Interview | Atiq Rahimi on dreams, minimalism and the female nude

'Depicting the body is a very political act in my culture, no matter what you do with it; even if it’s abstract. Nudity is a political act. Unveiling the body is engaging with the essential in life, the universal. The body is fundamentally the same regardless of gender. Some political regimes divide the genders along the lines of insignificant bodily differences. Politics often create a contradiction between the sexes when, in actual fact, it’s just a difference, nothing else.' [...]

Interview | Joo Yeon Park on Beckett, Failure and ‘the Unword’

'If you are to fail, you might as well, as Beckett put it, 'fail better'; you might as well volunteer to fail. And failure is, possibly, a necessity in art-making, and it's not necessarily a negative thing in art. It can prove to be a turning-point, to open up a space for discussion, for something that you haven’t expected to see or experience. So it can be a positive thing, so I think there's a double-edged sword in what Beckett means by failure.' […]

Review | Bridget Riley: The Eye’s Mind

Bridget Riley didn’t invent Op Art. The phrase first appeared in Time Magazine in 1964 in response to Julian Stanczak’s exhibition Optical Paintings. Defined as a form that uses visual trickery to challenge perception, it was a natural successor to Futurism, Constructivism, Vorticism and even Dadaism, liberated by Impressionism. But Riley made it what it is now [...]

Essay | Reflections on The Brothers Karamazov by Patrick Maxwell

In his masterpiece, Enemies of Promise (1938), Cyril Connolly distinguishes between two different styles of writing, which he terms as the ‘Mandarin’ and the ‘Vernacular’. In the former group: Edward Gibbon, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce; among the latter: William Hazlitt, George Orwell, and Christopher Isherwood. Fyodor Dostoevsky is a writer of neither groups [...]

Interview | Cecilia Brunson Projects Founder on I Am Awake by...

Eric Block Cecilia Brunson Projects Founder on I Am Awake by Feliciano Centurión Cecilia Brunson opened her eponymous Bermondsey-based gallery in 2015, providing a much needed European...

Review | Orient London – A sizzle above the rest

Steven O'Brien Orient London - A sizzle above the rest We were off to see the vast brocade of the Wallace Collection. However, lunchtime found us...

Poetry | Letter to Bez by Chris McCabe

Bez, post-Victorian Boz, Viz incarnate / and Viceroy of the sinew, what is the name / for light that detracts from the stars? / Urban pollutants de-lux distant galaxies / as we walk after / parties through school fields, / via car parks, past vacant vats & waste lots [...]

Essay | Come Back West, Magic Realism, We Need You Too

In 2016, Roisin O’Donnell published an article in The Irish Times which addressed the curious fact that so few Irish writers wrote in the magic realist mode. Putting in a plea for magic realism, she argued that “Ireland, with its healthy litany of bread-crusts-make-your-hair-go-curly superstitions, along with its hand-me-down myths [...]

Fiction | We Can Be Friends by Lauren Sarazen

There was a cluster of coats and hats careening over the railing, and when I got closer I could see what they were looking at. The basin, which had been full of water the last time I’d passed, was drained to the dregs and men in coveralls and tall rubber boots were crawling around in the sludge [...]

Essay | W.H. Auden: The Man Who Spoke for the Dumb...

One of the hallmarks of a great artist is their often lugubrious disdain for their own work. The reclusive French composer Paul Dukas was self-critical to the degree that he only allowed fifteen of his works to be published. Needless to say, they have become much loved [...]

Essay | Travel Writers as Citizens of Nowhere by Cecily Blench

At the Conservative Party Conference in 2016, shortly after the Brexit vote, the new Prime Minister Theresa May gave a speech in which she said these words: ‘If you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’. She made this point while trying to address the concerns of those who voted for Brexit because of immigration [...]

Extract | Twenty Theatres to See Before you Die by Amber...

Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die by Amber Massie-Blomfield is a love letter to Britain's theatres — a beautiful paean to the nation's...

Dido and Aeneas by Jeffrey Meyers

Autumn in Venice: Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse, Andrea di Robilant, Atlantic Books, 348 pp. £17.99 (hardback). Andrea di Robilant has done extensive research, but...

Archive | Breakfast with Borges by Andrew Graham-Yooll

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...

Review | The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre

This Christmas, join the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in their magical rendition of Raymond Brigg’s The Snowman. Christmas would not be the same without this enchanting...

Essay | ‘Time to Murder and Create’: When Fiction Bleeds into...

If I were to open by describing my setting  as a desk piled high with old issues of The London Magazine, the wine red May 1960 issue face down on top, rust-brown rimmed teacup marking the narrow No Man’s Land between the pile and my laptop, you would assume I were telling the truth. If I were to add that the red reminded me of blood spilled last week in rage and the brown rimmed cup of the plughole down which that blood spiraled, you would assume I was either lying or mad.

Review | Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde at The...

The centrifugal drive behind much of the work featured in the Barbican’s new exhibition Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde is enunciated by Rodin in the first gallery: ‘I express in a loud voice what all artists think. Desire! Desire! What a formidable stimulant.’

Interview | Cradeaux Alexander

American video and performance artist Cradeaux Alexander presents a mid-career retrospective this month at Bow Arts, London. Jemima Walter met him to uncover how...

Archive | Memories of Modigliani by Anna Akhmatova

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...

Archive | Fiction | Silvio by Arturo Vivante

  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,...

Event Preview | Face Value by The Lot 5 Collective

CRAFT ISN’T A DIRTY WORD The art world has been divided since the beginning of the twentieth century. On the one side, the rejection of...

Archive | Poetry | Peter Bland

Peter Bland, the New Zealand writer and actor, has written extensively over his long career, and has been lauded with many accolades, among them...

Fiction | On His Own Ground by Vis Nathan

  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...

Review | Promising Young Women by Caroline O’Donoghue

This year has truly brought to the fiction scene some of the most stunning and powerful female characters. From the extreme – such as My...

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