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Robert Greer

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Review | Frank Bowling at Tate Britain

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Born in 1934 in what was then British Guiana (now Guyana), Frank Bowling studied at the Royal College of Art alongside David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield. An abstract artist who used spray paint, stencils and acrylics poured across his canvases, Bowling's work did not reach the commercial heights of his once fellow students — so much so that many...

Interview | Alan Trotter

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Alan Trotter is a writer based in Edinburgh. Muscle, his debut novel, was awarded the inaugural Sceptre Prize for a novel in progress. He has written short fiction for Somesuch Stories, Under the Influence, McSweeney's Internet Tendency and the Electronic Literature Collection, as well as a digital story for phones called All This Rotting. His remarkable debut novel Muscle manages...

Essay | Memories of the 60s by Leonard Quart

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Leonard Quart Memories of the 60s I have been trying hard to emotionally survive the Trump era, while living with feelings of revulsion and hopelessness about every one of that pathological liar and demagogue’s tweets, utterances and political acts. One way of dealing with the situation is thinking back to the 60s, which for me was an era when dreams of...

Review | Fabulosa! The Story of Britain’s Secret Gay Language by Paul Baker

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Fabulosa! The Story of Britain's Secret Gay Language, Paul Baker, Reaktion Books, 2019, pp. 320, £15.99 (Hardcover) Polari is a language that was used mainly by gay men— camp gay men— in the first half of the twentieth century. They were a group of people living on the margins of society, at risk of attack or prison— or worse.  During...

Review | 2019 Bienalsur

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What happens when a bold new take on the Biennale comes face-to-face with a new national cultural movement?  For those of us tired of art world hype and cynical glitz the 2019 Bienalsur provided reassurance that humanity may not be doomed after all. Bienalsur is the Southern Hemisphere’s Biennale.  The 2019 Bienalsur, its second, opened in Buenos Aires this week. ...

Review | Edvard Munch: Love and Angst at the British Museum

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Known for the haunting anguish of The Scream, Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Munch produced less notorious pieces with a similar apocalyptic gloom. The exhibition currently at the British Museum, in collaboration with the Munch museum in Oslo, stages his complexity—as a person and as an artist—in a quest to decipher human nature, while pioneering of modern art by...

Interview | Scott Eaton | Artist+AI

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A truly ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence art exhibition has recently been on display at Somerset House. Entitled Artist+AI: Figures & Form in the Age of Intelligent Machines, it featured a new series of works by Scott Eaton, an artist who has worked for Disney and Pixar as well as collaborating with Jeff Koons, Mark Wallinger and Elton John. Eaton’s work explores the representation...

Spotlight IV: Penned in the Margins

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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...

Review | Four Quartets at the Barbican

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T. S. Eliot was famously wary about artistic interpretations of his poems. In a letter in 1947 to Dale E. Fern, he wrote that the idea of a ‘choreographic setting’ for the third part of Four Quartets ‘simply makes my stomach turn over’. Over a decade later, writing to the Master of Magdalene College in Cambridge, Eliot noted that...

Fiction | Down the Marina by Daniel Kramb

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Daniel Kramb Down the Marina At the city’s edge, half way into the marina, Ana-Maria sits on top of her boat, wearing a man’s jumper, pants and nothing else. ---Small splinters are boring into the flesh of her thighs as she shifts her legs from one side to the other. It’s getting dark again. ---In the boat beneath her, the duvet lies crumpled...

Review | Max Beaverbrook: Not Quite a Gentleman by Charles Williams

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Max Beaverbrook: Not Quite a Gentleman By Charles Williams Biteback Publishing, £25 In the age of the internet it is easy to forget the immense influence that Britain’s press barons once wielded. In this long, hugely enjoyable book, packed with colourful anecdotes, long-serving Labour peer and biographer, Lord Williams of Elvel, recalls one of the greatest of all newspaper magnates, a man...

Archive | Coming to London II by Leonard Woolf

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The following piece was first published in The London Magazine October 1955 Volume 2 No. 10 as “Coming to London — II”, part of an at-the-time regular series about London life. Leonard Woolf Coming to London             I ‘came to London’ embryonically, I presume, in February 1880, for I was born in the West Cromwell Road on...

Archive | Coming to London IX by Christopher Isherwood

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The following piece was first published in The London Magazine August 1956 Volume 3 No. 8 as "Coming to London — IX", part of an at-the-time regular series about London life.                        Christopher Isherwood Coming to London             I don’t remember exactly how or when I first came to London; it was...

