Berfrois

Clubbing

Clubbing

The Literary Club, known simply as “The Club,” was established in early 1764 after the portrait painter Joshua Reynolds became worried about his friend Samuel Johnson...

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Auerbach’s Simplicity

Auerbach’s Simplicity

"A good writer must write in such a way that one infers from the text what he intended to express. That is not easy.” So declared Erich Auerbach...

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Genia Blum: Ten Questions

Genia Blum: Ten Questions

Did your classy overcoat make me think you were a doctor, or a lawyer, or a dentist like my father?

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Sumana Roy: On Greatness and Uselessness

Sumana Roy: On Greatness and Uselessness

I was carrying a copy of the Bengali poet Binoy Majumdar’s Hashpatal Thhekey Lekha Kobitaguchho (Poems Written from Hospital) with me...

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The Unfinished Glass of Water by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

The Unfinished Glass of Water by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Growing up poor and bored, their childhood was pitiable but also strangely enviable. The anecdotes they recounted to us seemed to be not that bad at all...

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D.H. Lawrence on Walt Whitman

D.H. Lawrence on Walt Whitman

by D.H. Lawrence Post-mortem effects? But what of Walt Whitman? The ‘good grey poet’. Was he a ghost, with all his physicality? The good grey poet. Post-mortem effects. Ghosts. A certain ghoulish insistency. A certain horrible pottage of human parts. A certain stridency and portentousness. A luridness about his beatitudes....

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Suzanne Ruta on Elaine Mokhtefi

Suzanne Ruta on Elaine Mokhtefi

Elaine Mokhtefi and her husband had lived on the Upper West Side in New York City for twenty years. When he died in 2015, she brought him a bench in the park on Riverside Drive, where he liked to sit, gazing at the river through a mass of trees....

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Douglas Penick: The Worldly Gods Return

Douglas Penick: The Worldly Gods Return

Throughout the developed world, many of the dead find no release from their previous social obligations and work lives...

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The Critical Horizon of Barbara K. Lewalski

The Critical Horizon of Barbara K. Lewalski

Three years ago I spent an afternoon with Barbara in her home on University Avenue in Providence, talking a little about the past but mostly about the future, especially politics.

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‘I look underneath my desk and think I might sit there’

‘I look underneath my desk and think I might sit there’

I can’t pick up the clothes. I can’t explain the granite of that “can’t” to anyone else, the way it feels impossible to beat. Look at me looking at the pile and you will think, Just pick it up. For fuck’s sake.

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Ed Simon: First Five Observations about the Moment

Ed Simon: First Five Observations about the Moment

Life experienced narratively, which is to say the only way actual life can be experienced, continually deletes the immediacy of the transitory, but in depicting the specifically of the second within the crystalline moment artists reendow the present with meaning.

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D.H. Lawrence on Moby Dick

D.H. Lawrence on Moby Dick

For Moby Dick, the huge white sperm whale: who is old, hoary, monstrous, and swims alone; who is unspeakably terrible in his wrath, having so often been attacked; and snow-white...

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Clarice Lispector’s Persona

Clarice Lispector’s Persona

At a reading I gave in Seattle two years ago, a man with white hair told me he had once lived in Brazil and had named his daughter after Clarice Lispector..

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Harold Abramowitz & Janice Lee: Motion and Resistance

Harold Abramowitz & Janice Lee: Motion and Resistance

Last night I crossed a river in my dream and so today I translate the journey into thinking for tomorrow.

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Ed Simon on the Number Three

Ed Simon on the Number Three

Behold, the first odd prime, designator of our three dimensions, that which was the number of times Peter denied Christ, the number of times Satan tempted him, and the number of days he spent in the grave...

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It’s Coming Home, Though

It’s Coming Home, Though

The danger is that we allow English nationalism to be defined by the forces of darkness and xenophobia, as witnessed during the Brexit referendum.

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Virginia Woolf On Not Knowing Greek

Virginia Woolf On Not Knowing Greek

For it is vain and foolish to talk of knowing Greek, since in our ignorance we should be at the bottom of any class of schoolboys, since we do not know how the words sounded...

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The Shattering Din of the Morning Star by Lital Khaikin

The Shattering Din of the Morning Star by Lital Khaikin

Memory is struck into the air. Time is recalling itself, spring is recovering the body. “What is the name of the great double nest?” Mnemosyne, daughter of Earth and Heaven, writes the unearthing...

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