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Preview: London Review of Books

London Review of Books

Literary review publishing essay-length book reviews and topical articles on politics, literature, history, philosophy, science and the arts by leading writers and thinkers

Copyright: © LRB Limited 2018

Amia Srinivasan: Does anyone have the right to sex?

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

To take this question seriously requires that we recognise that the very idea of fixed sexual preference is political, not metaphysical. As a matter of good politics, we treat the preferences of others as sacred: we are rightly wary of speaking of what people really want, or what some idealised version of them would want. That way, we know, authoritarianism lies. This is true, most of all, in sex, where invocations of real or ideal desires have long been used as a cover for the rape of women and gay men. But the fact is that our sexual preferences can and do alter, sometimes under the operation of our own wills – not automatically, but not impossibly either.

Gaby Wood: ‘In a Lonely Place’

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

What does it mean for a romance to take the shape of a murder investigation? In a Lonely Place, Nicholas Ray’s elegantly bitter film about damaged trust, throws that question at its viewers. If all love stories are inquiries of one kind or another, the movie seems to suggest, perhaps they differ only in their relative violence. When filming began, Ray was married to its female lead, Gloria Grahame; by the time it ended, they were living apart. Ray said it was ‘a very personal film’ – and as parting gifts go, it was both poisonous and immortal.

Linda Colley: The Problem with Winning

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Could it be that Britain’s political stability has become too pronounced? That, by not having to adjust and alter its political system as so many other countries have had to do, the UK has stored up unaddressed problems and unhelpful stagnancies? If so, might the convulsions and divisions over Brexit have some tonic effect? Might this bitterly divisive and presumably long-lasting change turn out to be the painful moderniser that military defeats and invasions have sometimes proved to be for other countries?

Michael Wood: ‘The Shape of Water’

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Tom Crewe: Colourisation

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Eleanor Birne: At Kettle’s Yard

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000


Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

The letters page from London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 6 (22 March 2018)

Table of contents

Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:00:00 +0000

Table of contents from London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 6 (22 March 2018)