Berfrois

January 2019

The Fourth and Fifth Waves

The Fourth and Fifth Waves

Everyone knows the first 3 waves of feminism: the first was the political fight for women’s suffrage , the second was the revival of the struggle around...

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A National Education Service: Berfrois Interviews Melissa Benn

A National Education Service: Berfrois Interviews Melissa Benn

Our education system divided our nation, broadly along the lines of social class, choosing winners and losers at an early age...

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Socialist Sex Satisfaction

Socialist Sex Satisfaction

Women's sexual pleasure has rarely been treated as an appropriate subject for economics. Various political theorists have long ruminated on the dubiousness of even naming women’s sexual pleasure as though it were transhistoric...

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Things essential to life are only getting more expensive…

Things essential to life are only getting more expensive…

People keep complaining about “income inequality” and writing books about how grindingly difficult it is for an alarmingly large number of Americans to get by...

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“Autonomy made it possible for us to find our own voices”

“Autonomy made it possible for us to find our own voices”

Silvia Federici’s scholarship and activism offers a foundational account of the demand for the wage as a revolutionary act...

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Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia

After Tito’s death in 1980 the system entered its final decade, characterized by internal political crisis and external economic pressure...

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Central Europe

Central Europe

One way to understand central Europe today is to examine the legacy of two towering figures, Václav Havel and Viktor Orbán...

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Essex

Essex

You could look very hard in Purleigh and not find any physical evidence of the Tolstoyan anarchist community that was founded there in 1897...

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The amateur spirit in writing

The amateur spirit in writing

As the reading crisis spreads its tangential wings to include newspapers pruning peripheral departments, some semi-pro and pro writers are forced back into an amateur spirit...

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Jeremy Fernando on Tembusu College

Jeremy Fernando on Tembusu College

In many ways, gender — much like religion — is at best imaginary, at worse, nonsense.

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Jennifer Seaman Cook: Why Did Bowie Leave Us in The Attic?

Jennifer Seaman Cook: Why Did Bowie Leave Us in The Attic?

Three years after David Bowie’s death, one of his last, cryptic videos leaves us wondering what his final message might mean for us...

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Letters from Robben Island

Letters from Robben Island

In a speech he gave after his release from prison in 1990, Nelson Mandela described the triumph of the South African anti-apartheid struggle he had done so much to lead.

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Meta may be the defining characteristic of the poet’s novel..

Meta may be the defining characteristic of the poet’s novel..

When I heard that a previously unpublished Sylvia Plath short story would appear in January 2019, I requested an electronic galley and then let the file sit unopened in my inbox for several weeks. I felt apprehensive, even frightened of it.

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Carmen Troncoso Interviews Ida Vitale

Carmen Troncoso Interviews Ida Vitale

Ida Vitale is a poet, translator, essayist, professor and literary critic in Uruguay. She is a member of the artistic movement called the “Generation of ’45” along with Mario Benedetti...

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M. Munro on Philosophy and Silence

M. Munro on Philosophy and Silence

Philosophy undoubtedly has something to do with the experience of silence – that much is clear. What’s not at all clear, however...

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Eli S. Evans: January, 2019

Eli S. Evans: January, 2019

Question: Looking back on your life in 2018, what do you see?

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Ed Simon: Fleeting Shadows of the Dead

Ed Simon: Fleeting Shadows of the Dead

I’ve no photograph of my great-grandfather’s brother, Peter Simon, the Hungarian tailor who was imprisoned by Cossacks and sent to a Siberian prison-camp.

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Who killed Luxemburg and Liebknecht?

Who killed Luxemburg and Liebknecht?

Here is a world in disorder,” the chorus chant in an unfinished play that Bertolt Brecht started in 1926, “Who is then ready / To put it in order?” The answer was Rosa Luxemburg...

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Borderlands

Borderlands

Informed by an ethos of transnationalism, Elizabeth Leake’s text aims to blur regional and global histories of the Afghanistan-Pakistan borderlands...

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Nonsense!

Nonsense!

The English writer Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem The Hunting of the Snark (1876) is an exceptionally difficult read. In it, a crew of improbable characters boards a ship to hunt a Snark...

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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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