Berfrois

January 2019

Into the Adorno-Verse

Into the Adorno-Verse

Is there any way to intervene usefully or meaningfully in public debate, in what the extremely online Twitter users are with gleeful irony calling the ‘discourse’ of the present moment?

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Towards Right and Left 2.0?

Towards Right and Left 2.0?

The political ‘Left’ and ‘Right’ are going through significant transformations. Both wings are becoming more polarised and radical...

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On Summers in Switzerland and Sheffield

On Summers in Switzerland and Sheffield

In late summer and early autumn of 1765, Rousseau was on the run. He was always fleeing some sort of persecution: at times very real, and legal; at others perhaps more perceived, and highly personal.

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On Holidays

On Holidays

There are epochs of history which their enemies call rude and which their friends call simple. My difficulty is that they seem to me not simple, but subtle.

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‘There’s some unattractive social snobbery in their suggestion’

‘There’s some unattractive social snobbery in their suggestion’

Middle-class families protest at their exclusion from grammar schools.” Not your usual headline, but news nonetheless of a petition signed by thousands of parents objecting...

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‘A novel of mine lurking a mere foot above the head of the vice-president of the United States?’

‘A novel of mine lurking a mere foot above the head of the vice-president of the United States?’

During the flurry of George H.W. Bush’s death, funeral and canonisation, it was impossible to escape the photograph of George and Barbara Bush at their house in Maine...

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Colin Raff: Torpid Slivers #25-29

Colin Raff: Torpid Slivers #25-29

Even the best of us, in our tender years, were at some moments cruel to other children. But did you also instruct those you bullied to transform...

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No absinthe, Chartreuse could cure you…

No absinthe, Chartreuse could cure you…

Let me tell you about a color that began as a fabled drink. It tasted harsh and punishing, like medicine. It began as a mythic elixir...

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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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