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Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: ‘Parallel Lives’

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

Revism

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

Follow the Science

James Butler

The LetterDonald Hall
Close
Close

   At college in my junior year,
I had a nervous breakdown,
  or so I told Dr
Coluccio in a long letter
  I typed at my desk
in Eliot House. Anxious, exhausted,
   fretful, I explained
that I needed to quit school, certainly
   to get away from Harvard.
I spoke in desperation: I
   couldn’t sleep or study
or write; my life was impossible,
   painful, insupportable
I didn’t tell him I’d broken
   with Freda, then gone with
Rosalind and split up with her, then
  Priscilla. I typed,
making many errors, and intended
  to hand-deliver my letter
right then, but when I finished,
   I felt overwhelmingly sleepy.
         I woke after two hours
  entirely calm and cheerful
and quickly crumpled the letter.

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