Berfrois

August 2017

  • Psycho, Staged by Eric D. Lehman

    August 2017 Highlights

    Psycho, Staged by Eric D. Lehman

    Like it or not, the novel is no longer considered “sensationlistic trash,” and has been firmly established as part of literary history and culture now.

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Invited to the Best Parties

Invited to the Best Parties

We all know that a book can change the shape of history. Think The Communist Manifesto and Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis, not to mention the Bible and the Koran. But a book review? How much influence could a book review possibly have?

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‘Third Culture Kids have yet another filter to their perspective’

‘Third Culture Kids have yet another filter to their perspective’

It was a startling thing to me to realize that the African Americans in my college were so different from the Nigerians I had grown up with.

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So Unnatural an Activity

So Unnatural an Activity

To the uninitiated it can be hard to understand why anyone would go hiking. Today’s fleece- and Gore-Tex–clad masses may take for granted the attraction of spending weekends doing what...

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Jessica Sequeira on Mara Pastor

Jessica Sequeira on Mara Pastor

As a poetic symbol, the scar might seem to be hopelessly banal and overwrought. For Mara Pastor, the scar is not just a symbol for romantic pain...

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Joe Linker: The Body of Christ and Body Politic

Joe Linker: The Body of Christ and Body Politic

He argues that religion is politics. To ignore talking about either is to miss the point in a vapid exercise of politeness. But to talk about politics and religion in a qualified academic argument is not to rant and rave.

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Narrowed Web

Narrowed Web

Even as the Web has grown, however, it has narrowed. Google now controls nearly ninety per cent of search advertising, Facebook almost eighty per cent of mobile social traffic.

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“Software and digital devices are imbued with the values of their creators”

“Software and digital devices are imbued with the values of their creators”

“People imagine that programming is logical, a process like fixing a clock,” Ellen Ullman writes in her essay “Outside of Time: Reflections on the Programming Life.” “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

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From loose teeth to rubber boots to hardened pieces of chewing gum…

From loose teeth to rubber boots to hardened pieces of chewing gum…

How best to follow up a six-volume, 3,600-page, terrifically indiscreet autobiographical novel that cops to infidelity, self-mutilation, premature ejaculation, alcoholism, attraction to reactionary politics and ambivalence about fatherhood?

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Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land #3

Lital Khaikin: To Justify Land #3

In Southern Siberia, where the Sayan Mountains rise over the heavy chest of confluence of Central Asia, the Buryat peoples have told legends about the ancient lake Baikal and his beautiful daughter Angara.

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The History of 16th-Century Narcoleptic Walruses

The History of 16th-Century Narcoleptic Walruses

Magnus wanted to present the North as an impenetrable region of wonders and marvels — flesh-eating Scricfinns, magicians, vast whirlpools, and flaming volcanoes — at the very edge of the known world.

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Of Locomotives and Old Wood

Of Locomotives and Old Wood

In the Fifties as today, there is nothing to be done in Mürren but listen to silence, broken only by the habitual click-clack and whirr of the brown electric train.

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That Guerrilla Frisson, Though

That Guerrilla Frisson, Though

It has become customary, at literary festivals in these troubled times to speak of translation in its myriad, metamorphic dimensions as something of a panacea for the world’s ills.

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“Croatian spin doctors used an age-old pattern”

“Croatian spin doctors used an age-old pattern”

Ethnic labelling is not only incorrect, but simplifies things completely. I have lived in the Netherlands for almost twenty years, and I have a Dutch passport and a fierce loyalty to this society that has left me in peace to do what I know best; write.

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45 and Low

45 and Low

Do you think that after the nuclear trigger is pulled that any of the survivors will be able to honestly say that on some level they didn’t always know that it was bound to happen this way?

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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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