London Review of Books
Patricia Lockwood: Carson McCullers
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Jenny Turner: Kathy Acker’s Ashes
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
What matters most, as Chris Kraus said recently, is ‘how history speaks to the present’. So what is it that Kathy Acker is saying, to us, right now? When I first read I Love Dick, it gave me the strangest sullen feeling, as if it had thrust me straight back to school: yes, yes, the feeling said, I know you’re thinking it’s all going on a bit, but actually, it’s performative philosophy. It’s rigorously crafted and precise. It was tracing that feeling back, to my younger self as a reader in the 1980s, that made me realise how much Acker there is curled up inside that book. Tedious mess or rigorous experiment? Art or ranting? What if the really great thing Acker’s work is saying is that it can be both?
Carolyn Steedman: A New World for Women
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
In my summer birdcage of reading and rereading I only cried once. It wasn’t the novels that provoked tears, but a government report. I am used to crying over government reports. Various 19th-century commissions of inquiry into child labour in libraries around the country are stained with my tears. I cried over the Robbins Report because I found for the first time something I had always known: ‘The trials that their parents had to undergo are in themselves sufficient reason for the country to exert itself to meet the needs of their children.’ A government report compiled in the spirit of social justice! I love the state because it has loved me. My tears were tears of acknowledgment.
Patrick Cockburn: Underground in Raqqa
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Tactical agility won’t be enough to save the caliphate, which is now being overwhelmed on multiple fronts. Islamic State’s great strength came from the way it combined religious cult and war machine; its weakness was that it saw the whole world as its enemy, which meant that it would always be outnumbered and outgunned. Without allies and dealing only in violence, it led an unlikely alliance of states normally hostile to one another to find common cause against it, and engage in a degree of reluctant co-operation. As IS comes close to losing its power, old rivalries and divisions are beginning to re-emerge – but in a political landscape significantly reshaped by the war with IS.
Tom Crewe: The Party Conferences
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Nick Richardson: The Scythians
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Letters
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
The letters page from London Review of Books Vol. 39 No. 20 (19 October 2017)
Table of contents
October 18th, 2017, 07:39 PM
Table of contents from London Review of Books Vol. 39 No. 20 (19 October 2017)