Thursday, 6 September 2012

Times Literary Supplement

Courtesy of University of British Columbia
The Times Literary Supplement first appeared in 1902 as a supplement to The Times, but became a separate publication in 1914. Many distinguished writers have been contributors, including T. S. Eliot, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf, but reviews were normally anonymous until 1974, during which year signed reviews were gradually introduced under the editorship of John Gross.

Lowry refers to the publication in his novel Ultramarine when Dana tells Popplereuter; "What I could achieve would be that usual self-conscious first novel, to be reviewed in the mortuary of the The Times Literary Supplement, a "crude and unpleasant work", something of that nature, of which the principal character would be no more or less, whether in liquor or in love, than the abominable author himself. I fear, also, that the disease is a childish one, diarrhoea scribendi simply." (Pg. 90).

Ronald Binns in 'Lowry's Anatomy of Melancholy' comments on the above passage:

The voice speaking here seems to be less Dana Hilliot's than Malcolm Lowry's, signalling with defensive irony the autobiographical quality of this first novel and its author's acute self-consciousness of the literary weaknesses that can follow on from such transparently-personal inspiration. If the confession was meant to neutralize or provoke the critical response from that particular organ of the English literary establishment it failed, and the paper's reviewer merely noted that "Ultramarine reads less as a novel than as the first expansion of shorthand notes taken with a view to making a novel out of a new experience," finding much of the dialogue boring and concluding that "If the art of writing is imitation the author has mastered it; if reconstruction enters into it he has yet some way to go, for he has not attempted to fuse the objective and subjective elements of his narrative into a whole."  Canadian Literature, 64 (Spring 1975), pp. 8-23

Ultramarine was reviewed anonymously in The Times Literary Supplement, July 13th, 1933, p. 481

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