Berfrois

October 2017

One Rapture of an Inspiration

One Rapture of an Inspiration

The fifth (and final) definition of “revision” in the OED is “the fact of seeing a person or thing again; an instance of this; a fresh or new vision of something.”

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‘Pain relief usually ends up at opioid analgesics’

‘Pain relief usually ends up at opioid analgesics’

The notion that your doctor knows best, and will make decisions about your treatment with little attention to your desires, has been out of fashion for decades.

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Agenda-driven publishers churn out narrowly tailored news for increasingly niche audiences…

Agenda-driven publishers churn out narrowly tailored news for increasingly niche audiences…

Trump’s histrionics were always strategic. He was able to successfully undermine months of critical coverage and dutiful fact-checking by casting reporters as villains.

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Drink Through

Drink Through

Sit in silence in the dark. Vibrate vigorously. Roll on your side. Picture tight, glistening calves and dark eyebrows.

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Uber, Deleted

Uber, Deleted

For about three months this year, I drove an Uber taxi in London (as research for a book about the company). My entry into this world of casual employment was greeted by reams of pseudo-emancipatory rhetoric.

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Plath’s (Crystalline, Determined) Letters

Plath’s (Crystalline, Determined) Letters

When reading Sylvia Plath’s private writing – her letters, her diaries – one always wonders just what her life would have been like had she been born in 1942 rather than in 1932.

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‘We were subversives, a little suspect, a little uncomfortable’

‘We were subversives, a little suspect, a little uncomfortable’

I am not the only woman who worked at Playboy and kept her clothes on. When I was hired as literary editor in 2005...

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Homage to Democracy

Homage to Democracy

Carles Puigdemont, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, in 2016. Photograph by Generalitat de Catalunya. From EUROPP: The secessionist parties’ reaction has been to use their small majority in the Catalan parliament to pass a law that makes the constitution null and void. This is not an exaggeration; it is there...

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Electric Limits

Electric Limits

Larkin really was a hermit. He disliked virtually everyone who worked for the university, and especially those in my department.

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Corruption, It’s Bad

Corruption, It’s Bad

Having set off for Moscow after a dinner with friends, the hero awakens outside of Kolpino from an intolerable rocking. Seeing in front of him the windshield bespattered with vomit.

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‘We have not yet abandoned the citadels that the modernists established’

‘We have not yet abandoned the citadels that the modernists established’

In the tumultuous period that began in the late 1910s and ended in the late 1940s, poet-critics began to consolidate their cultural gains by making a durable place for literary modernism in the American social order.

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Residents of Reality

Residents of Reality

‘Postmodernity’ has a history. It came not from nowhere, but rather from ‘modernity,’ which in Europe historians have traditionally dated from the eighteenth-century French Enlightenment.

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