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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.

First published in the April/May 1976 issue (Vol. 16 No. 1) of The London Magazine (ed. Alan Ross).   AFTER THERE WAS NOTHING THERE WAS A WOMAN Whose face had reached her mirror Via the vulture’s gullet And the droppings of the wild dog, and she remembers...
Hilary Mantel Alas for the Egg   First published in The London Magazine, Dec/Jan 1986/87 On Sunday, they went to Nicosia. On their right as they drove, but far in the distance, was the faint blue line of the sea. Nearer at hand,...
The following essay, originally published in the April 1961 edition of The London Magazine, recounts the time by spent by Eugene Ionesco, one of the 20th century's greatest avant-garde theatre writers, with the Romanian sculptor and painter Constantin Brâncuși,...
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. Within this lengthy...
With The London Magazine Short Story Competition now open for submissions, we delved into our archives for inspiration and found this short by Thomas Hardy from May 1903. The story was accompanied by illustrations by Gordon Browne.  The traveller in school-books, who vouched in...
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 —...
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...
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...
from Norwegian / oh love, doesn't the fact that the world is so big, / laid out like ripe fruit / make you want to stay? / from Arabic / how I long to cleanse you / in the waters of the Tigris / how I long, as though you were a small and / priceless artefact, / to take you in my arms / from Ant-speak / I will carry you carry you / through legions of grass / protect you from the thumb, / the sole; the eager-feathered bird / will not swoop for you / from American / love is just love, and I'm in it / for the ride, o.k.? that tells me just exactly
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,...
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...
Two fairytale poems from 'Mother Goose' by Bernard Gutteridge with a little twist, first published in The London Magazine in 1971. THE STEPMOTHER She is like the Grimms And all that evergreen black forest Of all our childhoods Warned. The hair drawn back. The small...
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...
When Rose and Naomi, daughters of poor Rasovsky the tailor, left school in the same year there was no discussion about what they should do, because there was no question about the necessity to do it. Naomi was pretty...
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...
  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...
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...
    No map traces the street Where those two sleepers are. We have lost track of it. They lie as if under water In a blue, unchanging light, The French window ajar   Curtained with yellow lace. Through the narrow crack Odours of wet earth rise. The snail leaves a...
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
The following essay was first published in The London Magazine, November 1968, Volume 8, No. 8, with accompanying illustrations, and edited by Alan Ross and assistant editor Hugo Williams. Simon Watson Taylor Apollinaire 1880-1918 ‘Où êtes-vous ô jeunes filles’, sighed Apollinaire nostalgically, in...
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,...
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...
  First published in the December 1976/January 1977 of The London Magazine (Volume 16, No.5) Gopal entered his cubby-hole surrounded by huge racks bulging with musty files. He removed his cycle clips with a practised flourish and placed them carefully by...
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...

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