Berfrois

December 2015

What is blue?

What is blue?

Maggie Nelson’s Bluets takes aim at one of today’s most beloved forms of writing—the autobiography—coyly challenging the genre’s attachment to truthful stories of the self and the form thought best to convey them.

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‘Children confiscate your mask, leaving you far more exposed than lovers can’

‘Children confiscate your mask, leaving you far more exposed than lovers can’

A few months ago, I had to go through all of my photo albums, starting from early childhood, in conjunction with a film project with which I am involved.

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O Tannenbaum

O Tannenbaum

Dd it ever strike you as a strange thing to drag a living tree once a year into your home and set it up to worship? If you are old enough, you may have seen decorating fashions come and go.

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O Woodland

O Woodland

A few years ago my father died suddenly, at the beginning of winter. For a while after his death I hated being inside: I could feel the shock reverberating within the walls.

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Amanda Earl’s 2015

Amanda Earl’s 2015

1 husband/lover; 1 long term lover

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Is writing an art or a career?

Is writing an art or a career?

Writers as varied as Samuel Johnson, Charles Dickens, and Mary McCarthy would have been outraged to be called anything other than professionals, and when you push past Mark Twain’s most renowned books, you find a lot of writing that did little more than spin off from his celebrity.

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The Citizenship Industry

The Citizenship Industry

While you may have no reason to enter the passport marketplace, you may nevertheless know of Henley & Partners from its annual visa-restrictions index

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Defending Imagination

Defending Imagination

A civil war in Syria has, since it began in 2011, gradually radiated out to implicate nearly ever major global actor.

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Thank You, Funders!

Thank You, Funders!

Thank you to our 183 wonderful funders. We can now continue publication for at least another year while remaining free of advertisements. Time to get perking!

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These Coffees Are Making Me Thirsty by Russell Bennetts

These Coffees Are Making Me Thirsty by Russell Bennetts

Before her coffee, my mom was all body and no voice. She’d walk to the kitchen in silence, looking extra thin.

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‘Tupitsyn is a kind of heretic’

‘Tupitsyn is a kind of heretic’

Whether voiced in the first, second or third person, I take the stories that Masha Tupitsyn tells about her person to be selectively true.

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Wesley A. Kort on C.S. Lewis

Wesley A. Kort on C.S. Lewis

My interest in the works of C. S. Lewis was occasioned less by having read it than by the strongly divided opinions of it among his readers.

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Messing With Texas

Messing With Texas

Whenever we’re in danger of forgetting that the modern Republican Party is captive to a movement, one new excitement or another will jolt us back to reality.

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Popular poetry aspires to a public life in the United Kingdom…

Popular poetry aspires to a public life in the United Kingdom…

As I read postwar British poetry fully, I became less enamoured with the Movement tones of Phillip Larkin or Donald Davie and reviled their small, digestible, miserable artifacts of everyday British life.

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72 days in 1871

72 days in 1871

L’imaginaire de la Commune is the title of Kristin Ross’s new book in its first, French edition. It is debatable whether this laconic phrasing could have survived the passage into English with its resonances unimpaired.

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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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