Five years on – why Natasha Walter’s ‘Living Dolls: The Return...

So there’s a glamour model contest. All women can enter. To decide on a winner, the women must strip, pose sexually and suggestively on...

News | Caoilinn Hughes, on winning the Collyer Bristow Prize 2019

Caoilinn HughesOn winning the Collyer Bristow PrizeFirst thanks go to my peers—Sophie Mackintosh, Danny Denton, Samuel Fisher and Katherine Kilalea—for writing such good books...

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 [...]

Essay | On the Benefits of Dancing Naked in Public

In the pub, Jemima raises both her arms above her, then swings one back, turning her head to follow the arc it makes in the air. “Something like that,” she says, sitting back down and taking a chip from the plate between us. We are attempting a reconstruction. What we are attempting to reconstruct is a theatre show called Trilogy, made by an artist called [...]

Review | This is Memorial Device by David Keenan

Scottish music in 1983 This is Memorial Device, David Keenan, Faber and Faber, February 2017, pp.304, £14.99, (paperback) News of the death, back in June, of Bogdan...

Essay | A.E. Housman: Loveliest of Poets by Patrick Maxwell

A. E. Housman was an introverted man whose poetry is somewhat unique in its widespread appeal. Despite only producing two collections of poetry in his lifetime (A Shropshire Lad in 1896 and Last Poems in 1922), his reputation as a master of lyricism [...]

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 [...]

Archive | Pier Paolo Pasolini — Divina Mimesis: Canto VII

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...

Review | Alejandro Zambra | Not to Read

Lending books to friends. Reading photocopies of novels while smoking a cigarette. Finding the previous owner's angry scribbles in a second-hand paperback. What comes...

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 [...]
The Warlock of Love

Essay | The Warlock of Love: Revisiting Marc Bolan’s Forgotten Poetry...

Fifty years ago in March 1969, a rather odd book of verse hit Britain’s bookshelves. Its jacket contained no description of what lay inside...

Easter Island by Fiona Brenninkmaker

Charting the evolution of Easter Island wooden carvings from spiritual receptacle to auction treasure.Allow me to take you on a small journey to Easter...

Essay | Meg Wolitzer’s #MeToo Moment by Sophie Perryer

Meg Wolitzer must be psychic. Well before the explosive allegations against Harvey Weinstein were revealed and the #MeToo movement gathered pace, she penned The...

Essay Competition 2018 — Winners Announced!

First of all, a huge, huge thank you to everybody who shared and entered this year's essay prize! Though it was only the second...

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...

Essay | Kafka & Camus by Jeffrey Meyers

It is odd that the two book-length studies of Albert Camus’ The Stranger (1942), by English Showalter and Alice Kaplan, do not discuss the profound influence of Franz Kafka’s The Trial (1925). Other critics have emphasized, denied or deplored this influence. Herbert Lottman notes that while writing his novel Camus 'had read and reread Kafka, whose work seemed to him prophetic, one of the most significant of our time.' The critic Jean Paulhan - thinking of Hemingway’s simple sentences [...]

Essay | On Writing Ethnic Stories by Haleh Agar

I was told to use my maiden name – Hassan-Yari, a name that usually meant extra questions at the customs queue but now would...

Essay | Dostoevsky and Poor Folk by Patrick Maxwell

Wilfred Owen captured the national spirit best when he talked of the ‘drawing-down of blinds’, surely the most succinct depiction of English melancholia. The English spirit – distinct from of Britishness, though also a part of it – is one of deep decline under the shadow of former empire. It is the spirit of T. S. Eliot’s line ‘winter’s afternoon | In a secluded chapel’ in ‘Little Gidding’; of the quiet introit sung by an evensong choir, backing away into the cathedrals’ dingy corners [...]

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...
We'll Never Have Paris, ed. Andrew Gallix, Repeater Books, May 2019

Extract | Flogging a Dead Clothes Horse by Thom Cuell

The following is an extract from We’ll Never Have Paris edited by Andrew Gallix (3:AM Magazine) — a new collection of fiction and essays...

Ritual Landscapes by Francis Pryor

Many academic phrases, like much academic writing, are too awkward, verbose and cumbersome to find their way into common usage. Indeed, the jargon of...

The London Magazine Podcast | Episode 4 | A Discovery of...

We were recently contacted by Reverend Christian Mitchell of the church of Heathfield in rural Sussex, who had made a remarkable discovery. In one...

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...

Dearest reader! Our newsletter!

Sign up to our newsletter for the latest content, freebies, news and competition updates, right to your inbox. From the oldest literary periodical in the UK.

You can unsubscribe any time by clicking the link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or directly on info@thelondonmagazine.org.Find our privacy policies and terms of use at the bottom of our website.