Contributor’s Picks August/September 2018

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Here are the latest Contributor’s Picks! Recommendations for the very best in arts, culture and literature from the writers for The London Magazine August/September 2018 issue. Read their writing in our latest issue, available now

Andrew Lambirth (Review: Artist and Bon Viveur)

Henry Lamb: Out of the Shadows – Salisbury Museum – until 30 September

Few people know the extent of Lamb’s achievement, but this show puts in context his best-known works (such as the famous portraits of Lytton Strachey and Evelyn Waugh), bringing his cityscapes and war paintings together with the later pictures. A powerful draughtsman and highly distinguished painter, sadly there’s no disguising the falling-off of his talents in the 1940s and 50s. 

Horatio Morpurgo (Essay: Б П Ц)

À Combat – Albert Camus

‘Ni victimes ni bourreaux’ (‘Neither victims nor executioners’) was a series of eight essays written in 1946 by Albert Camus, in which Europe’s crisis was situated in the context of rapid global change. ‘In ten years, in fifty years, it will be the pre-eminence of western civilisation that is called into question… The new order for which we are searching cannot be only national nor even continent-wide – above all not eastern or western. It has to be universal.’

Robert Wilton (Essay: The Women of Kosovo)

Bosnia in Limbo  – Borja Lasheras and Bullitt – Lalo Schifrin

I’m reading Bosnia in Limbo by Borja Lasheras, a powerful blending of personal experience and historical and cultural context, exploring how the world does remembrance and reconciliation – or fails to. I’m listening to Lalo Schifrin’s soundtrack to Bullitt, still ice cool on its 50th birthday.

Sharon Black (Poetry: Made the Small Way)

The Diary of a Bookseller – Shaun Bythell

A year in the life of Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop, this fascinating diary-style memoir taught me a whole lot about today’s book industry – and it wasn’t even all depressing. A real behind-the-scenes, often hilarious peek at how to (just about) survive in the book trade today and what’s said when the customer leaves the room.

Ellen Jones (Review: Twice-Written)

The Cemetery in Barnes – Gabriel Josipovici

A short, brilliant novel about a translator living alone in Paris. It begins gently, quietly, but morphs into something much darker and more disturbing.

Stuart Walton (Review: Throbbing Oneness)

Trees in Art – Charles Watkins

Charles Watkins’ Trees in Art is a sumptuous intellectual monument to the enchantment and symbolic history of the arboreal world, from sacred groves and mythological transformations to the conflicted status of depictions of nature today, gorgeously illustrated throughout.

Will Vigar (Poetry: Grímsbœ & Ursus Maritimus)

Too Darn Hot: Sweary Doggerel for Heliophobes – Si Spencer

I’m too hot to take anything seriously at the moment, so a delirious, psychedelic bloody-minded, Meldrewvian ejaculation of exasperation at the weather is almost exactly what I need. Better known for writing TV Soap Operas and Graphic Novels, Si assures us he is not a poet but has a go anyway. Most accurate title ever.