Berfrois

March 2017

Be the City

Be the City

For two seasons when I was nine, I lived in a refugee hostel outside Rome, a place where time had stopped and people waited without purpose, plan, or country.

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‘Before Foucault, political philosophers had presumed that power had an essence’

‘Before Foucault, political philosophers had presumed that power had an essence’

Foucault remains one of the most cited 20th-century thinkers and is, according to some lists, the single most cited figure across the humanities and social sciences.

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Subtitles have often been used to draw together linguistic communities….

Subtitles have often been used to draw together linguistic communities….

Today I am visiting a hospital. When I enter the wards, I return to another world of voices. At the nurse’s station: Tagalog, Burmese, or Indonesian-accented Malay.

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Ed Simon on The Tragedy of Dracule

Ed Simon on The Tragedy of Dracule

Mathias Blum writes in Akiva’s Garden that “No play in the Renaissance canon, no play in the English canon, no play in literature is as terrifying as The Tragedy of Dracule

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Our Eager Running

Our Eager Running

In class today we were talking about the differences between Vergil and Homer. The difference between the deep administrative state that Vergil is describing, and the unchanging, contextualizing hierarchical background against which Homeric personal relations play out.

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PROPER HAMBURGER

PROPER HAMBURGER

London rebrands as ‘Smart City’. So how dumb does that make me feel? How alienated and leaden-footed and stubbornly off-grid?

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‘Publishing can be a bitter war’

‘Publishing can be a bitter war’

Publishing can be a bitter war between editors who love books and businessmen who love only money—but if you are lucky, it should not be.

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“Why wouldn’t you call it a novel?”

“Why wouldn’t you call it a novel?”

Well, it’s actually kind of an accident that I established my career as a nonfiction writer. From childhood I wanted to be a novelist.

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Gerardo Muñoz on Roberto Esposito

Gerardo Muñoz on Roberto Esposito

In a sequence of thirteen sections, Esposito dwells on the question of the origin of the political in light of western decline into nihilism, empire, and modern totalitarianism.

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Desperation Outweighed Apprehension

Desperation Outweighed Apprehension

In the Old World, the principal reason why populism of the right typically outpaces populism of the left is widespread fear of immigration

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The Dramatic Curtisism

The Dramatic Curtisism

When Adam Curtis’s new documentary HyperNormalisation premiered last fall, the journalist Chris Applegate compiled an Adam Curtis Bingo card.

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One way or another, men and women would keep going to classes together, even without being able to study side by side in the library…

One way or another, men and women would keep going to classes together, even without being able to study side by side in the library…

One way or another, men and women would keep going to classes together at Harvard, as they had for decades, even without being able to study side by side in the library until 1967.

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‘A much less mobile practice that involves complicated paraphernalia’

‘A much less mobile practice that involves complicated paraphernalia’

“How to Murder Your Life” bills itself as a kind of opposite-day how-to, an edgewise complement to the countless books, magazine articles, life-coaching sessions, Facebook support groups, and daily Instagram affirmations that detail the steps to creativity, beauty, smarts, and power.

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Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Patti had been the one to introduce me to the poets who changed my life, the course of my life. One of them was Dana Levin.

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Nothing can eclipse the first Lord Rothermere’s long infatuation with Hitler…

Nothing can eclipse the first Lord Rothermere’s long infatuation with Hitler…

The daily routine of any newspaper is structured around meetings, known as conferences, but, to quote a regular attender of them, the Mail’s meetings resemble “this weird fucking feudal court”

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Voltaire described Devadatta as a badly behaved rascal…

Voltaire described Devadatta as a badly behaved rascal…

by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. This article was originally published at Public Domain Review, under a Creative Commons 3.0 license. After Ignatius Loyola formed the Society of Jesus in 1539, he required that his missionaries send back detailed letters describing their activities and the peoples and places they encountered. In France,...

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Eric D. Lehman: Fear of the Dog

Eric D. Lehman: Fear of the Dog

It is the civilized human’s sustained tendency toward irrational belief that Conan Doyle sets up as the central issue of Hound of the Baskervilles.

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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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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...

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