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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Mars Is Heaven

Mars Is Heaven

At the end of February 2012, I was sitting in a bar in the Chicago Hilton, discussing Ray Bradbury.

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Jeremy Fernando: Nine Steps on the Ladder of Writhing

Jeremy Fernando: Nine Steps on the Ladder of Writhing

this is perhaps the tragedy of the photographic object, the object that is photographed: that in order to preserve its writing — the writing of light — the object has to be consigned into the shadows of time.

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What was the Soviet Union’s gaming culture?

What was the Soviet Union’s gaming culture?

In English at least, there’s very little research on gaming in the Soviet Union. We know from surviving arcade cabinets that what titles did exist were somewhat derivative of Western products.

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Strings are tied to your limbs…

Strings are tied to your limbs…

The inner motion of fear is a thick book of old tricks that brims with almost invisible, almost silent improvisations—that’s why it cannot be anticipated.

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Chills, Thrills and Skin Orgasms

Chills, Thrills and Skin Orgasms

I call them “the fevers,” the waves that surge up my back and arms, break into electric foam at the jetty of my neck when her fingers move at a certain depth inside of me.

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Commerce, Religion and Sex

Commerce, Religion and Sex

The friendship between Shahane and Kolatkar began in the late 1950s, in Pune. Shahane had gone to Pune for college, but formal education was not for him.

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Read Barthes

Read Barthes

The ad was meticulously crafted to foster outrage. I reposted it, commenting that it was “the most disgusting ad I’ve ever seen,” disregarding the inevitable: that my conservative friends might repost it.

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‘As avowed anticapitalists, communists made for unlikely business owners’

‘As avowed anticapitalists, communists made for unlikely business owners’

It’s not entirely clear when communists first sold books in the US. But almost as soon as they split off from the Socialist Party of America to form their own parties in 1919, communists opened their own bookstores, too.

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Owen Vince: Peaks Memes

Owen Vince: Peaks Memes

James Hurley - forehead contorted into the bland echo of a mummified Incan princeling - can never be cool. He is ‘the original sad boy’. Sad reacts only.

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After 1989

After 1989

I imagine a cosy dining room somewhere in eastern Europe, in Bucharest or perhaps Zagreb. But it could be Timișoara or Bratislava as well.

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Somewhere Between Solitude and Loneliness

Somewhere Between Solitude and Loneliness

In 1840, Edgar Allan Poe described the ‘mad energy’ of an ageing man who roved the streets of London from dusk till dawn.

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It’s Sonya Tolstaya’s Letters

It’s Sonya Tolstaya’s Letters

The 2009 film The Last Station, based on a fine book by Jay Parini and featuring Christopher Plummer and Helen Mirren, made the story of Lev Tolstoy’s last days accessible to many who had not read the biographies.

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VAVOOM

VAVOOM

Like many people, I discovered Raymond Pettibon’s artwork through his ink drawings that were used on a few SST Records album covers, most notably Black Flag’s Slip It In, which my neighbor had somehow procured in 1984.

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That Group Selfie Moment

That Group Selfie Moment

Earlier this summer, I saw a photo on a lifestyle blog of three women by a pool, drinking rosé. They are taking a group selfie — one woman’s arm is extended, holding a black iPhone

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Mission, Statement

Mission, Statement

At the end of June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had hit a new level: two billion monthly active users.

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Fur, Pleated

Fur, Pleated

“My own autobiography has never interested me very much,” John Ashbery once told an interviewer. “Whenever I try to think about it, I seem to draw a complete blank.”

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Got Skinny Repeal?

Got Skinny Repeal?

Though the collapse of the seven-year Republican effort to kill off the Affordable Care Act came in one of the most dramatic moments in US Senate history

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Plath’s (Blessed, Excellent) Doctors

Plath’s (Blessed, Excellent) Doctors

When Plath moved from Devon back to London in the late autumn, one of the things that seemed to thrill her most was the easy access to medical care.

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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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