About the TLS
March 24, 2016
For over a century, the TLS has been the world’s leading international literary journal.
We may not always have got it right – see, for example, some of the spectacular misjudgements of earlier years, on Eliot’s Prufrock, or Joyce’s Ulysses. But the hits are much more spectacular than the misses. In the course of its history the paper has earned an unrivalled reputation for intellectual rigour, impartiality – and curiosity: a reputation it keeps to this day.
The world may have changed, but not the quality of TLS writers. They come from the world-wide republic of letters, and in the past fifty years, high points have included essays, reviews and poems by Italo Calvino, Patricia Highsmith, Milan Kundera, Philip Larkin, Mario Vargas Llosa, Joseph Brodsky, Susan Sontag, Gore Vidal, Christopher Hitchens, Orhan Pamuk, Martin Amis, Svetlana Alexievich, Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon.
Internationally renowned scholars such as Christopher Ricks, Mary Beard, George Steiner and Claude Rawson rub shoulders in our pages with front-rank novelists such as Julian Barnes, Ali Smith and Joyce Carol Oates; the acclaimed biographers, Hermione Lee and Roy Foster with heavy-hitting philosophers Thomas Nagel, Daniel Dennett and Martha Nussbaum. Groundbreaking scientists such as Richard Dawkins and Tim Flannery make the extraordinary accessible alongside the discoveries of the explorers Redmond O’Hanlon and Robin Hanbury-Tenison. Stefan Collini, Edmund White, Elaine Showalter, Clive James – whom more than one reader has dubbed “the Montaigne of our day” – and A. N. Wilson bring authority and wit and a welcome touch of waspishness to everything they write, not least in the TLS, where they make regular appearances.
Reviewing the books that matter, examining the questions central to our culture, the Lit Supp, as it has been known to generations of readers, provides a unique record of developments in literature, politics, scholarship and the arts, and brings a unique seriousness to bear on the major intellectual debates of our time. The TLS is the only literary weekly – in fact the only journal – to offer comprehensive coverage not just of the latest and most important publications, in every subject, in several languages – but also current theatre, opera, exhibitions and film.
And every week, readers of the TLS will find (as well as new poems, essays, extracts from the most exciting new publications – including fiction – and regular columns) some two-dozen detailed reviews of new books in a wide range of subjects.
If you care about the life of the mind, you will certainly find it indispensable.