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The London MagazineJorge Coll on Spanish Landscapes at ColnaghiColnaghi is recognised as one of the world’s most important art dealerships in the Old Masters and antiquities markets. The renowned gallery has three spaces in London, Madrid and New York. Founded in Paris in 1760, with a London presence from 1786, Colnaghi exhibited the likes of Turner and advised artists...
Richard Zarzi is considered one of the world's most prominent pop artists working today, having celebrated many icons in his work, including Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Chanel and Marilyn Monroe. His work created by projecting images onto a canvas screen, which he further instates with bold light and texture using a mixture of acrylics, resins and diamond dust. The result is a celebration of the icons' charisma and beauty through an his distinctive signature style [...]
William BedfordHow Are Things With You?It was three in the morning when they left the club. Blossom Dearie had finished her second set with ‘What Is This Thing Called Love?’ and the audience were still on their feet, chanting and cheering for more. In the street, Daniel hummed the words, wanting to make Anna laugh. But she wouldn’t laugh:...
Interview | Ben Schott on writing ‘racy’ scenes, the element of surprise and Jeeves and the Leap of Faith
Ben Schott was best known for the hugely popular Schott’s Miscellany series until 2018, when he became a novelist. Described as his homage to the works of P. G. Wodehouse, Schott’s Jeeves and The King of Clubs was published with the blessing of the Wodehouse estate and received rapturous reviews. Schott keeps Bertie and Jeeves in their 1930s setting, but brings a faster pace, detailed endnotes, and a twist of espionage to satisfy the modern reader [...]
The London Magazine'Nights at the Circus, a personal interpretation': Eileen Cooper on her illustration of Angela Carter's novelThe characters of Angela Carter’s seminal novel, Nights at the Circus, have been brought to life by British artist, painter and print-maker Eileen Cooper. Published in 1984, Carter's book incorporates multiple genres of fiction, including fairy tales and magic realism — themes...
Eager to write le Carré’s biography, unwilling to proceed without his permission and naively hoping for his help, I wrote a brief letter on September 3, 1989 and sent it to him through his agent. I introduced myself, mentioned my five previous biographies, offered to send him copies, gave two references from prominent English authors, asked if he would authorize a life to make sure it would be done by a capable and responsible writer, and suggested a meeting [...]
Submissions are now OPEN for The London Magazine's Short Story Prize 2021. The London Magazine has published short stories by some of the most well-respected literary figures over the course of its long history, from Jean Rhys to Raymond Carver and V.S. Pritchett. Our annual Short Story Competition seeks out new voices to join them. Established to encourage emerging literary talent,...
Paul couldn’t believe that she lived in a hotel. Better yet, or worse, he had known it, then forgotten. They talked about her on campus, rumours had preceded her, so much that her body already existed in whispers, but Paul didn’t care about gossip. He cared about girls, and women. Their mouths, their flesh. He was eighteen years old, and living multiple lives. By day he went to university, he stared at huge blackboards or whiteboards, he traded and compared notes with [...]
Dear B.C., I write to you because accountancy is tiring my patience and I have developed some better schemes which will propel me to fame. It is melancholy to consider the bank statements and tax returns of common people while they hang in doubtful circumstances; and, only being trained to contend with positive numbers, I have not enjoyed examining the arrears, debts, and bankruptcies which now litter my desk, from which I can not extract my usual fees or [...]
If you want to understand history, you need to go out and find its stories. You have to dig them out, unearth them, like archaeologists uncovering traces of earlier civilizations. These stories, the really important ones, are never written down in books. I spent much of one hot summer’s day in Haifa up in a cool, sun- dappled apartment on a quiet residential street at the bottom of the steps leading up to the Shrine of the Báb and its gardens on Mount Carmel [...]
Most bibliophiles will name Simone de Beauvoir, George Sand and Colette among the greats of French literature. Yet they represent the tip of a subversive, transgressive and deeply political iceberg of women writers who have changed the literary and social landscape. As women’s voices grow louder and more diverse in modern publishing, it is vital to recognise that their writing is not new, nor has it just now become important. The words of women are sadly more [...]
My mother never gave me her hand… She always helped me on and off pavements by pinching my frock or coat very lightly at the spot where the armhole provides a grip. It humiliated me. I felt I was inside the body of an old horse with my carter dragging me along by one ear… One afternoon, as a gleaming carriage sped past, splattering the leaden summer with its reflections, I pushed the hand away right in the middle of the road. She pinched the cloth [...]
My brother’s head sounded like a rabbit’s foot drumming against the baize-coloured carpeting of our room. I had been dreaming about Sarah Claire at our school. She had rabbits. Lots of 4-H stuff, which was why I was mulling signing up. The spittle at the edges of Maxwell’s mouth made him look rabid and he was contorting as if he didn’t have a backbone. I think I said ‘Go, Max, go!’ even though I knew something was well past wrong and death could be here [...]
