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Feature | Inside Dennis Severs’ House

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I arrive outside the black wooden door of Dennis Severs' House, knock gently on the door, and wait under the gas lantern which hangs outside. I had been told that visiting the red brick Georgian house at 18 Folgate was an experience like no other, that it was constructed in pieces over decades until it became a living, breathing...

News | The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses 2019

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Last night the winners of The Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses were announced, with this year’s announcement signalling a re-structuring of the award to honour more than one writer and literary work. The prize, started in 2017, aims to promote the work of publishers with fewer than five members of staff. It holds a number of influential...

Review | La Forza Del Destino at the Royal Opera House

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The Royal Opera House has brought together the best cast in the world right now for their new production of Verdi’s La Forza Del Destino. La Forza Del Destino is about Don Alvaro accidentally killing the father of his love, Leonora, with both of them escaping separately from the murderous wroth of Leonora’s brother Don Carlo Di Vargas, it...

Extract | Twenty Theatres to See Before you Die by Amber Massie-Blomfield

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Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die by Amber Massie-Blomfield is a love letter to Britain's theatres — a beautiful paean to the nation's radical, nonconformist performance spaces, which was published last year by the excellent Penned in the Margins. Below is a passage from the book about the Minack Theatre in St Ives, Cornwall. The Minack Theatre, Cornwall. An implausible...

News | Waltham Forest Borough of Culture 2019 — The People’s Forest + Interview

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The People's Forest — a literary strand to Waltham Forest's programme as the first ever London Borough of Culture this year — has recently been announced, which is to be curated by arts consultant and events curator Kirsteen McNish, and Luke Turner, co-founder of the website The Quietus and writer of Out of the Woods. Through a series of...

Review | How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s at Goldsmiths CCA

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How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s opens at the Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art on the 15th March, showing until 26th May, before moving to De La Warr Pavilion in East Sussex in June. The Chicago Imagists were a group of artists in the 1960s and 70s that moved against the New York scene, employing a new visual narrative...

Archive | Fiction | Let Them Call it Jazz by Jean Rhys

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One bright Sunday morning in July I have trouble with my Notting Hill landlord because he ask for a month’s rent in advance. He tell me this after I live there since winter, settling up every week without fail. I have no job at the time, and if I give the money he want there’s not much left. So...

Review | Diane Arbus & Kader Attia at the Hayward Gallery

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From the very conception of artistic expression, artists have engaged with the notion of self and the formation of identity. The work of Kader Attia questions the dominance of western hegemonic models in the creation of national culture. Contrasted with the photographs of Diane Arbus, shown on the upper floor as part of a combined ticket, the Hayward Gallery...

Review | Tracey Emin: A Fortnight of Tears at White Cube

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A Fortnight of Tears is a major new exhibition of works by acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin. The show features features a large selection of pieces, across a wide variety of media. Upon entering into the stark space of the White Cube, one is immediately confronted by fifty self portraits of Emin. The photographs, taken during the artist’s battle with...

Essay | The Warlock of Love: Revisiting Marc Bolan’s Forgotten Poetry Book Fifty Years On by Joobin Bekhrad

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The Warlock of Love
Fifty years ago in March 1969, a rather odd book of verse hit Britain’s bookshelves. Its jacket contained no description of what lay inside — only the image, on both its front and back, of an ashen-faced man, sceptre in hand and visage obscured by corkscrew curls, sitting proudly beneath an egg-like orb. Its title, in the florid lettering...

Archive | Breakfast with Borges by Andrew Graham-Yooll

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First published in The London Magazine March 1983, Vol.22, No.12 Jorge Luis Borges entered the Pedmonte Restaurant on Avenida de Mayo with the stiff steps of the unseeing; his face jutting forward to sense what the eyes could not see. It was August 23. Borges was eating out to mark his eighty-third birthday. The eating-house, traditional to politicians and the intelligentsia of...

Review | Ghislaine Leung at the Chisenhale Gallery

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Ghislaine Leung’s Constitution opened at the Chisenhale Gallery on the 25th January 2019. The work explores the notion of withdrawal and dependency, utilising noise-cancelling technology to define a sonic space. The work is manifest when a series of guidelines are followed, the size of the door, the internal space. In this way, the piece controls its own space of...

