The White Review No. 14 Editorial

Having several issues ago announced that we would no longer be writing our own editorials, the editors’ (ultimately inevitable) failure to organise a replacement, combined with a marked lack of enthusiasm on the part of those people we invited to write on our behalf, has hastened our return to these pages. It might have dawned on those we approached, as it long ago dawned on us, that writing editorials is dull and difficult.


So, to what purpose should we put this page which remains, roughly nine hours before we go to press, accusingly blank? To proselytise here would be to preach – one hopes – to the converted. Should we instead use the opportunity shamelessly to ask you for money? It would after all be opportune – in September we launch a crowdfunding campaign offering such incentives to donate as a night-time peregrination in the sole company of Will Self (expensive), limited edition, specially-commissioned art works by previous contributors to the magazine (quite expensive), a drink with Ned Beauman (competitively priced), a set of artists’ postcards (pocket money) and even the opportunity to meet the editors at a party (please form an orderly queue).


But no, it would be unbecoming of us. We, the unpaid directors of a registered charity in the United Kingdom (number: 1148690) ‘specialising in artistically or educationally meritorious works by new or emerging artists and writers’, would never so shamelessly prey upon the kindness of our readers. However loyal, big-hearted, munificent, tasteful and – may we say – well-dressed our readers might be. Readers who are committed to supporting literature and the arts beyond the penalties of what we are now obliged to call ‘austerity’, readers who believe that a vibrant, progressive, polyvocal cultural milieu is essential to the wellbeing of a society, readers who understand the importance of paying writers for their work. Readers who certainly don’t need to be told that taking out a subscription to a magazine supports its long-term survival by providing it with a reliable cash flow during a time in which newsstand sales are falling and the margins are increasingly tight, nor indeed that such subscriptions can be purchased for friends and family via our website. No, this is not the place.


Nor would it be seemly here to hype a publication already described as ‘one of the best magazines in Europe’ by the director of a prestigious London gallery not long ago named as the most influential person in the art world by Art Review but who shall here remain anonymous, because we wouldn’t drop names. A magazine ‘growing in stature’ (the New York Times), ‘nothing less than a cultural revolution’ (Deborah Levy) and – proving that it is possible (following the title of a series by Camille Henrot featured in The White Review No. 5) ‘to be a revolutionary and still to love flowers’ – hailed by Vogue as a ‘thing of beauty’.


Having dismissed those low impulses we will, instead, take the opportunity sincerely to thank those people who make The White Review possible. Everyone with whom we’ve had the fortune to work, each of whom has had a hand in shaping the magazine; the many great artists and writers (included those featured within) who have allowed us to publish their work; others too numerous to mention without whose intelligence, support and friendship we would long ago have given up; and, last but not least, you, dear reader.


— The Editors