Berfrois

What determines the lengths of novels?

What determines the lengths of novels?

The novel is an extremely flexible form. It can come out in countless shapes, include infinite content, and end up almost any length...

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Grant Maierhofer on Gordon Lish

Grant Maierhofer on Gordon Lish

Lish refers to the writings herein as "pieces and witherlings," and they're referred to elsewhere as "Fictions," as was the case with Collected Fictions. This is only important insofar as one is interested in Lish's methods from a compositional as well as readerly standpoint.

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Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Michael Thomsen on Larry Levis

Larry Levis had wanted to die. He’d killed himself, his close friend and fellow poet David St. John told my high school English class years ago during an after-hours reading in Fresno, California, not literally but by habituating himself to so many mundanely self-destructive habits.

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Eric D. Lehman on Martin Amis

Eric D. Lehman on Martin Amis

The long-delayed release of the film version of Martin Amis’s London Fields gives us the opportunity to revisit this prescient novel of murder and crisis.

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Our Eager Running

Our Eager Running

In class today we were talking about the differences between Vergil and Homer. The difference between the deep administrative state that Vergil is describing, and the unchanging, contextualizing hierarchical background against which Homeric personal relations play out.

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“Why wouldn’t you call it a novel?”

“Why wouldn’t you call it a novel?”

Well, it’s actually kind of an accident that I established my career as a nonfiction writer. From childhood I wanted to be a novelist.

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Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Nicholas Rombes on Dana Levin

Patti had been the one to introduce me to the poets who changed my life, the course of my life. One of them was Dana Levin.

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Nothing can eclipse the first Lord Rothermere’s long infatuation with Hitler…

Nothing can eclipse the first Lord Rothermere’s long infatuation with Hitler…

The daily routine of any newspaper is structured around meetings, known as conferences, but, to quote a regular attender of them, the Mail’s meetings resemble “this weird fucking feudal court”

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Eric D. Lehman: Fear of the Dog

Eric D. Lehman: Fear of the Dog

It is the civilized human’s sustained tendency toward irrational belief that Conan Doyle sets up as the central issue of Hound of the Baskervilles.

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Black Comix

Black Comix

by Matthew Teutsch This month I interviewed Deborah E. Whaley about her book Black Women in Sequence: Re-Inking Comics, Graphic Novels, and Anime (University of Washington Press, 2015). Whaley is an artist, curator, writer, and Associate Professor of American Studies and African American Studies at the University of Iowa. She...

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Most Loving Force

Most Loving Force

In 1934, when he was 17, Lowell determined to be a poet; by the end of that year he had written 30 poems. Such productivity can be a symptom of mania, as Jamison notes elsewhere, though of course it can also just be a sign of ambition.

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Virginia Woolf: Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid

Virginia Woolf: Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid

The Germans were over this house last night and the night before that. Here they are again. It is a queer experience, lying in the dark and listening to the zoom of a hornet which may at any moment sting you to death.

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What if the Oulipian constraint is the body?

What if the Oulipian constraint is the body?

Is this mental/intellectual/psychological focus within Conceptualism ableist? At the very least it seems to be one-dimensional: the body marks a caesura, and it is a product of Conceptualism’s relationship with the body and its positioning of itself in relation to it.

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‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

‘We all hate the poetry we learnt in school. Why?’

That the object of education should be to fit the child for life is such a trite and well-worn saying that people smile at its commonplaceness even while they agree with its obvious common sense.

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