Last week I became a company director, of the Handheld Press, because I'm going to publish books. I've been working flat out for several months, doing two jobs at once. Setting up a publishing company takes a lot of administration, as well as starting work, right away! on the first books. I've done pretty much … Continue reading May I introduce you to the Handheld Press?
This issue of Penguin New Writing, from spring 1947, has a depth that the previous issues reviewed don’t seem to have achieved. John Lehmann goes all-out in his Foreword by saying that the fires that decimated London’s publishing offices and warehouses in the bombing in December 1940 did ‘the book-trade — and the authors who … Continue reading Penguin New Writing 30
I heard an episode of the Double X Gabfest podcast the other day in which Noreen Malone of New York Magazine claimed that superhero movies were only made for teenage boys, or nerdy men, and that women didn't go to see them. (Even though she lives in Brooklyn! That just seems improbable.) Superhero movies are … Continue reading Comic books and Spider-Woman: a little rant
New Writing, John Lehmann’s influential British literary magazine, first appeared in 1936, and fostered politically Left writers and artists. It stopped publication in 1950, with issue 40, just as Tennessee Williams and John Wain (for example) joined the contributors. I found issues 27 to 40 in an Oxfam shop, and bought them for a fiver. … Continue reading Penguin New Writing 29, autumn 1946
Here's a conversation I had with Brad of The Neglected Books Page, about Laura Riding's short story collection Progress of Stories (1935). This American author is most well-known for her marriage to the poet Robert Graves, and for her own poetry. KM: I didn't like them. Well, I did like quite a lot about quite … Continue reading Laura Riding’s Progress of Stories
The stories in this issue of John Lehmann's Penguin New Writing are pretty grim, but the photographs and artwork lighten the mood. In his introduction Lehmann talks about the 'young men and women who for six years had lived on dreams of devoting their time and energies to writing ... I would take a bet that most … Continue reading Penguin New Writing 28: Summer 1946
Here’s a bit of Second World War literary and theatrical history I had no idea existed. T S Eliot’s main theatrical collaborator was the actor and director E Martin Browne, who was the first to produce Eliot’s play Murder in the Cathedral (1935), about the murder of Thomas à Becket, and The Family Reunion (1939) … Continue reading Pilgrim Story