Berfrois

November 2017

The Way We Were is devastating…

The Way We Were is devastating…

There’s a whole feminist thesis in this admission. And I’m going to teach it in my Love (in film) class next semester. It wasn’t on the syllabus last year. Somehow I forgot to include it.

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‘The Russian Revolution reshaped global time and space’

‘The Russian Revolution reshaped global time and space’

Over the past one hundred years, some 20,000 books on the Russian Revolution have been published, roughly six thousand of them in English.

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Ed Simon: Resurrecting American Civil Religion

Ed Simon: Resurrecting American Civil Religion

What ten sentences have been more scriptural than the ones delivered by Abraham Lincoln in that southern Pennsylvanian killing field? Not just scriptural in rhetoric...

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‘Many interests united literary supporters of Vichy’

‘Many interests united literary supporters of Vichy’

What are the responsibilities of scholars and artists in a time of political crisis and militant nationalism? This dilemma confronts us today, just as it did French writers during the Second World War. 

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Books About Books About the Brontës

Books About Books About the Brontës

There are far too many books about the Brontës, and books about books about the Brontës, for us to be able to track and arrange our knowledge exhaustively.

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Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Social Media and Autocracy

Justin E. H. Smith: Notes on Social Media and Autocracy

We have learned that part of Russia's intervention in the 2016 US election included placing ads on Facebook that spanned the political spectrum...

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Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

It is only when we are able to understand the stranger within ourselves (étrangers à nous-mêmes) that we might confront our reasons for creating the stranger.

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Adam Staley Groves on Charmaine Chan

Adam Staley Groves on Charmaine Chan

Recently, I read The Magic Circle, then found some poems when I heard Charmaine Chan read a few excerpts. So here is a review, but it is a review by the criteria of poetry and not, literary or critical, this or that.

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Emma Bovary absolutely refuses to be good…

Emma Bovary absolutely refuses to be good…

Maybe Flaubert intends for us to loathe the characters: he was famously disgusted by everything around him...

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The Manson Bloggers

The Manson Bloggers

An interest in murders and cults and cult murders makes sense in teenagers. Being sixteen feels chaotic and a little insane, even under the best circumstances

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Bitright

Bitright

Bitcoin rhetoric replicates elements of racist right-wing Federal Reserve conspiracism, deploying the language and rhetoric of the far-right without consciously identifying it as such or understanding the origin of these Volk-tales.

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Wanted: Camaraderie and Purpose

Wanted: Camaraderie and Purpose

We are, one hears, spending too much time on Appalachia. There are too many dispatches from woebegone towns...

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Hoary-Headed Frosts

Hoary-Headed Frosts

As climatologists define it, the Little Ice Age was a long-term cooling of the Northern Hemisphere between 1300 and 1850...

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Primitive aggressive hordes or emotionless repressive automatons?

Primitive aggressive hordes or emotionless repressive automatons?

As the gigantic ants—mutations born of the first nuclear weapon test in New Mexico—are exterminated by US army flame-throwers in the climactic scene of 1954’s Them!, Dr. Harold Medford reflects: “When man entered the atomic age, he opened the door to a new world.

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Do books smile when we crack open their pages?

Do books smile when we crack open their pages?

Photograph by g_leon_h From The Millions: I apologize for the lean of our shelves, which the previous tenants had affixed to the walls, a lean that seems to get more precarious each week. Without any shelf space these days, I try maintain tidy piles of magazines, printouts, and books, on...

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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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