Berfrois

Booked In

Booked In

There’s something to value about a completely unmediated and uncurated encounter with old books: a chance to access for yourself the raw material of history...

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‘Tupitsyn is a kind of heretic’

‘Tupitsyn is a kind of heretic’

Whether voiced in the first, second or third person, I take the stories that Masha Tupitsyn tells about her person to be selectively true.

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What remained but to fly to a third corner and then a fourth?

What remained but to fly to a third corner and then a fourth?

Moths that fly by day are not properly to be called moths; they do not excite that pleasant sense of dark autumn nights and ivy-blossom which the commonest yellow-underwing asleep in the shadow of the curtain never fails to rouse in us.

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Menachem Feuer on Franz Kafka

Menachem Feuer on Franz Kafka

What is most fascinating about all this is the fact that we, Kafka’s readers also return but, like Sancho Panza, we must entertain the possibility that in following Kafka we have decided to follow a modern Don Quixote.

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Daniel Fraser on Robert MacFarlane’s Landmarks

Daniel Fraser on Robert MacFarlane’s Landmarks

In the resurgent ‘field’ of lyrical British nature writing, a prosaic form given to delight in the relationship of language and landscape, to relish and revel in the world and in words, Robert MacFarlane is one of the leading lights.

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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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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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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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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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