Berfrois

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #2

Nicholas Rombes: One Perfect Sentence #2

by Nicholas Rombes From Pond, by Claire-Louise Bennett, 2016. Everybody knows deep down that life is as much about the things that do not happen as the things that do and that’s not something that ought to be glossed over or denied because without frustration there would hardly be any need to daydream. The narrator…

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David Beer on Walter Benjamin’s Fiction

David Beer on Walter Benjamin’s Fiction

Main Scene from the Ballet “The False Oath”, Paul Klee, 1922 by David Beer The Storyteller: Tales out of Loneliness, by Walter Benjamin. Translated and introduced by Sam Dolbear, Esther Leslie and Sebastian Truskolaski. Illustrated by Paul Klee. London: Verso Books, 240 pp. Walter Benjamin is full of surprises. This...

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In England’s Boroughs

In England’s Boroughs

The comics that Moore is best known for writing (“Watchmen,” “From Hell,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” etc.) generally make no secret of their sources of inspiration.

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Jessica Sequeira on Rion Amilcar Scott

Jessica Sequeira on Rion Amilcar Scott

At the heart of satire is a stereotype, a simplistic dichotomy, an obvious truth or an unquestioned form ready to be taken to its limits and dismantled.

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Somewhere and Everywhere

Somewhere and Everywhere

Lucy Sprague Mitchell, founder of the Bank Street College of Education, was sick of children’s books. She didn’t want didactic moral tales that told kids what to do, or mythological flights of fancy.

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Own the End

Own the End

Ever since Underworld, the 1997 book that marked the end of his ambitious middle period, Don DeLillo’s novels have been creepy, inconclusive, and short.

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Storia

Storia

Ferrante, in case you haven’t heard, has become an international phenomenon. She has acquired a certain notoriety not only because her writing is very intense.

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Black history has too often been stolen by white narrators…

Black history has too often been stolen by white narrators…

Colson Whitehead’s novels are rebellious creatures: Each one of them goes to great lengths to break free of the last one, of its structure and language, of its areas of interest.

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Are you reading this on a screen?

Are you reading this on a screen?

Joshua Cohen (born 1980) is somewhat younger than Shteyngart and company. His 2015 novel, Book of Numbers, was the first of his books to appear in hardcover and to be brought out by a large publisher.

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The bread, the wine…

The bread, the wine…

The lapse in marital fidelity in ‘Online’ is one of the many instances of complicated relationships in the book, in which most are strained or not quite realised.

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Sorokin has long been tarred as a scandalmonger and, even worse, a postmodernist…

Sorokin has long been tarred as a scandalmonger and, even worse, a postmodernist…

I’ve been waiting for years for Vladimir Sorokin’s second novel, Norma (The Norm), to appear in English translation. It wasn’t published in the author’s native Russia until 1994, a decade after Sorokin finished it, so perhaps there’s hope yet.

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Engineering Screak

Engineering Screak

A School for Fools is a Soviet underground classic of the 1970s, circulating only in samizdat, or self-published literature.

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‘The mediocrity of fiction is really to do with feeling cosy’

‘The mediocrity of fiction is really to do with feeling cosy’

Diski’s writing has never left much out, and is rarely small. Nony, who narrates Like Mother (1989), is an anencephalous baby, born without a brain, who tells her mother’s story in conversation with an interlocutor who is explicitly non-existent.

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“Lou just continues to try to woo and be wooed”

“Lou just continues to try to woo and be wooed”

It’s a drizzly summer night, and I’m meeting Tracy O’Neill in Manhattan’s East Village to talk about her debut novel, The Hopeful, the story of a figure skater who breaks her back on the cusp of Olympic competition.

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Did Pynchon publish a novel under the pseudonym ‘Adrian Jones Pearson’?

Did Pynchon publish a novel under the pseudonym ‘Adrian Jones Pearson’?

Is it possible that the literary sensibility—person—that produced a clutch of novels under the name Thomas Pynchon has had a fat new novel out since April, under a different name, only to encounter a virtual vacuum of notice?

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