NWR Issue 86


While the mayhem of a busy desk may indicate otherwise, something is starting to take shape. For here, before me, are the first proofs. Ah, proofs! Was there ever a more exacting and inexact definition for it? One thing I learned first to tolerate about this job - and then to love - is the provisional. As little gods we'd style ourselves, us editors. We imagine, we commission. We seek to define, place limits, impose vision. And yet. The deadlines arrive. The magazine is surely and purposefully brought together over the weeks. On the screen, in the grid before us, the words assume their provisional position on the virtual, raw pages. The designer works her magic. The words return, almost - but not quite - fixed. On paper. Proof of some kind. Proofs. And there they wait for us to join them. Our propositions now duly laid to waste, this is where the excitement and vitality of the enterprise truly comes into its own. It has taken me some time but, like most editors, I imagine, I've learned to be in it for the discovery, not the predetermined. Beyond that, what else is there?

Several editions ago, New Welsh Review dispensed with its themed issues. I'd decided that the time was right for a fresh approach. I was looking to embrace an eclectic and ranging sensibility. And I hope readers have enjoyed these new directions. What proved wholly unexpected to me was how keenly a sense of connectedness has continually asserted itself. Again, I read through an issue and am struck by the insistent thematic patternings, echoes and ghostings (of the welcome kind) in these pages. Synchronicity?
Well, if you believe in that sort of thing. Or the impulse to an order that keeps me - us - clear of the chaos? Almost certainly there must be an element of that somewhere. Or, even, serendipity? Well, I'd like to think as much.

But here, in these proofs, whatever the cause may or may not be, I find its perfect expression. For winter, a New Welsh Review that's inhabited by apparitions of the figurative and quite literal variety. A collision of the past and the present. A procession of provisionals. An integrity that insists on itself, despite - or, perhaps, indirectly, because of - my careful planning.


previous editorial: What Kind of Day Has it Been?
next editorial: The Common Reader


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