The Character of Individual Contributions

‘He had a way of editing every article sent in to him until it became more than a fair imitation of his own. I can sympathize with his object – the artist’s desire for harmony, for the unity of the paper as a whole. But if he succeeded, as he did, it was at the sacrifice of the force, the effect, the character of individual contributions’  (Elizabeth Pennell on W E Henley, ex-editor of the National Observer)

Ah, the trials and tribulations of being an editor! Funnily enough, I have been accused (here, amongst other places) of both of the above; of only publishing things that offer an echo of my own voice and of publishing things that represent too many disparate voices. If I’ve aimed for either, however, I’d have to say that it’s the latter. I never sought to create a journal that is, in essence, a unified manifesto. I would prefer it if contributors agreed with me on certain significant points, maybe, but to agree with me on every point would be a tiresome business indeed. The extent to which I have ensured that critics feel free to attack or contradict me within the pages of my own journal (see the second-half of this article) has led people, on more than one occasion, to brand me as a pervert, obsessed with self-criticism.

Well, as they say, ‘whatever turns you on’…

In other news this unpleasant English morning, it is with some relief that I am at last about to leave these distinctly un-summery shores for a month or so (see a post or two below). For fairer climes? I cannot say. Rest assured, under the present circumstances, it’d be quite a challenge to find a place any less fair.

Once I have gone through the one or two day struggle of finding an appropriately sized swan to carry me and a bag over the Atlantic ocean (which, with the promise of English gales, may be harder than usual) posts will no doubt continue.


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