"Real danger is never born of anything concrete. There are only words in the beginning," writes Kamala Markandaya. There were 71,251 race-related hate crimes recorded in 2017/18, according to a Home Office report. That’s an average of 195 racist incidents every day [...]
Our age is rich in lyric poetry; no age perhaps has been richer. But for our generation and the generation that is coming the lyric cry of ecstasy or despair, which is so intense, so personal, and so limited, is not enough. - Virginia Woolf, ‘Poetry, Fiction and the Future’, 1927
This September Cadogan Contemporary presents Now/here, the largest solo presentation to date from acclaimed British artist Sam Lock. The artist’s third exhibition with the gallery, Now/here will display fifteen medium- and large-scale paintings, sculpture and a suite [...]
The Fallen is only 136 pages long, but it bursts with resounding voices of unbridled pain. Carlos Manuel Álvarez’s polyphonic novel takes us across a Cuban family, each member with individual chapters — the son, the daughter, the mother, the father [...]
Since his first show in 2002, London-born artist Ben Turnbull has produced a compelling body of work exploring America in all its glory and iniquity. His forthcoming show American History X volume III, Manifest Decimation, will be on display [...]
A maverick anarchist, bookseller and entrepreneur, Richard Booth, who has died aged 80, transformed the small Powys town of Hay-on-Wye into a mecca for the second-hand book. His significant and colourful legacy in the book trade inspired a formula [...]
This September sees a powerful art event transform the unique setting of Cresswell Crags Cave, Nottinghamshire. In complete darkness, visual and environmental artist AlanJames Burns stages a psychoacoustic sound artwork entitled Entirely hollow aside from the dark [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Many writers have played tennis: Nabokov, Frost, Pound, Hemingway, Theodore Roethke, Randall Jarrell, even Solzhenitsyn in Vermont and Martin Amis today. Like poetry, tennis has strict rules and requires technical skill. It is individual yet social, aesthetically pleasing, intellectual, at times erotic. Despite its formal rituals [...]
My Father was a boxer. He taught me how to box when I was nine. This commonality, and the need to impress him, informed a great deal. When Charles Bukowski at an event asked me to ‘take it outside’ over a girl, I said okay. I was 21 and shy. Everyone at the party kept telling him [...]
In every first-person narrative readers are ultimately trapped in the mind of the protagonist, doomed only to know what they know. In Patience, author Toby Litt takes this concept further by sharing the story of Elliott, who is himself trapped in his mind, as his disability inhibits most of his physical movement [...]
One of Varun Grover’s cats is called Chhenapoda, which translates to “Roasted Cheese” in English and is a beloved dessert from Odisha in eastern India. The writer and comic, who likes to name his favourite felines after confectionary, is perhaps best known instead for his biting satire [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Calder Stories at the Centro Botín, Spain, is a major exhibition spanning five decades of Alexander Calder’s career, curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, and...
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 [...]
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 [...]
Donizetti’s familial, romantic French comedy has its fourth revival in Laurent Pelly’s fabulous production at the Royal Opera House. The opera is about Marie, who...
The London Magazine has long been a champion of emerging writers and independent publishers, stretching back to the 1950s and 60s, when young writers...
Venice, that city of dreams and the inspiration for artists and writers from Turner to Italo Calvino, sees its 58th art biennale. As thousands...
The following essay was first published in The London Magazine, November 1968, Volume 8, No. 8, with accompanying illustrations, and edited by Alan Ross...
Verdi’s Il Trovatore is notoriously difficult for opera houses to produce. Caruso once said that all you needed for Il Trovatore to work was...
Verdi’s seventh opera, Giovanna D’Arco premiered in 1845 and tells the story of Joan of Arc, an exceptionally popular subject at the time. Madrid’s...