The Times Literary Supplement is a leading publication in the field of literary culture, including sections for fine writing, incisive debate and literary discoveries. It reviews books that are creating headlines and has often succeeded in discovering literary geniuses before they became household names. Covering almost every genre that exists- from philosophy and politics to religion and cinema, the readers of this vastly popular paper get to read some of the best articles on their favourite subjects. TLS sets the framework and standards for quality in literary criticism and is written with a kind of scholarly yet lively authority.
Since 1902 when it appeared as a supplementary publication to The Times, the Times Literary Supplement has analyzed, dismembered, admired, and sometimes scorned, the work of the twentieth century’s prominent authors and thinkers. Many of those same authors and thinkers have been significant contributors to TLS – T.S. Eliot, Mavis Gallant, Virginia Wolfe and many others. Though reviews were initially written anonymously, gradually, under the editorship of John Gross, they grew to be signed. “Anonymity had once been appropriate when it was a general rule at other publications, but it had ceased to be so,” Gross said. “In addition I personally felt that reviewers ought to take responsibility for their opinions.”
The Lit Supp, as it has been lovingly called by generations of faithful readers, delivers a unique documentation of developments in literature, politics, scholarship and the arts, while also discussing questions that are central to the culture of the world. Since TLS is the only literary weekly – in fact the only journal – to offer wide-ranging coverage not just of the latest and most important publications, in every subject, in several languages – but also current theatre, opera, exhibitions and film, it’s reader base continues to expand each day.
As the journal proudly states on its website, “If you care about the life of the mind, you will certainly find it (TLS) indispensable.” And that, is something no one will ever contest.
By Sanjana Ahuja