Berfrois

Amy Glynn: Ketamine Redwoods

Amy Glynn: Ketamine Redwoods

A redwood can live forever...

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Monica Popescu on J. M. Coetzee

Monica Popescu on J. M. Coetzee

Why did Coetzee grant access to his manuscripts, notebooks, friends and family to a scholar whose completed work, he must have known beforehand, would have favorable reviews describe it at best as factual, fine and monumental?

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Andrew Hodgson on Alexander Trocchi

Andrew Hodgson on Alexander Trocchi

Much is written of Alexander Trocchi’s “profound nihilism”. It is often argued that in his rejection and modification of language and narrative; work and reality (through taking heroin): he “willed death”; “willed to nothingness”. In his “serious novels” Young Adam and Cain’s Book amongst the detachment from other people;...

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> look

> look

Each time I access “Galatea,” Emily Short’s fabulous piece of interactive fiction, a supple string of text hails me, flirts with me, and stops just short of calling me by name. Strictly speaking, this mode of address should not be possible, at least not according to the familiar conventions...

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None but Wits

None but Wits

by Margaret Cavendish Those that have very quick Thoughts, shall speak readier than write; because in speaking they are not tied to any style or number: besides, in speaking, Thoughts lie loose and careless; but in writing they are gathered up, and are like water in a Cup whose...

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Giorgio Fontana: Happy Birthday Kafka

Giorgio Fontana: Happy Birthday Kafka

The man who was born one hundred and thirty years ago today in Prague didn't have a simple fate: he lived a restless life, trying to dominate the "immense world in his head". The son of the surly merchant Hermann Kafka, young Franz was a model employee but also...

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A Strawberry Vestibule

A Strawberry Vestibule

I have just now fallen upon a darling literary curiosity. It is a little book, a manuscript compilation, and the compiler sent it to me with the request that I say whether I think it ought to be published or not. I said, Yes; but as I slowly grow...

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To Read a Book by Virginia Woolf

To Read a Book by Virginia Woolf

The only advice that one person can give another about reading is to take no advice, to follow your own instincts, to use your own reason, to come to your own conclusions...

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Patrick Bray on Michel Houellebecq

Patrick Bray on Michel Houellebecq

by Patrick Bray The Map and the Territory, by Michel Houellebecq, Vintage, 288 pp. When we read literature from the 19th century, we usually try to be vigilant in order not to project our contemporary ideas and obsessions onto the past for fear they might obscure the radical difference...

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Gulp!

Gulp!

From cover of The Studio Almanac, illustrated by J. Walter West, 1897 by Louise Imogen Guiney An editor, a person of authority and supposed discretion, requested a friend of mine, the other day, to write an essay with this weird title: “How to Read a Book of Poems so...

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LIFT

LIFT

by Stuart Moulthrop Since this is a paper about the computational context of literary writing, and to some extent poetry, I have invested heavily in metaphor, at least as far as the title is concerned. Taking key terms in no particular order: by end I mean not so much...

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The use of criticism is to sift, not to stamp…

The use of criticism is to sift, not to stamp…

If an essay on Criticism were a serious matter; for, though this age be emphatically critical, the writer would still find it necessary to investigate the laws of criticism as a science, to settle its conditions as an art. Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through...

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A Swigswag

A Swigswag

by Joe Linker “The idea that everyone has a story to tell (which underlies the notion that anyone can write since all a writer needs is a story) is strictly correct,” Jenny Diski said, writing in the London Review of Books (7 Mar, 21) about Marco Roth’s memoir, The...

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Impressions are the very air we breathe…

Impressions are the very air we breathe…

I should not have affixed so comprehensive a title to these few remarks, necessarily wanting in any completeness, upon a subject the full consideration of which would carry us far, did I not seem to discover a pretext for my temerity in the interesting pamphlet lately published under this...

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Always Delighted

Always Delighted

Henry James, 1890 by Willa Cather Their mania for careless and hasty work is not confined to the lesser men. Howells and Hardy have gone with the crowd. Now that Stevenson is dead I can think of but one English speaking author who is really keeping his self-respect and...

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