Berfrois

Nathaniel Kennon Perkins: Mexican Breakfast

Nathaniel Kennon Perkins: Mexican Breakfast

It’d been almost ten years since I’d seen my friend Adam. I didn’t even know that he’d gotten married. We’d casually kept in touch through the Internet...

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Nest Fling

Nest Fling

What are we when we become mothers? We may not ever be fully ourselves again, but that’s because our selves have blurred into looser but more schematic ways of being—ways of being that are communitarian, multiple, and endlessly dissolvable.

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Life slips away in the reworking of one’s writings…

Life slips away in the reworking of one’s writings…

by Michael Wood But the desire of the essay is not to seek and filter the eternal out of the transitory; it wants, rather, to make the transitory eternal. —T. W. Adorno Current conversations about the essay—and there are many—emphasize the provisional, speculative nature of the genre, the suggestion of a...

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Keith Kopka on Christine de Pizan and Emily Dickinson

Keith Kopka on Christine de Pizan and Emily Dickinson

Christine de Pizan and Emily Dickinson are unlikely literary figures to link together. The two wrote hundreds of years apart, in different cultures, on entirely different continents.

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Who needs a perfect language?

Who needs a perfect language?

Poets, historians, scientists, philosophers – we all seek to capture the world in a net of language. Yet it is the nature of nets to capture some things while letting others slip away.

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Paul Johnathan on Édouard Louis

Paul Johnathan on Édouard Louis

Eddy is a deromanticised account on all fronts. Divided into two parts and structured as a collection of vignettes, the main frame of the text is a confident reconciliation of the author with his working class background

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Translators and Queers

Translators and Queers

It’s time for LGBTQ texts to be translated and for those translations to be analyzed, and it’s time for translators to consider what it might mean to translate LGBTQ texts and authors

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Henry David Thoreau: Walking

Henry David Thoreau: Walking

I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil—to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society.

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Jane Austen would not have been rushed by the importunity of publishers…

Jane Austen would not have been rushed by the importunity of publishers…

It is probable that if Miss Cassandra Austen had had her way we should have had nothing of Jane Austen's except her novels.

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Robert L. Kehoe III on Robert Silvers

Robert L. Kehoe III on Robert Silvers

I was not raised on fancy magazines. In fact, I don’t think I ever saw or heard of The Atlantic Monthly until my older brother came home with a copy after his first semester of college.

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Eric D. Lehman: Macbeth as Zen Stick

Eric D. Lehman: Macbeth as Zen Stick

When I was a college freshman, I took a Shakespeare class with a very old-fashioned professor. It was a fun class for someone like me, who loved the Bard, didn’t mind memorizing sonnets

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The Pirate’s Tale

The Pirate’s Tale

In front of me were three pamphlets of poetry by Tennyson: two titled The Lover’s Tale (both dated 1870) and another called The New Timon and the Poets (dated 1876).

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Virginia Woolf: Dr. Burney’s Evening Party

Virginia Woolf: Dr. Burney’s Evening Party

The party was given either in 1777 or in 1778; on which day or month of the year is not known, but the night was cold. Fanny Burney, from whom we get much of our information, was accordingly either twenty-five or twenty-six, as we choose.

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Cute and Dirty and Innocent and Experienced

Cute and Dirty and Innocent and Experienced

In her candy-colored new memoir, “Priestdaddy,” Patricia Lockwood describes her father’s conversion this way

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Christopher Woodall: Factory Nightshifts

Christopher Woodall: Factory Nightshifts

At some point in the summer of 1977, roughly eight months into a nightshift factory job in Grenoble, I woke up hungover one sweltering afternoon and decided to phone a close German friend, or perhaps it was my ex in Scotland, or my mother in England.

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Menachem Feuer on Thomas Pynchon’s “V”

Menachem Feuer on Thomas Pynchon’s “V”

Even though they are always going somewhere, schlemiels seem to never know for certain whether they are coming or going. Wandering and bewilderment aside, this comic character is a figure of difficult freedom.

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Lauren Berlant on Writing Light

Lauren Berlant on Writing Light

I don’t even care about secrecy, usually, because the scenario of exposing what’s unjustly censored has always seemed overdramatic to me, a distraction: all communication amounts to a defense.

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Felix Haas on J.A Baker

Felix Haas on J.A Baker

Imagine a land untouched by civilization, unstained by man's machines. Imagine a land where cities and roads and electric lights only live on the far horizons edging its borders, where concrete and steel are ideas so remote, no one has dreamt them up yet.

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Grant Maierhofer on Gordon Lish

Grant Maierhofer on Gordon Lish

Lish refers to the writings herein as "pieces and witherlings," and they're referred to elsewhere as "Fictions," as was the case with Collected Fictions. This is only important insofar as one is interested in Lish's methods from a compositional as well as readerly standpoint.

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