TLM Issue

Poetry by Andy Brown, Donna L. Emerson, Suzi Feay, João Luís Barreto Guimarães, Holly Howitt, Joel Pace, Matthew Henley, Alex Mazey, Karen Rigby and Heathcote Williams

Short Fiction by Emma Hughes and Leila Segal

Featuring: Venetia Welby on the changing face of Soho, Alistair Lexden on George III and Lord North Marina Warner on Ted Hughes, Nicholas Asprey on Sir Christopher Wren and Henry Moore, Ella Windsor on the value of the performing arts, Jeffrey Meyers on Malraux and Camus and the Nobel Prize

Reviews by Ian Brinton, Grey Gowrie, Steven Matthews, Sue Hubbard, Andrew Lambirth, Tom Sutcliffe, Will Stone and Imogen Woodberry

Articles

A Child of the Sun

Katherine Mansfield and Psychology, eds. Clare Hanson, Gerri Kimber, Todd Martin, Edinburgh University Press, September 2016, 224 pp, £70.00 (hardback) Katherine Mansfield: The Early Years by Gerri Kimber, Edinburgh University Press, September 2016, 272 pp, £30.00 (hardback) In Point Counter Point (1928), Aldous Huxley caricatured the critic John Middleton Murry as Burlap, a figure who spe…

By Imogen Woodberry

Links in the Chain

Kandinsky, Marc and Der Blaue Reiter, Edited by Ulf Kuster for Fondaton Beyeler Beyeler Stiftung, Wyss Foundation 2016   It should be almost superfluous to emphasise specifically that in our case the principle of internationalism is the only one possible. However, in these times we must say that an individual nation is only one of the creators of all art; one alone can never be a whol…

By Will Stone

Statues Missing Chunks

In the Roman Art wing of who-knows-which museum ancient torsos are on exhibit some of which are missing chunks. Time was meticulous in choosing what to carry off (the rst parts to fall varied according to gender: there are Three Graces without heads a penisless Phoebus) surely there must be some place anatomy abounds for here it’s left wanting— marble-carved heads charming (al…

By João Luís Barreto Guimarães

A Trinidadian Friendship

Morning, Paramin, Derek Walcott and Peter Doig, Faber & Faber, November 2016, 116 pp, £22.00 (hardback) This is a lovely, haunted book. The St. Lucian Walcott has created a series of poems which speak back to selected paintings, beautifully reproduced here, by the Trinidad-based Doig. The paintings become occasions that elicit from the poet late reflections on sound, on loss, and on the b…

By Steven Matthews

Malraux, Camus and the Nobel Prize

André Malraux (1901-76) was born in a bourgeois quarter of Paris, Albert Camus (1913-60) in a working-class district in the provincial Algerian town of Oran. Despite their different backgrounds they had significant emotional, intellectual and aesthetic affinities. Camus’s father was killed on the Marne in October 1914; Malraux’s father committed suicide in December 1930. Camus begins The Myth of…

By Jeffrey Meyers

Bread and Salt

The lighthouse was somewhere in the south of his country, that stood unused in the wet smoke that rose from the sea, maybe no more than ten metres below the candy stripe, that looked no better now, than as the day it was painted. No longer a boy, he works twelve hours a day, with two cigarette breaks, because he is lucky. An Atlantic oil rig with cold fingers that reach deep in to the eart…

By Alex Mazey

Playing Safe

Within the pretty pale pink walls of the Adolfo Mejia theatre, in the centre of Colombia’s Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena de Indias, a thin man in jeans and a T-shirt with ‘BACH’ on his back, reveres his heroes. Chopin ‘single-handedly revolutionized piano-playing forever.’ Beethoven ‘with one hand dragged classical music to the romantic age. For the first time, it became about feeling, and…

By Ella Windsor

Lemons in August

Mineral green Lisbons poised in the desert. I’m watching bees drunk with sun. A blistered leaf. Outside Phoenix, west of the municipal airport, cicadas drone in the mesquite’s shade. All morning the story on Reuters is bombing. I’m counting spent blooms on the vine. What good are the rosemary? Orange jubilee scaling uniform walls? The lemons are courting monsoons. Acidic. Too s…

By Karen Rigby

The Hurt

These days are sadness at its most vivid. You have, at dawn, at dusk, the prayer call, the Ezan , the Takbir and the Shahada sung like smoke caught in the heat of the throat, a prayer-wisp, a delicate meandering. Then the bells from St. Sophia will start. Their self regard rattling the valley with sudden gusts, a pressure change of sounds hanging at their temperatures, the clatter of …

By Matthew Henley

Whoever is Left to Count the Grain

And measure the rings Do not leave out the xylem Of mingling auras And the sap that adheres Our dream-laden musings Find not the misspoken words And broken deeds When our glowing chaff Sparks the reaper’s moon Like the fireflies of a bonfire Whosoever is left to count the grains Leave the barley of my tears uncounted And let the canes of maize alone be numbered For in th…

