Tuesday 6 December 2016

The Cambridge Humanities Review

For less than the price of twenty cigarettes you can take out an annual subscription to the Cambridge Humtnities Review, a journal of literary and intellectual essays. It's a handsome production:

© The Cambridge Humanities Review

The CHR, edited by Daniel Mattore, aims to revive the spirit of the Cambridge Review, a publication which originally ran from 1879 to 1998 and featured writing by an illustrious cohort of contributors including Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Michael Oakeshott, Clive James, Simon Schama, and John Rawls.

Contributors to its successor, no less illustrious, have included Lord Rowan Williams, Professor David Runciman, Paul Cartledge, Sarah Symmons, Judith Turner, Lord Maurice Glasman, and (oh dear) Alastair Campbell.

The CHR was established in 2012 as (to quote from their website) 'an independent journal of literary essays and reviews written by academics, students, and a range of other wriiters. It covers the latest in literature, art architecture, critical writing, and academic monographs, as well as including photo-essays and other kinds of essayistic work'.

Not completely comfortable with 'essayistic' but that quibble aside the CHR is clearly a Good Thing, and a real bargain.

The journal bears the motto of the University 'hinc lucem et pocula sacra'  (from here we draw light and sacred draughts). Sacred draughts are always beneficial so I didn't hesitate to splash out the eight quid it costs to subscribe. If you visit their website you can also find a useful house style guide, which deserves wider circulation - it brims with clarity and good sense.

The current issue has a photo-essay by Judith Turner about the late Zaha Hadid and reviews of (inter alia) Paul Kingsnorth''s fine novel The Wake and the Collected Poems of Stevie Smith..All good.


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