Encounters: An Anthology from the First Ten Years of Encounter Magazine

Encounters: An Anthology from the First Ten Years of Encounter Magazine

Encounters: An Anthology from the First Ten Years of Encounter Magazine

Encounters: An Anthology from the First Ten Years of Encounter Magazine

Excerpt

"... For how can we recapture, between the covers of a book, the tempo of a monthly review? Editing a magazine is a form of the good life; it is creating when the world is destroying, helping where it is hindering..."

CYRIL CONNOLLY

"To be learned and right is no doubt the first requisite -- but to be ingenious and original and discursive is perhaps something more than the second in a publication which can only do good by remaining popular -- and cannot be popular without other attractions than those of mere truth and correctness..."

FRANCIS JEFFREY (Editor, Edinburgh Review, 1806)

"A writer for magazines must above all be interesting, for there is not enough of him in any one issue to justify boring the reader. Similarly, he must extract from the conditions of his work -- the hurried deadline, the last-minute change -- the liveliness of time itself... A magazine is always a date, 'an issue', a moment; it is created out of an exacting sense of time and it is about time. The spirit of occasion, the tone of conversation, the modesty of the passing moment, are what most belong to it. Let the magazine writer be faithful to this spirit of gaiety..."

ALFRED KAZIN

LIKE EVERY OTHER anthologist, one must begin by making excuses. I was faced with a decade of Encounter, ten annual volumes of a thousand pages each, almost a million words. My first selection was carefree and comprehensive; it included everything that was good, representative, and worth preserving; and it constituted four books the size of this one. One had to select again, and to wrestle with the principles of pruning. Should one really omit everything that was once topical? Dare one take space to include famous Encounter essays which have already been collected? How could one ever face all the authors whose memorable little contributions did not in the end make the table of contents? No point in burdening the . . .

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