By Joel Pace

The Copulation of Angels

When Milton spoke of the ‘copulation of angels’ And Lear said, ‘Let copulation thrive!’ They were praising the way that the life-force Overcomes death with love’s sexual drive. ‘There’s little else that life can supply,’ Said John Wilkes, the people’s tribune, ‘But a few good fucks and then we die.’ Leaving our dust in continuous motion... And who can prove that we don’t live…

By Heathcote Williams

The King, the Prime Minister and the Loss of the American Colonies

Last June Alistair Lexden hosted a dinner at the Carlton Club for a distinguished group of Americans, deeply involved in heritage and conservation projects, who were in England on a week’s cultural heritage tour with a particular emphasis on the late eighteenth century. He gave a brief address in which he referred more positively than is customary to two men whose reputations were so severely da…

By Alistair Lexden

My London

Venetia Welby is the author of Mother of Darkness, published by Quartet Books, February 2017. This is the twenty-first article in our regular series of “My London”. The streets of Soho teem with the ghosts of its past. Here Dylan Thomas staggers out of the French House leaving his manuscript of Under Milk Wood under a chair; here Francis Bacon gazes adoringly at Muriel Belcher, the Colony Roo…

By Venetia Welby

Looking at Michael Andrews

Michael Andrews: Earth Air Fire, Gagosian Gallery, 20 Grosvenor Hill, London, until 25 March 2017 The School of London has attracted a huge amount of attention since the term was first coined by R.B. Kitaj in 1976. Kitaj was in search of like- minded figurative artists to support his own thesis that drawing and observation were fundamental to the making of any painting worth its salt, and he …

By Andrew Lambirth

Leaving Cuba

I am woken by Suci, the village postman, knocking at our door. ‘Pavel,’ he calls, coming round to tap the shutters of my room. ‘I’ve got a letter for you – from Havana!’ It’s not often that we get letters at my house – just once or twice a year. I jump out of bed and pull on my trousers, hitting my foot against the chair in my excitement. This will be the letter I have been awaitin…

By Leila Segal

For Mary, Sotto Voce

Mary Cassatt painted mothers as monuments, well nourished, flourishing with their babies, with themselves, at the bath, in the nursery, kitchen, at the opera, on the lawns. They wore white, carried fans or parasols, the more white the better, white touched with blue paint to make the white whiter. Mary lets us come very close to her women’s worlds. We want to touch arms, …

By Donna L Emerson

The Past Beneath Our Feet

September in the Rain by Peter Robinson, Holland House, September 2016, 280pp, £11.99 (paperback) Collected Poems by Peter Robinson, Shearsman Books, February 2017, 518pp, £19.95 (paperback) Roy Fisher has noted how unusual it is in English poetry nowadays ‘to find a writer of Peter Robinson’s sophistication occupying himself with what appears, at least, to be autobiography’. Fisher warns …

By Ian Brinton

Unhappy Families

Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 1932, Royal Academy of Arts, until 17th April 2017 Remake everything. Organise it so as to make everything new, so that our false, dirty, boring, ugly life becomes just, clean, happy and beautiful.  Alexander Blok, The Intelligentsia and the Revolution, 1918 One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, with insurgency stirring across the contemporary wo…

By Sue Hubbard

The Barriers of Love

Letters to Akhmatova, Patricia McCarthy, Waterloo Press /Agenda Poetry, August 2015, £9.00 (paperback) How does a contemporary poet write a long poem? One solution is to chop it up, create a sequence. This is not new. Shakespeare’s Sonnets, after all, tell a story. They make up a novel, really: one with an ambiguous, complicated, compelling plot. Another solution is to miniaturise, in the ele…

By Grey Gowrie

Lenses from Somewhere: A Memory of Ted Hughes

After I reviewed Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being for the TLS, Ted Hughes wrote to me. He was very wounded by the reception of the book, which had been harsh and often sneering. In the letter, he imagined himself caught in the malignant circuitry of Measure for Measure: I knew that our academic friends would leap into the role that I through Shakespeare have given them: Angelo’s, a…

By Marina Warner

Changing of the Guard

Royal Opera House, Winter/Spring 2017 Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Giuseppe Verdi, Il trovatore, Francesco Cilea, Adriana Lecouvreur Kasper Holten was appointed Covent Garden’s Director of Opera in 2011, having previously been boss of Denmark’s Royal Opera whose ultra-modern home Operaen by the docks in Copenhagen was paid for in 2005 to the tune of well over US$500 mill…

By Tom Sutcliffe

The Long Passage

The herons of Netherton Woods are standing still to watch the stillness that hangs at the end of their bills. They are waiting for a movement; a stirring underneath the silent glass; a sign to herald the end of their hunger here, this mizzled Devon morning. I have watched them in my own stillness and waited-them-out for what seems like an age, but they have more patience than …

