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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > November 2017 > Leith on language

Leith on language

What else do writers do?

What is it that writers actually do? According to the movies, I mean. It’s a question sometimes asked of mathematicians (wander around looking into the middle-distance, apparently, before frantically scrawling equations onto a blackboard), often of scientists (white coats, test tubes, incomprehensible computer displays); frequently of special forces soldiers and spies (shoot stuff; grunt with pain; sleep with attractive women), and surprisingly often—usually unsatisfactorily— of authors and novelists.

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In Prospect’s November issue: Joris Luyendijk and Stuart Ward try to uncover the way Britain is perceived by Europe and the rest of the world. Luyendijk—who lived in Britain for six years before recently moving back to his native Netherlands—explains that the Brexit vote has shown Europe that Britain needs time alone to find its identity again, while Ward—a native Australian—argues that its Britain’s imperial backstory that stops it from truly understanding what the world thinks of it. Elsewhere in the issue Jeffrey Lewis argues that US foreign policy has helped North Korea develop the nuclear bomb and we explore the effect that the Palestinian museum near Ramallah is having on the creation of a national identity. Also in this issue: Sameer Rahim profiles Armando Iannucci, Joseph Stiglitz on Britain’s tricky political situation.
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