Progress on the intellectual front

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Apr 16 06:43:45 MDT 2003

Chronicle of Higher Education, Wednesday, April 16, 2003

'Partisan Review' Folds After 68 Years of Publication

Partisan Review, once the nation's preeminent journal of culture and
politics, has folded after 68 years of publication. Its most recent
issue, released on Monday, will be its last.

The future of the quarterly journal, which is published at Boston
University, was up in the air after the death of its cofounder and
editor, William Phillips, in September 2002. Its heyday had clearly
passed, and some critics described it as moribund.

Since Mr. Phillips's death, Boston University has had the controlling
interest in Partisan Review, but it is financed largely by contributions
from members of its advisory board.


"It was a great magazine with a splendid history, and it was magnificent
to have a leftist critique of Stalinism when Stalinism was still alive,"
said Mr. Silber. "Phillips had been able to keep the vitality of the
magazine going on long after afterwards, but after 1990 and perestroika
and Gorbachev, there was a kind of aimlessness, and it no longer had any
kind of focus."

The news of the journal's demise came as a surprise to Morris Dickstein,
a contributing editor and director of the Institute of Humanities at
City University of New York. "It is no longer at the center of American
high culture, but neither is any quarterly," said Mr. Dickstein. "The
age of the quarterly has passed."

"A lot of what was pioneered by Partisan Review became the stock in
trade of The New Republic, The New York Review of Books," and other
publications that pay more and provide greater exposure, Mr. Dickstein
said. "In part it was killed by its success as the style of the New York
intellectuals became more widely dispersed."

"It's still a great name," said Mr. Silber. "I hope we can revive it."


Recent items from the PR archives:

Norman Podhoretz, "Our" Country? "Our" Culture?

Hilton Kramer, Mainly about the New York Times

Conor Cruise O'Brien, America Leads, but Will Europe Follow?


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