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Robert Greer

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Extract | Flogging a Dead Clothes Horse by Thom Cuell

We'll Never Have Paris, ed. Andrew Gallix, Repeater Books, May 2019
The following is an extract from We’ll Never Have Paris edited by Andrew Gallix (3:AM Magazine) — a new collection of fiction and essays on anglophone visions of Paris featuring contributions from over 70 writers, including Tom McCarthy, Eley Williams, Max Porter, Joanna Walsh, Stewart Home, Sophie Mackintosh. Published by Repeater Books on 21st May 2019.  Thom Cuell Flogging a Dead...

Review | Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides & Days of Awe by A. M. Homes

Jeffrey Eugenides’s latest short story collection is packed full of literary treats in case you haven’t read them when they originally appeared in The New Yorker and other equally prestigious magazines. The stories were written over a period of more than twenty years. Only the title story “Fresh Complaint” and “Complainers” were written specifically for the collection, but all...

Poetry | Ants on City Walls by Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee Ants on City Walls Think Neither fear nor courage saves us. Unnatural vices Are fathered by our heroism. Virtues Are forced upon us by our impudent crimes. ~ T.S. Eliot, Gerontion Here we are, in the cruellest month, to choose Our future, marked on our finger. Will we survive the lie? The fate of truth hangs in balance. What we Choose for us, we choose for others. The...

Review | Out of the Woods by Luke Turner

Out of the Woods, the first book by Luke Turner, begins with the breakdown of a five year relationship with his girlfriend, caused by (among other things) the difficulty of self-definition as a bisexual man in a heterosexual relationship. In an attempt to find solace, Turner turns to the Epping Forest, a space deeply rooted in his family and...

Review | Phyllida Barlow at Royal Academy

I’ve collected driftwood from beaches for years. A particularly large piece hangs by the door to my house. Every time I enter, my fingertips brush along smooth and rough edges— and for a moment, I can hear the rush of water and waves against wood, the grating of sand and against its surface. The potential of a sensory response, and...

Extract | The Governesses by Anne Serre tr. Mark Hutchinson

Anne Serre (tr. Mark Hutchinson) The Governesses ‘One less,’ thought the elderly gentleman to himself as he folded up his telescope. This one wouldn’t be wriggling about anymore, this one would never do anything unexpected again. He’d learn nothing more about her from the dress she was wearing, the locks of her hair, her way of pacing up and down. To...

Essay | I Go Away To Talk To Myself by Sinead O’Brien

Sinead O'Brien I Go Away To Talk To Myself A trip has the same quality a Friday has. Everything ahead. It’s like having your back against a wall and there being no past only possibility and choice to contemplate. Today is Friday and I am setting off for Berlin, alone. Before I went to sleep last night I acknowledged that waking up...

Review | Faust at the Royal Opera House

Faust, the epitome of grand French opera and Gonoud’s masterpiece returns to Covent Garden in this fifth revival of David McVicar’s production. The opera tells the story of Faust, who we meet as an old man about to kill himself, and the devil Méphistophélès who changes his mind by getting him to sell his soul to him in return...

Review | Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2019 at The Photographers’ Gallery

Each room immerses the viewer in the artist’s expert documentation. We are encouraged to do more than just observe the photographs; the emphasis seems to instead be on understanding the subject matter more thoroughly. This might invite visitors to spend more time in each room, each photograph acting as a window to an individual history. Laia Abril and Susan...

Review | Bindlestiff by Wayne Holloway

2036. In a ramshackle, backwater United States, Marine Corps vet Frank Dubois journeys from L.A. to Detroit, seeking redemption for a life lived off the rails, in a country derailed from its own manifest destiny. In present day Hollywood, a wannabe British film director hustles to get his movie ‘Bindlestiff’ off the ground starring ‘Frank’, a black Charlie Chaplin figure...

Review | WITCH by Rebecca Tamás

In her latest collection, WITCH, Rebecca Tamás explores the triumphs and oppression, the strengths and weaknesses, the power and the fears that generations of women embody. Released to coincide with the pagan festival of the Spring Equinox, WITCH brings the modern woman into a sacred and safe space where nature, feminism, eroticism and philosophy blur together to kindle our journey...

Review | One Thing by Xanthi Barker and The Prick by Mazin Saleem

Xanthi Barker’s One Thing and Mazin Saleem’s The Prick are the second and third of the Open Pen Novelette series, coming after Shitstorm by Fernando Sdrigotti. The books in the series are all wrapped in Pierre Butin's stylish minimalist designs, but this is where such minimalism ends. From the first page both stories make for great reading, quickly unfolding...

