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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Drying Up

Drying Up

It didn’t happen all at once. I didn’t wake up one morning to find myself unable to write creatively. For months, I could eke out a story or group of poems...

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Wager for Happiness

Wager for Happiness

In the summer or fall of 1943, La France libre, the London-based provisional government led by General Charles de Gaulle...

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Elias Tezapsidis: Plato’s Academy

Elias Tezapsidis: Plato’s Academy

While I had much success in my multiple attempts to create relationships where I was the person switching the intimacy dimmer higher or lower based on how well my expectations...

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Crüe’s Cover

Crüe’s Cover

Evan calls them “bitchin’,” betraying his California roots and never-ending supply of boyishness. I embrace that Gen-X-y “meh”

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Amit Majmudar on Anthony Madrid

Amit Majmudar on Anthony Madrid

Not all limericks are not-quite-nonsense, but the most limerickish ones are. As Anthony Madrid, author of a new collection of limericks illustrated by Mark Fletcher, says in a short essay...

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Close Reading Carl Sagan by Ed Simon

Close Reading Carl Sagan by Ed Simon

Supplementing my regular essays, I’m interested in performing a series of traditional close readings of poems, passages, dialogue, and even art...

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Elias Tezapsidis: Return

Elias Tezapsidis: Return

The day that I returned to Greece after a decade in the US marked a grand failure, at least in my head. If I had written this three years ago

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The Poetry of the Present

The Poetry of the Present

It seems when we hear a skylark singing as if sound were running forward into the future, running so fast and utterly without consideration...

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Emily Dickinsons

Emily Dickinsons

The cover of the little book is green with pink lilies. Love Poems by Emily Dickinson, published by Peter Pauper Press in 1950

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Acid Albion

Acid Albion

In 1961, a mysterious Englishman surfaced in Cambridge, Massachusetts, equipped with a mayonnaise jar full of LSD-infused sugar paste.

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Dating DFW

Dating DFW

A young woman—observant, self-conscious, harboring literary aspirations, though not quite sure where she wants to end up—meets an older novelist, and they start dating.

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Elias Tezapsidis: ABC Studios

Elias Tezapsidis: ABC Studios

Just across the street, there was the video game parlor. I call it that because it was not really an arcade, though some of the features were shared: a variety of consoles. It was called ABC studios...

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SCREWBALLED

SCREWBALLED

Two ladies on an outing to the Queens Museum one weekend last fall wander into “The Art of Rube Goldberg” exhibition. They enter casually and chuckle at a monitor playing a few moments from Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times.

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Help. Me.

Help. Me.

There was a period of my life when, though I defined myself as a reader and a writer, the words I was consuming weren’t what anyone would recognize as having literary merit.

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Cry On My Stomach

Cry On My Stomach

The title of Elaine Kahn’s new collection, Romance or The End (Soft Skull Press, 2020), feels like an ultimatum. Traditionally—heteronormatively—the end comes just after the wedding

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Eric D. Lehman on Karl Ove Knausgaard

Eric D. Lehman on Karl Ove Knausgaard

When I picked up the first book in Karl Ove Knausgaard’s autobiographical series My Struggle, I had an unusual reaction: “It’s boring”...

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Elias Tezapsidis: Election Cabaret

Elias Tezapsidis: Election Cabaret

On a Sunday atypical of the usual routine, a lot was felt. A typical Sunday routine consists solely of coffee and reading the newspaper front to back as if the Internet did not exist...

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Joe Linker on Jeremy Fernando

Joe Linker on Jeremy Fernando

A writer likely will have, like Jeremy Fernando’s grandfather apparently had, a skin condition, an itch. If so, writing is the only lotion that will solve, salve, the skin problem.

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Writing Differently

Writing Differently

Danilo Kiš famously observed that the western bracketing of Balkan literature as narrowly ‘political’ rested on a set of mutually reinforcing stereotypes.

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Jessica Sequeira: A Wager with Nectar

Jessica Sequeira: A Wager with Nectar

You can get a sense of the tone of this book before even opening it. The title, a dizzy mirror and paradoxical double, casts into doubt fixed ideas of both “India” and “translation”...

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