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


after the Latin of George Buchanan (1506-82)

Diogio de Murca, Head and King,
Rector of Coimbra University,
We all admire the way you’ve got ahead,
But your Sub-King Co-ordinator of
Commercialisation, your Head of Advanced, Enhanced
Entrepeneurship, that wee
Master Beleago, MBA
(Monster of Bestial Accumulation)
Whose ugly hooves tramp on our heads
Is so pigheadedly convinced
That he has wholly Mastered Being Ahead
Of us, your mere human resources, he
Goes and sells off everything: sells goats,
Sells pigs, sells cattle, killing
Whole herds so he can sell and sell;
Birds of the air, fish of the sea –
He sells the lot: your pears and nuts,
Plums, peppers, reconditioned cucumbers
Grown in your labs, your onions, garlic,
Capers and corianders sprouting
In students’ grassy gardens – all for sale.
Dead magpies marketed as pheasants’ breasts,
Goats’ meat as mutton, broken bones jammed in your mince.
Lord Rector, Head of Coimbra’s School,
Show us a better way to get ahead
Than that Belial-bellied Beleago,
Our no-brain, blackballed Baal of the Unbelles Lettres
Of Marketing, our Mall-mad Manager,
For what he says he possesses he doesn’t possess,
What he says he professes he can’t profess,
Iago-Beleago, Shylock of Market Stalls,
Server-up of venison sludged from pigs’ balls,
Thrice winner of the Nobeleago Prize
For out-Cretaning Cretans with his Courses in Creative Lies,
Cretinous silly-git syllogist, philosobutcher, Zeno of Lard,
Exhibitionist, inquisitionist, circumcisionist,
Throatslitter, nestshitter, brainquitter, inkspitter, Grand
Inquisitor’s Portuguese Libyajewish Supergrass who grassed
Me up, got me arrested, tested, tortured, chucked
In prison, that Magog of goats and groats,
That Papal brown-noser, that Sniffer-out-of-Heretics-in-his-own-Sandals,
That academic Vandal, I want to hear him caught and locked and trapped
In his own echoing ‘Sell! sell! sell! sell! sell! sell!’
Forever, so I can sing
Your praises, Lord Rector, and pray
With a loud shout, a whoop, a from-the-heart ‘Wey-hey-hey!’ –
Baal-Iago, Beleago, BYE BYE!

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