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New Writing

New Writing, New Verse, Folios of New Writing, Daylight, New Writing and Daylight, Penguin New Writing

a periodical founded in 1936 by John Lehmann. Although Lehmann stated in the first issue that New Writing ‘is first and foremost interested in literature and is independent of any political party’, its opposition to fascism made it hospitable to writers well known for their socialist convictions; poetry by Stephen Spender, C. Day Lewis, and W. H. Auden appeared and early issues included prose by Edward Upward and Rex Warner. Regarding New Verse as the primary forum for poetry, Lehman was predominantly concerned with publishing fiction and documentary articles in New Writing; George Orwell, V. S. Pritchett, Christopher Isherwood, Virginia Woolf, and E. M. Forster were notable contributors, who also included numerous foreign authors: work by Jean Paul Sartre and Federico Garcia Lorca appeared, and Mulk Raj Anand was among the writers from various parts of the Commonwealth who were featured. In 1940 the title was changed to Folios of New Writing, announced as ‘a laboratory where the writers of the future may experiment’; a decline in the level of interest became apparent until 1942, when the moribund Daylight was incorporated to form New Writing and Daylight, which continued until 1946. In addition to new fiction, the regular ‘reports from the front’ restored the journal's documentary aspect; articles by Raymond Williams, Philip Toynbee, and Arthur Koestler contributed to the articulate commitment to humanist values maintained throughout the war. From 1940 to 1950 Lehmann also edited Penguin New Writing, which appeared as a quarterly paperback; editions of up to 100,000 copies were sold within weeks of publication. Penguin New Writing originally consisted chiefly of material from New Writing, but increasingly published new work by British, European, American, and Commonwealth authors.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: New from Tartary to Frank O'connor