Five Dials

A free literary magazine from Hamish Hamilton

Number 39 | Don't Go Too Soon

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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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The Ideology of Dinner

'The dinners at the commune were an excuse to convene, to solve problems and, most importantly, to be together.'
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Not Being Shy

'Everybody wanted to buy a taco made by That Guy, the guy who needed to get away from his girlfriend so bad that he basically dug a hole in the ground where he could finally have a little peace.'

Of Immediate Interest

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Trees

Donwood frequently collaborates with the band Radiohead and its lead singer, Thom Yorke. In 2002 he and Yorke won a Grammy for the special edition of the album Amnesiac. Here: his favorite trees.
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On Kate Bush

'There is something about Kate Bush’s voice – her physical voice, as well as her voice in a literary sense – that has often struck me as heroic. Heroic because it is reckless, stubborn.'
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The Decline of the Coffee to Stay

'How could one ever feel pessimistic here? But then one day out went the beautiful iron-sided tables and comfortable chairs, and with them the people and all of their books.'
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Ancient Trees, Ancient Knowledge

'For indigenous people everywhere, nature is an enlargement of your mind and your sense of kin – your social mind. Trees have long been associated with knowledge.'
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Hating The Leopard

'There is no such thing as the indispensable book or author, and the world would be exactly the same if Kafka, Proust, Faulkner, Mann, Nabokov and Borges had never existed.'

Our Town

Dispatches from London

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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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Out of Windows

'Last Halloween, a woman was thrown out of a fourth-floor window in Marylebone. I was heading back to my flat on Chiltern Street with the intention of watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a film that I had always avoided.'
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Diamonds in the Dark

'It is a secret, private, hidden world that operates under a strict set of unspoken internal laws: never screw a partner and once a deal is done it is a 'mazen brucha' and it must be adhered to.'
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