Berfrois

Italy’s Midsummer Bescheerung by Vernon Lee

Italy’s Midsummer Bescheerung by Vernon Lee

The cool shadow of the fig-trees in the yards, with the whiff of that queer smell, heavy with romance, of wine-saturated oak and crumbling plaster; I know with a little stab of joy that this is Italy...

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Friendship in Fiction

Friendship in Fiction

In philosophical treatments of friendship, it can often be elevated to the highest form of human relationships, even if its perfect form is rare...

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George Orwell on bookshops

George Orwell on bookshops

When I worked in a second-hand bookshop the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people...

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Thomas Travisano on Elizabeth Bishop

Thomas Travisano on Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop explored Brazil extensively, making trips down the Amazon, traversing the tropical rainforest with Aldous Huxley...

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Douglas Penick: archie period

Douglas Penick: archie period

thank you for apple peelings in the wastepaper basket...

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Across Poisoned Oceans

Across Poisoned Oceans

The pair fly to Japan where they discover the virtual world conjured via the internet does not reflect reality...

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Timelessnesses

Timelessnesses

Inside St Mary’s Church in Gdańsk stands a Clock of Everything. At fourteen metres, it was the tallest clock ever built when Hans Düringer completed it in 1470...

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‘Why was I making so many cups of tea?’

‘Why was I making so many cups of tea?’

It couldn’t possibly be that I was actually missing the ebb and flow of office life, could it?

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Joe Linker on Keith Kopka

Joe Linker on Keith Kopka

It's poetry where the Punk finds their way out of the mosh pit and into the solo business of writing poems to make sense of it all...

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(Parentheses are outward-looking); “quotation is inward-looking”

(Parentheses are outward-looking); “quotation is inward-looking”

A parenthetical phrase (like this one) may refer to things outside of it, parts of the sentence it inhabits (say)...

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More than Heavenly Bliss by Andre Gerard

More than Heavenly Bliss by Andre Gerard

Important as the soup is in To the Lighthouse it is never identified, never seen as “beautiful red soup” or “eternal” tomato soup...

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This Tree

This Tree

There is a great tree in Sussex, whose cloud of thin foliage floats high in the summer air...

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If Thoreau Is Not Thoreau

If Thoreau Is Not Thoreau

It is vain to try to write unless you feel strong in the knees...

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Douglas Penick on David Jones

Douglas Penick on David Jones

At the time of the dooms in the third quarter of the Reaper’s Moon, in the island of Britain...

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Blank Page Theory

Blank Page Theory

At first I wanted to write only at night. The great romantic writers I admired wrote mostly in the witching hours. Can you imagine Kafka lugging his laptop to Starbucks at seven in the morning?

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Booked In

Booked In

There’s something to value about a completely unmediated and uncurated encounter with old books: a chance to access for yourself the raw material of history...

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The YA serial came into its own in the 1980s…

The YA serial came into its own in the 1980s…

If Christopher Pike’s YA novels were sold out at my local Crown Books, I was faced with the choice of either Sweet Valley High or The Baby-Sitters Club...

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