Berfrois

When the Wrestlers Are Women

When the Wrestlers Are Women

“The virtue of wrestling is to be a spectacle of excess,” Roland Barthes begins—but we are wary of excess in women, wary of too much flesh, too much blood, too much lust or power.

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Vogue Displaced Borussia

Vogue Displaced Borussia

March 2018 saw the publication of the first Polish issue of the monthly magazine Vogue. There would have been nothing remarkable about this, except for the fact that it coincided with the appearance of the sixtieth – and final – issue of Borussia.

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Scholarly publishing is a $25 billion a year industry…

Scholarly publishing is a $25 billion a year industry…

The world of scholarly communication is broken. Giant, corporate publishers with racketeering business practices and profit margins that exceed Apple’s treat life-saving research as a private commodity to be sold at exorbitant profits.

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The Earthly Policeman

The Earthly Policeman

One of Prigov’s iconic creations, present in his poetry and performances, was the image of an ideal policeman, a just and ultimate authority that Pussy Riot’s statement dubbed the Heavenly Policeman.

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Eric D. Lehman: To Filter and Fibre Your Blood

Eric D. Lehman: To Filter and Fibre Your Blood

The night Anthony Bourdain’s suicide was announced, my wife and I opened a bottle of 2010 Haut-Medoc, grilled some Brussels sprouts and hot dogs, which we ate with homemade pickled onions and relish. I read out loud from Moby Dick.

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Cheeky

Cheeky

My local Nando’s in Kentish Town marks the turn towards the swimming pool and the Overground station. It is always crowded on Friday nights, but also on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for lunch and dinner.

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The evisceration of storytelling

The evisceration of storytelling

by Sujatha Fernandes In his seminal essay “The Storyteller,” published in 1936, the German philosopher Walter Benjamin decried the loss of the craft of oral storytelling marked by the advent of the short story and the novel. Modern society, he lamented, had abbreviated storytelling. Fast forward to the era of...

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Real Friends #3 by Elias Tezapsidis and Anthony Strain

Real Friends #3 by Elias Tezapsidis and Anthony Strain

Andy Cohen turned 50. Except on Instagram he said “allegedly I’m 50 today”. In addition to age being something that can be merely alleged, I enjoy the idea of forgetting your own birthday...

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Sent Pics

Sent Pics

Facebook’s DeepFace algorithm can identify a face with more than 97 percent accuracy. This is thanks, in part, to the billions of photographs we have uploaded to the platform.

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At this terrible Brexit moment…

At this terrible Brexit moment…

The British creativity I grew up with – in pop, fashion, poetry, the visual arts and the novel – has almost always come from outside the mainstream: from clubs, gay subcultures, the working class and from the street.

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‘My neo-vagina felt like the confirmation that I had been born transgender’

‘My neo-vagina felt like the confirmation that I had been born transgender’

I couldn’t write a book about sex, trans bodies and genitals, or the changes we make without being honest about my own inability to get it right or at least explore it openly and with self-respect.

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‘No aspiring writer sets out to be a minor writer’

‘No aspiring writer sets out to be a minor writer’

I’m not who I was supposed to be. No aspiring writer sets out to be a minor writer. I didn’t dream of growing up and writing books that sell modestly, are received quietly, and reviewed indifferently...

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Vienna-Despising Viennese

Vienna-Despising Viennese

Alone in Vienna, January sky smoothed and silvery over a thin lip of sunlight, streets windless, I sat in the Café Museum before a strudel and a cup of milky coffee, reading an Austrian novel propped open and freshly coffee stained.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Story of Biafra

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Story of Biafra

Sitting in Baltimore, Chimamanda found that writing her Biafra novel was arousing in her a degree of obsessiveness that she had not experienced before...

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When the Literal and Metaphoric Control of the Gaze is Queered

When the Literal and Metaphoric Control of the Gaze is Queered

This decade has witnessed an increased focus on representing, discussing and experiencing difference in video games. Queer Game Studies, the first games studies volume to focus exclusively on LGBTQ issues.

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Alexander Chee continues to test the parameters of his identity…

Alexander Chee continues to test the parameters of his identity…

Years ago, Alexander Chee was attending a Wall Street book-club discussion of “Edinburgh,” his début novel, when “an otherwise nice white guy” asked him whether he had been a victim of sexual abuse...

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