Berfrois

Jessica Sequeira: The Fate of the Meadowlark

Jessica Sequeira: The Fate of the Meadowlark

Since a few hours ago, when we wrote those short notes to each other, I’ve been to a meeting of the Failed Novelists Society. This was partly an attempt to advance a story...

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James Miller: Towards a Deranged Realism

James Miller: Towards a Deranged Realism

Before the confusion sets in, I’m going to try to make some statements, set out a few positions that will also be provocations and, inevitably, generalisations.

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Books About Books About the Brontës

Books About Books About the Brontës

There are far too many books about the Brontës, and books about books about the Brontës, for us to be able to track and arrange our knowledge exhaustively.

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Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

Postscript, Stranger by Nyla Matuk

It is only when we are able to understand the stranger within ourselves (étrangers à nous-mêmes) that we might confront our reasons for creating the stranger.

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Mystery Maier

Mystery Maier

No one would find the prospect of posthumous fame more appalling than the photographer Vivian Maier.

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Eric D. Lehman on John Fowles

Eric D. Lehman on John Fowles

It’s not an easy thing to watch one of your favorite authors slide into obscurity. John Fowles, once hailed as the greatest living novelist...

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Viktor Shklovsky Remixed by Joel Katelnikoff

Viktor Shklovsky Remixed by Joel Katelnikoff

A man is walking alone across the ice; fog is all around him. He believes that he is walking in a straight line. Wind disperses the fog: the man sees his goal, sees his tracks.

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The Don Quixote of Bourgeois Ruin

The Don Quixote of Bourgeois Ruin

“I know of no one today who can make characters come alive the way you do,” Albert Camus wrote to Guilloux in 1946...

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Dying Fall

Dying Fall

There’s an inexhaustible market for stories of Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. They are firmly in the weave of heroic modernism, poster-children for a generation’s promise, achievement, excess, and tragic denouement in the wake of Zelda’s diagnosed schizophrenia and Scott’s alcoholism, fragile aging, and early death.

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Thomas Larson on Thomas Merton

Thomas Larson on Thomas Merton

One of Merton’s reveals occurs during a visit to Cuba where the Catholic Church is predominant. There, as a novitiate, he feels so free that he writes “the first real poem I had ever written”

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Wistful Blonde’s Hair

Wistful Blonde’s Hair

The contribution of my former department to the general gaiety was to be a talk by Margaret Drabble, on the topic of young women at university in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Drink Through

Drink Through

Sit in silence in the dark. Vibrate vigorously. Roll on your side. Picture tight, glistening calves and dark eyebrows.

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Uber, Deleted

Uber, Deleted

For about three months this year, I drove an Uber taxi in London (as research for a book about the company). My entry into this world of casual employment was greeted by reams of pseudo-emancipatory rhetoric.

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‘We were subversives, a little suspect, a little uncomfortable’

‘We were subversives, a little suspect, a little uncomfortable’

I am not the only woman who worked at Playboy and kept her clothes on. When I was hired as literary editor in 2005...

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Corruption, It’s Bad

Corruption, It’s Bad

Having set off for Moscow after a dinner with friends, the hero awakens outside of Kolpino from an intolerable rocking. Seeing in front of him the windshield bespattered with vomit.

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We Love Harder

We Love Harder

From Tangerine, Magnolia Pictures, 2015 From Evening Will Come: Our will to be is driven by our will to love ourselves and each other. I have never seen anything more revolutionary than the love that is shared between and among Black people. And what is possibilized through our love of...

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Elizabeth Bowen for the Pub Wall!

Elizabeth Bowen for the Pub Wall!

Iris Murdoch famously said that being a woman ‘is like being Irish … everyone says you’re important and nice, but you take second place all the time.’

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Jessica Sequeira translates El Quijote

Jessica Sequeira translates El Quijote

Perhaps it seems obvious to you, dear reader, that a professor like myself, established in the academic world as a specialist in Spanish literature, would attempt a translation of a great work in the language.

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