Essay | Vonnegut’s ‘Black Humor’

I had made her so unhappy that she had developed a sense of humor, which she certainly didn’t have when I married her . . . This line from Bluebeard’s narrator remarks on another kind of humor, the black humor Vonnegut is best known for. Its source is helplessness and despair. He explains: Laughter or crying is what a human being does when there’s nothing else he can do [...]

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 [...]

Smoothly from Harrow, but a Bit Late by Chris Moss

Chris Moss traces the literary journey of the commuter and celebrates his arrival as a 21st century Everyman“Man is born free, and is everywhere...

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 | 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...

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...

Essay | A Journey Through Silence by Georgie Knaggs

The chat stops. We rise to our feet, step back over our benches. My foot hunts for its flip-flop.I am nine years old. It...

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 [...]

Fractals by Sudeep Sen | An Introduction by Fiona Sampson

Ahead of the launch of Sudeep Sen's Fractals, read a few words on Sudeep Sen's new collection by poet Fiona Sampson. Sudeep Sen is a...

Archive | Apollinaire 1880-1918 by Simon Watson Taylor

The following essay was first published in The London Magazine, November 1968, Volume 8, No. 8, with accompanying illustrations, and edited by Alan Ross...

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 | Residents in a World of Ideas: Thoughts on Cafés...

Before a trip to Vienna a few weeks ago I asked a friend where I should go. ‘It’s all cafés and art. There’s nothing...

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 [...]

Spotlight III: Influx Press

The London Magazine has long been a champion of emerging writers and independent publishers, stretching back to the 1950s and 60s, when young writers...

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...

Essay | A Dream of Maps: Notes from a Book Launch...

Chris Rice first met Matthew Sweeney at a poetry workshop in London in 1976, and they remained friends for forty-two years until Matthew's death in 2018. Chris Rice's elegy to Matthew and their long friendship [...]

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 | Defining my Jewish Identity by Leonard Quart

I grew up in the 1940s and '50s when the city's ethnic groups were more clearly divided and a lingering enmity between them still...

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 [...]
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...
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...

Essay | I’ll Always Have London by Leonard Quart

I’m off to London for the first time in a couple of years. There are friends to visit, art exhibitions and plays to see,...

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...

Spotlight V: Journals Edition | LE GUN / Hotel

The London Magazine has long been a champion of emerging writers and independent publishers, stretching back to the 1950s and 60s, when young writers...

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