The Times Literary Supplement

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The Times Literary Supplement
Editor Stig Abell
Categories Literature, current affairs
Frequency 50 per year
Publisher News UK
Year founded 1902
Country United Kingdom
Based in London
Language English
Website the-tls.co.uk
ISSN ‹See Tfm›0307-661X

The Times Literary Supplement (or TLS, on the front page from 1969) is a weekly literary review published in London by News UK, a subsidiary of News Corp.

History[edit]

The TLS first appeared in 1902 as a supplement to The Times, but became a separate publication in 1914. Many distinguished writers have been contributors, including T. S. Eliot, Henry James, and Virginia Woolf, but reviews were normally anonymous until 1974. From 1974, signed reviews were gradually introduced during the editorship of John Gross.

This aroused great controversy at the time. “Anonymity had once been appropriate when it was a general rule at other publications, but it had ceased to be so,” Gross said. “In addition I personally felt that reviewers ought to take responsibility for their opinions.”

Martin Amis was a member of the editorial staff early in his career. Philip Larkin's poem Aubade, effectively his final poetic work, was first published in the Christmas-week issue of the TLS in 1977. While it has long been regarded as one of the world's pre-eminent critical publications, its history is not without gaffes. For instance, the publication missed James Joyce entirely[citation needed] and commented only negatively on Lucian Freud from 1945 until 1978, when a portrait of his appeared on the cover.[1]

Its editorial offices are based in The News Building, London. The current editor is Stig Abell. He succeeded Peter Stothard in 2016.[2]

In recent decades, the TLS has included essays, reviews and poems by John Ashbery, Italo Calvino, Patricia Highsmith, Milan Kundera, Philip Larkin, Mario Vargas Llosa, Joseph Brodsky, Gore Vidal, Orhan Pamuk, Geoffrey Hill, and Seamus Heaney, among others.[3]

Many writers have described the publication as indispensable. For example, prize-winning Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa said: “I have been reading the TLS since I learned English 40 years ago. It is the most serious, authoritative, witty, diverse and stimulating cultural publication in all the five languages I speak.”

In literature[edit]

The Times Literary Supplement has appeared in works of fiction. One of the most backhanded of such mentions appears in the English translation of Samuel Beckett's novel Molloy (1953), in which Molloy relates that:

... in winter, under my greatcoat, I wrapped myself in swathes of newspaper, and did not shed them until the earth awoke, for good, in April. The Times Literary Supplement was admirably adapted to this purpose, of a neverfailing toughness and impermeability. Even farts made no impression on it.

Another example is in George Orwell's Keep the Aspidistra Flying, in which the central character Gordon Comstock's collection of poetry was reviewed by the "Times Lit. Supp.".

Editors[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "20.07.11 London W11," Times Literary Supplement, July 29, 2011: 3.
  2. ^ Greenslade, Roy (2016-02-12). "Sun managing editor Stig Abell to become editor of the TLS". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-05-25. 
  3. ^ TLS writers past and present, Times of London, n.d. Archived May 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.

Further reading[edit]

  • Derwent May Critical Times: The History of the "Times Literary Supplement", 2001, Harper Collins, ISBN 0-00-711449-4 - The official history

External links[edit]