Colin Marshall sits down in Knightsbridge, London with Jacques Testard, founding editor of the quarterly arts journal The White Review. They discuss the re-issue of Nairn’s Towns featuring past guest Owen Hatherley; London’s surprisingly small literary culture and what, before founding The White Review, he didn’t see getting published; the “deeply stereotypical Williamsburg existence” he once lived in New York (in an apartment called “Magicland”, no less); his path from his hometown of Paris to London, and what those cities throw into contrast about each other; the conversations he’s had with his also-bilingual brother about the differences between reading and speaking English and French, and the fact that they can take both languages “on their own terms”; the lack of genre distinctions in the French literary market; the amount of material The White Review publishes in translation; how a 21st-century magazine must, above all else, avoid disposability; the interviews they run, with Will Self and others; a “good writer’s” ability to transcend subject matter; the engagement and/or existence strategies that apply in New York versus those that apply in London; class in Britain as tied to education, and class in America as tied to money; his experience at the Jaipur Literary Festival; and what to expect in The White Review‘s current issue.
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