In the latest issue:

Robespierre’s Chamber Pot

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

Four PoemsValerio Magrelli, translated by Jamie McKendrick

Summertime, like the cinemas, I shut up shop.
Thought flies off elsewhere and evaporates.
Billboards write white,
the air’s warm,
the table weighted with fruit.


The moonlight is a work of art,
a substance first outlined then polished
till it’s flint stone, mineral flame,
but flame that’s enfeebled, dead, like grass
grown in the dark,
a pale, ritual vetch
whose glow has the cold
submerged phosphorescence
of acetylene.


On the beach, rotten wood, tyres, bottles,
sodden stuff – all things bust
and putrefied – I love them all:
what’s washed up, spewed out, good for nothing,
what no one wants
to have or filch.
In April the air
takes on a hint of warmth.
Glows like a cheek.


I should like, one day,
to be turned to marble,
to be stripped of nerves,
glistening tendons, veins.
Just to be airy enamel,
slaked lime, the striped
tunic of a wind
ground to a halt.

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