By Andy Brown

I Want to Find Nothing

First, you must get rid of absolutes: Those Sundays you had as a kid When you watched dust oat through sunslats And into net curtains; When you were bored, And had nothing to do. It was always sunny on a Sunday And still you were indoors And mum was Hoovering and you had a headache And you didn’t want to go back to school And yet you wouldn’t move off the floor. Nothing. Y…

By Holly Howitt

The Match Factory

  Are you troubled by SPIRITS? Call FRANÇOIS, GIFTED MEDIUM, on 07812 678321. The advert was in the back of a folded-up newspaper someone had left on the bus, between the personals and furniture for sale. There was a little sketch underneath of praying hands with waves of rainbow light coming off them. I stared at it for a long time. Then, just as we turned into my road, I tore it out …

By Emma Hughes

Sir Christoper Wren and Henry Moore

Beside the Mansion House in the City of London is a small building which does not draw attention to itself and thousands of people walk past every day without pausing to venture inside. This is the church of St. Stephen Walbrook whose interior has been praised by discerning voices as Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece among his parish churches since the day it was built. It is without question o…

By Nicholas Asprey

Ha Ha Ha

I didn’t like their album cover This was long before we met He teetered to his digs after the gig Tiptoe boots and a bottom I’d’ve Traversed Leeds for. Ha Ha Ha A jeer on the back of his jacket In red sticky tape. Is that what Attracted them? He must have been a fan. They stopped their van Promised they’d see him home But swept him over the moors To Burnley. More beers, then …

By Suzi Feay

Essays

Malraux, Camus and the Nobel Prize

André Malraux (1901-76) was born in a bourgeois quarter of Paris, Albert Camus (1913-60) in a working-class district in the provincial Algerian town of Oran. Despite their different backgrounds they had significant emotional, intellectual and aesthetic affinities. Camus’s father was killed on the Marne in October 1914; Malraux’s father committed suicide in December 1930. Camus begins The Myth of…

By Jeffrey Meyers

Playing Safe

Within the pretty pale pink walls of the Adolfo Mejia theatre, in the centre of Colombia’s Caribbean coastal city of Cartagena de Indias, a thin man in jeans and a T-shirt with ‘BACH’ on his back, reveres his heroes. Chopin ‘single-handedly revolutionized piano-playing forever.’ Beethoven ‘with one hand dragged classical music to the romantic age. For the first time, it became about feeling, and…

By Ella Windsor

The King, the Prime Minister and the Loss of the American Colonies

Last June Alistair Lexden hosted a dinner at the Carlton Club for a distinguished group of Americans, deeply involved in heritage and conservation projects, who were in England on a week’s cultural heritage tour with a particular emphasis on the late eighteenth century. He gave a brief address in which he referred more positively than is customary to two men whose reputations were so severely da…

By Alistair Lexden

My London

Venetia Welby is the author of Mother of Darkness, published by Quartet Books, February 2017. This is the twenty-first article in our regular series of “My London”. The streets of Soho teem with the ghosts of its past. Here Dylan Thomas staggers out of the French House leaving his manuscript of Under Milk Wood under a chair; here Francis Bacon gazes adoringly at Muriel Belcher, the Colony Roo…

By Venetia Welby

Lenses from Somewhere: A Memory of Ted Hughes

After I reviewed Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being for the TLS, Ted Hughes wrote to me. He was very wounded by the reception of the book, which had been harsh and often sneering. In the letter, he imagined himself caught in the malignant circuitry of Measure for Measure: I knew that our academic friends would leap into the role that I through Shakespeare have given them: Angelo’s, a…

By Marina Warner

Sir Christoper Wren and Henry Moore

Beside the Mansion House in the City of London is a small building which does not draw attention to itself and thousands of people walk past every day without pausing to venture inside. This is the church of St. Stephen Walbrook whose interior has been praised by discerning voices as Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece among his parish churches since the day it was built. It is without question o…

By Nicholas Asprey

Fiction

Leaving Cuba

I am woken by Suci, the village postman, knocking at our door. ‘Pavel,’ he calls, coming round to tap the shutters of my room. ‘I’ve got a letter for you – from Havana!’ It’s not often that we get letters at my house – just once or twice a year. I jump out of bed and pull on my trousers, hitting my foot against the chair in my excitement. This will be the letter I have been awaitin…

By Leila Segal

The Match Factory

  Are you troubled by SPIRITS? Call FRANÇOIS, GIFTED MEDIUM, on 07812 678321. The advert was in the back of a folded-up newspaper someone had left on the bus, between the personals and furniture for sale. There was a little sketch underneath of praying hands with waves of rainbow light coming off them. I stared at it for a long time. Then, just as we turned into my road, I tore it out …

