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This article is taken from PN Review 2, Volume 4 Number 2, January - March 1978.

Letter from an Editor Donald Davie

RICHARD SWIGG'S essay in this issue of PNR, and Neil Powell's, not to speak of Dick Davis's on Yvor Winters and Wittgenstein, make this issue of our magazine read very differently from PNR 1 as from any of the issues of PN. And to my mind this is both a good thing and a bad one. Powerful and independent minds addressing themselves to difficult and important but unfashionable problems-this, I think, is what PN and PNR have always wanted to attract: and we can only be happy and gratified that minds like Swigg's and Powell's and Davis's should move in on our magazine rather than on others which promise more publicity and incidentally better pay. On the other hand these essays are weighty, not just in substance but in style and tone also. They do not wear their learning lightly. Any one of them could have been delivered as a paper to a college or university society. And this is something new, which I fear may alienate our non-academic readers, if we have any. (We certainly hope that we have, and we mean to keep them; the editors would be glad to hear from them.) PNR, like PN before it, is a magazine directed at the British public at large; and we should have failed before we had started, if it turns out that we are only read in college common rooms.

It is this anxiety, and not the fact that as it happens I am gently ...


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