Thursday, March 29, 2012


POINTS 9 was published in late winter-early spring of 1951.  Sindbad Vail’s introductory notes make no mention of POINTS 8 or the outcome of the second literary contest.  Some of the content of POINTS 8 is discussed in the new “Letters to the Editor” section including a short story by Brendon Behan, possibly AFTER THE WAKE, that would be included in the short story anthology that Vail would publish in 1955.  The back cover noted a change in the associate editor position, now held by Michael Johnson.


Notes by the Editor

With this issue of POINTS we start our third year. We have this time only three short stories in English. There seems to be a lamentable lack of talent in this particular literary field. We hope with Spring coming that young writers will feel more inspired and that they will send us more and better material. However we think that the storiepublished in this issue are really good.

In a previous number we asked for love stories and received sestories. This time we are asking for sex stories hoping to get love stories. Also we arc in the market for humourous stories. Good funny stories have been written before (e. g. Ring Lardner, James Thurber), We are also in the market for essays on literary subjects of generainterest and travel reportage. The latter is a form which does not appear to come easily to young writers. One receives either glorified Baedeker or journalism. There are any amount of ways of writing reportage while avoiding these pitfalls, (e,g, D. H. Lawrence, Freya Stark, Peter Fleming, Evelyn Waugh, Christopher Isherwood or even Hemingway).

As promised in the last issue we are starting a "Letters to the Editor" section. We hope that more readers will avail themselves of thiopportunity to air their views.

Our next issue will be coming out in May. We remind readers that
subscriptions are more than welcome. A little magazine is supposeto exist on them.


POINTS 9 featured a single advertisement in the back pages, perhaps some of the competing small magazines were reluctant to advertise or as intimated in the Hudson Review article had ceased to exist.

The subscription information page listed a half dozen outlets in the UK where POINTS could be purchased.  Earlier issues had mentioned that the Gotham Book Mart in New York carried the journal.  In Paris POINTS could be purchased from newsstands as well as bookshops that catered to English publications.

 Tucked inside of POINTS 9 was a notice of the meeting of the “AMERICAN STUDENTS’ AND ARTISTS’ CENTER” to discuss John Steinbeck.  The new associate editor of POINTS, Michael Johnson, led the discussion.

The contents of POINTS 9 included previous contributors as well as some new faces:

SINDBAD VAIL – Notes by the Editor
JOHN SYMONDS – From the Scrap-book of Gregory Jendrick
JEAN FERRON – A Endymion
RUTH OLDSHAM – The Supervisor
DEREK STANFORD -  The Poetic Drama of Christopher Fry
JEAN-PIERRE VIVET – Le Cinéma français depuis la guerre
JOHN HOWARD – Self-Immolation on Credit
D. JON GROSSMAN – Book Review: Selected Writings of Guillaume Apollinaire
D. JON GROSSMAN – Book Review: The Collected later Poems of William Carlos Williams
HERB GOLD – Book Review: The Death of a Salesman
ALBERT STRIDSBERG – Book Review: A Family Romance
ALBERT STRIDSBERG – Book Review: A Diary of Love
MARCEL BISIAUX – Nos Lecteurs nous écrivent

JEAN FERRON: 25, French. Was a pupil of Jean-Louis Curtis (Prix Goncourt) and has never before been published. Is at present livinin Africa where he is working for the Colonial Administration.

FRANÇOIS GILLET: 22, Swiss Lives in Lausanne. Has made several translations from German and has published poems and articles in Swiss reviews, this is his first short story to be published.

PATRICK GREER : 34, Irish. Formerly an actor. Has published in New Writing and broadcast for Radio Eirann. Has just finished a novewhich he hopes to have published this Summer. At present teaching in a private school in Paris.

JOHN HOWARD : 24 English, Painter and writer at present living in Paris. This is the first time he has published in France. Is working on translations of French short stories for publication in England.

RUTH OLDSHAM : Young American of unknown age last seen headinin a southerly direction about a year ago.

