Dido and Aeneas by Jeffrey Meyers

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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 | Low Fidelity: The Case for Shakespeare’s Reinvention by Katrina...

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Katrina Bennett Low Fidelity: The Case for Shakespeare's Reinvention Perhaps more so than any other Elizabethan writer, William Shakespeare was well aware of the necessity to...

Spotlight IV: Penned in the Margins

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

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

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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 [...]

Essay | What branches grow out of this stony rubbish? by...

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Tom Jeffreys “What branches grow out of this stony rubbish?” Some notes on the art of Yelena Popova, Joanna Rajkowska, and Jan Eric Visser April is...

Essay | On Angela Carter by Sharlene Teo

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I was thirteen when I first encountered The Bloody Chamber, back in the humid and claustrophobic childhood bedroom that I shared with my older sister in Bukit Timah, Singapore. I remember idly scanning my sister’s bookshelf; plywood, festooned with glow-in-the-dark plastic stars. I spotted a bent orange spine on the second shelf [...]

Essay | Kafka & Camus by Jeffrey Meyers

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

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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 | Vonnegut’s ‘Black Humor’

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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 | The Commune of the City by Ian Stone

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On 28 October 1272 King Henry III (1216-72) lay dying at Westminster Palace. His eldest son, Edward, returning from crusade, was about to land...

Archive | Coming to London IX by Christopher Isherwood

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The following piece was first published in The London Magazine August 1956 Volume 3 No. 8 as "Coming to London — IX", part of...

Review | Fur Coats in Tahiti by Jeremy Over

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“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 [...]

Essay | Memories of the 60s by Leonard Quart

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

Essay | Proust’s Secrets Revealed

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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 | Foreword to Zigmunds Skujiņš’s Flesh-Coloured Dominoes

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Jelgava, lying just a short distance south of the Latvian capital Riga, once the seat of the Dukes of Courland as well as being a western outpost of the Russian Tsarist empire, has historically been something of a cultural crossroads. Whereas Riga became prosperous [...]

Essay | Becket back in the cathedral

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Great drama has a way of always being relevant whenever it is performed, even if, like T. S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, it isn’t performed very often. The play is, of course, about the assassination of Thomas Becket, but with undertones of the shadow of Fascism over Europe. Next year sees the 850th anniversary of the event [...]

Essay | Reflections on The Brothers Karamazov by Patrick Maxwell

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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 [...]

Essay | Gentrifying New York by Leonard Quart

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Leonard Quart Gentrifying New York The New York one walks through these days is unrecognizable from the city that existed a decade ago. New developments are...

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