Berfrois

February 2019

Jessica Sequeira on Fawzi Karim

Jessica Sequeira on Fawzi Karim

Not even you know what illumination you are seeking in the pubs of London, where the women lightly mock you. “To find solace in stupefaction...

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Suburban Domesticity on the Moon?

Suburban Domesticity on the Moon?

I had a little conversation with Bryan Alexander over First Man and our capacity for experience. It came down to this (Bryan): “Yes, there's a cultural pattern here, an arc from dread/possibility to suburbs.

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Paul Johnathan: Contorted Bodies

Paul Johnathan: Contorted Bodies

Alessio Bolzoni’s sophomore effort finds him intimate with the human form. The photographer’s new book, Abuse II, The Uncanny, features tense shots...

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Druid, How’s My Circle?

Druid, How’s My Circle?

It’s a cloudy August morning just after sunrise, and my family and I are speeding about a hundred miles west of London in our rental car, bisecting the Salisbury Plain on the A303.

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It has to be living…

It has to be living…

George Hutchinson’s Facing the Abyss has bracing and revelatory things to say about American culture in the 1940s; also, by contrast and implication, about American culture today.

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M. Munro: The Unconscious

M. Munro: The Unconscious

“Thinking,” Paul de Man is reported to have said, “is finding a good quotation.”

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Class Dismissed

Class Dismissed

I had never seen so many tennis courts in my life. I had never heard of rugby or lacrosse. I mispronounced genre in class because I had only ever read the word.

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Ed Simon: Possess the Origin of all Poems

Ed Simon: Possess the Origin of all Poems

Underneath the volcanic ash and debris of Herculaneum, the elegant smaller sister of Pompeii, there is the earliest example of a chiseled wall writing that has come to be called the Sator Square...

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She opened the portal…

She opened the portal…

She lay every morning under an avalanche of details, blissed: pictures of breakfasts in Patagonia, a girl applying foundation with a hardboiled egg, a shiba inu in Japan leaping from paw to paw to greet its owner

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The Lost History of Prosecuting War Crimes by Amy Carney

The Lost History of Prosecuting War Crimes by Amy Carney

Human Rights after Hitler describes the rise and fall of the United Nations War Crimes Commission (UNWCC). But author Dan Plesch did not write this book...

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G.K. Chesterton: Dreams

G.K. Chesterton: Dreams

There can be comparatively little question that the place ordinarily occupied by dreams in literature is peculiarly unreal and unsatisfying. When the hero tells us that "last night he dreamed a dream"...

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Do children fall in love?

Do children fall in love?

Do children really fall in love? Amanda Rose, a professor of psychology at the University of Missouri who focuses on friendships and peer relationships in childhood and adolescence...

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Julian of Norwich and the Process of Transformation

Julian of Norwich and the Process of Transformation

Julian of Norwich was born in 1342. No stranger to violence and suffering, she grew up in a world ravaged by the Hundred Years’ War between England and France and torn apart...

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Thirty-Seven Pages by Shane Jesse Christmass

Thirty-Seven Pages by Shane Jesse Christmass

 A while ago, someone on Facebook was selling books. I purchased a few titles by Alfred Jarry and Edouard Leve. This was years ago.

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FOR SALE: Air

FOR SALE: Air

It is rare in the history of architecture for a new type of building to emerge. The Romans’ discovery of concrete birthed the great domes and fortifications of its empire.

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WANTED: Planeteers

WANTED: Planeteers

From the moment that a light gets turned on in the morning, every action of a Western life uses energy. Its easy availability—thanks largely to the so-called fossil fuels—gave us modernity...

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Liberalism and Slavery

Liberalism and Slavery

Herman Bennett’s African Kings and Black Slaves is a teaser, an invitation to think through the historiography on Atlantic slavery as a liberal metanarrative...

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Wait for the Drop

Wait for the Drop

Elizabeth Holmes was said to be the ‘youngest self-made female billionaire’ of all time. And why not? Her invention was going to be the reason people – Americans first, but eventually everyone in the world – would lead better, healthier, longer lives.

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A Disanalogy of Disanalogies by Roland Bolz

A Disanalogy of Disanalogies by Roland Bolz

The following is ascribed to the 20th Century Polish mathematician Stefan Banach. "A mathematician is a person who can find analogies between theorems...

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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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