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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

Piketty’s Revolution

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

SupervisionD.J. Enright
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Below an essay on Shelley he wrote:
    ‘I don’t think we’re here to judge his soul.’
A telling reproach, whatever one’s view of souls.

A fine teacher! He knew the proper medicine.
Self-righteousness would never be the same,
It ceased to be a right.

He could never keep his pipe alight,
Smouldering matches rained about him.
Once he gave it up, to discipline the spirit.
His aunties told us over tea and cake:
    ‘Because he burnt a hole in his trousers.’

He was sound on poetry. (A major work on Wordsworth
Was diffidently in the offing.) When one of us
Favoured Shaw’s over Shakespeare’s Cleopatra
He dropped his pipe in wordless pain.
But the soul was what he really cared about
(Though he chose not to dwell on it),
Which we are not here to judge.

Something we learnt from his auntie too,
Who baked the cakes and supervised his body.

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