The Current Issue

November 2019, Issue 481 Owen Matthews on President Erdoğan * Richard Vinen on Thatcher's later years * Susan Owens on the Pre-Raphaelite sisterhood * Patrick McGuinness on Samuel Pozzi * Anna Reid on famine in the USSR * Martin Bell on John Hersey reporting on Hiroshima * Dennis Duncan on Oulipo * Avi Shilon on David Ben-Gurion * Edward Behrens on interior design * Patrick Wilcken on explorers in the Amazon * Jerry White on London through the ages * Maurice Frank on East Berlin samizdat * Tanya Harrod on Lucian Freud * Jane O’Grady on loneliness * Bill Bell on reading * Joseph Owen on football's failures * Cornelius Dieckmann on André Aciman * Hannah Rosefield on Ben Lerner * Kate McLoughlin on Elizabeth Strout *  and much, much more…

Patrick Mcguinness

Samuel Pozzi, Doctor & Dandy

Julian Barnes’s new book immerses us in Belle Epoque Paris through the life of Samuel Pozzi, the sitter in John Singer Sargent’s famous portrait Dr Pozzi at Home. ‘Is it unfair to begin with the coat, rather than the man inside it?’ asks Barnes. ‘But the coat, or rather its depiction, is how we remember him today, if we remember him at all.’ Pozzi is an excellent choice of subject, because he is both straightforward and enigmatic, and because, though he knew everyone and turns up in numerous memoirs, letters and newspaper articles of the period, enough of his character remains just out of reach for Barnes to relish the challenge of imagining... read more

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