Berfrois

October 2016

Blow Smashed

Blow Smashed

The earliest instance of a ghost in European literature, according to Bruce, is Elpenor. If you don’t remember Elpenor, you’re hardly alone. His own shipmates couldn’t remember him either.

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Colin Campbell: Never Quite as Modern

Colin Campbell: Never Quite as Modern

In a review essay in the September 5th, 2016 issue of The New Yorker, professor Adam Kirsch poses a problem that is very similar in certain respects to the problem radical general semantics poses for us.

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Adam Staley Groves: Belief in Voting

Adam Staley Groves: Belief in Voting

The fairy tale, that one single act of decision at the ballot box—supposedly someday in November—maybe the 8th or 28th has bearing or meaning, is coming to an end for many believers.

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Women’s Women’s Women’s

Women’s Women’s Women’s

Just as San Francisco was named after an Italian saint and New Orleans after a French king’s brother, the Duc d’Orléans, so New York, city and state, were named after King Charles II’s brother, the Duke of York.

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Ed Simon on Bob Dylan

Ed Simon on Bob Dylan

There is no living American poet who deserves the characterization of being a prophet more than Bob Dylan. Both a product of his land and his land a product of him, Dylan the prophet has been Jeremiah by the rivers of Babylon

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Identity structures have a pulsating form and intersubjective nucleus…

Identity structures have a pulsating form and intersubjective nucleus…

Today, global society is at the stage of searching for a model of social cohabitation. The problem lies in the fact that global societies have constructed their identities through culture and religion and therefore the process of cohabitation with others appears only as a process of assimilation.

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In England’s Boroughs

In England’s Boroughs

The comics that Moore is best known for writing (“Watchmen,” “From Hell,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” etc.) generally make no secret of their sources of inspiration.

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Emotional Exploitation and Cultural Economism

Emotional Exploitation and Cultural Economism

Deprived of its normative core and disappointed in its hopes for universal justice, contemporary liberalism is mute in the face of current conflicts and crises.

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Laura Minor on Fleabag

Laura Minor on Fleabag

British writer and actor, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, writes and stars in television series Fleabag. Waller-Bridge's character is unnamed throughout the episodes, though the viewer is meant to directly conjure the this soul-infested heroine.

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Jessica Sequeira: Warp Fields

Jessica Sequeira: Warp Fields

A star sends its light through space, and this passes through the strong gravitational field of the sun. The field bends the light, so the position of the star changes.

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Farewell, Mr. Hooper

Farewell, Mr. Hooper

I used to joke that between apparel, toys, books and DVDs, my family was, for a time, single-handedly funding Sesame Workshop, the non-profit that produces Sesame Street.

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Justin E. H. Smith remembers Kenneth Von Smith

Justin E. H. Smith remembers Kenneth Von Smith

In the week leading up to Friday, September 2, 2016, I accompanied my father in his transition to death. I came back and he did not. I am not yet old, and was only there to help him across.

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I Stop, You Stop

I Stop, You Stop

My husband and I went to the grocery store that evening and my doctor called right as I put my pickup in park. I answered my cell phone and with a kiss I waved my husband off to field the call by myself.

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‘After orgasm, Sade’s libertines are briefly freed from the confusing sensation of need’

‘After orgasm, Sade’s libertines are briefly freed from the confusing sensation of need’

In the mid-eighteenth century, the term bureaucracy entered the world by way of French literature. The neologism was originally forged as a nonsense term to describe what its creator, political economist Vincent de Gournay, considered the ridiculous possibility of “rule by office,” or, more literally, “rule by a desk.”...

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Elisa Veini on the Tango

Elisa Veini on the Tango

I have to admit, the tango was no evident musical choice for a film about a Belgian pub. One would rather expect to hear schlagers or chansons, exactly what we tried to do, but somehow they did not fit in, or perhaps they fitted just too well.

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Nightcrawling

Nightcrawling

If Tim Lawrence had wanted his third book, “Life and Death on the New York Dance Floor, 1980-1983,” to go pop, he would have titled it “The World That Made Madonna,” picked a different cover, and added a chapter or two focusing on her.

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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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