In response to:

Don't Sing Your Crap from the February 1, 1963 issue

To the Editors:

I have been, belatedly, introduced to The New York Review of Books, and although it seems likely that a decision on future publication has already been made, I should like to accept your invitation to comment.

A few things displease me: Lionel Abel makes his point about The Screens a few more times than absolutely necessary, and with the heavy-handedness he ascribes to Genet; Auden’s article on David Jones has the air of a borrowed essay-note, so that one wonders whether its inclusion was not dictated by the name of Auden, rather than Anathemata. But these are minor qualifications to a very genuine delight—almost, gratitude—in the general high quality of The Review. The articles are without superciliousness or petty reverence, and there are points made about Albee, Updike and Salinger which I am constrained to find brilliant because I have been making them—irritably, and less succinctly—myself, F. W. Dupee’s discussion of Baldwin is “unexceptionably first-rate.”

Certainly there must be an adequate audience for a book review of this quality in America. The only question is whether, in America, printing costs could be met until that audience is found, and whether, once the strike is off, the publishers will wish to support a journal which is not likely to create as many bestsellers as The Times. In both cases, I sincerely hope so, and I wish you luck. I should very much like to be advised if you do find it possible to continue publishing, and would with pleasure do any more or less organized spreading of the word in upper New York state.


Binghamton, N. Y.

This Issue

June 1, 1963