This Week's Editorial: 31/7/20



My old English teacher used to talk about a letter written by Samuel Johnson (I think it was by Samuel Johnson) in which he said that he wished that he'd had time to write a little less. Mr Street was very fond of this paradox – he used to present it in the same way that a magician might present a dove – but it wasn't until I was older that I saw the wisdom of it. What one needs, in any endeavour, is time. Of course, you can grab it; you can make it. But the ideal is to have a longish stretch in which you can stop and breathe and, hopefully, see things clearly.


All of which is a long-winded way of saying that, after this week, we are going to appear once a fortnight rather than weekly. This really is a paradox, seeing as, by now, we have many writers, artists and musicians, all banked like planes and waiting to land. We have an encouraging readership, too, and part of me wants to go all-out: to keep producing and producing. I've thought about this, though, and I think that Mr Street was right. I have met, and published, many terrific writers, musicians, composers and artists in a very short space of time. Doing them justice isn't just a matter of throwing their work out there like paper planes. Or of cramming them all in, either. When people say that they've been overwhelmed by a response, I always assume that they mean that they're grateful. But perhaps they also mean that they're struggling a bit. I certainly don't feel like that, but I do want to think carefully about how best to present all the work that we have. 

The bottom line, though, is that I love all the work that we have. Thank you for submitting, and please continue to do so. Thanks, also, to One Hand Clapping's Commissioning Editor, Steve Shepherd, who has gathered and produced some brilliant contributions. He's helped the magazine develop an identity that, we like to think, is very much its own. His new colleague, Art Curator Agnes Marton, will be doing much the same. This week, they have introduced us to the work of Kate Westbrook's The Granite Band and Midori McCabe respectively. Steve has also provided us with a poem. Elsewhere, we have Pema Chödrön; another poem from Neil Astley's Staying Human; poetry from  Louise Peterkin, Fran Lock, Suzanne Lummis, Jim Cory, June Wentland, Mehvash Amin, Sappho (translated by Josephine Balmer), Rebecca Gethin, Louisa Campbell, Ben Morgan, Ali Whitelock and Alice Hiller; stories by S.P. Russell and Franca Mancinelli (translated by John Taylor); Christopher Miller on The Passion of Joan of Arc; the next chapter of Tom Raymond's novella; Brandon Robshaw on etymology; and Noah Rasheta on Buddhism. On this occasion, I really don't wish I could have provided less. We'll see you in a fortnight.