Berfrois

October 2019

Jessica Sequeira: Gloss on a Betel Nut

Jessica Sequeira: Gloss on a Betel Nut

Fodder: cows and horses eat the stuff, dried hay or straw, but what is it exactly? A beige substance to be consumed and excreted, a material to be burnt, pure fuel.

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Privileging Fleabag

Privileging Fleabag

When a young woman’s cultural output becomes critically admired and held up as representative of other, maybe all, young women, she becomes a shorthand...

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Medha Singh on Octavio Paz

Medha Singh on Octavio Paz

Octavio Paz grants himself the permission to write long poems, and in doing so he grants it to all the imitators he knows his work will engender.

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Katharine Coldiron Interviews Christopher Higgs

Katharine Coldiron Interviews Christopher Higgs

I saw Christopher Higgs at an English department event before I had a class with him, and I thought he looked like a homeless hipster. His hair stood on end...

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Ed Simon: Breaking the Third Commandment

Ed Simon: Breaking the Third Commandment

What exactly does it mean that the Bible has a story where the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Creator of the universe gets into a wrestling match...

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Genia Blum: Slaves of Dance

Genia Blum: Slaves of Dance

My mother fled Lviv at the end of the Second World War. She met my father in a displaced persons’ camp in Austria; they married and immigrated to Canada.

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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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