The Chronicle of Higher Education
February 15th, 2015
For years, the undigitized gem of American journals had been Partisan Review. Last year its guardians finally brought it online.
Some of its mystery has been preserved, insofar as its format remains
hard to use, awkward, and hopeless for searches. Even in its new digital
form it retains a slightly superior pose.
The great importance of Partisan Review did not arise
recently from its inaccessibility. The legendary items that first ran in
its pages can be found in any good library, in collections by
contributors who met as promising unknowns: Mary McCarthy, Clement
Greenberg, Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, Elizabeth Hardwick, Leslie
Fiedler, or Susan Sontag. Alongside those novices, PR had the
cream of Europe, in translation or English original: Sartre, Camus, Jean
Genet, Beauvoir; Ernst Jünger, Karl Jaspers, Gottfried Benn; plus T.S.
Eliot, Orwell, Auden, Stephen Spender.