This tenth editorial will be our last. Back in February 2011, on launching the magazine, we grandiosely stated that we were ‘creating a space for a new generation to express themselves unconstrained by form, subject, or genre’. In laying out these aims in a preliminary editorial, we in fact constrained ourselves to the tedium of having to come up with something interesting to say with each new issue, having set the precedent.
In our second issue, we announced that ‘we are not yet in a position to pay contributors, (or ourselves for that matter)’. Thanks to an Arts Council grant awarded earlier this year, the former is no longer true: we are now able to pay writers and artists a small fee for their work, both online and in print. As for paying ourselves, our naïve dreams of wealth and fame soon proved illusory – and there’s always the spiritual reward to be reaped in solving ‘technical, mechanical issues … in a small room, surrounded by paper’ (The White Review No. 3), with the art director Ray.
Our fourth editorial was probably our most rousing (‘We hope that you find something in this issue to provoke or inspire you to pick up a pen, a paintbrush, or a placard’), and most embarrassing (‘The future is there to be forged’!) considering that you are likely to land on a picture of Juergen Teller’s scrotum on opening the issue. While that photograph may have been an attempt to combat the notion that ‘literary and arts reviews are in London considered decidedly unsexy’ (The White Review No. 5), no ‘wild parties ensu[ed] thereof’, despite the editors’ best efforts.
By December 2012 our editorials had run out of steam, which perhaps explains why our call for trustees to join our charitable board was ignored. Despite stating that ‘any reaction is a gratifying one’, we received none. Aggressively pursuing new board members is clearly not our forte, but we like to think that ‘forcefully demonstrating the vitality of literary culture in Britain and Ireland’ is. At the time of writing, the editorial staff are working through several piles of submissions to the second White Review Short Story Prize, the tottering heights of which are testament to a thriving writing culture on these isles.
In the eighth issue, published last summer, we boldly declared that ‘all evidence of any manifesto ever drawn up by the … editors has, happily, been destroyed’. This was a brazen lie: the evidence remains, safely stored on one of the editors’ hard drives, and goes a long way to explaining the mystery of the camp heron imprint that perches on the inside cover of each edition of the magazine.
By last November, we were so uninspired by editorials that we proclaimed that issue’s ‘boring’ in the third line. Faced with the same blank page a few months later, we despaired. So it is here, in our tenth issue, three years since we launched, having published hundreds of stories, essays, poems, interviews and series of artworks, in print and online, after having spent too many late nights in a small room with Ray eating cheap pizza and arguing about semicolons, after having worked tirelessly to topple the establishment to let a new talented generation unconstrainedly express themselves, that we must take our leave from you.
There is an African proverb that goes, ‘Everything has an end, apart from the banana, which has two.’ The editorials have come to an end (until we decide otherwise); The White Review continues. From now on, if you want to hear from us, come to the events.