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Hang Santa

Writing about Christmas by Brigid Brophy, Charles Nicholl, Wendy Doniger, Terry Castle, Frank Kermode, Hilary Mantel, James Wood and Alice Spawls.

To be continued

Brigid Brophy, 6 November 1980

The boldest way to supply the missing second half of Edwin Drood would be in the idiom of the present time. Such a course would nowadays come naturally or at any rate fashionably to an architect...

Getting high

Charles Nicholl, 19 March 1987

You don’t frequent crack-houses. You don’t shoot smack, drop acid, skin-pop speed or blow dope. You have nothing to do with the 1.8 billion tranquillisers prescribed in Britain every...

Hang Santa

Wendy Doniger, 16 December 1993

The authors of this collection of essays are social anthropologists who follow the structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss, literally – an essay by him comes first, after Daniel...

Art Pepper and Me

Terry Castle, 18 December 2003

Living without love is like not living at all.

Art Pepper, 1958

Writing this in San Francisco, having just come back from San Diego and a heroin Christmas at my mother’s. Not that I...

The Nativity

Frank Kermode, 4 January 2007

Very few schoolboys know that of the four Gospels only two offer any account of the conception and birth of Jesus, and even those schoolboys probably care little that Matthew and Luke, the two...

The Virgin and I

Hilary Mantel, 9 April 2009

In my Catholic girlhood she was everywhere, perched up on ledges and in niches like a CCTV camera, with her painted mouth and her painted eyes of policeman blue. She was, her litany stated,...

On Not Going Home

James Wood, 20 February 2014

A panic suddenly overtakes me, and I wonder: how did I get here? And then the moment passes, and ordinary life closes itself around what had seemed, for a moment, a desperate lack.

Christmas Trees

Alice Spawls, 5 January 2017

At​ the carol concert in St Martin-in-the-Fields, two weeks before Christmas, shoppers and squawking babies filled the church’s elegant interior. It’s a sort of Christmas cake of a...

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