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Fiction | Sell Your Past and Buy Yourself a Future! by Maurizio Ascari

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This story is an extract from My Europe, edited by Anna Johnson and Anna Vaught, Manningtree, Patrician Press, 2018, pp. 13-22. Maurizio Ascari Sell Your Past and Buy Yourself a Future! I had been thinking of selling my house for a while. Since I retired I had cherished the idea of relocating and starting a new life. Far from the northern city...

Essay | On Angela Carter by Sharlene Teo

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I was thirteen when I first encountered The Bloody Chamber, back in the humid and claustrophobic childhood bedroom that I shared with my older sister in Bukit Timah, Singapore. I remember idly scanning my sister’s bookshelf; plywood, festooned with glow-in-the-dark plastic stars. I spotted a bent orange spine on the second shelf [...]

Review | Big Love by Balla & The Night Circus and Other Stories by Uršul’a Kovalyk

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Though Balla, one of Slovakia’s most prominent contemporary novelists, has been compared to Kafka, he might more reasonably be called a nihilistic Etgar Keret (Israeli author of The Nimrod Flipout and multiple other collections of surreal short stories), given the thoroughly ironic [...]

Essay | Becket back in the cathedral

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Great drama has a way of always being relevant whenever it is performed, even if, like T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, it isn’t performed very often. The play is, of course, about the assassination of Thomas Becket, but with undertones of the shadow of Fascism over Europe. Next year sees the 850th anniversary of the event [...]

Review | Flesh-Coloured Dominoes by Zigmunds Skujiņš

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On the face of it, Flesh-Coloured Dominoes is a book of two novels spliced together: its chapters alternate between two wildly different narratives. One is a bildungsroman of sorts that sees the Second World War through the eyes of an unnamed first-person narrator, a young orphan growing up in Riga; the other is set in the 18th century in Vidzeme – part of modern-day Latvia – and aptly centres on a very literal, very macabre case of conjoining two odd halves to make a whole [...]

Fiction | Mr. Cahill by William Roberts

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  The little party wandered slowly along the rows of the hillside garden, pausing in the warm afternoon Northern California sun to examine one vegetable vine or plant after another, chatting amiably together in low voices about fertilizers and slug repellents and the various ways to control aphids and blackfly and other common predators. Five people – two men, a...

Review | What Are We Doing Here? by Marilynne Robinson

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The joy of an episodic form is it can be appreciated multiple ways. You do not need to agree with every constituent part to enjoy the whole, and you do not need to enjoy the whole to find a constituent part you enjoy. In Marylinne Robinson’s new collection of essays What Are We Doing Here? there is enough strong...

Review | Known Unknowns at The Saatchi Gallery

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In the current exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery, Known Unknowns, you are not meant to know of the artists. If you do, you’re missing something of the point. Part of the joy as you walk through the works of these 17 contemporary artists is the discovery. These are the curated hidden gems. These are the recommendations from those in...

Review | Black Book by Gideon Rubin at The Freud Museum

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The Freud Museum, in Freud’s old house, is a five-minute walk from Finchley Road tube station, away from the main road on a residential street. Other than the small sign and the two blue plaques which bear the names Sigmund and Anna Freud, the house blends into those on either side. Freud’s house, in which he probed the human...

Review | ‘My Generation’ – The 1960s Through the Eyes of Michael Caine

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My Generation Presented by Michael Caine On cinematic release from 14th March 2018 As the sun rises with a vivid pop art palette over the River Thames, over the East End, over the then still fully operational docks of the Port of London, the full complement of raised dockside cranes heralds the dawn of the 1960s as the bright pink, gold, sapphire...

Essay | Re-reading Frankenstein by Alice Dunn

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It is tempting to read Frankenstein as a means of understanding Mary Shelley. 200 years after the novel was first published, Alice Dunn asks, is that a bad thing? Things most of us know about the novel Frankenstein: that its author Mary Shelley first thought of the idea for it during a ghost story competition among friends (Lord Byron,...

Review | A Walk Through Essex Road IV at Tintype

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  When walking the streets of London, its minor and major roads, its arteries and veins, begin to enmesh themselves with the walker’s brain. Over time they become an abstract map of the tendrils of frontal and parietal lobes, projected out over the landscape. Walking down main arterial roads, like Upper Street in Islington, is like traversing the well-trodden parts...

