Berfrois

October 2018

Ed Simon: Reading Walter Raleigh’s Poetry of Blood

Ed Simon: Reading Walter Raleigh’s Poetry of Blood

Raleigh is often remembered as a dignified refugee from the Elizabethan world of courtier scholars, who was abandoned by a Stuart monarchy...

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By late 1940, Britain withdrew most of its agents from Romania…

By late 1940, Britain withdrew most of its agents from Romania…

Deletant skillfully depicts the complicated geopolitical relations in east-central Europe during World War II, and the ways in which Nazi Germany tried to exploit the tensions between Romania, Hungary, and the USSR...

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‘Composition, which seemed a democratic portal, has become another academic specialty’

‘Composition, which seemed a democratic portal, has become another academic specialty’

The 2016 presidential election made me more aware of two demographic groups. One is made up of young American males, mostly white and not college educated. They wavered, surprisingly, between two candidates — Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

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John Marston’s Scars

John Marston’s Scars

The credits kept rolling, and the fonts got smaller. Some pleasant instrumental music started playing. Soon came the quality assurance testers, the names of whose rank-and-file members were listed in massive blocks spread across four pages.

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‘We need to provide a platform for Arab voices’

‘We need to provide a platform for Arab voices’

The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power...

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Is Tyrion Lannister related to Daenerys Targaryen?

Is Tyrion Lannister related to Daenerys Targaryen?

Peter Dinklage recently reignited a Game of Thrones fan theory with just four words during an acceptance speech at the 2018 Emmys in September...

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“What rhymes with love?”

“What rhymes with love?”

My personal failed attempt at adolescence: too fat to comfortably fit in the largest (read: not that large!) female band uniform, hopeless awkwardness that manifested itself as a torrent of marginally funny jokes...

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‘Can we live ethically in a cursed world?’

‘Can we live ethically in a cursed world?’

I brought a friend with me the first time I saw Princess Mononoke in an American movie theater. He had no experience with Miyazaki or with Japanese culture or animation...

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‘I wanted to carve it out of me’

‘I wanted to carve it out of me’

Instead of approaching the material with the detached view of a historian or anthropologist, Yoon’s A Cruelty uses empathy and poetry to dramatize the traumas the comfort women have suffered.

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The Hope of Homosexual Life

The Hope of Homosexual Life

"Most of us internalized the going cultural definition of who we were — sick, criminal, deformed, psychiatrically disturbed..."

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Colin Raff: Torpid Slivers #20-24

Colin Raff: Torpid Slivers #20-24

There was a nice breeze going, and the footpost-knot was nodding more rapidly than usual, and maybe tonight it appeared more malevolent than it ever had before.

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Eli S. Evans: Kanye West Visits the White House

Eli S. Evans: Kanye West Visits the White House

Before white so-called liberals check Kanye for his almost Nietzschean exaltations of Donald Trump...

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Soap and Bones

Soap and Bones

When viewed on a hot plate under a polarising microscope, liquid crystals appear as a fluctuating kaleidoscope of colour: swirling, as Esther Leslie describes them, like ‘twisting lines of silks’...

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Scott Manley Hadley: My Father, From A Distance

Scott Manley Hadley: My Father, From A Distance

My father is slowly dying of Parkinson’s disease, and has been for over ten years. I have never been close to him, and now I never will be...

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A Historical Parable by Ed Simon

A Historical Parable by Ed Simon

Pennsylvania’s frontier in the decade after both the Seven Years War and Pontiac’s fearsome Indian rebellion was a paranoid place...

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M. Munro on Fred Moten

M. Munro on Fred Moten

by M. Munro Blackness is the nonexcluded middle with a right to (refuse) philosophy. —Fred Moten All Fred Moten’s books – from his first monograph, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, up to and including the final volume of the trilogy consent not to be...

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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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