DEREK STANFORD : English. Has written a book on the work of Christopher Fry which is being published in London this Spring by Peter Nevill. Has published a book of verse, "Music for Statues" (Routledge, 1948), critical essays, "The Freedom of Poetry" (Fulern Press, 1948), an edition of Thackery's "English Humourists" (Grey Walls Press 1949), and co-edited and introduced, in co-operation with Muriel Spark, "Tribute to Wordsworth" (Wingate, 1950). His edition of the poems of George Darley is at present being publisheby the Grey Walls Press.

ALBERT STRIDSBERG : 21. American. At present studying French Literature at Tours on a Fulbright Scholarship.

JEAN-PIERRE VIVET : 25, French, Is a journalist by profession and cinema critic of France-Dimanche, Combat and L'Observateur. Is at present writing a novel.

Derek Stanford
Poet, critic and former lover of Muriel Spark

            Simon Jenner
            The Guardian, Wednesday 25 March 2009

Derek Stanford was born in Lampton, Middlesex.
Photograph: Chris Ware/Keystone Press

The poet and critic Derek Stanford, who has died aged 90, had reasons to be grateful to the novelist Muriel Spark, his one-time lover, but her characterisation of him as the fifth-rate, pushy writer Hector Bartlett in A Far Cry from Kensington (1988) was not among them. Nor were her pronouncements on his 1963 work, Muriel Spark: A Biographical and Critical Study. "If Mr Stanford had applied to me," she wrote, "I would have advised against this undertaking."
But, 50 years after they parted, his poems seemingly inspired by the affair appeared in the Times Literary Supplement (TLS) for several years, conjuring up too the doomed 1890s poets he identified with and championed.
Born in Lampton, Middlesex, Stanford was educated at the Latymer upper school, Hammersmith, west London, after which his father compelled him into a lawyer's office. During the second world war, as a concientious objector, he served in the Non-Combatant Corps. In 1946 he emerged in print with his lifelong friend the poet John Bayliss in a two-hander volume, A Romantic Miscellany. His solo debut, Music for Statues (1948), was praised in the TLS. Many critics over the years agreed with this view. Geoffrey Grigson promoted him in Poetry of the Present (1949). Later, The Traveller Hears the Strange Machine: New and Selected Poems 1946-79 (1980) was praised by the poet Robert Nye - "a few dozen lines likely to survive ... as long as English poetry is read."
Spark entered Stanford's life in the late 1940s when he asked for work at the Poetry Society, where she was secretary and ran the Poetry Review. When she was ousted soon afterwards, he organised a protest reading, and then petitioned TS Eliot and Graham Greene for money on her behalf when she collapsed after using the appetite suppressant Dexedrine. Spark's autobiography Curriculum Vitae (1992) later claimed that her literary success made Stanford ill, but then, his success on her behalf made her well.
Stanford's The Freedom of Poetry (1947) was the first thorough critique of the 1940s, and a trendsetter. Well-received, his John Betjeman: A Study (1961), the first-ever monograph on Betjeman, was denounced by the author. His collaborations with Spark focused on Romantic poets, but Stanford's own criticism started impressively with a 1951 appreciation of Christopher Fry, whom he had met in the corps, and moved on to Eliot, the poets of the 1930s, and Dylan Thomas. He focused on the 1890s, and the condemned playground of 1940s Soho, for the rest of his career.
He produced Aubrey Beardsley's Erotic Universe in 1967, while he was teaching at North Foreland girls' school in Hampshire (1962-68) and the City Literary Institute in London. Stanford once described himself as "a sceptical, sprightly Cavalier". Such sympathies invoke those mainly Catholic converts he caused to be reappraised, who included the alcoholic Lionel Johnson and the tubercular Ernest Dowson. But the multi-tasking, longlived 1890s critic Arthur Symons is the writer Stanford deserves to be measured against. These studies of the fin de siècle, along with his memoir Inside the Forties (1977) - deftly respectful to and gossipy about Spark - are his best-remembered prose.
Stanford exhibited a technophobia which extended to cars and typewriters. He found happiness with two wives, both poets, who both typed to dictation. The first, Margaret Holdsworth, wrote as Margaret Philips. After her death, he married Julie Whitby, who survives him.
Derek Stanford, poet and critic, born 11 October 1918; died 19 December 2008

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