Fiction | In Search of Scott by Will Kitson

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Will Kitson In Search of Scott I remember the first time I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work. I was 20 years old, in the second year of university. Life was pretty uninteresting, with all those Victorian novels about politics and factories and such; and so when I read This Side of Paradise, it was a kind of a revelation for me....

Review | Stanley Kubrick at The Design Museum

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Bringing iconic films to the main screen, from Clockwork Orange to The Shining, Stanley Kubrick has contributed significantly to 20th century popular culture.  The Design Museum presents an exhibition of the life and work of Stanley Kubrick as a visionary filmmaker. There is an array of artefacts that are organized to make up this exhibition in order to gain...

Fiction | Are There More People Alive Than Dead? by Laurane Marchive

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Laurane Marchive Are There More People Alive Than Dead? The phone rings. 5am. It’s your boyfriend. He is in New York so with the time difference, your wake-up time is pretty much his bedtime. You asked him to call in case you slept through your alarm. You pick up the phone. His voice says: ----‘Wake up little cat...’ ----You wipe a droplet of...

Review | Vivian by Christina Hesselholdt

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Vivian, Christina Hesselholdt, Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2019, pp.192, £12.99 (paperback) “What I produce is so good that if I start showing it to professionals, I’ll never get any peace again.”  The most striking aspect of Christina Hesselholdt’s Vivian is its inherent refusal to romanticize the artist. Vivian Maier, in this polyphonic novel translated by Paul Russell Garrett, is presented as a brilliant, self-assured...

Review | Tales of Two Londons: Stories From A Fractured City

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Tales of Two Londons: Stories From A Fractured City, edited by Claire Armitstead, Arcadia Books, 2019, £9.99 It’s Saturday morning in Hornsey and I make a Facebook call to my friend Elisabetta who is spending an evening thousands of miles away on the coast of Sri Lanka. I want to ask her about her friend Memed Aksoy after whom she...

Review | Salt Slow by Julia Armfield

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Salt Slow, Julia Armfield, Pan Macmillan, 2019, pp.208, £12.99 (hardback) This electric, enthralling collection of short stories from Julia Armfield owns its influences upfront. In the first story ‘Mantis’, a teenage girl describes reading with her mother: I choose Greek myths and ghost stories, tales that come in under fourteen pages and culminate in violent lessons. I read aloud and let...

Review | A Map Towards Fluency & A Few Interiors

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A Map Towards Fluency, Lisa Kelly, Carcanet Press, 2019, pp.112, £8.99 A Few Interiors, Rowland Bagnell, Carcanet Press, 2019, pp.64, £8.99 ------Carcanet’s latest publications include the innovative poetry of Lisa Kelly and Rowland Bagnall in their respective collections, A Map Towards Fluency and A Few Interiors. Kelly is deaf in her left ear, and some of the most compelling pieces are in...

Review | Days in the Caucasus by Banine & Crossing by Pajtim Statovci

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Days in the Caucasus, Banine (translated by  Anne Thompson-Ahmadova), Pushkin Press, 2019, pp. 288 (hardback) Crossing, Pajtim Statovci (translated by David Hackston), Pushkin Press, 2019, pp. 272 (hardback) In a way, it’s unimportant that Banine’s Days in the Caucasus and Pajtim Statovci’s Crossing come to us via translation; foremost, they are a memoir and a novel with timely relevancies to the...

Kahani Near Sloane Square…Oh Those Lamb Chops!

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I have been to expansive Sikh restaurants in Southall and frenetic Pakistani grills in Whitechapel. I once had a very good jalfrezi in Dublin. I have even been to the original Moti Mahal in Delhi where they serve punchy tandoori chicken to the hypnotic sobbing of a live Qawwali singer. However, I’ve never eaten Indian ‘fine dining.’ So Kahani,...

Review | Lee Krasner at the Barbican

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Lee Krasner’s work was central in the proliferation of abstract expressionism in the United States. A new show at the Barbican, Lee Krasner: Living Colour, plots the unfolding of her artistic identity, from the muted cubist works of her earlier years, to the saturated, rhythmic abstractions of her later practice, bringing together works from over 50 public and private...

Extract | Tony and Eve by Eve Hall

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From the forthcoming memoir by Phil Hall Steinhardt, Tony and Eve.  My heroine of very early days was Joan of Arc, whom I loved passionately. I dreamed of martyrdom and detested the English soldiers who burned her at the stake.  Every Friday afternoon I used to wait for my mother outside my boarding school, buttoned up snuggly into my Petite Madeleine...

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