By Emma Hughes

Poetry

Statues Missing Chunks

In the Roman Art wing of who-knows-which museum ancient torsos are on …

By João Luís Barreto Guimarães

Bread and Salt

The lighthouse was somewhere in the south of his country, that stood unused in …

By Alex Mazey

Lemons in August

Mineral green Lisbons poised in the desert. I’m watching bees drunk wit…

By Karen Rigby

The Hurt

These days are sadness at its most vivid. You have, at dawn, at dusk, the praye…

By Matthew Henley

Whoever is Left to Count the Grain

And measure the rings Do not leave out the xylem Of mingling auras An…

By Joel Pace

The Copulation of Angels

When Milton spoke of the ‘copulation of angels’ And Lear said, ‘Let cop…

By Heathcote Williams

For Mary, Sotto Voce

Mary Cassatt painted mothers as monuments, well nourished, flourishing…

By Donna L Emerson

The Long Passage

The herons of Netherton Woods are standing still to watch the stillness…

By Andy Brown

I Want to Find Nothing

First, you must get rid of absolutes: Those Sundays you had as a kid W…

By Holly Howitt

Ha Ha Ha

I didn’t like their album cover This was long before we met He teetere…

By Suzi Feay

Reviews

A Child of the Sun

Katherine Mansfield and Psychology, eds. Clare Hanson, Gerri Kimber, Todd Martin, Edinburgh University Press, September 2016, 224 pp, £70.00 (hardback) Katherine Mansfield: The Early Years by Gerri Kimber, Edinburgh University Press, September 2016, 272 pp, £30.00 (hardback) In Point Counter Point (1928), Aldous Huxley caricatured the critic John Middleton Murry as Burlap, a figure who spe…

By Imogen Woodberry

Links in the Chain

Kandinsky, Marc and Der Blaue Reiter, Edited by Ulf Kuster for Fondaton Beyeler Beyeler Stiftung, Wyss Foundation 2016   It should be almost superfluous to emphasise specifically that in our case the principle of internationalism is the only one possible. However, in these times we must say that an individual nation is only one of the creators of all art; one alone can never be a whol…

By Will Stone

A Trinidadian Friendship

Morning, Paramin, Derek Walcott and Peter Doig, Faber & Faber, November 2016, 116 pp, £22.00 (hardback) This is a lovely, haunted book. The St. Lucian Walcott has created a series of poems which speak back to selected paintings, beautifully reproduced here, by the Trinidad-based Doig. The paintings become occasions that elicit from the poet late reflections on sound, on loss, and on the b…

By Steven Matthews

Looking at Michael Andrews

Michael Andrews: Earth Air Fire, Gagosian Gallery, 20 Grosvenor Hill, London, until 25 March 2017 The School of London has attracted a huge amount of attention since the term was first coined by R.B. Kitaj in 1976. Kitaj was in search of like- minded figurative artists to support his own thesis that drawing and observation were fundamental to the making of any painting worth its salt, and he …

By Andrew Lambirth

The Past Beneath Our Feet

September in the Rain by Peter Robinson, Holland House, September 2016, 280pp, £11.99 (paperback) Collected Poems by Peter Robinson, Shearsman Books, February 2017, 518pp, £19.95 (paperback) Roy Fisher has noted how unusual it is in English poetry nowadays ‘to find a writer of Peter Robinson’s sophistication occupying himself with what appears, at least, to be autobiography’. Fisher warns …

By Ian Brinton

Unhappy Families

Revolution: Russian Art 1917 – 1932, Royal Academy of Arts, until 17th April 2017 Remake everything. Organise it so as to make everything new, so that our false, dirty, boring, ugly life becomes just, clean, happy and beautiful.  Alexander Blok, The Intelligentsia and the Revolution, 1918 One hundred years after the Russian Revolution, with insurgency stirring across the contemporary wo…

By Sue Hubbard

The Barriers of Love

Letters to Akhmatova, Patricia McCarthy, Waterloo Press /Agenda Poetry, August 2015, £9.00 (paperback) How does a contemporary poet write a long poem? One solution is to chop it up, create a sequence. This is not new. Shakespeare’s Sonnets, after all, tell a story. They make up a novel, really: one with an ambiguous, complicated, compelling plot. Another solution is to miniaturise, in the ele…

By Grey Gowrie

Changing of the Guard

Royal Opera House, Winter/Spring 2017 Richard Wagner, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Giuseppe Verdi, Il trovatore, Francesco Cilea, Adriana Lecouvreur Kasper Holten was appointed Covent Garden’s Director of Opera in 2011, having previously been boss of Denmark’s Royal Opera whose ultra-modern home Operaen by the docks in Copenhagen was paid for in 2005 to the tune of well over US$500 mill…

By Tom Sutcliffe