Published  21/07/2012

The uses of literacy

The uses of literacy

Observers and addicts to the London literary scene will in the last few months have witnessed the departure of Ferdy Mount from the editorship of the Times Literary Supplement, at a point where this august journal was at a peak of public support. The former editor of the Times, Peter Stothard, has taken over which shows just how important the TLS remains in the Murdoch stable. Valuable adjuncts such as the poet Hugo Williams are preserved, but for how long, as the formerly academic authorship is gradually joined by glitterati (not Clive James so much as Barry Humphries and 'names')? By contrast the London Review of Books goes still higher up the scale of critical support. And now there is a third literary organ, the Guardian Weekly Review which has, since it first evolved, maintained a remarkably consistent high standard of literary critique and coverage. Who said literary reviews were redundant?

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