Berfrois

September 2017

Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Yer

Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Yer

In Old Church Slavonic there were two letters representing short vowels. These were called ‘yer’, and there were two species of them: the ‘front yer’, ‘ь’, and the ‘back yer’, ‘ъ’.

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Dominic O’Key and Caitlin Stobie on Okja

Dominic O’Key and Caitlin Stobie on Okja

by Dominic O’Key and Caitlin Stobie Okja, Netflix, 2017 Bong Joon-ho’s Okja (2017) is a weird, wonderful, and unashamedly pro-animal family drama. Made with the South Korean director’s signature bombast, the film’s maximalist aesthetic squeezes together action, comedy and horror to form an anti-capitalist adventure. Centring on one...

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Andrew Epstein on John Ashbery

Andrew Epstein on John Ashbery

This past Sunday, September 3, brought the very sad news that John Ashbery had passed away at the age of 90. Ashbery has long been regarded as the greatest and most influential living American poet.

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Ed Simon: First Twelve Observations about Goodness

Ed Simon: First Twelve Observations about Goodness

One fourteenth century morning in the village of Montalilou, a simple woman named Bartholomette d’Urs, who slept every evening in her bed next to her young son, awoke to find that her boy had died of some unknown cause in the night.

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Doll Life

Doll Life

Doll horror movies are rarely scary, which is strange given how uncanny many people find dolls themselves. Still, they have become a tired trope. As with clowns, the idea of the doll is at this point scarier than any on-screen reality.

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Splendid Grime

Splendid Grime

I have been reading Jason W. Moore’s Capitalism in the Web of Life — a book which helps to theorize the rise of the Biotariat. Moore writes, “all limits to capital emerge historically, out of the relations of humans with the rest of nature.

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Tiny Toons Played

Tiny Toons Played

Not long ago I dreamed of a shopping mall. It was not a mall I had ever visited before, or even a mall I had heard mentioned in casual conversation while standing in line at the grocery store or post office.

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Armed, Not Tentacled

Armed, Not Tentacled

In 1815, 15 years before he made his most famous print, The Great Wave, Hokusai published three volumes of erotic art. In one of them there is a woodcut print known in English as ‘The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife’...

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