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Untitled, 2020

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Life is lived forwards, as Kierkegaard observed, but can only be understood backwards. In this special edition published by The London Magazine, new and unpublished work from twenty leading writers past and present begins the vital process of making creative sense of this unique moment of crisis.

‘How will / the dawn arrive?’ asks Simon Armitage in his untitled poem. Writers’ reflections unfold the wonders of the trivial and the marvelousness of the ordinary, out of what Elleke Boehmer calls the ‘curious . . . homogeneity’ of lockdown. Extraordinary, personal details glimmer in the darkness, as their thoughts move from the local – gardening, domesticity, a father’s coat – to wider concerns of climate emergency, civil unrest and the human cost of isolation.

Untitled, 2020 collects contributions from the wide circle writers, critics and scholars associated with The London Magazine to mark the period of lockdown for Covid-19. It includes new poetry from Martha Sprackland, Hugo Williams, Christopher Reid and Simon Armitage, original prose by Toby Litt, Suzi Feay, Daniel Swift and Elleke Boehmer, among others, and a previously unpublished extract from Beckett’s ‘German Diaries’– about paintings in Potsdam in January 1937 – never before been seen by the public in print.

Cover art by Barnett Newman, an ink drawing produced in 1960 during his seminal sequence of works, The Stations of the Cross.



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Covid-19

We are all facing extraordinary circumstances and at The London Magazine we think it is important to remain open and transparent at a time when things can feel frightening and uncertain.

Sadly, many of our beloved bookshops have had to temporarily close their doors, however, we understand that for many – including ourselves – reading offers comfort, hope and solace. Therefore, with delivery services remaining in place and online retail encouraged by the UK government, we will continue running orders direct via our website so that we can keep connected and enthused during this moment of solitude and isolation.

The editorial team at The London Magazine remains committed to maintaining its established publication schedule during this difficult period, though we would ask readers to be aware that the production team remains working from home and that print times are inevitably somewhat slower than usual. We thank our contributors and collaborators for their diligence and dedication throughout the crisis of 2020 and wish all our readers well, both print and online, as we move gradually towards a return to normality. 

We are working hard to ensure our team and deliveries are safe and healthy, closely following government guidelines and wearing protective clothing when handling print issues. We use Royal Mail, whose safety measures and COVID-19 updates can be found here, and we continue shipping orders internationally though Royal Mail are facing severe delays.

As we are working with reduced staff in our offices, there is a slight delay on dispatch of up to 10 working days. You will be notified once your order is completed and out for delivery. If tighter measures are put in place and we are unable to deliver physical copies of our issues, we will supply you with a digital version and create a backlog to be fulfilled when services resume as normal. Please note that bulk orders (including our Yearly Gift Bundles) have a longer processing time, but we will continue working hard to get your order out to you as soon as we can. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your order get in touch with us via email at subscriptions@thelondonmagazine.org.

Thank you for your support at a time when it matters now more than ever.

Yours faithfully,

The London Magazine Team

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