Nimbus: A Magazine of Literature, the Arts, and New Ideas

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Nimbus, a British little magazine of the 1950s, represents part of a rich history of literary magazines that reflect not only the literary, but also the social and political history of England. Nimbus continued as well a tradition of modernism cultivated since World War I, especially by writers of the Bloomsbury group and the Auden generation. Nimbus was among such important little magazines as Encounter, London Magazine, and Poetry (London) edited by such distinguished writers as T. S. Eliot, John Lehmann, and Stephen Spender, that helped set a tone of excellence in the publication of little magazines and were instrumental in changing the mood and direction of modern British literature.

Nimbus: A Magazine of Literature, the Arts, and New Ideas began publication in December 1951 as a quarterly magazine of new writing. Tristram Hull, son of the poet R. F. C. Hull, acted as editor for the magazine's four volumes of thirteen issues. Hull was later joined by co-editors Ivo Jarosy, 1953-1954, and David Wright, 1955-1956. Due to editorial differences between Wright and Hull, Christopher Logue, in 1957, became co-editor with Hull and the name of the magazine was changed to Nimbus: New English Review .

The magazine, published by John Trafford at the Halcyon Press, grew in size, stature, and reputation from a fifteen page experiment into a sixty page provocative venue for new British, Commonwealth, and Continental writing. Nimbus editors rejected strict identification with any one contemporary British literary school, yet often found themselves involved in their debates and controversies. Nimbus attempted to distance itself from such recognized Movement poets as Kingsley Amis. The Movement poets were themselves reacting against the earlier romantic New Apocalypse writers such as George Baker, G. S. Fraser, and Henry Treece. The Movement writers were, in turn, considered by the Maverick poets to be conservative, formalist, and neoclassical.

Among the newer and Maverick writers published in Nimbus were Dannie Abse (also editor of Poetry and Poverty ), Michael Hastings, Patrick Kavanagh, George MacBeth, Colin MacInnes, Vernon Scannell, Stevie Smith, and Alexander Trocchi (also editor of Merlin ). Other distinguished and renowned writers published in Nimbus include W. H. Auden, Bertolt Brecht, Jean Cocteau, Mircea Eliade, T. S. Eliot, Jean Genet, C. G. Jung, Pablo Neruda, and Richard Wilbur. Nimbus ceased publication in 1958 due, it has been suggested, to financial constraints and lack of editorial focus.

For more information about Nimbus see:

Sullivan, Alvin. British Literary Magazines: The Modern Age 1914-1984.

Greenwood Press: New York, 1986.

From the guide to the Nimbus Magazine Records TXRC94-A20., 1945-1962, (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Nimbus Magazine Records TXRC94-A20., 1945-1962 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abse, Dannie person
associatedWith Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973 person
associatedWith Barnes, Djuna person
associatedWith Braybrooke, Neville, 1952- person
associatedWith Brooke, Jocelyn person
associatedWith Dahlberg, Edward, 1900-1977 person
associatedWith Day Lewis, C. (Cecil), 1904-1972 person
associatedWith Dennis, Nigel Forbes, 1912- person
associatedWith Donleavy, J. P. (James Patrick), 1926- person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1899-1965 person
associatedWith Empson, William, 1906- person
associatedWith Hamburger, Michael person
associatedWith Heath-Stubbs, John Francis Alexander, 2918- person
associatedWith Hull, R. F. C. (Richard Francis Carrington), 1913-1974 person
associatedWith Hull, Tristram person
associatedWith Jarosy, Ivo person
associatedWith Kavanagh, Patrick, 1904-1967 person
associatedWith Kops, Bernard, 1926- person
associatedWith Lehmann, John, 1907- person
associatedWith Logue, Christoher, 1926- person
associatedWith MacDiarmid, Hugh, 1892- person
associatedWith MacInnes, Colin person
associatedWith Maugham, W. Womerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965 person
associatedWith Murdoch, Iris person
associatedWith Russell, Peter, 1921- person
associatedWith Scannell, Vernon person
associatedWith Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964 person
associatedWith Smith, Stevie, 1902-1971 person
associatedWith Spender, Stephen, 1909- person
associatedWith Tambimuttu, 1915- person
associatedWith Trocchi, Alexander, 1925- person
associatedWith Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966 person
associatedWith Woodin, Noel, 1929- person
associatedWith Wright, David, 1920- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
English literature--Periodicals
Little magazine--Great Britain
Commonwealth literature (English)
Essays--Translation into English
Poetry--Translation into English
English poetry--20th century--Periodicals

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