TLM Issue

Poetry by Manash Bhattacharjee, Alison Brackenbury, John Greening, Holly Howitt, Peter Mackay, Stanley Moss, Christopher Reid, Rachel Hurd-Wood, Tristram Fane Saunders and James Simpson. Short Fiction by Ted Hughes, Hannah Lowe and William Teasley. Featuring: Jennifer Johnson on My London; Konrad Muller on Ikey Solomon; Jeffrey Meyers on Hemingway; Francis Pryor on Ritual Landscapes Reviews by Lana Asfour, Conor Carville, Claire Crowther, Suzi Feay, Terry Kelly, Andrew Lambirth, Edward Lucie-Smith, Simon Tait and Will Stone

Essays

The Ritual Landscapes of Pre-Roman Britain

Many academic phrases, like much academic writing, are too awkward, verbose and cumbersome to find their way into common usage. Indeed, the jargon of archaeology often leaves me, a retired but still active archaeologist, speechless with frustration. But once in a blue moon, terms coined in the Ivory Towers do manage to filter into informed general writing, if not into pub lunchtime banter. And ‘…

By The London Magazine

Hemingway, Cézanne and the Dark Secret

 We dance round in a ring and suppose,
But the Secret sits in the middle and knows. Robert Frost, ‘The Secret Sits’ In 1921 Joachim Gasquet recorded that his friend Paul Cézanne wanted to ‘treat nature by the cylinder, the sphere and the cone’. This concept was hardly new. In his book on the seventeenth-century Italian architect Francesco Borromini, Anthony Blunt quoted Galileo’s The…

By The London Magazine

My London

Jennifer Johnson has always lived in London, except for a few years spent in Brussels and Oxford. She is currently studying at Birkbeck, University of London, for the MA in Creative Writing. This is the 14th article in our regular series “My London”. London has many meanings for me. I was born here, have lived in this city for all but ten years of my life, so I can trace my story along its s…

By The London Magazine

Ikey’s Bones

- What was your offence? - Receiving stolen property. - And who is with you? - I have one girl, seven, one girl, ve, one boy, nine, and one boy, three years old. - Where are your other children? - I have two sons gone to Sydney to settle there as gentlemen, John, aged twenty-one, and Moses, eighteen. - And where is your husband? - My husband I believe has gone to America. …

By The London Magazine

Poetry

The Rhyme of the Reddleman’s Daughter (V-VII)

Part V But in the far off distance I saw a whirling wind; far out on t…

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Under

Crammed up against the end of the carriage on the Hammersmith & City, as …

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Beach Towels

‘Maria Spends 20 Minutes Folding Towels’: Why Millions Are Mesmerised By ASMR Vi…

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Fin

That’ll be my heartbeat clicking in my throat as we cartwheel to our expiry dat…

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Wishing Tree at the Dargah of Hazrat Moosa Suhaag

To Heba Ahmed for the story Many wishful bellies Offer their bangles, Green…

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The Ideal Conditions for Reading this Poem

You’ll be sitting in a bar that used to be a brothel or at least that markets i…

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Mocking Gods

Lost in the library of Alexandria, proof Selene the moon goddess mocked Apollo …

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Spare Room

Trees scratch at the panes with bony branches Tap away time, and its second cha…

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One Night Only

Too few saw you in your last theatre role, the affected hero of La Forêt mouill…

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Lucipher

The name we went by when we shared an address @compuserve. you thought of it.…

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My Father’s Job Book

Rippled by snow, the cover’s blue rose into crests. At nine, he drew it from t…

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Reviews

Filthy with Erotic Mystery

Jonathan Bate, Ted Hughes, The Unauthorised Life, William Collins, 2015, 672pp, £25 (hardback) First, a few confessional words: I was interviewed for this book, and my name appears both in the Index, and in the lengthy list of sources acknowledged and thanked at the end of the text. I have no quarrel about the way in which the information I gave has been reported. I also appeared, speakin…

By The London Magazine

Grappling with Structure

  Giacometti: Pure Presence, National Portrait Gallery, London, until 10th January 2016 Giacometti lived a peculiarly double life, despite his lifelong quest for a ‘real’, as he put it. From the age of 21 he mixed in the dizzying artistic milieu of Montmartre, experimenting and eventually coming to terms with his own perception, pulling his art towards the ascetic spindly bronze figur…

By The London Magazine

Painterly Figuration

  Eileen Hogan, Browse & Darby, London, 9 September - 2 October 2015 Julian Perry, Mascalls Gallery, Paddock Wood, Kent, until 12 December 2015 In the cacophonous plurality of styles that characterizes our image-bombarded society, painterly figuration is holding its own remarkably well. In fact, recognizable imagery seems far more genuinely popular than abstraction. But if the …

By The London Magazine

Infinite Archive

Disinformation, Frances Leviston, Picador, 2015, 80pp, £9.98 (paperback) Kim Kardashian’s Marriage, Sam Riviere, Faber, 2015, 112pp, £10.99 (paperback) These two volumes of poems, each a second collection following a much-praised debut, are both laudably ambitious and share a preoccupation with life in the age of the infinite archive. The formal means they employ couldn’t be more different…

By The London Magazine

Beneath the Crust

Goya – The Portraits, National Gallery, London, until 10 January 2016 To most, the mention of the name Francisco Goya seems to trigger a respectful affirmation of his dark side, namely those disturbing visions of witches’ Sabbaths, nightmarish monsters tumbling about the sky and lurid decapitations that litter the ‘Disasters of War’ etchings. Goya is seen as unquestionably great and a unique …

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Ghostly Mentor

Complete Poems, Muriel Spark, Carcanet, 2015, afterword by Michael Schmidt, 133pp, £14.99 (paperback) Complete Poems, R.F. Langley, Carcanet, 2015, edited by Jeremy Noel-Tod, 180pp, £12.99 (paperback) Had she written only Complete Poems (and knowing her novels as we do), it would be tempting to judge Muriel Spark (1918 – 2006) a light, even a minor writer. She found writing novels far easi…

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Neat Shape?

Gimson’s Kings and Queens: Brief lives of the monarchs since 1066, Andrew Gimson, Square Peg, 2015, 256pp, £10.99 (hardback) Penguin Monarchs, various authors, Penguin, 2015, 128pp, £10.99, (hardback): William II: The red king, John Gillingham, Stephen: The reign of anarchy, Carl Watkins Why read history at all? Andrew Gimson’s sprightly canter through 40 reigns (plus an interregnum) in 1…

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Faithful and Disappointing

The Importance of Elsewhere - Philip Larkin’s Photographs, Richard Bradford, Frances Lincoln, 2015, 208pp, £25 (hardcover) [caption id="attachment_43511" align="aligncenter" width="700"] © The Estate of Philip Larkin[/caption] Memorability is one of the most striking features of Philip Larkin’s poetry. Certain lines and images from his work remain indelibly fixed in the minds of his many a…

By The London Magazine