Berfrois

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...

Read More

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.

Read More

‘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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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...

Read More

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..

Read More

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.

Read More

Ed Simon on the Number Three

Ed Simon on the Number Three

Behold, the first odd prime, designator of our three dimensions, that which was the number of times Peter denied Christ, the number of times Satan tempted him, and the number of days he spent in the grave...

Read More

It’s Coming Home, Though

It’s Coming Home, Though

The danger is that we allow English nationalism to be defined by the forces of darkness and xenophobia, as witnessed during the Brexit referendum.

Read More

Virginia Woolf On Not Knowing Greek

Virginia Woolf On Not Knowing Greek

For it is vain and foolish to talk of knowing Greek, since in our ignorance we should be at the bottom of any class of schoolboys, since we do not know how the words sounded...

Read More

The Shattering Din of the Morning Star by Lital Khaikin

The Shattering Din of the Morning Star by Lital Khaikin

Memory is struck into the air. Time is recalling itself, spring is recovering the body. “What is the name of the great double nest?” Mnemosyne, daughter of Earth and Heaven, writes the unearthing...

Read More

A Year in Windom

A Year in Windom

In the 1963–’64 Windom High School yearbook, there is an entire page dedicated to my Palestinian father. During his one year as an exchange student in Windom, Minnesota, he played on the tennis team...

Read More

‘To rumble and rattle up and down their gorges in a sleeping-car!’

‘To rumble and rattle up and down their gorges in a sleeping-car!’

It may seem curious to begin with Dante and pass on to the Children’s Rabbits’ House; but I require both to explain what it is I mean by Limbo...

Read More

Gran’s Chicken

Gran’s Chicken

The star shape cuts into the circular handle that tops the lid of my candy dish. The star is echoed as it expands into the many cut diamonds which multiply as they eclipse over the round shape of the lid.

Read More

Daniel Fraser on Alejandro Zambra

Daniel Fraser on Alejandro Zambra

This collection of Alejandro Zambra’s essays and articles on literature (translated by Megan McDowell) arrived unexpectedly one cold morning in March.

Read More

Origami Dragons by Jessica Ciccarelli

Origami Dragons by Jessica Ciccarelli

Ten years before my brother may or may not have tried to hang himself, he was an eight-year-old boy with a penchant for dragons, brave warriors, and courageous exploration.

Read More

Writing in Buenos Aires by Romina Paula

Writing in Buenos Aires by Romina Paula

It’s extremely uncommon here in Argentina that a writer can make a living as such, all the more so in my generation. Or I guess I should say that it would be rare for a writer to live off the books he or she publishes, because writers do sometimes...

Read More

Books That Confirm the Act of Being

Books That Confirm the Act of Being

At the Aligre flea market near my Parisian flat, I haggle over a trinket I’ve decided to give to my on-the-rocks lover. It is a rock, a small but well-shined one.

Read More

Tipsy Tullivan’s Top Tips

Tipsy Tullivan’s Top Tips

I like this notion of “getting through” writing. Mostly I think about “getting away” with it. I am terribly bored whenever someone asks me to write something that has, indeed, existed before, such as a Disability 101 thinkpiece that explains x, y, or z to the presumed nondisabled readers.

Read More