Wolfgang Görtschacher
Little Magazine Profiles
The Little Magazines in Great Britain 1939-1993

1993. 751 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-7052-0608-3; ISBN-10 3-7052-0608-7
£22.50 (+ 3.00 p&p),  €27.50 (+ 3.50 p&p), US$ 38.00 (+ 5.00 p&p)
 

This 750-page informative and wide-ranging paperback explores the world of the little magazines of Great Britain over the last 50 years. It includes a definitive history of the medium, a phenomenology that includes a look at "The Editor - A Manic Obsessive" as well as "The Contributors" and "The Audience", interviews with critics, poets, librarians, and a wide range of magazine editors, followed by an evaluation of the magazines themselves. This publication is both a fascinating read and an invaluable reference book.

Rupert Loydell, Stride Publications

Editors / magazines interviewed and evaluated include:
Derek Stanford, Malcolm Bradbury, John Heath-Stubbs, Geoffrey Soar, Roland John (Outposts), Peter Dale (Agenda), Michael Horovitz (New Departures), Brian Merrikin Hill (Pennine Platform), Mike Shields (Orbis), William Oxley (Littack), Michael Schmidt (PN Review), J.C.R. Green (Prospice), Hilary Davies (Argo), Kathleen Raine (Temenos), Rupert Loydell (Stride), Fred Beake (The Poet's Voice), Patricia Oxley (Acumen), David Woolley (Westwords).


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Reviews of Little Magazine Profiles

Little Magazine Profiles considers in depth 'The Little Magazines in Great Britain 1939-1993'. Thus definitions of the 'Little Magazine', 'Case Studies' in the form of interviews with editors, critics, poets, and one librarian (Geoffrey Soar) and finally the history, criticism, reception and evaluation of not only Poetry Review, but Outposts, Stand, London Magazine, Agenda, New Departures, Pennine Platform, Orbis, Aquarius, Chapman, Littack, PN Review, Prospice, Argo, Temenos, Stride, The Poet's Voice, Acumen, and Westwords. It is interesting reading.

(Jon Silkin, Stand Magazine 35.4, Autumn 1994)

So it's been done at last! The one scholarly book that everyone in the poetry world wanted ... but no one believed would happen. Why? Because the variety and range, the detail, size and number involved in the subject, precluded seemingly all possibility of anyone attempting such a subject. [...] Apart from the sheer academic courage of its author, and the structural success of the attempt at encompassing so great a field of activity, one is impressed by the (often) high-quality of the interviews; the authorial narrative which really does yield many interesting facts and insights about the business of editing poetry and literary magazines in all their many aspects; and by the remarkable way that Herr Görtschacher has managed to critically, yet impartially, present a naturally very partisan field. [...] one is left with the feeling that here is both a unique and an essential reference book for anyone interested in the really creative end of the world of contemporary poetry.

(William Oxley, Outposts 178, 1994)

The book [...] is far and away the most thorough study of its subject ever to be published. [...] Görtschacher's historical chapters combine a wealth of information with some judicious judgements. No sentimentalist or romantic, he is ever alert to the economics (and the politics) of what he writes about; he has much to say about the changing role of the Arts Council, for example, and is as interested in the audience (or lack of it) of the Little Magazines as in their contents. [...] The whole thing constitutes an invaluable work of reference; every serious library should have a copy. Just as importantly it is consistently interesting to read. [...] my one complaint is that it is impossible to put it down once you've picked it up to check something!

(Glyn Pursglove, Acumen 19, April 1994)

I am most impressed by the industry and acuity of the survey.

(Peter Dale, Agenda)

It is certainly a committed and exhaustive book. I imagine there will be endless opportunity for supplements as new magazines are born and die.

(Michael Schmidt, PN Review)

There is an amazing amount of information here. I congratulate you on your diligence and the perseverance [...]. Your perception and information about little magazines and your abilities to place them in their proper literary perspective is admirable. You have made a major contribution to the scholarship of contemporary literature. I hope that you receive the credit that you so richly deserve.

(Robert J. Bertholf, University at Buffalo)

The book is singularly impressive, a mine of information and interest, and I can only wish that it were easily available in general I hope reviewers, libraries, etc will see to it that it is widely known. Its comments are knowledgeable and generous and its information copious.
(Brian Merrikin Hill, Pennine Platform)

It is a scholarly and serious informative compilation which is indispensable to every library and every poet and critic. Wolfgang Görtschacher gave up five years of precious life and a place in the Austrian national football team to getting this enormous amount of information into more-or-less order.

(Peter Russell, Marginalia 13, 1994)


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