Vol. 8 No. 2 1941 - page 159

I have a debt of gratitude to both PAR·
TISAN REVIEW and James Laughlin of
New Directions,
because they alone seem
to think my work worthy of a public.
is painful to have to call on one of my
benefactors for a notice against the other.
But a certain scrupulousness- by no
means excessive considering the impor·
tance of the issue and the responsibilities
of the conscience-eompels me to dis–
claim any relation between my pieces in
the new
New Directions
and the dedica·
tion of the volume to the Young Men of
the Royal Air Force.
The metaphysical status of editor and
authors in such an anthology of new writ·
ing is dubious, but I suppose we'd agree
that since the attention of the reader is
centered mainly on the contents of the
book rather than on the selection of the
contents, there is a presumption that the
dedication in some way expresses the
opinion of the authors (who obviously
have no mutual opinion).
the dedication were only an expres·
sion of admiration of courage and skill,
who could dbject to it? But the preface
presents a complex theory of the rela–
tions between free culture, old and new
economic systems, defense against fas·
cism, etc., largely
the manner of Harold
Laski. Everywhere in this theory are be–
liefs only plausible to me. Most impor–
tant: if the aim of the R.A.F. is solely
to defend free culture, I doubt if it will
defend free culture. At least I would
never express opinions on such a point
except in the ambiguity and the colors of
Yours truly,
New York City.
In reply to Mr. Goodman's letter, Mr.
Laughlin writes: "Naturally the dedica–
tion is my personal expression. Any one
looking at the book can se it is not a
group, any more than O'Brien or Moult is
a group. Perhaps I should have made this
clear however right on the dedication
In our last issue we invited our readers
for comment on the magazine, which is
now entering its fourth year under the
present management. We have received
no letters as thorough and illuminating as
Mr. Porter's, but a number of brief com–
ments have come in. Below we print some
of them, and again renew our invitation
for more. We're slightly embarrassed, by
the way, at the uniformly favorable tone
of the comments received
far. Doesn't
any one heartily dislike (with reasons)
some or all of the magazine?-
Since you ask for comments, I'll say
that I find every issue astonishingly vigor–
ous-here it's not a question of agreement
but simply of perception-and I hope
these miracles continue to occur regu–
larly. Everyone else is getting flabbier and
flabbier.-PAUL ANDRESEN, Washington,
As a very new subscriber, may I say
that I am quite pleased with PARTISAN
REVIEW? The exact affirmation certainly
has its points: to agree or disagree is
almost a new pleasure after the liberal
weeklies. It seems to me that the latter
agree with themselves only in time of war
when they come out for full war ahead!
Otherwise, it's this or that,
weigh it in
the scales,
guess who wins.-JAMES
WHITING SAUNDERS, Alexandria, Virginia.
PR is the best thing of its kind I've
ever come across, and I've been buying
'literary magazines' since 1907 or there–
abouts in London, Paris, and N. Y. C. In
fact I believe I have read every literary
published since 1907. The P. Rahv
and M. Schapiro pieces in the last issue
were top-hole, also
T. Farrell's two
cents' worth.-GEORCE C. AuLT.
The English literary scene is gloomy:
those young men who are still writing
are waiting for an American public or· a
non-existent public. I disagree with PR's
politics, but Lord! how we need an intel–
ligent left literary publication here.
- RoY FULLER, London, England.
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