Berfrois

March 2018

Ed Simon: Punic Encomium

Ed Simon: Punic Encomium

Purple being an error is not, however, a law of physics, or a mitzvoth of the Hebraic covenant, rather it is a suggestion, and the first thing you must consider about the plain style is that like anything in culture...

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Judie Newman on Harriet Beecher Stowe

Judie Newman on Harriet Beecher Stowe

“So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” Abraham Lincoln’s apocryphal greeting to Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862 has become known in literary history, after the colossal impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin...

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Gyms are not sites of spontaneity and play…

Gyms are not sites of spontaneity and play…

Despite the pulsing pop music and comfortable clothes, gyms are not sites of spontaneity and play. There are rules beamed out from video monitors, mostly innocuous ones, like no cursing, “staring” at others, or expressing effort in audible form such as grunts or panting.

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‘Beethoven’s music was more exciting when he was for Napoleon, rather than against him’

‘Beethoven’s music was more exciting when he was for Napoleon, rather than against him’

Beethoven was regarded as enough of a friend to the imperial family that, in 1808, Napoleon’s brother, Jerome Bonaparte, then king of Westphalia...

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Black Panther is not the film we were waiting for…

Black Panther is not the film we were waiting for…

We were waiting for a film like Black Panther, but Black Panther is not the film we were waiting for.  The first sign of ambiguity is the fact that the movie was enthusiastically received all across the political spectrum...

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A priori justification is the basis of our fundamental moral beliefs…

A priori justification is the basis of our fundamental moral beliefs…

Say, for instance, that you believe you have a pain in your back or that there is a computer screen in front of you. What are the justifications for these beliefs?

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Classified: Bears

Classified: Bears

As any good high school student should know, the beaks of Galápagos “finches” (in fact the islands’ mockingbirds) helped Darwin to develop his ideas about evolution.

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‘Much of South Wales and Northern Ireland will exist in a parallel economic universe to London’

‘Much of South Wales and Northern Ireland will exist in a parallel economic universe to London’

When historians examine Britain’s departure from the European Union, one of the things that will puzzle them is the behaviour of the Conservative Party.

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These west Balkan rivers have dark histories, not least because they so often serve as borders…

These west Balkan rivers have dark histories, not least because they so often serve as borders…

Just south of where we’re sitting this morning in Banja Luka’s restored Ottoman fortress, the River Vrbas enters a stunning, winding gorge on its way to join the Sava.

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Same-sex marriage has become a political football in Italy’s elections

Same-sex marriage has become a political football in Italy’s elections

Ahead of Italy’s national elections on 4 March, towns and cities across the country were plastered with posters to “defend the traditional family”

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Byronic Women

Byronic Women

The title of Miranda Seymour’s vastly enjoyable new book is misleading. It suggests that Byron’s wife and daughter tumbled about in the slipstream of a volcanic genius.

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Scrolling

Scrolling

If writing brings with it the notion of scribbling, scribere, tearing, with one’s hand, digital writing perhaps opens the possibility that it is our fingers (digits) that are doing the feeling, walking, seeing, whilst opening...

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