The Daily

Posts Tagged ‘London’

#ReadEverywhere, Even in the Trees

July 26, 2016 | by

Insert “literary magazines don’t grow on trees” gag here.

For the third consecutive summer, we’re offering a joint subscription to The Paris Review and the London Review of Books for just $70 U.S. Already a Paris Review subscriber? Not a problem: we’ll extend your subscription to The Paris Review for another year, and your LRB subscription will begin immediately.

We’re also in the thick of the third edition of our popular #ReadEverywhere contest. The rules: post a photo or video of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. Swing from vines with our magazines. Ascend to jungle canopies with our magazines. Skin your knees clambering up the old oak tree with our magazines. The winner of the contest will receive a wide selection of Aēsop products.

For inspiration, take a look at last year’s winners, or see what this year’s competition has already cooked up.

Now get yourself a joint subscription, head outdoors, and hashtag your way to victory.

#ReadEverywhere, Even When You’re Down and Out

July 20, 2016 | by

papadiaTHUMB

An entry to this year’s #ReadEverywhere competition.

For the third consecutive summer, we’re offering a joint subscription to The Paris Review and the London Review of Books for just $70 U.S. Already a Paris Review subscriber? Not a problem: we’ll extend your subscription to The Paris Review for another year, and your LRB subscription will begin immediately.

We’re also in the thick of the third edition of our popular #ReadEverywhere contest. The rules: post a photo or video of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest and use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. Venture to far and distant lands, or rest at home, reflecting on these bleak and troubling times. The winner of the contest will receive a wide selection of Aēsop products.

For inspiration, take a look at last year’s winners, or see what this year’s competition has already cooked up.

Finally: Get yourself a joint subscription, put on some tea, and hashtag your way to victory. These magazines may just help you make sense of the madness.

In Praise of Minor Literature

July 8, 2016 | by

houseboats

Houseboats by the Thames.

Some of the writers and books I hold in the highest esteem were discovered en passant: buried in the archives of a little-read blog; mentioned in a thirty-year-old essay devoted to more prominent writers; planted near the end of a long list on Wikipedia. (Idleness and obsession are the impetus for most of my discoveries.) Most of these books are rare tastes, not even well known for not being well known. They are not likely to come up at dinner parties, and they are not part of any canon or curriculum. I don’t get any credit for having read them. They are what some people call minor. 

What does it mean to be minor? It’s not the same thing as being obscure. Leon Forrest’s oeuvre is a megalith, but there seem to be about six of us who have read him. Nor is a minor writer a bad writer. Guy Davenport proposed that Thomas Love Peacock, Colette, Simenon, and Michael Gilbert were all “impeccable stylists” but also, next to Tolstoy, Cervantes, Balzac, and Proust, incontrovertibly minor. Davenport, a self-described minor prose stylist who was great enough to be genuinely self-effacing, said that “the theme of a major work must be universal and time-defying.” When judged by this standard, he suggested, even Borges and Poe were minor, since “a Martian could not learn about human nature from either of them.” Read More »

I’m Still Here

July 6, 2016 | by

Peter Howson, The Heroic Dosser, 1988, screen print, 55 ¾" x 42 ¼".

A survey of the Scottish artist Peter Howson’s prints, spanning decades of his work, opened today at Flowers Gallery in London. “I had nothing at all in 1984, nothing,” Howson said in a 2013 interview:

I didn’t have a penny. I was homeless for a year in Glasgow—I lived on the streets—and then suddenly I met this woman and she took me home and said: “Look, why don’t you just start drawing again.” So I started drawing and about a year later everything changed, the whole thing blew up and it was all about money coming in and fame and whatever, and then it all went wrong again. Theoretically, I shouldn’t be here because I’ve nearly died so many times, either with overdoses or with fights or violence or whatever, but I’m still here. There must be a reason for it. 

Read More »

An Extraordinary Delivery of Rabbits

July 5, 2016 | by

How Mary Toft convinced doctors she’d given birth to rabbit parts.

Mary-gravida-coelhos-londres-1

Edward White’s The Lives of Others is a monthly series about unusual, largely forgotten figures from history.

News travels fast in London, where opinions are swiftly made and loudly shared. It is a great irony that the capital of a nation famed for its icy reserve should also be one of the historic crucibles of free speech; where Putney debaters, Clapham abolitionists, and Camden punks have all found voice in the past, and where Hyde Park philosophes, Westminster politicos, and East End grime-spitters still do today. Of course, the most urgent symptom of the loose London gob is Fleet Street, that ruthless, rabid hive of tabloid journalism. There, the byzantine codes of British politesse are redundant: gossip rules and “private lives” are a contradiction in terms. “Privacy is for pedos,” in the words of Paul McMullan, a twenty-first-century London hack of Dickensian aspect, the Platonic ideal of the Fleet Street guttersnipe; “circulation defines what is the public interest.”

When Paris got its first daily newspaper, in 1777, London already had nearly three hundred. Half a century earlier, the French writer César-François de Saussure had traveled to London and observed that the people were “great newsmongers. Workmen habitually begin the day by going to coffee rooms in order to read the latest news.” Step on to the tube in the morning rush hour today and you’ll find much the same: silent tessellated blocks of humanity crammed and twisted like human Tetris patterns, each head uncomfortably bowed into the morning paper. By evening, carriages are ankle-deep with those same pages, now discarded. There are times when the chatter becomes too much, a deafening white noise of rubbernecking intrigue. At other times, when the tabloid hydra has a doe in its jaws, it is as if witnessing one of the public hangings in the city’s good old, bad old days. You hate yourself for it, but you cannot look away as a reputation, a life, is split open like the steaming belly of a sacrificial beast. Read More »

The Whole Rigmarole

June 30, 2016 | by

Ben Jonson bares all.

drummond-johnson

From left: Ben Jonson, William Drummond.

Pretty soon it will have been four hundred years since Ben Jonson (1572–1637) walked from London to Edinburgh. I don’t know the whole story. I know he stayed at some length with William Drummond of Hawthornden, a few miles south of Edinburgh. Jonson was around forty-seven at the time; Drummond was around thirty-four.

Both of these guys were poets, were into languages, bought a lot of books. Jonson was of course right in the middle of things in London. He knew Shakespeare, knew Donne. Drummond, meanwhile, had money.

People still read Jonson, with how much love I don’t know. There are a number of famous lines. “Drink to me only with thine eyes.” “Though thou hadst small Latin and less Greek.” Drummond got a boost with Palgrave’s Golden Treasury (1861), eight items to Jonson’s three. Still, these days, if you love Drummond’s poetry (I do) you pretty much feel you have him all to yourself. Read More »