2018 Essay Competition | Judges’ Interview Nicola Griffith and Pico...

We had a quick conversation with the judges of our 2018 Essay Writing Competition — Nicola Griffith and Pico Iyer — about their writing,...

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 | Memories of the 60s by Leonard Quart

Leonard QuartMemories of the 60s I have been trying hard to emotionally survive the Trump era, while living with feelings of revulsion and hopelessness about...
Peas

Essay | Peas by Alice Dunn

One of the stand-out gardens at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show appeared to replicate the pea in its structure. ‘The Seedlip Garden’ had...

Poetry and the Public by Paul Gittins

The prestigious T.S. Eliot Award in January that kicked off the poetry establishment’s crowded calendar of poetry competitions served to highlight the ever widening...

Battle of Ideas by Francesca Baker

At this year's Battle of Ideas the opening debate concerning literature was entitled To Read or Not To Read - The Canon and the...

Essay | Reflections on Orwell’s Coming Up for Air by Patrick...

"Call it peace, if you like. But when I say peace I don’t mean absence of war, I mean peace, a feeling in your guts. And it’s gone for ever if the rubber-truncheon boys get hold of us." What moves us about this passage? It is not particularly difficult to know which literary world we are in, which part of history we are being exposed to, and even which author is speaking [...]

Essay | My London by Mark Wilkins

Arriving in London in late September 1977 to start a law degree course, I fell irretrievably in love with London, replete with equal measures...

Interview | Ben Aleshire

Ben Aleshire makes his living as a travelling poet, writing poems on his typewriter for whatever his readers can spare as a donation, a...

Archive | Apollinaire 1880-1918 by Simon Watson Taylor

‘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 [...]

London’s Forgotten Genius

Tucked away on the wall of 128 Kensington Church Street is a blue plaque marking the one-time home of Muzio Clementi. Composer, conductor, keyboard...

Essay | Living in the Country— 1 by James Stern

I had the good fortune to live in the country until after I came of age. I could recognize and name most of the...

Review | Fur Coats in Tahiti by Jeremy Over

“The best way to live in the present is less carefully”: for better or worse, Jeremy Over’s winningly preposterous fourth collection, Fur Coats in Tahiti, follows its own advice to the letter. On the whole, I think, the better wins out, but let’s start by getting some of the worse [...]

Interview | Kevin Breathnach

I had intended my interview with Kevin Breathnach to go smoothly and at first it appeared to be doing so. We had arranged a...

Feature | Inside Dennis Severs’ House

I arrive outside the black wooden door of Dennis Severs' House, knock gently on the door, and wait under the gas lantern which hangs...

Archive | Coming to London II by Leonard Woolf

The following piece was first published in The London Magazine October 1955 Volume 2 No. 10 as “Coming to London — II”, part of...

Essay | Personal Feeling is the Main Thing by Sue Hubbard

By Sue HubbardI have long been interested in the work of Chantal Joffe and have written about her on several occasions. Her figurative paintings...

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 [...]

Essay | Rediscovering Violette Leduc by Isabelle Marie Flynn

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 [...]

Essay | Heaney At Home by Simon Tait

Simon TaitHeaney At Home Seamus Heaney’s brother Hugh sums him up better than anyone. “Seamus’s feet never left the ground”, he says, “and you could...

Essay | I Go Away To Talk To Myself by Sinead...

Sinead O'BrienI Go Away To Talk To Myself A trip has the same quality a Friday has. Everything ahead. It’s like having your back against...

Essay | Proust’s Secrets Revealed

Marcel Proust and his oeuvre are at once overexposed and mysterious. Entire books and studies have explored the minute details of his personal life and literary work. There is a book about what cures and medications he took specifically for his insomnia. There is a hundred-page academic study dedicated solely to the eight-word first sentence [...]

Essay | Layli and Majnun: Romeo and Juliet of the East...

When it comes to love stories, none are as well known in the English language as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. In Iran and elsewhere in the Persian-speaking world, however, another pair of star-crossed lovers reigns supreme. Lord Byron, who enthused over ancient Iran in Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, called Nezami Ganjavi’s Layli and Majnun ‘the Romeo and Juliet of the East’. Though given to exaggeration, this was no exaggeration on Byron’s part [...]

Archive | Notes on Raymond Chandler by Ian Fleming

With the protagonists of their respective novels being so similar, it is perhaps little surprise that the writers Ian Fleming and Raymond Chandler struck...

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