Berfrois

October 2018

Unsentimental Vistas

Unsentimental Vistas

When the American photographer Berenice Abbott returned to New York in 1929 after nearly a decade away in Paris, she came back to a city transformed...

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Liberals today would benefit from injecting a dose of Marxian materialism into their thinking…

Liberals today would benefit from injecting a dose of Marxian materialism into their thinking…

The error that Appiah denounces is “essentialism”: the theory that members of the same group share some inner essence that explains what they have in common.

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Feel Less Passive

Feel Less Passive

I am standing beside a small male cop. It’s four days before the Kavanaugh vote, and we still have a kind of hope or momentum ...

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More Strategic Than Sentimental

More Strategic Than Sentimental

One month into their marriage, my parents leave Turkey for good. It’s my mom’s first time on a plane. They fly from Ankara to Brisbane, an Australian city where they don’t know anyone.

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Are You and Your Microbes a Community or a Single Entity?

Are You and Your Microbes a Community or a Single Entity?

Cicadas might be a pest, but they’re special in a few respects. For one, these droning insects have a habit of emerging after a prime number of years...

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Gregory Giles and Teresa K. Miller Discuss Tortured Genius

Gregory Giles and Teresa K. Miller Discuss Tortured Genius

People often said that he finished sentences for me. Well, he did. He was between me and the world. He not only answered the telephone; he finished my sentences.

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Airline Travel and the African Diaspora

Airline Travel and the African Diaspora

In the prologue to Empire in the Air: Airline Travel and the African Diaspora, Chandra D. Bhimull begins with two narratives about death.

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Eli S. Evans on the Kavanaugh Affair

Eli S. Evans on the Kavanaugh Affair

by Eli S. Evans During the weekdays in the summer of 1982 … I spent much of my time working, working out, lifting weights, playing basketball, or hanging out and having some beers with friends as we talked about life, and football, and school and girls. —Brett Kavanaugh, Senate...

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Uncertain Types

Uncertain Types

Merve Emre strikesa rare off-note in her crackling new book, The Personality Brokers, when she briefly purports not to understand the appeal of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

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The Buddhist Monk Who Became an Apostle for Sexual Freedom

The Buddhist Monk Who Became an Apostle for Sexual Freedom

Buddhist monks follow a lot of rules – 253 in one tradition, 200 in another. As the story goes, all of these rules were made by the Buddha himself...

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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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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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