‘Why I’m pleased humour isn’t taken seriously as an art form’ — an interview with author Fabrice Caro
Novel writing and comic strips are two different worlds, hence the difference in signature between Fabcaro and Fabrice Caro, though of course you find a bit of my style in both. I have two distinct approaches to writing. I’d even say that one is the opposite of the other: my comic strips are elliptical, focused on immediate effects and humour in particular. I’m down to the bone, so to speak. My desire to write novels came from a certain frustration with regard to words [...]
Poet Robin Robertson, whose original tales summon the violent beauty of the Scottish landscape, dedicates his latest collection to ‘the taken: for all those feart of the glamour’, as Grimoire is a collection of the shadow self, for and about those who dwell on peripheries. In a collaboration that calls to mind the Brothers Grimm, the poet’s brother, Tim Robertson, has rendered illustrations that appear on the page like an inkblot test, dark mirrors lending space [...]
Before the Great War a brilliant group of Jewish artists were drawn to Paris. Amedeo Modigliani (called Modi) was born in Italy; Moise Kisling, Jules Pascin, Jacques Lipschitz, Chaim Soutine, Marc Chagall and Sonia Delaunay came from Eastern Europe. The Jewish painter and poet Max Jacob (1876-1944), born in Quimper, Brittany, was the only Frenchman connected to this group [...]
I have written about Tracey Emin many times and have always felt that her self-absorption and solipsism undermined her art. So I was sceptical as I got myself along - mask-protected - for my socially distanced visit to the Royal Academy to see The Loneliness of the Soul, a show in which she has double billing with Edvard Munch. What hubris, I thought! She’s bound to be dwarfed by the master of angst. To be the junior partner. The also-ran. This, after all, is the [...]
Review | Calling Out the Destruction: Collected Non-Fiction Meditations on Violence and Transcendence by Karl R De Mesa
Karl R De Mesa’s collection. despite belonging to a very different genre, reminded me of John Wayne’s classic Western movie True Grit (1969). It places conceptions of mettle, both physical and emotional, under a high-intensity microscope. In examining the nuances of grit, violence and determination, the Filipino author and reporter digs deep beneath the lazy, surface-level musings of an all too modern journalism. His profiles of mixed martial artists (MMA) such as [...]
Liza M. Wiemer’s novel, The Assignment, is a frighteningly realistic portrayal of modern antisemitism in a small-town community that blurs the lines between past and present, fiction and reality. The novel is a fictionalised account of a real assignment that is given to students, which instructs them to debate the Final Solution, the Nazi’s plan for genocide of the Jewish people. When students Logan March and Cade Crawford protest holding the debate [...]
On 4 August 1944, as the Nazi occupation of Italy was coming to an end, the German forces evacuating Florence unleashed a final barrage of destruction, deploying mines across the city to bring down all but one of the historic bridges which had lined the River Arno for centuries. The blasts brought down many of the houses on each side of the river, including the house of writers Anna Banti and Roberto Longhi. Buried among the rubble of the house was the near-completed [...]
Biographers have three ways of dealing with their predecessors. They can generously thank them, ignore their achievement, or viciously attack them. Richard Greene (no relation to Graham) misleadingly links Michael Shelden’s deeply flawed book (l994) with Norman Sherry’s impressive three-volume 2,250-page work (1989-2004). Sherry conducted many interviews with Graham from 1904-91, and his first two volumes were perceptive and convincing. Richard calls [...]
Hag is an anthology of stories responding to classic folk tales from the British Isles, penned by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today. Originally conceived as an Audible podcast, the book version from Virago Press also has two new stories as well as copies of the original tales on which they are based. Daisy Johnson starts Hag off with a story that poses the question at the heart of any retelling: Is it mine to tell? [...]
I have never been optimistic about the human condition, or believed that the flow of history moves progressively forward. And although I have a passion for art, cities, friendship, and a belief in love and marriage, I have always felt that the life we live is more than touched with despair and darkness. It bounds our everyday lives – and my favourite filmmakers echo that vision. The director who was – and remains – most meaningful to me is the maestro of angst, Ingmar Bergman, whose work [...]
Interview | ‘Our societies tend to reduce Islam to its political dimension’ – Sophie Van Der Linden on her novel Après Constantinople
My aesthetic approach is primarily poetic and doesn’t really fit into ‘-ist’ suffixes. But I would be lying if I denied my intentions. One of those is providing models of strong women with intimate, sensual and intellectual responses to life. Another is to offer a different perspective of the Orient, and particularly of Islam. Because of the radicalism and terrorism that confront us [...]