China Miéville on contemporary London

Powerful writing in The New York Times. [A fuller, illustrated version is here]

London is full of ghosts — ghost walks; a city’s worth of cemeteries; ghost-advertising, scabs of paint on brick. The city invoked something, read a grimoire it shouldn’t have. Thatcher’s face recurs at every turn, not in clouds of sulfur but of exhaust, on buses bearing posters advertising Meryl Streep’s celluloid turn as our erstwhile prime minister. Cabinet reports from the aftermath of other riots across the country, 31 years ago, have been released. A policy was mooted, they suggest — the point is disputed — of “managed decline” of the troublesome areas. Leaving them to rot…

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