventured to hold an exhibition in a museum. He offered the museum a curator, well-known artists, and a bag of foreign money.

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Tea for HDP; Lunch for AKP

Tea for HDP; Lunch for AKP

On a Sunday morning the trendy district of Cihangir rarely gets going before noon. Today, though, at 6am everyone seems to be up.

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Itō argued that stream of consciousness originated in the works of Edouard Dujardin

Itō argued that stream of consciousness originated in the works of Edouard Dujardin

by Michael Chan “James Joyce’s Method—Regarding the “Stream of Consciousness” “(Jeimuzu Joisu no metōdo “ishiki no nagare” ni tsuite) is an article published in June 1930 in the journal Shi, genjitsu by the author and literary critic Itō Sei (1905-1969), who was also one of a team of three...

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Commons People

Commons People

The most important lesson urban commons can take from its digital counterpart is at the same time the most difficult one: how to make a structural hack in the moment of the creation of an urban commons that will enable it to become structurally self-perpetuating

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Jessica Sequeira: Chimneys, Chimneys, Chimneys

Jessica Sequeira: Chimneys, Chimneys, Chimneys

In the street in front of the theater last week, a man I'd just been introduced to began to tell a story. He'd been crossing Corrientes and Uruguay on a red when a motorbike passing between cars, in a maneuver as illegal as his own, collided with him.

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Many parents feared the necronym was a murderous curse…

Many parents feared the necronym was a murderous curse…

Parsed from the Greek, necronym literally translates as “death name.” It usually means a name shared with a dead sibling.

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Student Pilot 3000

Student Pilot 3000

Futurama frequently presents Fry as useless and undesirable; the series goes out of its way to make sure we understand this point: he’s only got one set of clothes; he loses his teeth from drinking too much Slurm; he is his own grandfather; he can’t kill the last ship...

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Claudia Landolfi: Pathologies of Affect

Claudia Landolfi: Pathologies of Affect

Long ago, when the Universality of a ‘Western Empire’ was both the premise and the purpose of political strategy the West’s identity was born.

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‘The mediocrity of fiction is really to do with feeling cosy’

‘The mediocrity of fiction is really to do with feeling cosy’

Diski’s writing has never left much out, and is rarely small. Nony, who narrates Like Mother (1989), is an anencephalous baby, born without a brain, who tells her mother’s story in conversation with an interlocutor who is explicitly non-existent.

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Pissed and Dancing

Pissed and Dancing

We took our drinks to the front row of empty tables and wondered whether to stand or sit. It seemed impolite to sit. But maybe Exmouth is a such a cool place, and the standard of rock’n’roll there so high, that sitting down is how they take their pub...

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Figure to yourselves Virginia Woolf in a bedroom with a pen in her hand…

Figure to yourselves Virginia Woolf in a bedroom with a pen in her hand…

It is true I am a woman; it is true I am employed; but what professional experiences have I had? It is difficult to say.

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Building ZOOM

Building ZOOM

Comic strips can vividly illuminate a sequential story, and thus bring alive the often long, tedious, disjointed, and arcane process of architecture.

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“Lou just continues to try to woo and be wooed”

“Lou just continues to try to woo and be wooed”

It’s a drizzly summer night, and I’m meeting Tracy O’Neill in Manhattan’s East Village to talk about her debut novel, The Hopeful, the story of a figure skater who breaks her back on the cusp of Olympic competition.

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Alexei Grinbaum: Assured and Unassured

Alexei Grinbaum: Assured and Unassured

Philosophers divide into assured and unassured. The assured teach truth, the unassured not to marry foreign truth. Doubt sustains Socrates and Montaigne.

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Canadian prime ministers have not often been all that nice….

Canadian prime ministers have not often been all that nice….

Opponents attempted to paint him as a vain celebrity, evidently failing to realize he displayed very little discernable investment in his own image or fame.

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What Rhythm Holds

What Rhythm Holds

In thinking of the innovative lyric, it seems useful to look at archaic lyric, since it too was experimental in its day - maybe even wildly so.

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The left in Hong Kong has been inchoate since the 1967 riots…

The left in Hong Kong has been inchoate since the 1967 riots…

“Many people ask me, should we have halted the occupation a lot earlier?” It would seem that Joshua Wong has no regrets. “We could not have stopped the movement,”

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Agnès Varda

Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Agnès Varda

Gnomish Agnès Varda, with her mushroom cap of hair dyed the color of a dark, ripe cherry, with her visual groaners—she operates in the spirit of happenstance, fearless of mockery.

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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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