Berfrois

Scott Manley Hadley: My Father, From A Distance

Scott Manley Hadley: My Father, From A Distance

My father is slowly dying of Parkinson’s disease, and has been for over ten years. I have never been close to him, and now I never will be...

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M. Munro on Fred Moten

M. Munro on Fred Moten

by M. Munro Blackness is the nonexcluded middle with a right to (refuse) philosophy. —Fred Moten All Fred Moten’s books – from his first monograph, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, up to and including the final volume of the trilogy consent not to be...

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Reflections of a DFW Guy

Reflections of a DFW Guy

It is not the fashion in literary assessment to admit that we might have thought differently about a book if we’d read it at another time — older or younger, maybe next week instead of last week.

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Remembering Uri Avnery

Remembering Uri Avnery

In some ways, Avnery – as the name he chose implies – is emblematic of the Zionist story. At the age of 15, as an admirer of the revisionist Zionist leader Jabotinsky...

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Tinkering with Media and Fiction

Tinkering with Media and Fiction

According to George Slusser, science fiction is "the sole literary form that examines the ways in which science penetrates, alters, and transforms the themes, forms, and worldview of fiction"...

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Ed Simon: Last Five Observations about the Moment

Ed Simon: Last Five Observations about the Moment

Panther Hollow hasn’t seen any panthers since the 19th Century. As Oakland increasingly became a cultural waystation ...

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Auerbach’s Simplicity

Auerbach’s Simplicity

"A good writer must write in such a way that one infers from the text what he intended to express. That is not easy.” So declared Erich Auerbach...

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Genia Blum: Ten Questions

Genia Blum: Ten Questions

Did your classy overcoat make me think you were a doctor, or a lawyer, or a dentist like my father?

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Sumana Roy: On Greatness and Uselessness

Sumana Roy: On Greatness and Uselessness

I was carrying a copy of the Bengali poet Binoy Majumdar’s Hashpatal Thhekey Lekha Kobitaguchho (Poems Written from Hospital) with me...

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The Unfinished Glass of Water by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

The Unfinished Glass of Water by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Growing up poor and bored, their childhood was pitiable but also strangely enviable. The anecdotes they recounted to us seemed to be not that bad at all...

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D.H. Lawrence on Walt Whitman

D.H. Lawrence on Walt Whitman

by D.H. Lawrence Post-mortem effects? But what of Walt Whitman? The ‘good grey poet’. Was he a ghost, with all his physicality? The good grey poet. Post-mortem effects. Ghosts. A certain ghoulish insistency. A certain horrible pottage of human parts. A certain stridency and portentousness. A luridness about his beatitudes....

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Suzanne Ruta on Elaine Mokhtefi

Suzanne Ruta on Elaine Mokhtefi

Elaine Mokhtefi and her husband had lived on the Upper West Side in New York City for twenty years. When he died in 2015, she brought him a bench in the park on Riverside Drive, where he liked to sit, gazing at the river through a mass of trees....

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Douglas Penick: The Worldly Gods Return

Douglas Penick: The Worldly Gods Return

Throughout the developed world, many of the dead find no release from their previous social obligations and work lives...

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The Critical Horizon of Barbara K. Lewalski

The Critical Horizon of Barbara K. Lewalski

Three years ago I spent an afternoon with Barbara in her home on University Avenue in Providence, talking a little about the past but mostly about the future, especially politics.

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‘I look underneath my desk and think I might sit there’

‘I look underneath my desk and think I might sit there’

I can’t pick up the clothes. I can’t explain the granite of that “can’t” to anyone else, the way it feels impossible to beat. Look at me looking at the pile and you will think, Just pick it up. For fuck’s sake.

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Ed Simon: First Five Observations about the Moment

Ed Simon: First Five Observations about the Moment

Life experienced narratively, which is to say the only way actual life can be experienced, continually deletes the immediacy of the transitory, but in depicting the specifically of the second within the crystalline moment artists reendow the present with meaning.

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D.H. Lawrence on Moby Dick

D.H. Lawrence on Moby Dick

For Moby Dick, the huge white sperm whale: who is old, hoary, monstrous, and swims alone; who is unspeakably terrible in his wrath, having so often been attacked; and snow-white...

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Clarice Lispector’s Persona

Clarice Lispector’s Persona

At a reading I gave in Seattle two years ago, a man with white hair told me he had once lived in Brazil and had named his daughter after Clarice Lispector..

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Harold Abramowitz & Janice Lee: Motion and Resistance

Harold Abramowitz & Janice Lee: Motion and Resistance

Last night I crossed a river in my dream and so today I translate the journey into thinking for tomorrow.

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