Berfrois

Beloved Toni Morrison

Beloved Toni Morrison

What I cherish most about Toni Morrison’s work is the way that she used the English language: to its fullest, across its entire range.

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Buzz. Buzz.

Buzz. Buzz.

Balliol College, Monday.—Read aloud my Essay on Equality to the Master. It began: "Treat all men as your equals, especially the rich." The Master commented on this sentence. He said, "Very ribald, Prince Hamlet, very ribald."

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Sara Coleridge was very still, but always in motion…

Sara Coleridge was very still, but always in motion…

Coleridge also left children of his body. One, his daughter, Sara, was a continuation of him, not of his flesh indeed, for she was minute, aetherial, but of his mind, his temperament.

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That final inhale/exhale of life…

That final inhale/exhale of life…

He was gone. I heard the final, awful rattle, the ragged, gasping breath that I couldn’t help thinking was full of his angry, determined desire to beat this impossible thing that had happened to him. He’d taken a fall. He’d hit his head. Now he was dead.

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Navigating public space is never a neutral act…

Navigating public space is never a neutral act…

It’s never a neutral act, to navigate public space, not for anyone. I’d like to hope that Flâneuse troubles the act of walking in the city for those who would consider themselves flâneurs as well.

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Unprintlike

Unprintlike

Jessica Pressman’s Digital Modernism: Making It New in New Media examines the aesthetic, thematic, and political lineage between modernist literature and criticism and electronic literature.

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Nicholas Rombes on Edward Albee

Nicholas Rombes on Edward Albee

For years I was guilty. Why did I “like” a movie that was so hateful, so against the sort of niceties that veneered my own troubled life?

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Jessica Sequeira on Ghosts

Jessica Sequeira on Ghosts

Dear reader, here we are now, you and I. Ghosts, half here, half not. If I reach out and try to place my hand on your shoulder, I won’t feel a thing. But I know you’re close, so trust me.

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Within Buddha’s Smile

Within Buddha’s Smile

Empson was a published poet before he became a literary critic, but during his sojourn in Japan, he gradually began to write less poetry. Critics sometimes surmise that his affinity for Buddhist art explains why he more or less stopped writing poems after 1940.

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Daniel Bosch on Gertrude Stein

Daniel Bosch on Gertrude Stein

Portrait of Gertrude Stein, Félix Vallotton, 1907 by Daniel Bosch Gertrude Stein exploited every freedom in language she knew about and when she reached the end of her list she invented some more. Gertrude Stein set many of the best passages of her writing into extremely deep and confusing...

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Didion didn’t even do acid…

Didion didn’t even do acid…

You are heading into the future on a voyage of sexual discovery, and here is what it’s like. Drinking beers with a man you’ve just met online, you think of five or ten other men you already know and would prefer to drink with, were it not for the...

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Beyoncé’s Spinning Sexuality

Beyoncé’s Spinning Sexuality

Fifteen-year-olds may go online to learn how to perform fellatio, but they also post fearsome rebukes to boorish boys on Facebook and have lengthy debates on Twitter about whether or not Kim Kardashian is really a good “role model.”

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Manifesting Canada’s Identity by Julian Hanna

Manifesting Canada’s Identity by Julian Hanna

As a genre, the manifesto (the avant-garde variety, not the mainstream political platform) moves in and out of fashion. Political and social upheaval tends to put manifestos back in vogue.

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Gertrude Stein on writing and painting and all that

Gertrude Stein on writing and painting and all that

There is singularly nothing that makes a difference a difference in beginning and in the middle and in ending except that each generation has something different at which they are all looking.

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45˚38’N 13˚46’E

45˚38’N 13˚46’E

This fascinating work of scholarship concerns the association between two great 20th-century writers and the city that brought them together. The writers were the Italian Italo Svevo (1861–1928) and the Irishman James Joyce (1882–1941). The city was Trieste (45˚38’N 13˚46’E).

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Jay Merill on Joanna Walsh

Jay Merill on Joanna Walsh

Hotel by Joanna Walsh, is a book in Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series. It is essentially a memoir in the context of visits made to hotels by a reviewer who is at that time undergoing a personal marital breakdown.

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Your Version Perfect

Your Version Perfect

I never met Vladimir Nabokov face to face, though I exchanged phone calls and letters with him. My psychiatrist encouraged me to visit him in Switzerland, but I was too afraid that I would quickly sabotage close-up whatever good impression I might have managed to create long-distance.

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Cynthia Ozick advocates for no theory…

Cynthia Ozick advocates for no theory…

Unlike the literature it marshals as its subject, literary criticism frequently finds itself in the position of having to defend its existence, of taking breaks from dealing with fiction and poetry in order to deal with itself.

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