During the past year, New World Associates were engaged in two major publishing projects to mark the independence of two Caribbean nations: Guyana and Barbados. Two special issues of the Quarterly were the result. We wish here to record a public tribute to George Lamming, our Guest Editor on the two occasions, for the concentrated effort which he put into the making of these two issues.
In the meantime, New World continues to expand as a dynamic intellectual movement in the Caribbean. The Trinidad Group has consolidated itself and has begun to issue Occasional Bulletins dealing with contemporary developments in that parish. A Group has emerged in the parish of Puerto Rico and they are now poised to launch a Spanish version of New World- NUEVO MUNDO. A second pamphlet on civil liberties was issued in February by the Jamaica Group. And so on. There have been reversals, however. The Fortnightly issued in Guyana was transformed into a Monthly and has since gone out of existence. But growth is not a smooth process. And we must be prepared to accept that.
We feel obliged to report that some dissatisfaction has been expressed, in the Movement as well as outside, with the content of recent issues. Some have argued that the Quarterly has “deteriorated” into a purely literal publication; others have lamented the absence of a prescriptive approach to Caribbean problems, and still others have attacked the language and its limited “mass” appeal. There is some merit in most of these comments and we welcome them since they help us to continually redefine our purpose. Part of the problem has been that the circumstances surrounding the publication of the Independence issues were unique. We were operating within limited time constraints and contributors and organizers were widely separated. But that is not all. There can be no doubt that any Movement of this kind will be characterized by such discussion. We are still far from the stage of theology. Therefore, diagnosis must be the order of the day; and we have nothing yet to “move the masses”.
We admit that we failed in our Independence Issues to truly take stock and reflect upon the meaning and significance of constitutional independence in the contemporary Caribbean. But we also recognise that time is essential for reflection. Consequently, we are aiming to continue this exercise in this and forthcoming issues. In this connection, we are grateful to Barry Reckord for his frank criticisms in the comment published in this issue. We invite comments and discussion which will be incorporated into a new section to be designated FORUM.
Production of a magazine of this kind requires flexibility in planning; the voluntary and unremunerative nature of participation makes it difficult to maintain a strict schedule for timing and content. Although there are plans for the content of future issues we are not in a position to make firm promises. We can assure readers, however, that NEW WORLD QUARTERLY will continue its regional stock-taking and diagnosis. With the help of Associates, Subscribers and readers, we hope that the prescriptive stage will soon begin to emerge, however gradually.
Managing Editor: George Beckford
Circulation: Paddy Harrod, Jo Parchment
Treasurer: Owen Jefferson
Editorial Executive: Mervyn Alleyne, Lloyd Best, James Millette, Norman Girvan, Edwin Carrington,
David de Caires, Owen Jefferson, Woodville Marshall, Sandra Holness
Editorial Advisory Board: Woodville Marshall, Clive Thomas, Faith Marshall, Reshard Gool, Wendell McLean, Derek Gordon, Mervyn Morris, George Lamming, Sara Graham