July-August 1999

Over the years we’ve often been told that we should have an editorial in every issue of the NOR. This advice, of course, has come from people who love our editorials. Our practice, however, has been to write an editorial only when there is a major issue to be addressed and when we have time to do it justice. Our editorials thus tend to be lengthy. Were we to have editorials in every issue — were we to write an editorial routinely just to fill a slot in the magazine — our enjoyment in writing them and your enjoyment in reading them might (just might) decrease.

Still, the itch to editorialize comes over us fairly frequently. There are charming or excellent things in other periodicals that merit notice or commendation — as well as ridiculous things that, by definition, deserve to be ridiculed, and other things that beckon various sorts of responses. Also, we meet with puzzlements that provoke comment, have chance encounters that produce insight, hear and see things on the airwaves that sometimes leave us gasping for air. And now and then a notion may strike us out of the blue that calls for a little writing, though not for a proper editorial. So we’ve decided to create a new section that pulls together our brief observations on such things.

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New Oxford Notes: July-August 1999

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