Berfrois

February 2016

Once a Great Sleeper

Once a Great Sleeper

The question: “Why do so many women have so many problems with sleep?” is an important question for me because I am a bad sleeper who was not always a bad sleeper, who was once a great sleeper.

Read More

The Sea’s Salty Spray

The Sea’s Salty Spray

My first teaching job carried me straight from the RAF and England to St. John’s, Newfoundland, when I was but 27. I still find my first impressions to be the overpowering ones: of fog or knocking sea.

Read More

Seven, Eleven

Seven, Eleven

The established tale of mid-century abstract painting in this country relies on two parallel narratives, each originating from either side of Canada’s two solitudes. In Montreal, it was the story of the Automatistes, of Borduas and Riopelle, Barbeau and Françoise Sullivan.

Read More

CJ Chanco talks to Marc H. Ellis

CJ Chanco talks to Marc H. Ellis

Marc Ellis has written over two dozen texts on the themes of justice, reconciliation, peace and conflict in Latin America and the Middle East. He is best known for his work on the links between the Holocaust and the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Read More

‘Cancer forced my inner circle to prematurely grapple with fear’

‘Cancer forced my inner circle to prematurely grapple with fear’

Treatment had been a darkly magical experience, marked not just with appointments and scans and hospitalizations, but also with love that boiled over, drowning out the pain and unease. In its place, the eerie quiet of my remission haunted me.

Read More

Dossing Down in Doorways

Dossing Down in Doorways

Paris, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Nuit Blanche : Nathan Coley, 2006. Photograph by Vincent Desjardins From Dublin Review of Books: Sante’s chapter on insurgents across the centuries is detailed and evocative but ties itself, however colourfully, to a history of facts and dates and salient events. By chapter 11 even the...

Read More

‘By the middle of the century a naked Phyllis was common’

‘By the middle of the century a naked Phyllis was common’

The story of Phyllis on Aristotle dates back to the 13th century in German and French versions, but is much better known from John Herold’s Latin version from the 14th century.

Read More

The internet is not an incremental step in the progression of written culture…

The internet is not an incremental step in the progression of written culture…

Our brains are lazy; we are reluctant to remember things when we can in effect delegate the task to someone or something else. You can observe this by listening to couples, who often consult one another’s memories: “What was the name of that nice Chinese restaurant we went to...

Read More

Helen Blejerman: Dessert First

Helen Blejerman: Dessert First

by Helen Blejerman Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, Edited by Sarah Lightman, McFarland, 316 pp. Sarah Lightman uses the word confession in her title, but it is clear that these women artists were not looking for repentance or absolution. The word is used to mean...

Read More

Nicholas Rombes on Andrzej Żuławski

Nicholas Rombes on Andrzej Żuławski

Andrzej Żuławski died on February 17 in Warsaw, Poland, less than 300-miles away from where he was born, in Lviv, in 1940.

Read More

Time Is

Time Is

The only known image of the dramatist, poet, pamphleteer, and initially unrepentant libertine Robert Greene is a woodcut from John Dickenson’s Greene in Conceipt, printed in 1598, five years after its subject had died an early death at the age of thirty-four.

Read More

Sex Then Stumble

Sex Then Stumble

Today I ran without music. When I run this way my head boils out, matter shooting everywhere like water on hot oil. Phrases reach me and mostly move away before I can trap and extend them into actual thoughts.

Read More

Creatures, Honeybees

Creatures, Honeybees

Reading Bök’s many DNA poems, we realize that all our bodies are made from highly restricted vocabularies. Bök wrote in the time of the first generation to witness the great bee die-off, when the chemical genius of bees was undone by other chemical geniuses who decided to spread insecticidal...

Read More

Rob a Hoody

Rob a Hoody

Taking from the rich to give to the poor has been, is and should be the way forward for an exploited majority against remote, unaccountable concentrations of extreme wealth and power.

Read More

“Social media don’t teach us to dialogue”

“Social media don’t teach us to dialogue”

The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren’t created, and you either have one or you don’t.

Read More

The Path

The Path

I met this really beautiful woman at an artist colony and we had a terrific affair and if you don’t know it colonies are good for work or no work and this was a no work summer.

Read More

‘It’s possible that I have the World’s Worst Menopause’

‘It’s possible that I have the World’s Worst Menopause’

For some women, menopause is no big deal. Some say they barely notice it. My mother, long ago, described her menopause this way: “My periods just started gettin’ lighter and lighter, and my harmones settled down, and then one day … pfft! It was over.”

Read More

Sebastian Normandin: Advaita

Sebastian Normandin: Advaita

I’m in India. Or at least that’s what my perceptual experience, consciousness, and mind are telling me. It’s hard to know for sure. The reason I have doubts surrounds the immateriality of my being here, and moreover, the immateriality of India itself.

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

Read More
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...

Read More
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.

Read More
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....

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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....

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More