Berfrois

Gurped Out

Gurped Out

On any given day, walking around the yard, one was almost certain to hear one prisoner ask another, “Hey, man, got any gurps?” I knew it had something to do with drugs...

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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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Octavia Butler’s Queer Sci-Fi

Octavia Butler’s Queer Sci-Fi

If there is ever to be a next generation, we need one another, flawed as we are...

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Peter Pans

Peter Pans

Who or what is Peter Pan? Peter stands for a deep psychological desire in all of us to return to childhood and escape into an earlier, freer state of being...

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More Absurdity Than Logic

More Absurdity Than Logic

Don’t we go to literature to find the logic that might displace the absurdity of our lives?

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The New Zhdanovshchina

The New Zhdanovshchina

This new world of ours, structured by the internet, is unrelentingly violent, as it is inimical to human freedom and human thriving...

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Far Sparklers

Far Sparklers

Tonight I walked under the stars through the snow & stopped & looked at my far sparklers & heard the voice of the wind so slight & pure & deep as if it were the sound of the stars themselves revolving...

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Elucidating Esbjerg

Elucidating Esbjerg

Esbjerg is a seaport town in Denmark. In the story, it’s presented as an obscure place...

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The Appearance of Goodness

The Appearance of Goodness

There are many social-media-savvy people who are choking on sanctimony and lacking in compassion, who can fluidly pontificate on Twitter about kindness but are unable to actually show kindness...

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L.M. Montgomery’s Journals

L.M. Montgomery’s Journals

Through all those years of journal entries, Lucy Maud Montgomery was always intelligent, often funny and never boring. I wanted to know what she’d say next...

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Rachel Howard: If Reborn, then Snail

Rachel Howard: If Reborn, then Snail

If rebirth does actually happen, I will be reborn as an amoeba or a snail...

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Orwell: Toads

Orwell: Toads

Before the swallow, before the daffodil, and not much later than the snowdrop, the common toad salutes the coming of spring after his own fashion...

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In the Business of Sharing Knowledge

In the Business of Sharing Knowledge

Especially for antiquarian and other independent booksellers, there exists a tension between sharing knowledge and running a business...

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Virginia Woolf on D.H. Lawrence

Virginia Woolf on D.H. Lawrence

Sons and Lovers emerged with astonishing vividness, like an island from off which the mist has suddenly lifted...

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Paul Vacca: Should we sweep away metaphors like dead leaves?

Paul Vacca: Should we sweep away metaphors like dead leaves?

The metaphor retains the paradoxical power to unveil the truth by veiling it...

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What determines the lengths of novels?

What determines the lengths of novels?

The novel is an extremely flexible form. It can come out in countless shapes, include infinite content, and end up almost any length...

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Douglas Penick on Robert Walser

Douglas Penick on Robert Walser

Robert Walser found a context, a context of beauty for the many voices that surfaced in his awareness...

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Buwan

Buwan

In more than two dozen languages, the words for month and moon are the same...

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Tabish Khair: Inevitable Friction

Tabish Khair: Inevitable Friction

The trajectory of literature is intertwined with and also strains against the career of God...

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Kenkō’s Idle Hours

Kenkō’s Idle Hours

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations—such is a pleasure beyond compare...

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