It’s a shame about the silly name, but with writing by the likes of William Boyd, Nicholas Hytner, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Leith and Francis Stonor Saunders, this is a real gemA confession: I have never read an issue of Areté, the literary magazine edited by Craig Raine. I have a problem: its name. From the ancient Greek for virtue, or excellence. I mean, why not put more people off and use the Greek letters? So when its editor pressed this selection from its contents over the last, or first, 13 years of its existence on me in the course of a rather one‑sided correspondence, I felt rather burdened; and not least because the book is printed on some kind of paper that would appear to be as dense as sheet steel.However, after a while I found that Mr Raine was pushing at an open door. Once I had done my exercises and was strong enough to pick the book up, I found wonders. Areté’s editorial brief is simple: they publish anything they like. Raine being pretty well-connected as these things go, this means he can draw on a large pool of talent; having experienced his powers of persuasion at first …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books