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Derek Stanford's Copies
[ed. SPARK, Muriel and STANFORD, Derek]

Forum Stories and Poems

London: Forum, 1949-50

2 issues. 24 and 48pp. Stiff paper wrappers. Well preserved, near fine copies.

First editions, all issued. CO-EDITOR AND CONTRIBUTOR DEREK STANFORD'S COPIES, WITH HIS SIGNATURE TO BOTH FRONT WRAPPERS.

Founded by Muriel Spark in 1949 after her departure from Poetry Review, where she was editor, Forum ran for precisely two issues. Spark's loftily prescriptive mission statement in the first issue may have inadvertently identified the problem: 'The gradual disappearance of the narrative poem, to our mind makes it the more important that a narrative prose style, more imaginative and energetic, should develop. We hope to encourage the short story writer to liberate his mind from preconceptions of form, style and subject, believing as we do, that whatever traditional influences are authoritative and vital, will in any case persist. [....] Of the readers, we would ask their tolerance and open-minded interest, and remind them that the success of this magazine will depend upon the support of subscribers.' Forum folded after only two issues, its subscriber list never having made it into three figures.

Spark's close friend Derek Stanford, was a contributor to the first issue, and took up joint editing duties with Spark for the second, he assigned to the poetry and her to the prose. Other contributors included Dannie Abse, Roy Campbell, Henry Treece, Kathleen Raine, Hugo Manning (another close friend) and Denys Val Baker.

A scarce twosome, published seven years before the appearance of Spark's first novel, and from the library of her collaborator on the short-lived project. Scarce, and with impeccable provenance.

£300.00
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