Five Dials

A free literary magazine from Hamish Hamilton

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The Zen of Eminem

In the face of this kind of misplaced hysteria, good rappers don’t back down. They defend the right to use words in the same way any novelist or filmmaker is free to do. They tell their personal truths.
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Tourism

A poem from the back of issue 42, the very last page, the last thing you'll be able to read of the issue, by Jay Barnett.
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Remembering Roger Deakin

Item 19. A research file with cuttings on Apple Day, anti-road protests, Abergavenny carving, Wendell Berry, Bristol trees, fruit-fly flight, feltmakers, Barry Lopez, parakeets and silkworms

Of Immediate Interest

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Tristram Shandy

Rewriting is not only a way of appropriating a text, of adopting and endorsing it, it’s also the best, most exact, most alert, most certain way of reading it.
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Invisible Books

I still get asked about it on the odd occasion. By the handful of people who saw me selling books at the Small Publishers’ Fair. By peers wh... Read more
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Hospitality

'My mordant friend told me the story of / the woman he loved in youth in Oxford /who had, he said, "a hospitable cunt".'
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From Gustave Flaubert to Louise Colet

'I am hideously worried, mortally depressed. My accursed Bovary is harrying me and driving me mad. I can do nothing about it.'

Our Town

Dispatches from London

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NW11

It’s a painstaking process, a learned performance. I spent years making small, conscious modifications to my character, to be more British when I was in London, more Brazilian in Rio.
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My Father’s House

Every summer we were ordered out into the garden with machetes to chop down the grass, which grew above our heads. We loathed having to spend summer days in manual labour, but we never dared question our father’s authority.
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The Fight for Broken Britain

For a place teeming with the ghosts of empire, hard labour, hard liquor, sailors and prostitutes, it’s almost unbearably tranquil. This Britain isn’t broken: it’s just quiet to the point of being unsettling.
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What Goes Around

'Riding past a crowded pavement on a hot day, swallowing consecutive gusts of perfume, sunscreen, cigarette smoke, and sometimes even halitosis, you realize just how helplessly intimate we all are in this city.'
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Virginia Woolf in the Bomb-scarred City

'This was her grandest bid to bring something back from the ruins. She was not reading despite the bombs; she was reading with them, and the two – reading and bombs – are jumbled together in one of her last letters.'
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Yates Lane, NW8

'Escapees from St Mary’s, Paddington: expectant father smoking; old lady wheeling herself in a wheelchair, smoking; die-hard holding urine sack, blood sack, smoking.'
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