Berfrois

(More) Advice for Isolated Writers

(More) Advice for Isolated Writers

We are day five into the long game of self isolation. Or is it day ten? I’m not sure when the quarantine actually started.

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Good books are the sort for the young to read…

Good books are the sort for the young to read…

Being told I would be expected to talk here, I inquired what sort of talk I ought to make. They said it should be something suitable to youth-something didactic, instructive, or something in the nature of good advice.

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Popomo

Popomo

Let’s call this phase after postmodernism post-postmodernism – “popomo” for short.

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Oscillation

Oscillation

We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

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JIT

JIT

Jeffrey T. Nealon’s Post-Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Just-in-Time Capitalism restages and reactivates Fredric Jameson’s call, over twenty years prior, for a new situation and new mode of criticism adequate to late capitalism.

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Virginia Woolf at Sheffield Place

Virginia Woolf at Sheffield Place

by Virginia Woolf The great ponds at Sheffield Place at the right season of the year are bordered with red, white and purple reflections, for rhododendrons are massed upon the banks and when the wind passes over the real flowers the water flowers shake and break into each other....

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Through the Closed Door by Daniel Tobin

Through the Closed Door by Daniel Tobin

In one of my albums of old family photographs there is a picture of my brother and I standing on either side of Babe Ruth’s locker in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Around 1815

Around 1815

She is either Italian, Jewish, Arab, Turkish, Kurdish or Greek. She has olive skin and is wearing high heels with gold tips, a white jacket, oyster coloured skirt and carrying two iPhones, one in a black case and one red.

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A Constant Draft of Fiction

A Constant Draft of Fiction

You will write less than you feel for me. The one before you was all writing.

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Pittsburgh Publisher-Poet

Pittsburgh Publisher-Poet

Vladimir Nabokov was hiking down a mountain on a summer afternoon. It was 1943, and he and his companion, James Laughlin, had made their way up a peak in northern Utah to find butterflies for Nabokov’s collection.

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Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

Joel Gn on Henri Lefebvre

How may we speak of that which goes off the record in an age of digital colonisation?

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‘A mass-market copy of a book positions a reader in one way, a hardback collected works positions you in another’

‘A mass-market copy of a book positions a reader in one way, a hardback collected works positions you in another’

I read Molloy for the first and second time in an unlovely Grove Press mass-market paperback that contained all three books of Beckett’s trilogy, with yellowed pages and crowded gutters.

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T.S. Eliot on Hamlet

T.S. Eliot on Hamlet

Few critics have even admitted that Hamlet the play is the primary problem, and Hamlet the character only secondary.

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Jenny Diski is not cheery or brave or serene at the moment…

Jenny Diski is not cheery or brave or serene at the moment…

I’ve been writing a more or less monthly memoir of my life in the sixties and seventies when I lived with Doris Lessing, and my continuing relationship with her until her death last year at 94. It is also an ongoing portrait of my incurable cancer.

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Mark Mordue: Curate. Content. Click.

Mark Mordue: Curate. Content. Click.

Not that ‘the critic’ has ever been a greatly appreciated or understood figure. Some fat toad with a feather in his hat who thinks he is a modern-day Oscar Wilde.

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Missing

Missing

The Missing Pieces derives its power from how it pitches its content against formal manipulation of two kinds of syntax: the order and patterning of the unit losses, and the word order and patterning of clauses between the bullets that separate those units.

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“The ecstasy of being so high up that you no longer belong to the world below”

“The ecstasy of being so high up that you no longer belong to the world below”

A man in a purple tracksuit jogs along a concrete path across the cemetery. Does the jogger know that he is crossing the escape route of a twenty-nine-year-old man who was shot dead as he attempted to climb the cemetery wall, bound for the canal?

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Virginia Woolf on E. M. Forster

Virginia Woolf on E. M. Forster

There are many reasons which should prevent one from criticizing the work of contemporaries. Besides the obvious uneasiness — the fear of hurting feelings — there is too the difficulty of being just.

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