The second issue of POINTS was published in April-May of 1949. POINTS 2 offered a balance of short stories and poems in French and English, a format that had been established with the first issue that hopefully would find an audience in France and abroad in England and America where primary distribution points had been established.
Commentary © James A. Harrod, COPYRIGHT PROTECTED; ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The end papers of POINTS 2 announced a contest with a prize purse that the editors hoped would attract attention from young writers with talent.
In order to stimulate the short story, "POINTS" is organizing
a contest, for the best short story, in both the English and French
languages. The prize will be 10,000 francs. Two "five men"
committees (one French, the other Anglo-American) will Judge
and choose the stories.
"POINTS" cordially invites all young writers to submit short
stories for this contest. All stories must be sent in not later than
July 14, 1949, and clearly marked "contest". The prize stories
will appear in " POINTS " No 4, in September 1949.
The stories submitted can range in length from 1,500 to 5,000
« POINTS » organise un concours de la meilleure nouvelle en
langue francaise et en langue anglaise. Deux jurys, l’un francais,
1'autre anglo-americain, composes chacun de cinq membres, decer-
neront chacun un prix de 10.000 francs.
Les nouvelles doivent etre envoyées avant le 14 juillet 1949 et
doivent porter la mention « concours ». Les nouvelles couronnées
par les jurys seront publiées dans 1c numero 4 de « POINTS », en
La longueur des textes devra, approximativement etre de dix
N.B. — Un prochain numéro sera uniquement consacré à des textes
d'épouvante et de terreur.
Sindbad Vail's comments in his "Notes by the Editor" introduction to POINTS 2 allude to the motivation for the contest.
It is with great pleasure that the Editor of the English section
of "POINTS" presents the 2nd number of the magazine. Some
harsh critics, after reading the 1st issue, were all for scrapping the
enterprise and advising the undersigned to go hack to whatever he
was doing before. It would be untruthful for the editor to say that
he was not at the time vastly discouraged and pessimistic, perhaps
almost resigned to follow those morbid counsels. Fortunately, other
people, less sneering, more cheerful, in other words happier sorts
cheered us up. This editor is the first to admit that the contents of
"POINTS" 1 were not of the highest quality nor of brilliant origi-
nality. Then so what ? The whole point of "POINTS" was lost
or, rather, unexplained in the 1st issue. This magazine is devoted
almost entirely to young writers who so far have had very little
opportunity to be published, and therefore, naturally enough, the
first number did not contain any material of breathtaking quality.
Did some people expect as to find new Hemingways and Faulkners
right off the bat? Who knows perhaps in twenty years, some of
our contributors may be what the former are today. "POINTS"
wants to-give the young writer of today a break. We do not want
to publish left-overs from the arrived. If occasionally, we receive
a good text from an established writer, it would not be refused, but
then we would really have to like it, and I mean that. I'll say
straight off that I'd publish a "medium" article from an unknown
before I would a "bad" one from a known.
"We now arrive to the second point of "POINTS". Apart from
encouraging young writers (a naive and most ignoble waste of time,
as some people have already told me, for they added, and they
were all over forty, there are no good young writers today), what
is the object of "POINTS"? Are we futuristic, surrealistic, arriére-
garde, avant-garde even existentialist or even nihilistic, classical,
baroque, psychological, inhibited, uninhibited, amorous, virtuous,
pedantic, pederastic, do we believe in any isms, asms, or perhaps
spasms, etc., etc. Enough cracks. "POINTS" follows no special
line, and we stick by that. All that one has to do to be printed is
to write something that the editors like. Any subject can be chosen,
anyone can be imitated or one can even be original. It is hard for
some people to realize, especially smart-aleck Americans in Paris
today, that such a magazine can exist. It is particularly hard to
believe for the "Florists and Montanians", as some of them have
extra-inflated egos, wish to believe that they are in Paris for some
reason, and virtuously think that a magazine must follow some
bright new modern creed, boring or otherwise.
It has also been said that it was a great mistake to make
"POINTS" a bilingual magazine. "We feel on the contrary that
this is not the case. "We wish to appeal to those people who like
to read both languages, we do not want to isolate ourselves and cater
only to those who read solely their native tongue. "We feel there is
a certain public that desires to read a magazine in two languages.
It is presumed that the Americans and English living in France are
learning French and even wish to read it as well as their native
language, and it is a known fact that many Frenchmen are keen
to read English and thus become better acquainted with it. This is
one of the main reasons why "POINTS" was ever started.
In this issue, the editor will not discuss the writers or their
works. Obviously various readers will like or dislike certain arti-
cles and short stories. There is one article I do want to mention
though. It is Stanley Geist's "Memoirs of a Paris Tourist 1947".
I've been told that this article is outdated. That, no doubt, is open
to discussion. But I honestly believe that this article is so well
written, so intelligent (and that so much of it still holds true today)
that from the literary point of view, the two years lapse is un-
The two editors wish to congratulate Roy Bongartz whose " The
End Begins in About Five Minutes ", which appeared in the first
number of "POINTS", has been printed in the April number of
Cyril Connolly's " Horizon ".
The contents of POINTS 2 offered another group of relatively unknown writers.
Sindbad Vail – Notes by the Editor
Henri Thomas – La Barque
Lester Mansfield – Here, Pretty Kitty
Noel Devaulx – Gorreker
Gordon Sager – The Folly of old Age
Hans Ruch – Une vie de chat
James McGovern – Nickel Bar of Soap
Armen Lubin – Poémes
James Blair – Doctor Smith’s Last Patient
Marthe Robert – Les Intrus / La Grille / Le Cirque
Stanley Geist – Memoirs of a Tourist, Paris 1947
Michel Forstetter – Gouache
Howard Simpson – It’s lime
Elliot Silverstein – The Silent
Felisberto Hernandez – Chez les Autres
Lionel Abel – The Eternal Type
G.-H. Bougeant – Des Bois d’Amour
Gaston Gaoua – Sébastien Velpuche