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Robert Greer

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Essay | The King of Hay-on-Wye

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A maverick anarchist, bookseller and entrepreneur, Richard Booth, who has died aged 80, transformed the small Powys town of Hay-on-Wye into a mecca for the second-hand book. His significant and colourful legacy in the book trade inspired a formula [...]

Review | Grace Under Pressure: David Foster Wallace on Tennis

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Many writers have played tennis: Nabokov, Frost, Pound, Hemingway, Theodore Roethke, Randall Jarrell, even Solzhenitsyn in Vermont and Martin Amis today. Like poetry, tennis has strict rules and requires technical skill. It is individual yet social, aesthetically pleasing, intellectual, at times erotic. Despite its formal rituals [...]

Interview | Robert Lundquist: Never say sorry or common words again

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My Father was a boxer. He taught me how to box when I was nine. This commonality, and the need to impress him, informed a great deal. When Charles Bukowski at an event asked me to ‘take it outside’ over a girl, I said okay. I was 21 and shy. Everyone at the party kept telling him [...]

Review | Patience by Toby Litt

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In every first-person narrative readers are ultimately trapped in the mind of the protagonist, doomed only to know what they know. In Patience, author Toby Litt takes this concept further by sharing the story of Elliott, who is himself trapped in his mind, as his disability inhibits most of his physical movement [...]

Interview | Varun Grover: Of Paper Thieves and Nuclear Ducks

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One of Varun Grover’s cats is called Chhenapoda, which translates to “Roasted Cheese” in English and is a beloved dessert from Odisha in eastern India. The writer and comic, who likes to name his favourite felines after confectionary, is perhaps best known instead for his biting satire [...]

Review | Dragonfly by Jari Moate

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Dragonfly, Jari Moate, Tangent Books, 2018, pp.300, £8.99 (paperback) Jari Moate’s novel Dragonfly begins with an ex-soldier known only as Marine P who, after serving in Syria, ensconces himself in an abandoned chocolate factory in Bristol. But what happens next is far from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as P must battle both his inner demons and the malevolent forces...

News | Collyer Bristow Prize 2019 shortlist announced

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The London Magazine has announced the 2019 shortlist for the Collyer Bristow Prize for debut fiction. Now in its second year, the prize celebrates exceptional literary fiction, inviting publishers to submit one debut work of fiction published in the calendar year 2018. The shortlist, which features outstanding, original writing published in the UK, is: The Chameleon by Samuel Fisher (Salt...

Interview | Gryphon Rue on Calder Stories

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Calder Stories at the Centro Botín, Spain, is a major exhibition spanning five decades of Alexander Calder’s career, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and organised in collaboration with the Calder Foundation, New York. The exhibition, which considers little-known works within Calder's oeuvre, includes a custom-finished series of ‘object ballets’ on screen and headphone. These can be described as ‘notations’ which...

Essay | On the Benefits of Dancing Naked in Public

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In the pub, Jemima raises both her arms above her, then swings one back, turning her head to follow the arc it makes in the air. “Something like that,” she says, sitting back down and taking a chip from the plate between us. We are attempting a reconstruction. What we are attempting to reconstruct is a theatre show called Trilogy, made by an artist called [...]

Review | La Fille du régiment at the Royal Opera House

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Donizetti’s familial, romantic French comedy has its fourth revival in Laurent Pelly’s fabulous production at the Royal Opera House. The opera is about Marie, who was abandoned and raised by the French regiment who found her. She falls in love with Tonio, who isn’t a member of the regiment, after promising that she would only marry a member of their...

Spotlight V: Journals Edition | LE GUN / Hotel

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The London Magazine has long been a champion of emerging writers and independent publishers, stretching back to the 1950s and 60s, when young writers like Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes found a home in the pages of the then newly re-launched volumes of the magazine. We want this tradition to continue, and given the renaissance of new independent publishers, we...

Archive | Apollinaire 1880-1918 by Simon Watson Taylor

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The following essay was first published in The London Magazine, November 1968, Volume 8, No. 8, with accompanying illustrations, and edited by Alan Ross and assistant editor Hugo Williams. Simon Watson Taylor Apollinaire 1880-1918 ‘Où êtes-vous ô jeunes filles’, sighed Apollinaire nostalgically, in a particularly inventive ‘calligramme’ sent from his army post in 1914. And the names he lists form the wings of...

