Untitled, 2020


Life is lived forwards, as Kierkegaard observed, but can only be understood backwards. In this special edition published by The London Magazine, new and unpublished work from twenty leading writers past and present begins the vital process of making creative sense of this unique moment of crisis.

‘How will / the dawn arrive?’ asks Simon Armitage in his untitled poem. Writers’ reflections unfold the wonders of the trivial and the marvelousness of the ordinary, out of what Elleke Boehmer calls the ‘curious . . . homogeneity’ of lockdown. Extraordinary, personal details glimmer in the darkness, as their thoughts move from the local – gardening, domesticity, a father’s coat – to wider concerns of climate emergency, civil unrest and the human cost of isolation.

Untitled, 2020 collects contributions from the wide circle writers, critics and scholars associated with The London Magazine to mark the period of lockdown for Covid-19. It includes new poetry from Martha Sprackland, Hugo Williams, Christopher Reid and Simon Armitage, with original prose by Toby Litt, Suzi Feay, Daniel Swift and Elleke Boehmer among others, as well as a previously unpublished extract from Beckett’s ‘German Diaries’– about paintings in Potsdam in January 1937 – never before been seen by the public in print.

Cover art by Barnett Newman, an ink drawing produced in 1960 during his seminal sequence of works, The Stations of the Cross.

“A fantastic magazine whose place in the history of . . . literary life grows ever more secure and confident.”

William Boyd, Evening Standard

 “An unnerving balance of despair, uncertainty, light and hope.”

– Matthew Scott, co-editor The London Magazine


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