In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

The GalleryDouglas Dunn

See, how this lady rises on her swing
Encouraged by the brush of Fragonard,
As light as love, as ruthless as the Czar,
Who, from her height, looks down on everything.

When on a canvas an oil-eye of blue
Has tiny fissures, you can stand behind,
Imagine time, observe, and condescend.
Wink at, and spit on, those who are not you.

Out of the eye of Christ, you might see God;
Or, from your swing, see pastoral machines
Romanticised, re-made as guillotines;
Or, Goya’s captive, face a firing-squad;

Or, Goya’s soldier, be condemned to hear
Eternity in the museum of death –
Your moment after triggering – and with
The horror of aesthetics in your ears.

Ah, they were lucky, who were drawn from life
By river-banks in summer, in café scenes,
The way they were, for all their speechless pain,
That absinthe drinker and his sober wife.

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