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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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.'
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Number 33b

Marguerite Duras, Deborah Levy, Zoe Pilger, Joanna Walsh, Anjum Hasan and Molly McCloskey. Plus Juliet Jacques on the woman in the portrait and new fiction from Eliza Granville.
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Tune

'The bus-boys at the Aqua Grill are whistling / Sweet Susie ... Oh Susie Q ... Oh I love you / and I wonder, how do they know my name?'
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The Recurring Nightmare of Wilhelm

'The remaining man, Wilhelm, was also uneasy, but his mind was troubled not by what lay inside the crate but by lingering thoughts of his own.'
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Greece: An Octagonal Tour

'In post-classical Greek the word for ‘beauty’ originally meant ‘timely’. The prevailing aesthetic was that appearance should match one’s age. Thus both a young girl and a dignified matron could qualify as having horaios, but never an older woman trying to recapture her youth.'

Our Town

Dispatches from London

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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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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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