Archive

Jon Day

24 September 2012

Amis seemingly can’t resist having his characters comment on the state of the language. Throughout his novels, they give impromptu lectures on etymologies and points of usage. His dialogue is autotelic: it tells us how it should be read. But London’s informal accent has changed over the years, and Amis’s ears have not stayed open to it. More…

23 August 2012

Perhaps watching the Games at home was the best way to experience their Disneyland of nonthreatening passion, a guarded environment in which nothing unusual or unexpected was allowed to occur. The predictability of this world bled into the events themselves: we felt cheated when athletes didn’t conform to the narrative that had long been established for them. More…

5 April 2012

The Cycle Messenger World Championships are usually quite a lo-fi affair. In 2010 the race took place in Panajachel, a tiny town in the Guatemalan highlands, and resembled something from Mad Max. Guatemalans are allowed to carry guns as long as they’re kept on display, and a few messengers in Panajachel sported pistols alongside the radios and mobile phones they carried bandoleer style across their chests. More…

29 November 2011

When I got there the signs were already up: “Paternoster Square is private land. Any licence to the public to enter or cross this land is revoked forthwith. There is no implied or express permission to enter any premises or any part. Any such entry will constitute a trespass.” The square itself was filled with police, a few of them on horses. Tourists drifted in and out. More…