LRB Cover
Volume 36 No 15
31 July 2014

LRB blog 23 July 2014

Mary Wellesley

22 July 2014

Christian Lorentzen
Conspiracy of Errors

22 July 2014

Peter Pomerantsev
In Moscow


16 February 1984

Edward Said
Permission to narrate

12 November 1987

Julian Barnes

19 June 2014

James Meek
A Leopard in the Family

In the next issue, which will be dated 21 August, David Runciman on gambling, Owen Hatherley on London and Ferdinand Mount on Burke – a bumper issue.


Wednesday 23 July at 7.00 P.M.

The Ranters: Nigel Smith in conversation with Stephen Sedley

Sunday 27 July at 2.00 P.M.

Sunday Poetry Salons: Annie Freud and Amy Key

Tuesday 29 July at 6.30 P.M.

Happy Hour

More Events...

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Jenny Diski

In the Stationery Cupboard

The subtitle of Nikil Saval’s book is curiously inapt. Cubed is not a ‘secret history of the workplace’, but the not (entirely) secret history of a very particular kind of workplace. The main title is intended to pull that particular workplace into focus, I suppose, to narrow the vast number of possible workplaces down to a single square box (or latterly a three-walled lidless box) that will inevitably bring to mind the environment of the white-collar pen-pusher, although it has been a very long time since office workers reliably wore white collars or pushed pens to fulfil their duties. More

Adam Shatz

Robbe-Grillet’s Bad Thoughts

By the time he was elected to the Académie française in 2004, Alain Robbe-Grillet had suffered a cruel fate: he had all the renown he could have hoped for but few readers to show for it. The literary movement he’d launched half a century earlier – the nouveau roman – had ground to a halt. The new novel – anti-psychological and anti-expressive, stripped of individualised characters, temporal continuity and meaning itself – was no longer new. Like the total serialism championed by his contemporary Pierre Boulez, it seemed all the more dated for heralding a future that had failed to arrive. More

Jeremy Harding

Britain Comma Now

What happens when you set out to look the present in the eye but can’t quite bear the thought? Much of David Marquand’s powerful essay about ‘Britain, now’ is an elegy for a lost past, unsullied by ‘masterless capitalism’, a sad story of the light growing dim, good running to bad, the public realm hollowed out by vested interests, greed and unexamined selfishness: a ‘moral economy’ transformed by unfettered markets and the ideology that contrived to shove them down our (obliging) throats. All this is presented with the clarity of a historian who never lost his faith in Britain’s institutions. More

Mike Kirby


I have worked in an atomic weapons depot, a Veterans’ psychiatric hospital and a perfectly awful mental hospital for juveniles, and in all of these places I did what I was told to do, and gave my notice when I had had it with the life they offered. The fact that I was able to follow almost any order, I owe to my navy training. I am useful. I keep my mouth shut. Sometimes. I got my ‘Q’ clearance, giving me access to atomic weapon secrets, in July 1958 and was sent to a depot in Nevada where atomic weapons were stored. We were still using the first generation of air-droppable bombs and warheads. More

At the Whitney
Hal Foster

Short Cuts
Daniel Trilling