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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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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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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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.

Of Immediate Interest

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Francis Plug Attends A John Banville Reading

'I too was drinking, having helped myself to a bottle of white from the complimentary drinks table. I’d placed this bottle on the Current Affairs shelving to the right of my seat.'
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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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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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A Eulogy for Uli

'Of course the first thing anyone wants to tell you about Uli is that Uli had a hell of a sweet tooth. Well, sure — guilty as charged. The man liked his candy.'
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Statement & Legal Activities

Statement I wasn’t there that night. And if I was, I didn’t know. Not that they were drinking, you hear things sometimes, it’s only now I... Read more
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Variations on Anne

If the poem is an enigma. If the poem does not offer a solution. If the solution does exist and someone calls out that you must find it. ... Read more

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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