Berfrois

August 2016

Top Tips by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

Top Tips by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

The remainders of a socialist realist bas-relief on a heap of former Qemal Stafa Stadium debris. Photo from Edi Rama’s Facebook. by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei For the last two months, I have been woken every day by workmen below my apartment building, viciously attempting to renovate the...

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45˚38’N 13˚46’E

45˚38’N 13˚46’E

This fascinating work of scholarship concerns the association between two great 20th-century writers and the city that brought them together. The writers were the Italian Italo Svevo (1861–1928) and the Irishman James Joyce (1882–1941). The city was Trieste (45˚38’N 13˚46’E).

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Kissing the Pebbles

Kissing the Pebbles

If Basil Bunting were not remembered for “Briggflatts”—his longest and best poem, first published fifty years ago—he might still be remembered as the protagonist of a preposterously eventful twentieth-century life.

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The ghosts of 1984 were Sumerian shape-shifting demons transplanted to Central Park West…

The ghosts of 1984 were Sumerian shape-shifting demons transplanted to Central Park West…

To learn more about ghosts, I recently watched the original “Ghostbusters.” It became clear to me, as it had not been when the movie came out, in 1984, when I was seven years old, that ghosts congregate around the enemies of free-market capitalism.

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By removing Dennis Cooper’s blog, Google has deleted the future…

By removing Dennis Cooper’s blog, Google has deleted the future…

SEARCH FOR: Search… COMMUNITY AND CATASTROPHE weaklings-cover 10TH AUG 2016 IN MISC BY DIARMUID HESTER 0 COMMENTS By now you’ve probably heard about Google deleting Dennis Cooper’s blog and his email account. Just in case, here’s the deal: on 27th of June, Cooper tried to log into his blog, The Weaklings,...

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Keith Doubt: Faltering

Keith Doubt: Faltering

It is Trump’s political legitimacy, however unthinkable, rather than his personality or his rhetoric, that now empowers his campaign. But this is nothing new. Twenty years ago, we watched nationalist leaders display all of these issues vividly on global media during the Bosnian War.

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Jay Merill on Joanna Walsh

Jay Merill on Joanna Walsh

Hotel by Joanna Walsh, is a book in Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. It is essentially a memoir in the context of visits made to hotels by a reviewer who is at that time undergoing a personal marital breakdown.

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Bosch’s imagination ranged from a place beyond the spheres of Heaven to the uttermost depths of Hell…

Bosch’s imagination ranged from a place beyond the spheres of Heaven to the uttermost depths of Hell…

There has never been a painter quite like Jheronimus van Aken, the Flemish master who signed his works as Jheronimus Bosch.

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Your Version Perfect

Your Version Perfect

I never met Vladimir Nabokov face to face, though I exchanged phone calls and letters with him. My psychiatrist encouraged me to visit him in Switzerland, but I was too afraid that I would quickly sabotage close-up whatever good impression I might have managed to create long-distance.

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Black history has too often been stolen by white narrators…

Black history has too often been stolen by white narrators…

Colson Whitehead’s novels are rebellious creatures: Each one of them goes to great lengths to break free of the last one, of its structure and language, of its areas of interest.

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Cynthia Ozick advocates for no theory…

Cynthia Ozick advocates for no theory…

Unlike the literature it marshals as its subject, literary criticism frequently finds itself in the position of having to defend its existence, of taking breaks from dealing with fiction and poetry in order to deal with itself.

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They could only party at the Germans’ behest…

They could only party at the Germans’ behest…

So unprepared had France been for defeat that resistance had had no time to organise in these early days and those who did want to act against the Nazis didn’t know how.

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A-M-E-R-I-C-A by Ed Simon

A-M-E-R-I-C-A by Ed Simon

Used cynically, the word “America” is conceptualised not as that undiscovered country yet to be born on maps yet printed, but rather it is to employ the word as simple superstitious talisman. They take the Lord’s name in vain.

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