Berfrois

January 2017

Eric D. Lehman: The Hartford Wits and Literary History

Eric D. Lehman: The Hartford Wits and Literary History

The architects of the American literary canon have always struggled between aesthetics and the demands of historicity. The Hartford Wits are a sad example of how this tension has become lopsided in favor of aesthetic currency, practically erasing this important group from critical study.

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Jesse Miksic: A Bad Dream for a New Year

Jesse Miksic: A Bad Dream for a New Year

It turned out 2016 was not just a "terrible year." Like most conventional wisdom, that chestnut turned out to be bunk.

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It was the voice of Fancy; it was the face of Poetry…

It was the voice of Fancy; it was the face of Poetry…

As we passed along between Wem and Shrewsbury, and I eyed their blue tops seen through the wintry branches, or the red rustling leaves of the sturdy oak-trees by the road-side, a sound was in my ears as of a Siren's song; I was stunned

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Cranked-Up, Extreme Tabloid Machine

Cranked-Up, Extreme Tabloid Machine

With the incorporation of the ’60s counter-culture into the machinery of normalisation, the re-emergence of an underground from the late ’70s onward corresponded to an increasingly fraught and combative stance.

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Write Our Democracy

Write Our Democracy

Join us on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday as we reaffirm our commitment to a tolerant and diverse society. Free and open to the public. One of over 40 events worldwide.

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Democracy Is Coming

Democracy Is Coming

Cohen admitted in television interviews that he feared a rise of extremism, a growing feeling of dangerous hospitability to “the extremist position” which ends in his song’s decree “I’ve seen the future, brother: / It is murder.”

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Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: Things I Heard About Hong Kong in 2016

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming: Things I Heard About Hong Kong in 2016

I heard that Hong Kong children are not happy. Those aged eight to nine and those over fourteen are particularly discontented. I heard that even kindergarten children have to do lots of homework.

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This Be the Construct

This Be the Construct

When I used to come to Venice in the 1970s I ate, sometimes every night, at Montin’s, now quite a celebrated restaurant and a short walk from the Accademia.

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Kings Lear by Stuart Elden

Kings Lear by Stuart Elden

by Stuart Elden The One King Lear, by Brian Vickers, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 416 pp. Anyone who has seen more than one production of a Shakespeare play in a theatre, or watched a film version, will know that the words said by the actors can change. Speeches are...

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“Room exists for political manoeuvre”

“Room exists for political manoeuvre”

Jürgen Habermas: The Left must regain the initiative and offer a credible response the destructive forces of unbridled capitalism.

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