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The London Magazine has a publication history spanning almost two hundred years, and has featured work by some of the most prominent names in literature, from John Keats to Hilary Mantel. In this curated selection, we share our favourite pieces from the TLM archive.

Before its controversial and ground-breaking publication as a book in 1822, Thomas De Quincey's autobiographical account of opiate addiction Confessions of an English Opium Eater was first published anonymously in The London Magazine across two issues in September and...
Pier Paolo Pasolini was an Italian poet, novelist and film-maker, who died in mysterious circumstances in 1975 in an as-yet-unsolved murder case. Hailed by many as one of the great intellectual voices of post-war Europe, throughout his life and...
Robert Wennersten Hockney in L.A.  To celebrate the opening of David Hockney's exhibition 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life at the Royal Academy, we've republished an interview with Hockney, which originally appeared in The London Magazine's August/September Issue, Vol. 13 No. 3, in 1973....
First published in the August 1964 edition of the London Magazine (Vol. 4 No.5) (translated from the Italian text by Bernard Wall) I can well believe those other people who describe him differently from what he was as I knew him,...
With the protagonists of their respective novels being so similar, it is perhaps little surprise that the writers Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler struck up a friendship in the 1950s. After Chandler's death in 1959, Fleming wrote a long...
  First published in the June 1970 edition of The London Magazine (Vol. 10, No. 3) Like a statue too finely carved, too finished and perfected, the boy looked fragile, ever in danger of being injured. The exquisitely pointed nose, the...
Peter Bland, the New Zealand writer and actor, has written extensively over his long career, and has been lauded with many accolades, among them the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in 2011. He wrote two poems for The...
Philip Larkin (1922-1985) was a prolific poet and writer of essays, criticism and reviews during the twentieth century. Described as ‘England’s other Poet Laureate’, Larkin composed poetry that captured the spiritual angst of Britain’s post-war landscape and articulated the...
The Greek author Lucian tells of a lusty, young aristocrat who fell for a statue of Aphrodite and, willing it to be real, attempted to defile it. He had only the experience of other boys to go on and fell short when it came to the anatomy of women; congress was a hopeless failure and he hurled himself to his death [...]
For close on forty years I have pursued The ghost of my personality Down endless corridors of a castle Unsuccessfully. If I could catch him, I wonder, By the hem of his fading gown Would he turn and show me a mystery Or with a silent...
Known in Japan as the 'bank clerk poet', with her work frequently featuring in the bank newsletter where she was employed, Ishigaki's poetry stretches from the dreariness of domestic life to more complicated implications relating to Japan's history of...
‘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 a dove hovering above a fountain: Mia, Mareye, Yette, Lorie, Annie, Marie. These by no means comprise a roll-call of his youthful conquests, of course. Perhaps they were the only ones he found it convenient to remember at that moment, or perhaps those particular names just fitted nicely into the poem’s [...]
Synopsis People are taking sedatives in boats Going to America. Their names drift back to me— Hollowed out, unpronounceable. I walk through the crowds in the arcades And on the sands.     The Wedding Frame Her veil blows across his face As they cling together. Propped on the mantelpiece, The photograph...
If it is possible to concentrate the nature of a person's life into a brief sketch, then that of Anna Kavan is conveyed perfectly in her story Julia and the Bazooka, which seems to me a most symmetrical example of the art by which this obdurately subjective writer chose elements of her life and transformed them into something rich and strange and basically true. Written a year or so before her death in 1968, in a sense she even foresaw her end in this story [...]
The moon is a sealed coffin A boast The moon of poets The moon of dogs The moon of ovaries The moon of astronauts The invisible moon Knived Sick Yellow Waning Moon-wreath of everyday Moon of gallows Moon-spider Moon-Coin Moon-flag Twenty-eight eights of moon Nailed on Calendars And on the walls of memory. Translated by Nanos Valaoritis
From The London Magazine January 1961 It is always when a curtain at an open window flutters in the breeze that I think of that frail white curtain, a piece of fine gauze, which was drawn across the bedroom windows of...
"What we need is the magazine which will boldly assume the existence of a public interested in serious literature, and eager to be kept in touch with current literature and with criticism of that literature by the most exacting standards."
This year has truly brought to the fiction scene some of the most stunning and powerful female characters. From the extreme – such as My Absolute Darling’s Turtle Alveston – to the proudly millennial – such as Sally Rooney’s characters –...
Derek Walcott A Letter from Brooklyn An old lady writes me in a spidery style, Each character trembling, and I see a veined hand Pellucid as paper, travelling on a skein Of such frail thoughts its thread is often broken; Or else the filament from...
First published in The London Magazine March 1983, Vol.22, No.12 Jorge Luis Borges entered the Pedmonte Restaurant on Avenida de Mayo with the stiff steps of the unseeing; his face jutting forward to sense what the eyes could not see. It was...
While looking through our archive recently we came across this review by Evelyn Waugh of Nancy Mitford's novel Don't Tell Alfred from 1960. Displaying a characteristic mix of erudition and passion for story telling (alongside more than a hint...
From The London Magazine Stories 11, 1979 Then the brothel was raided. Christ, he’d only gone down to Spinoza’s to confront Patience with her handiwork. She hadn’t been free when Morgan first arrived so he had chatted to the owner, Baruch —...
I had the good fortune to live in the country until after I came of age. I could recognize and name most of the wild flowers of Ireland, ride a horse and milk a cow, before I went to...
Even a London house must have its swifts, the roof should be a beacon in the western light to guide them. Now, at evening, midges rise in beams that sweep the warmed slates as they brim with offerings, a salver to the sky. Skimming the...

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