Berfrois

Elias Tezapsidis: Election Cabaret

Elias Tezapsidis: Election Cabaret

On a Sunday atypical of the usual routine, a lot was felt. A typical Sunday routine consists solely of coffee and reading the newspaper front to back as if the Internet did not exist...

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D. Joyce-Ahearne on Federico García Lorca

D. Joyce-Ahearne on Federico García Lorca

If duende, the source of inspiration that Lorca sets out to champion in his essay at the expense of the Muse, is “in sum, the spirit of the earth”, a force linking body and soil through a struggle akin to death, then the Muse is a force that speaks...

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Oh, Sheila

Oh, Sheila

Near the beginning of Sheila Heti’s 2012 novel, How Should a Person Be?, the narrator—coyly, “Sheila”—recalls a jilted ex-lover’s composition of “an outline for a play about life—how it would unfold, decade by decade.”

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‘This book would never be published’

‘This book would never be published’

Was I really willing to write a book that wouldn’t be seen (let alone read) by anyone I knew, or anyone who might want to hire me in the future?

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Sean Kilpatrick on Grant Maierhofer

Sean Kilpatrick on Grant Maierhofer

We place restrictions on love because it never existed. Likewise art regimented by currency does nothing but trend. All creative output has been demoted to the same reliant lung work of some pettier currency.

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Makeup to Steups

Makeup to Steups

I’d been watching the girl in the painting that hung above my desk for a few months before I became obsessed with the idea of her appearing on my book cover.

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Andre Gerard: How Should One Read Tolstoy and Woolf?

Andre Gerard: How Should One Read Tolstoy and Woolf?

In To the Lighthouse Woolf deliberately included elements of Anna Karenina, thereby putting into practice some of the ideas contained in her essay. For instance, the stillborn marriage proposal between Varenka and Sergei is a template for the suspended courtship between William Bankes and Lily.

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Kamel Daoud’s Inner Vigilance by Suzanne Ruta

Kamel Daoud’s Inner Vigilance by Suzanne Ruta

George W. Bush read The Stranger during his second term in office, at the urging of historian Alexander Horne, whose Algerian war classic, A Savage War of Peace, Bush had also read, we were told. Algeria as a key to understanding Iraq? As if Arabs or “Arabs” were interchangeable?...

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‘Lend us a loan of your noserag to wipe my razor.’

‘Lend us a loan of your noserag to wipe my razor.’

How is it possible that even when I know nothing about a novelist’s life I find, on reading his or her book, that I am developing an awareness of the writer that is quite distinct from my response to the work?

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Down the Mine

Down the Mine

Orwell’s account of his visit to Crippen’s mine in Bryn, near Wigan, a superb piece of journalistic writing, forms the second chapter of The Road to Wigan Pier and has also been anthologised separately as “Down the Mine”.

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‘Letter-writing was in its way a substitute for opium’

‘Letter-writing was in its way a substitute for opium’

The man was Coleridge as De Quincey saw him, standing in a gateway. For it is vain to put the single word Coleridge at the head of a page — Coleridge the innumerable, the mutable, the atmospheric.

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On Pynchon’s California Novels

On Pynchon’s California Novels

In his 2011 monograph Thomas Pynchon & the Dark Passages of History, David Cowart groups The Crying of Lot 49, Vineland, and Inherent Vice into a single, convenient category of “California novels.”

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Melissa Broder’s Latest 32 Tweets

Melissa Broder’s Latest 32 Tweets

almost ready to be ok but not yet

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Delmore Schwartz is the writer without whom…

Delmore Schwartz is the writer without whom…

Delmore Schwartz is to Jewish-American writing what Richard Wright is to African-American writing. He is the writer without whom.

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Blue

Blue

These days, more often than usual, a quote comes to mind, which I've been carrying around for twenty years now, and it seems that it's quite important to me.

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“it’s a’ as it is”

“it’s a’ as it is”

For most of its short generic life, the novel has depended on marriage and childbirth as signs of sexual relationship, and has had a difficulty representing sexual life beyond marriage and childbirth without the assistance of figurative language.

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Albert Rolls: Contagious Magic

Albert Rolls: Contagious Magic

What I did, wanted to do, was to read Renaissance texts, those of Shakespeare and his contemporaries, as if they were integrated into a cosmos that was held together with the laws of contagious and sympathetic magic.

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Lost and not knowing where to go next…

Lost and not knowing where to go next…

You can find his lost interview on YouTube—or the surviving fifteen minutes of it at least. In 1971 Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky participated in the now famous debate on the topic of human nature, live on Dutch television.

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On Cide Hamete Benengeli

On Cide Hamete Benengeli

Nabokov said its humor did not age well, and unlike Moby-Dick, which is occasionally dismissed as a school-boy's adventure story but never as hokey or stale.

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