05 December 1920

5 December 1920

Villa Isola Bella, Menton, France

The whole paper needs a stricter form - or could do with one, I feel - a more [stringent] form that is scrupulously adhered to. But I realise the difficulty of this with writers like K.M. & Co who never seem to learn the length of a page. Still they ought to be hauled over the coals. A big nasty cut now & again would larn em.
The front pars are ... not very interesting, are they? They want more diversity. One par one subject. If they run on you might as well have a short article. I think the Science article is valuable. Its a pity it cant be more varied. Where's your medical man the man who wrote about the fatigued frog? Orton ought to be sent a book or two for 1 col reviews, too.
Marginalia is utterly feeble. It had a moment, a little spurt, a few weeks ago but ever since then it has been dead as a nib. 100 years ago is the dustbin, tho, Boge.
If the paper is shorter it wants to be more defined, braced up, tighter.
In my reckless way I would suggest all reviews were signed & all were put into the first person. I think that would give the whole paper an amazing lift up. A paper that length must be definite, personal, or die. It cant afford the "we", "in our opinion". To sign reviews, to put them in the 1st person stimulates curiosity, makes for correspondence, gives it (to be 19-eleventyish) GUTS. You see its a case of leaning out of the window with a board & a nail, or a bouquet or a flag - administering whichever it is & retiring sharp. This seems to me essential. Signed reviews are tonic: the time has gone by for any others. I do wish you could work this. Im sure it would attract the public.
[To J. M. Murry in Collected Letters 5 December, 1920]