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


Did you take me for a Greek word?
Most do, but I pre-date the Greeks.

I used to describe a limestone plateau
where dusty snakes and small owls lived

with a people from whose mouths emerged
my extensive family. I miss the sound

of my original kin as I muck in
with this new crowd, biting my tongue

when I hear two or even three words stuck
together to describe skies my first family

got in a syllable – skies that occur at nightfall
in Attica after days of languor in late August

(you know the ones). But as I mourn the fall
in standards, I tell myself to be grateful

I’m uttered without nostalgia and remain
the name of this place. I’d hate to join Siam,

Byzantium, Saigon, Rangoon, Bombay –
beautiful words in various stages of decay.

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