Review | Counterpoint at the Stanley Spencer Gallery

Considered one of Britain’s most significant artists Stanley Spencer is famous for his singular vision, but Counterpoint sets out to demonstrate that he was part of a zeitgeist which spawned some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. The Stanley Spencer Gallery is devoted to the work of one of Britain’s greatest painters, a visionary artist, whose name became synonymous...

Review | Top Girls at the National Theatre

One of the great things about Caryl Churchill is her use of history to explore the present and anticipate the future. This can be seen in her brilliant 1982 play Top Girls now getting a timely revival at the National Theatre— carrying us from a timeless zone to the 1980s to something much like the present, the work engages...

Essay | Residents in a World of Ideas: Thoughts on Cafés and Writing

Before a trip to Vienna a few weeks ago I asked a friend where I should go. ‘It’s all cafés and art. There’s nothing else you need’ she said, sipping her own espresso at a 60s-style metal table set on the pavement in North Oxford. Coffee has in many places and cultures become a lifestyle, one for literary enthusiasts...

Essay | What branches grow out of this stony rubbish? by Tom Jeffreys

Tom Jeffreys “What branches grow out of this stony rubbish?” Some notes on the art of Yelena Popova, Joanna Rajkowska, and Jan Eric Visser April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. “Breeding”, “mixing”, “stirring”, “rain”: three present participles, each one in the same position at the end of three of...

Review | Dorothea Tanning at Tate Modern

Birthday (1942) hangs opposite the entrance to the first room. Tanning stands proud yet forlorn, shirt as open as the door which she holds, leading to a corridor of countless other open doors, a griffin crouching at her feet. André Breton’s first Surrealist manifesto, written in 1924 primarily in Les Deux Magots café on Paris’s Left Bank, defined the movement...

Archive | Leaving School—XI by Ann Quin

The following piece by the post-war experimental writer Ann Quin (1936-1973) was originally published in the July 1966 issue of The London Magazine, but was last year re-published in the sublime collection of short stories and fragments The Unmapped Country (ed. Jennifer Hodgson, And Other Stories, 2018). Ann Quin Leaving School—XI Bound by perverse securities in a Convent, RC Brighton for eight...

Review | The Realm of the Punisher: Travels in Duterte’s Philippines by Tom Sykes

Tom Sykes, The Realm of Punisher: Travels in Duterte’s Philippines, Signal Books, November 2019, pp. 288, £12.99 The Realm of the Punisher is an accessible and meticulously researched travelogue based on lucid, first-hand reporting, interviews with a profusion of notable people and close readings of textual sources dating back centuries. It leaves a strong impression of the Philippines’ social and...

Interview | Curator Amanda Bradley | Counterpoint – Stanley Spencer and his Contemporaries

Known for his eccentricity and convention-defying style, Stanley Spencer’s majestic work is beyond definition. The upcoming exhibition, Counterpoint – Stanley Spencer and his Contemporaries, layers the work of the renowned artist with his contemporaries, exposing a historical texture often overlooked amidst aesthetic classifications. Thirty-nine works, seventeen artists, two world wars. Maria Mendes caught up with the exhibition curator Amanda...

Review | The Neighbourhood by Hannah Lowe

Hannah Lowe’s fourth chapbook, The Neighbourhood, begins with a winding dotted line that travels from the first to the second page. The image continues in the page of contents. The dotted line after final poem’s title droops to create a circle before it lands several lines down, anchored by the page number. Lowe’s poems encompass many voices, passing through...

Review | Iolanta and L’enfant et les sortilèges at Royal Academy Opera

The Royal Academy Opera put on a sumptuous double bill of one-act operas: Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges. The operas are both quite fairytale like but they couldn’t be more different, both as productions and operas. First up was Iolanta, performed in the original Russian with quite a simple but exceptionally effective staging: a bare stage with...

Review | Little Boy by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti is about to turn one hundred years old, and he still has plenty to say. In his work Little Boy – a sort of memoir-meets-polemic which he calls a “novel”- Ferlinghetti straddles an odd position: he is a living author who is often discussed alongside his peers as though he were a dead poet. The piece is at once...

Review | Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo

"When she finds a worm buried in the heart of a plum, an apple, she looks at it, shows it, then eats it. She finds in it the taste of sacrifice." Animalia is not for the faint hearted. The family saga, recounted by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, and translated by Frank Wynne from the original Règne Animal, follows four generations...

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