All Features

Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision

by Nadia Connor

'Virginia Woolf: Life, Art, Vision' at the National Portrait Gallery is a assemblage of portraits, each one a moment captured, defined; but together, they form a diverse arena of images, collectively communicating the partiality of any single attempt to represent their subject. The exhibition as a whole forms a portrait, but an anti-authoritative one, built out of fragments and glimpses which represent their subject as multiple, fractured, mutable. [read full essay]

You Are The #IndyRef

by David Renton

Scotland is not going to be an independent nation; neither, in its economics or its society is it very different from the rest of Britain, and the depressing thought is that those of us who live far from Scotland are going to face the same problems – in 2015, and repeatedly, until the majority of people who lack a financial reason to identify with the status quo have enough confidence in their own shared ability to replace it that the begin to see themselves as a class, that is, an alternative set of rulers in waiting. [read full essay]

Ponzi Scheme Capitalism: An Interview with David Harvey

by Steffen Böhm

David Harvey’s work on political economy, urbanism and the legacy and ongoing theoretical interpretation of Karl Marx has been at the forefront of critical debate across the humanities and social sciences since the 1970s. In Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, recently published by Profile Books, the pre-eminent economist and thinker provides an incisive guide to the world around us, and a manifesto for change. In this interview, Harvey discusses the significance and centrality of the theory of political economy to understanding the post-2008 landscape; he also considers the transformation of the meaning of labour, digital technologies, rentier capitalism and emergent spaces of hope and promise. [read full interview]

The Essay and the Internet

by Orit Gat

As our relationship with the internet and the enormous amounts of information we read on it changes, so do our publishing strategies. There is a lot at stake in conversations about economies of attention online. The future of the online essay — maybe the future of the essay — depends on the publishing platforms we come up with. It would be too easy, too optimistic, too complacent to say that the internet liberates us from the mundane considerations of print, especially when thinking about the increasingly corporate structure of the web. [read full essay]

One’s Twenties Aren’t Easy: An Interview with Rosa Rankin-Gee

by Michael Duffy

In her exciting debut novel, The Last Kings of Sark, Rosa Rankin-Gee successfully evokes the image of life on a small island as a constant negotiation with the past. The narrator, Jude, wants her summer narrative to begin with leaves, light and sun-kissed beaches; instead, it opens in the cockpit of a private plane hired by her father, merchant banker Eddy Defoe, to supply his family with frozen meat and expensive French mineral water. The novel follows the characters through a tense summer on the titular channel island, and into their later lives of labour and love in France. [read full interview]

The Wonder of Living: An Interview with Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi

by Andrew Marzoni

In August 2013, Wim Wenders and Mary Zournazi published Inventing Peace: A Dialogue on Perception, a collaborative book which documents years of correspondence and conversation about peace — an attempt at what Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, to whom the book is dedicated, refers to as a ‘genuine dialogue.’ Wenders and Zournazi draw on works of philosophy, literature, visual art, and cinema to consider how peace may be achieved through a change in human perception, and how new media technologies – the agents of perception – can be used to heal a world overcome by violence and war, ego and illusion. [read full interview]

Towards a Common Culture: On Literature and the School Syllabus

by Alex Niven

Like many children of teachers growing up in the 1990s, in my schooldays I became familiar with the name of an unlikely bogeyman. To the world he was known as Chris Woodhead, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools in England (1994-2000), though it was common in houses like ours to replace the first syllable of his surname with the shorter colloquial form of Richard. [read full essay]

Poetry as Product: An Interview with Sam Riviere

by Sam Buchan-Watts

Sam Riviere’s first book of poetry, 81 Austerities, won the Felix Dennis Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A new pamphlet, Standard Twin Fantasy, appeared recently from Egg Box Publishing, as part of their f.u.n.e.x series. It comprises seven pairs of poems, some of which were commissioned by AnOther magazine in 2012 to 'introduce' a set of fashion stories. Praised by the Guardian for its 'caustic glamour' and 'stylised paranoia', the pamphlet picks up where 81 Austerities left off, with its frenetic distrust of connection in a digital age of consumer capitalism. We spoke about eclipsing sources, pamphlets, notions of 'properness', and the aura that poems retain after they're reproduced. [read full interview]

Men of Letters: 100 Years of Hugh Trevor-Roper

by Minoo Dinshaw

The Oxford Examination Schools see a lot of action beside their official purpose. Here Christopher Ricks has displayed his agility and Geoffrey Hill his ferocity, during their respective reigns as Professor of Poetry. More recently the admirers of Hugh Trevor-Roper (1914-2003), Lord Dacre of Glanton and onetime Regius Professor of History, gathered here on a chilly January morning a few days before the centenary of his birth. Trevor-Roper’s literary executor, Blair Worden, welcomed the company – enough to fill the South School’s broad expanse – and said he believed ‘Hugh would be pleased, and indeed surprised.’ He also congratulated us on our range of ages. This range was technically rather than visibly wide; the glossy manes of a few young Prize Fellows of All Souls peeked out from the silver sea. [read full essay]

To Illuminate a Nocturne: The Life and Work of Martin Lewis

by DC Pae

As the final curtain fell on the glory days of printmaking, a new star of the ‘American Scene’ was in the ascent; the age of Edward Hopper would establish itself in popular consciousness - a shift that was to etch itself upon the psyche of modern art-history in a way that lithography no longer could. By the time of his death in 1962, Martin Lewis was all but forgotten by a world that had once embraced and celebrated the mastery of his craft. [read full essay]