Classics and Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties

By Edmund Wilson | Go to book overview
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A CRY FROM THE UNQUIET GRAVE

CYRIL CONNOLLY founded in 1939 the English literary monthly Horizon, and has been publishing it ever since. Horizon has been a fine magazine and Mr. Connolly an exceptional editor. It seemed to me a proof of his merit, when I was in London at the end of the war, that, in the literary and Left political worlds, almost everybody complained about him and it, but that everybody, at the same time, seemed in some degree dependent on them. The danger of such magazines is that they are likely to fall into the hands of a group and reflect its limitations and smugness, or that they try, without exercising taste, systematically to proceed on some policy in the interests of which they feel obliged to print mediocre or boring stuff. Mr. Connolly appears to have published only things that he himself has found interesting, and to have been constrained as little as possible by preconceptions-the worst handicaps for a magazine--of what Horizon's clientele would like to read. He would print papers on Benjamin Constant or the minor French romantics which irritated both the Left and the people who thought that it was immoral to disregard the war, and he brought out, in several installments, an orthodox Communist tract which annoyed both the littérateurs and the more emancipated Leftists. He published some of the best reporting--of an unofficial and personal

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Classics and Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties
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