Julie Cope’s Naked Lunch

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  ‘God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.’ Said Nietzsche, so instead of looking to religion for comfort we laugh at videos of cats and endless cycles of memes. How then, do we create meaning from our lives in the absence of the grand narratives that religion once provided? In the works on display at Firstsite,...

Review | Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

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  In just three years, Fitzcarraldo Editions have published remarkably intelligent books on everything from orientalism to football. Crucially, in our Trump/Brexit state of the world, they seem to have made it their mission to translate artists who are lauded in their home countries but aren’t that well-known elsewhere. Take Olga Tokarczuk: a Polish household name, author of eight novels and...

Poetry | The Air Has Cleared by Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

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The air has cleared today, Over the city, and in my head, I see the trees breathe The invisible greenness of air, I feel the taste of sunlight On my hungry face, I don’t remember the day I was born, But I will remember this day, When the air cleared, After days of foggy thoughts, A bastard of a week, “Time is a fucking bastard” Wrote Carlos Fuentes, And he was right, not...

Review | Fahrelnissa Zeid at the Tate Modern

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  ‘When I’m painting, I am always aware of a kind of communion with all living things, I mean with the universe as the sum total of the infinitely varied manifestations of being.’ - Fahrelnissa Zeid   Fahrelnissa Zeid, born in 1901 into the elite Ottoman family in Turkey, her life began as an eventful one as she was always surrounded by...

Review | Keith Vaughan: On Pagham Beach, Photographs and Collages from the 1930s

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  It is hard for those brought up in a world of gender fluidity, with debates about who has the right to use which bathroom, to imagine the veil of secrecy and repression that prevailed during the first half of the 20th century around sexual encounters between men. The Sexual Offences Act that decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two...

The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2017 | Winners

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Thank you so much to everyone who entered The London Magazine‘s Poetry Prize 2017. The standard of entries was extremely high but our judges, Patricia McCarthy and Frieda Hughes, have made their choices and we are delighted to announce the winners: First place: ‘Old mother moor' by Sarah Westcott Second place: 'Aroi' by Roisin Kelly Third place: 'Panic' by Michael Henry Each of...

Review | David James at Gallery 46

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  Gallery 46 is located in two renovated Georgian houses with their skirting, floorboards and sash windows still intact. Walking through the entrance hall and looking towards the original narrow staircase it’s clear that the gallery has retained the human scale of terrace living, which is in stark contrast to the inhuman minimalism and sterility of most gallery spaces. Such...

Fiction | The Golden Eel by Neil Burns

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It had been twenty years since they last met. Thirty eight year old Eoghan O’Dullach was nervous inside; and in his brain he was running through past experiences of the, in the end, failed relationship. Those experiences which caused him emotional pain; and would they, him and her, be able to see with considerable hindsight how immature, emotionally, they...

Review | Melancholia – A Sebald Variation at Somerset House

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  Descend the vertiginous spiral staircase to the Inigo Rooms of Somerset House in London between September 21st and December 10th 2017, and you will encounter ‘Melancholia – A Sebald Variation’, a fascinating exhibition in almost complete monochrome curated by writer and art historian John-Paul Stonard and the author Lara Fiegel. On entry you will be handed a little blue...

Review | Calder on Paper: 1960 – 1976 at the Saatchi Gallery

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  SALON, Saatchi Gallery’s commercial exhibition space, launched earlier this year aiming to present the work of leading international artists who have had limited exposure in the UK. Its latest exhibition Calder on Paper: 1960 – 1976 is staged in collaboration with Mayfair’s Omer Tiroche Gallery and presents a large variety of Alexander Calder’s vibrant gouaches on paper. The white walls of the...

Extending the Range of Pejoratives: Howard Jacobson’s Pussy

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  Written in “a fury of disbelief” during the weeks that followed the unlikely election of Donald Trump, Howard Jacobson’s latest novel Pussy dramatizes the education and rise to power of Prince Fracassus, heir to the Duchy of Origen, until he begins to preside over the Republic of Urbs-Ludus. The plotline is minimal but engrossing thanks to Jacobson’s spirited, arch tone...

Review | The Flesh To The Frame at Opera Gallery London

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  David Kim Whittaker’s current exhibition THE FLESH TO THE FRAME reveals a powerful vortex of chaos and harmony. Presented in two parts In the Existence is currently on display in London and The Primal Vortex will follow later in the month in Paris. Within these displays more than forty oil and acrylic works, many of which are based around...

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