Berfrois

The Wealth of Asteroids: Berfrois Interviews Martin Elvis

The Wealth of Asteroids: Berfrois Interviews Martin Elvis

The penalty in rocket fuel for mining on Mars is pretty big. Asteroids are better...

Read More

“Darwin chose agnostic for tactical reasons”

“Darwin chose agnostic for tactical reasons”

He said the common man was not ready for atheism. There’s a lovely story the comedian Julia Sweeney tells about her own journey from devout Catholicism to atheism. After she’d finally decided she was an atheist, something appeared about it in the newspaper. Her mother phoned her in hysterics...

Read More

When Dittmer Met Séra

When Dittmer Met Séra

Ing Phouséra, or Séra, as he is known in artistic circles, is a French-Cambodian comics artist who evacuated Phnom Penh with his French mother in 1975. While the subject of his works range far and into other media, he came to my attention for his graphic novels about the...

Read More

“My autonym is Bond, Jim Bond” by Evan Johnston

“My autonym is Bond, Jim Bond” by Evan Johnston

People have internalized facts about James Bond to begin with in a way that they don't about say, Nancy Drew, Batman or Odysseus. There are people who can tell you his preferred shoe or tuxedo, and the culture at large knows his preferred method for preparing a martini. And...

Read More

“Democratic theory can be thought of as an attempt to answer the challenge of Thomas Hobbes”

“Democratic theory can be thought of as an attempt to answer the challenge of Thomas Hobbes”

Josiah Ober Josiah Ober is a classicist and political theorist at Stanford University, and his work on ancient Greek democracy is widely read in both disciplines. The Art of Theory recently spoke with him about Athens, democracy, and fly-fishing. The Art of Theory What prompted your interest in classics?...

Read More

“And no wireless”

“And no wireless”

Julie Otsuka From The Days of Yore: Days of Yore: Where did you live during your early New York years? Julie Otsuka: I have always lived in this neighborhood . I’ve always had my own place, I don’t think I could do roommates. I moved to New York...

Read More

Planted

Planted

Plant ethics shares with veganism a strong commitment to justice, which is to say, to the reduction of violence humans perpetrate against other living beings. It is by no means a threat to or an invalidation of veganism. Rather, plant ethics is an open invitation to fine-tune our dietary...

Read More

All Porcupines Climb Trees: Bharat Azad Meets Iain McGilchrist

All Porcupines Climb Trees: Bharat Azad Meets Iain McGilchrist

“One of the saddest things is that I go and talk to artists and dancers etc. and they expect that because I can tell them something about brain correlates, then I can tell them something more profound about what it is they do!”, Iain McGilchrist tells me. “And I...

Read More

“I took the transmission of the shelves”

“I took the transmission of the shelves”

Jonathan Lethem From The Believer: The Believer: When did you first start collecting books? Jonathan Lethem: It really begins with my walking into a shop, one that’s a big part of my life history: Brazen Head Books, on Atlantic Avenue. I was fourteen, and the place was a really...

Read More

Harpo’s Silence: Berfrois Interviews Wayne Koestenbaum

Harpo’s Silence: Berfrois Interviews Wayne Koestenbaum

Humiliation opens with a strip search; Harpo’s “fragile” rear (remember, in The Big Store, a sign saying “Fragile” finds itself on his buttocks) may not cause him shame (indeed, he seems humiliation-proof), but he travels within shame’s dirty circuit. He dives without embarrassment into situations and actions that would cause a...

Read More

“You put on your running shoes”

“You put on your running shoes”

Charles Duhigg, New York Times reporter and author of The Power of Habit by Steve Silberman For a species obsessed with free will, choices, and options, we spend a surprising amount of time acting like zombies. We’re already sipping our morning coffee before we notice we’ve navigated to the...

Read More

Changing the Discourse on the Landless

Changing the Discourse on the Landless

There has been a big discussion about what is more effective during class struggle, Gandhian nonviolent strategy or going back to Leninist or Stalinist methods of violent uprising. The Indian movement of landless people Ekta Parishad has been around for the last 12 years. Rajagopal PV and Jill Carr-Harris...

Read More

Gambling? In Atlantic City?

Gambling? In Atlantic City?

Joel Dias-Porter From Poetry: As you cruise north on New Jersey’s Atlantic Avenue, through the drowsy, middle-class shore towns of Margate and Ventnor, the ice cream parlors and bike shops slowly give way to tattoo parlors, law offices, and pawnshops with “Money to Lend” signs. Imagine The Wire by...

Read More

“Aeronautical engineer”

“Aeronautical engineer”

E. L. Doctorow From The Days of Yore: Cautious at first, Doctorow opens up with a warm and steady chuckle, seeming to surprise himself by his own candor. Did you have a sense when you were very young that a writer was something one could be – and did...

Read More

China in a Very Fast World: Berfrois Interviews Dan Breznitz

China in a Very Fast World: Berfrois Interviews Dan Breznitz

China shines by keeping its industrial production and service industries in perfect tandem with the technological frontier. Like the Red Queen, it runs as fast as possible in order to remain at the cusp of the global technology frontier, while not actually advancing the frontier itself.

Read More

“It was the 80s I think”

“It was the 80s I think”

by John Van Houdt Van Houdt From Kant to Husserl, and now to your work, the move to transcendental philosophy has, for the most part, taken place in times of “crisis.” For Kant it was the potential failure of classical accounts of rationality at the skeptical hands of David...

Read More

Comprehensively: Berfrois Interviews Melissa Benn

Comprehensively: Berfrois Interviews Melissa Benn

by Russell Bennetts Melissa Benn is a British journalist and writer. She has written for The Guardian, The London Review of Books, Marxism Today and many other publications. Her most recent book is School Wars: The Battle for Britain’s Education.            Berfrois Is the comprehensive dream over?            Benn Well yes...

Read More

Beached: Berfrois Interviews McKenzie Wark

Beached: Berfrois Interviews McKenzie Wark

by Sam Cooper McKenzie Wark is an Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at The New School. His most recent book, The Beach Beneath the Street: The Everyday Life and Glorious Times of the Situationist International , offers a reconsideration of the movement in terms of its lesser-known...

Read More