Review | Il Trovatore at Teatro Real

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Verdi’s Il Trovatore is notoriously difficult for opera houses to produce. Caruso once said that all you needed for Il Trovatore to work was to have the four best singers in the world sing it; easier said than done! The Teatro Real definitely gave it a try though and with some real star power: the supremely talented baritone Ludovic...

Review | Giovanna D’Arco at Teatro Real

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Verdi’s seventh opera, Giovanna D’Arco premiered in 1845 and tells the story of Joan of Arc, an exceptionally popular subject at the time. Madrid’s Teatro Real have put on a concert version of the opera with the legendary Plácido Domingo as Giacomo, Carmen Giannattasio as Giovanna and with Michael Fabiano as Carlo VII. King Carlo is about to give up...

Review | Kiss My Genders & Urban Impulses: Latin American Photography from 1959-2016

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Art endows people with the power to take control of their self-expression, to create themselves and identify themselves in a manner unadulterated by social conventions. This seems to be the lingering feeling of both Kiss My Genders and Urban Impulses: Latin American Photography 1959-2016, exhibiting at The Hayward Gallery and The Photographers’ Gallery respectively. Kiss My Genders explores gender...

Essay | Introduction to Kamala Markandaya’s The Nowhere Man

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The Nowhere Man cover
The following essay is the introduction to the latest edition of The Nowhere Man, a novel by Kamala Markandaya, first published in 1972, now re-published by HopeRoad to mark the launch of their new imprint Small Axes. A version of this essay first appeared in The Paris Review Daily. Emma Garman Introduction to The Nowhere Man When Kamala Markandaya wrote The Nowhere...

Review | Group Hat and How Chicago! Imagists 1960s & 70s at De La Warr Pavilion

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The waves come and go, breaking on the shore at their own singular pace. Grains of sand become whole under their release, imagination finding its foundations and delivering dreams. A perpetuation of that same motion, ebbing and flowing, Bexhill-on-Sea’s De La Warr Pavilion seems to debouch into the city. The building, designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff and first...

Review | Jellyfish at the National Theatre

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Ben Weatherhill wrote Jellyfish specifically for the actress Sarah Gordy, and after seeing her incredible performance at The National Theatre, you can see why. Gordy plays the protagonist Kelly, a twenty-seven-year-old woman with Down’s Syndrome who lives with her mum, Agnes (Penny Layden), in the seaside town of Skegness. Kelly and Agnes have a settled routine within this environment,...

Review | Ten Years of Towner Art Gallery

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The building itself is an intricate dance of angles, edges and corners; the colours and lines are a call to life, an open invitation not only to join a particular rhythm, but to find your own. The first word that comes to mind when arriving at Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne is movement. Designed by award-winning Rick Mather Architects, the...

Essay | Low Fidelity: The Case for Shakespeare’s Reinvention by Katrina Bennett

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Katrina Bennett Low Fidelity: The Case for Shakespeare's Reinvention Perhaps more so than any other Elizabethan writer, William Shakespeare was well aware of the necessity to keep his audience entertained — either that or face a bombardment of rotten fruit from the disgruntled groundlings. This was of course a time when many theatres doubled up as bear-baiting arenas, and the theatre...

Interview | Kevork Mourad: Seeing Through Babel

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A new exhibition by the Syrian-Armenian artist Kevork Mourad is being staged at The Ismaili Centre, in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, which sees the reopening of the South Kensington-based centre’s Zamana Space. The work is inspired by the Old Testament story of Babel, which saw mankind punished for attempting to construct a tower to heaven, an act...

Fiction | The Prisoner by Tammye Huf

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Tammye Huf The Prisoner I set my alarm clock for midnight, because at one in the morning we wanted to slaughter.  It rang muffled, under my pillow, but loud enough to jerk me awake, and I snatched it up to silence it before my mother could hear.  I'd tell her what I'd done when it was finished.  I swung my legs off...

Review | Nan Goldin & Jenny Holzer at Tate Modern

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In two exhibitions by Jenny Holzer and Nan Goldin currently on display at the Tate Modern we are presented by two collections of socially politicised artworks, but that which veer between the deeply personal and the impersonal in their presentation. Nan Goldin’s exhibition features The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, an intensely personal collection of photos which immortalise her memories...

Review | Orange World and Other Stories by Karen Russell

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Orange World and Other Stories, Karen Russell, Penguin, pp. 288, £14.99 (hardcover) Karen Russell’s third short story collection Orange World is every bit as inventive as we have come to expect from the writer, but it also marks a shift. The breathless magic of her earlier work has developed into something confident and unhurried, which solidifies her as a permanent...

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