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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

Rupert Beale: Edit Your Own Genes

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

Jacqueline Rose: A Woman’s Agency

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

Reading the stories of sexual harassment both here and in the US, I have started to feel that all the attention has served not only to bolster the urgent call for a better world but, oddly and at the same time, as a diversionary tactic to help us avoid having to think about sex. Or, to put it another way, if harassment and sexual violence are, as a certain version of radical feminism would have it, the whole story of human sexuality, then we may as well lock the door on who we are and throw away the key. How can we acknowledge the viciousness of sexual harassment while leaving open the question of what sexuality at its wildest – most harmful and most exhilarating, sometimes both together – might be?

Francis Gooding: The Dying of the Dinosaurs

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

What colour was a Tyrannosaurus rex? How did an Archaeopteryx court a mate? And how do you paint the visual likeness of something no human eye will ever see? Far from bedevilling the artists who wanted to depict prehistoric creatures and their lost worlds, such conundrums have in fact been invitations to glorious freedom. For nearly two hundred years the resulting genre – now known as palaeoart – has been a playground wherein tyrannosaurids, plesiosaurs and their fellows have not only illustrated scientific knowledge, but acted as scaled and feathered proxies for the anxieties of contemporary life. None of us has ever seen one, but who doesn’t know what a dinosaur looks like?

Meehan Crist: When the Ice Melts

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

Higher sea levels mean higher storm surges, like the nine-foot surge that inundated Lower Manhattan and severely affected neighbourhoods in Long Island and New Jersey, but also that low-lying coastal areas, from Bangladesh to Amsterdam, will be underwater in less than a hundred years. It’s worth remembering that two-thirds of the world’s cities sit on coastlines. In a high-emissions scenario, average high tides in New York could be higher than the levels seen during Sandy. A rise in global sea levels of 11 feet would fully submerge cities like Mumbai and a large part of Bangladesh. The question is no longer if – but how high, and how fast.

Pankaj Mishra: Ta-Nehisi Coates

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

He visibly struggles with the question ‘Why do white people like what I write?’ This is a fraught issue for the very few writers from formerly colonised countries or historically disadvantaged minorities in the West who are embraced by ‘legacy’ periodicals, and then tasked with representing their people – or country, religion, race, and even continent. Relations between the anointed ‘representative’ writer and those who are denied this privilege by white gatekeepers are notoriously prickly. Coates, a self-made writer, is particularly vulnerable to the charge that he is popular among white liberals since he assuages their guilt about racism.

Inigo Thomas: At the Ladbroke Arms

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

Adrian West: Mariano Fortuny y Marsal

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


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

The letters page from London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 4 (22 February 2018)

Table of contents

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

Table of contents from London Review of Books Vol. 40 No. 4 (22 February 2018)