Berfrois

April 2017

Sliding Towards Autocracy

Sliding Towards Autocracy

Viktor Orbán and his populist radical right Fidesz is with the support of Jobbik sliding towards autocracy. A favorite scapegoat for the Hungarian neo-nationalists is the American-Hungarian, Jewish philanthropist George Soros.

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Old Identitarians

Old Identitarians

When we imagine the alt-right insurgency, we likely envision an army of Richard Spencers: angry white men with fashy haircuts marching under the banner of Pepe the Frog.

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Welcome to Cairo

Welcome to Cairo

"Welcome to the hell that is Cairo, where life is one long wait, and the smell of trash and assorted animal dung hangs about all the time and everywhere," writes Naji in Using Life.

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‘Podcast listening carries with it a faint aura of cultural snobbery’

‘Podcast listening carries with it a faint aura of cultural snobbery’

We are living through a great flowering of the podcast industry, whose province of iTunes is something like a frontier boomtown right now, teeming with hastily erected new storefronts.

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Success proved to be Gogol’s undoing…

Success proved to be Gogol’s undoing…

Literature shaped the political culture of the Russia in which Vladimir Ilyich Lenin grew up. Explicitly political texts were difficult to publish under the tsarist regime.

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Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Larry Levis had wanted to die. He’d killed himself, his close friend and fellow poet David St. John told my high school English class years ago during an after-hours reading in Fresno, California, not literally but by habituating himself to so many mundanely self-destructive habits.

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Eric D. Lehman on Martin Amis

Eric D. Lehman on Martin Amis

The long-delayed release of the film version of Martin Amis’s London Fields gives us the opportunity to revisit this prescient novel of murder and crisis.

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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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