Karl Miller

The Arts Council is weeding its garden. It is taking steps, as many institutions have had to do over the last few years, to effect economies and redundancies. Operas, orchestras, spectacles for the wealthy, as they might sourly be described, are unlikely to be much affected. But there are small papers, including this one, for which the small steps in question will seem like giant steps, for which they may spell the end of the road. We have been very grateful for the Arts Council’s encouragement. Together with the tremendous support which we have received from publishers, it has enabled us to build up a satisfactory circulation in the course of our five years’ existence, and to look forward to a further two-year period by the end of which we hoped to be in profit. If this public funding is to stop, we shall have to see whether we must do the same. This money is not all there is to our existence even as a commercial concern, but it matters.

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[*] Penguin, 267 pp., £2.95, 1984, 0 14 006 415 X.