Berfrois

Lilith: On Love, Living and Meritocracy

Lilith: On Love, Living and Meritocracy

My father once said, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” It is taken from Love Story, a 1970 movie based on the novel of the same name...

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Itō argued that stream of consciousness originated in the works of Edouard Dujardin

Itō argued that stream of consciousness originated in the works of Edouard Dujardin

by Michael Chan “James Joyce’s Method—Regarding the “Stream of Consciousness” “(Jeimuzu Joisu no metōdo “ishiki no nagare” ni tsuite) is an article published in June 1930 in the journal Shi, genjitsu by the author and literary critic Itō Sei (1905-1969), who was also one of a team of three...

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Figure to yourselves Virginia Woolf in a bedroom with a pen in her hand…

Figure to yourselves Virginia Woolf in a bedroom with a pen in her hand…

It is true I am a woman; it is true I am employed; but what professional experiences have I had? It is difficult to say.

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All memoirs are false…

All memoirs are false…

If I live much longer—I am seventy-three—every scrap of personal history I write will or should begin with the words, “If I remember correctly.”

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M.R. James on ghost stories

M.R. James on ghost stories

I am concerned with a branch of fiction; not a large branch, if you look at the rest of the tree, but one which has been astonishingly fertile in the last thirty years. The avowedly fictitious ghost story is my subject, and that being understood I can proceed.

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Being in the Text

Being in the Text

I find myself here in the rather awkward position of speaking from two different perspectives, one, that of the novelist, the other, that of the critic.

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Gore Vidal by Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal by Gore Vidal

Vidal defined his more outré work as ‘inventions’, but though Parini admits to admiring Myra Breckinridgehe shares the common wisdom that Vidal’s legacy takes two principal forms.

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‘When it came time to put up the stone’

‘When it came time to put up the stone’

Forever the prankster, my father died at 79 on Yom Kippur of 2003, prompting my mother’s comment: “That day is for the holy — how did they ever let him in?”

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Morality is the most dark and daring of conspiracies…

Morality is the most dark and daring of conspiracies…

In attempting to reach the genuine psychological reason for the popularity of detective stories, it is necessary to rid ourselves of many mere phrases.

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost. The ghost for me.

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Rohan Maitzen on George Eliot

Rohan Maitzen on George Eliot

George Eliot’s novels are often painful places to be. Her characters frequently find themselves embroiled in circumstances beyond their control or understanding, struggling to find their way forward in the face of incompatible desires or competing goods.

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Virginia Woolf on Mrs. Grey

Virginia Woolf on Mrs. Grey

There are moments even in England, now, when even the busiest, most contented suddenly let fall what they hold — it may be the week’s washing.

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“To walk into a library is like listening to an orchestra tuning its instruments”

“To walk into a library is like listening to an orchestra tuning its instruments”

When I pick up a new novel, I will start in the middle. I will read ten pages in the middle, and if get interested in the sound of the writer’s voice I will go back and start at the beginning.

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Three Writers on Writing

Three Writers on Writing

Work comes from the accumulation: the momentums of routine, patience and attention.

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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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