Berfrois

The Gram

The Gram

Researchers have produced mountains of studies on the motivations and rewards that drive the social media user. The craving for attention, the narcissistic self-referencing...

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Slow Green Water

Slow Green Water

Leonard Cohen’s death in November 2016, at the age of eighty-two, prompted the usual media outpouring that greets the passing of any influential artist.

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Sancho’s Relief

Sancho’s Relief

Readers will remember that in chapter 20 of Part I of Don Quixote Sancho relieves himself while in close proximity to his master...

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“Tinder sucks. The entire project of it is racist.”

“Tinder sucks. The entire project of it is racist.”

Some friends and I started a group chat to share the micro-aggressions that we experience daily. When these encounters feel too minuscule to say out loud, for fear of being disregarded or dismissed as the Black Person Who Cried Racism...

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1984 in the 1940s

1984 in the 1940s

Although the novel begins on April 4, 1984, in the dystopian empire of Oceania, its inspiration was England, circa 1946. The food is bad, and there isn’t enough of it.

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Powerfully Millennial

Powerfully Millennial

“The great millennial novelist”—the mantle has been thrust, by Boomers and Gen Xers alike, upon the Irish writer Sally Rooney, whose two carefully observed and gentle comedies of manners...

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Jessica Sequeira: Some Moonlight for Whitman

Jessica Sequeira: Some Moonlight for Whitman

Whitman, when I see you in my mind’s eye sometimes I confuse you with that other poet bard, that other guru of a nation, Tagore. But first I’d like to look a little more at your image...

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Texting Under Drone-Crossed Skies

Texting Under Drone-Crossed Skies

The war in Afghanistan is now in its seventeenth year and, despite recent attempts to broker a lasting peace, the fight against the Taliban keeps dragging on.

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See Their Trees

See Their Trees

My mother cleaned and gardened with a passion I often mistook for rage. After my father left, when I was four, she washed the windows of our three-bedroom house—and the floors, walls, and ceilings—by hand, twice.

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Open Galeano

Open Galeano

In at least one instance, a book by the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano may have saved a life.

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L.E.L.’s Diadem

L.E.L.’s Diadem

Under the pen name “L.E.L.,” Letitia Elizabeth Landon had been one of the most famous literary women of her brief pre-Victorian moment, her poetry a staple of the popular literary press for well over a decade.

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Mary Wollstonecraft’s Day

Mary Wollstonecraft’s Day

Read Greek (no lesson). Call on Emilia Viviani. E. Williams calls.

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The World of Montague Tibbles House

The World of Montague Tibbles House

“Who will be interested in reading the life of an unfortunate black woman who seemed to be making a mess of her life?” This was the question Buchi Emecheta...

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Nicked

Nicked

As if there was much of anything in any human utterance, oral or written, except plagiarism!” opined Mark Twain...

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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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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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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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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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Essex

Essex

You could look very hard in Purleigh and not find any physical evidence of the Tolstoyan anarchist community that was founded there in 1897...

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The amateur spirit in writing

The amateur spirit in writing

As the reading crisis spreads its tangential wings to include newspapers pruning peripheral departments, some semi-pro and pro writers are forced back into an amateur spirit...

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