Five Dials

A free literary magazine from Hamish Hamilton

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We Do Not Use The Word Lightly

'For years I have been an illicit cultivator of neglected patches of public land. I ‘fight the filth with forks and flowers’ and until now had never been confronted with the choice between arrest and retreat.'

Number 41 | How Can This Be Possible?

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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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Four Poems by Mustafa Stitou

On leaving the bar I heard / a painter say that astronauts / often grew up without a father.
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Two Poems

On my back I carried the coffin in which my father lay. Bent low by its weight, I staggered forward step by step. My pace slowed, the bu... Read more
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Walking Urge

I’ve heard people say that in your dreams you can never have any control over the light. And that if you want to know for sure whether or not you’re dreaming, you have to try turning the light off or on.
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A Small Planet

When you move house, you move the stuff with you. Beneath a few notebooks and rubber bands, there’s a letter from a former lover. You no longer see each other.

Of Immediate Interest

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The Stickiness of Lime Trees

'People were careless and clumsy, always letting things slip through their soft fingers, and the trees made it their business to make sure these things were not lost. They carefully stored empty crisp packets.'
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Don DeLillo

'Infinity. This is the subject of David Wallace’s book on the mathematics, the philosophy and the history of a vast, beautiful, abstract concept.'
100 best novels miss jean

A Far Cry From Kensington

‘Can you decide to think? – Yes, you can. You can put your mind to anything most of the time. You can sit peacefully in front of a blank tel... Read more
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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
41_19

Four Poems by Mustafa Stitou

On leaving the bar I heard / a painter say that astronauts / often grew up without a father.

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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