Five Dials

A free literary magazine from Hamish Hamilton

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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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Days of Shame

He started right in yelling, ‘Not my president! Not my president!’ His voice was high and clear and loud. He was fearless. Whenever he said, ‘Not my president!’ the people near them smiled coldly and said, ‘Yes, he is. He is now.’
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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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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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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.

Of Immediate Interest

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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.
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That Life of Sexual and Sybaritic Abandon

'Inspired by his loathing of the hypocrites and knaves who surrounded him, Rochester aimed to show his friends (and enemies) that he was a serious and considered thinker.'
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Self-Portrait as a White Lady

'wayward, thin-walled, aloof: / I began to appear, bitterly / striving for the impossible body / a huge hole in the hollow of the bus stop, an interior / stadium'
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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.'

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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