Archive | Review | Evelyn Waugh on Don’t Tell Alfred by Nancy Mitford

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While looking through our archive recently we came across this review by Evelyn Waugh of Nancy Mitford's novel Don't Tell Alfred from 1960. Displaying a characteristic mix of erudition and passion for story telling (alongside more than a hint of bitterness), we thought that it was a weird slice of literary history that needed to be shared once more....

Review | Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele at the Royal Academy

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In chapter 5 of Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities the protagonist Ulrich sets about restoring a house he has just bought: "He was free to follow any principle, from the stylistically pure to total recklessness, free to choose any style from the Assyrians to cubism. What should he choose? Modern man is born...

Review | Oceania at the Royal Academy of Arts

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Oceania is the first ever major survey of Oceanic art to be held in the UK and is pioneering in its scope and understanding of the individual and collective identity of the Pacific. This epic exhibition marks the 250th anniversary of both the Royal Academy and Captain James Cook’s first expedition to the Pacific on the Endeavour and celebrates the art of...

Review | Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War at the British Library

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Anglo-Saxon England, which lasted from the 5th to the 11th centuries, a span two-hundred years longer than the Roman occupation, nevertheless occupies a much smaller space in the contemporary historical imagination. The Latin language, Roman political structures, architecture, literature, religion, and iconography are deeply embedded in English culture, while signs of the more recent and longer-lasting period of history...

Archive | Philip Larkin | Two Poems: To The Sea, Annus Mirabilis 

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Two Poems, Philip Larkin London Magazine / January 1970 / Vol.9 No.10     Philip Larkin, (1922-1985) a prolific poet and writer of essays, criticism and reviews within the twentieth-century. Described as ‘England’s other Poet Laureate’, Larkin composed poetry that captured the spiritual-angst of Britain’s post-war landscape, articulating the despair for the forthcoming modern era. These two poems were published...

Essay | Shakespeare’s London and the Emergence of the Playhouse

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Today, the idea of the theatre can evoke tradition and history, having perhaps one of the longest histories of all the arts. But when the theatres first began springing up in London in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, they were places that transgressed and challenged social boundaries, and were considered dangerous by the well-to-do of the age. The Emergence of...

Staff Picks | The Best of Gothic Fiction

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As it's Halloween, The London Magazine team have been discussing the nature of horror in fiction, and why we are so attracted to reading it. With it's desolate and wild settings, supernatural mysteries, and erotic fantasies, Gothic literature is a richly subversive genre which encapsulates the deeply-rooted fears of the human condition. Arising from a time of profound social change, Gothic...

Archive | Essay | Some Recollections of Brâncuși by Eugène Ionesco

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The following essay, originally published in the April 1961 edition of The London Magazine, recounts the time by spent by Eugene Ionesco, one of the 20th century's greatest avant-garde theatre writers, with the Romanian sculptor and painter Constantin Brâncuși, widely thought to be one of the founding fathers of modernist art. Original translation by John Russell, April, 1961. It was in...

Preview | The Turning of The Leaves at Union Chapel

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Following last year's immersive multi-screen audio-visual installation for Remembrance Day, artist and poet Jack Miguel, filmmaker Taz Tron Delix and electronic musician Josh Grey-Jung return to Islington's Union Chapel on November 11th with The Turning of The Leaves, a continuation of their exploration of the effect of the First World War on contemporary masculinity. Drawing on research, interviews and participation...

Review | A Very Very Very Dark Matter at the Bridge Theatre

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Fairy tales are not really for children. Bluebeard beheads his wives; Little Red Riding Hood’s beloved grandma is eaten alive and impersonated by a wolf; Snow White’s stepmother is forced to dance to death wearing red hot iron slippers. To justify their violent imagery we tell ourselves that these stories communicate valuable morals to our children: stay away from...

Poetry | Woman by Manash Bhattacharjee

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Woman “It’s easy, impossible, hard, worth trying.” ~ Wislawa Szymborska, “Portrait of a Woman” (1976) She is intimately attached To night and day. Only the world is bewildering. It isn’t her fruit for the taking. She will have to snatch it, leave her bite-marks. She has other concerns. Where to find herself? In the eyes Of that man, sipping...

Review | Medusa at Sadler’s Wells Theatre

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Through beautifully poetic movements and engaging drama, Jasmin Vardimon has created a unique choreographic voice that enables her to explore deeply controversial social and political discourse. I had the pleasure of attending the opening show for her latest creation Medusa, a highly conceptual performance enriched with deep symbolism and motifs which offer an acute observation of human behaviour. The...

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