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

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The House of York

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson


Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls


In Palazzo Mocenigo where he lived alone
Lord Byron used every grand room
To watch solitude mirror by mirror
And the beauty of doors no one passed through

He heard the marine murmurs of silence
The lost echoes of steps in far corridors
He loved the smooth shine on polished floors
Shadows unrolling under high ceilings
And though he sat in just one chair
Was glad to see the other chairs were empty

Of course no one needs so much space to live
But writing insists on solitudes and deserts
Things to look at as if seeing something else

We can imagine him seated at his table
Imagine the full long throat
The open white shirt
The white paper the spidery writing
And the light of a candle – as in certain paintings –
Focusing all attention

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