In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Fifteen days from now

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The Yorkists

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Whitehall Spookery

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Gordon v. O’Connor

Rupert Thomson


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster


One sentence in English he knew by heart:
‘If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?’
It sounded cheerful; it usually fitted.
He was a writer. He had translated Quo Vadis?
From the English. What else he had done
We never learnt, nor what had been done to him.
Plainly he’d had a number of hard winters
Known choicely as the Cultural Revolution,
Made to clean out latrines, at very least.
If you think that’s a doddle, just the job
For spoilt intellectuals, then go and look at one.
Winter went, spring returned. Just the two seasons.
Once I think he started to say ‘If Spring comes …’
But his English failed him. Or someone was listening.

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