Culture 31 December 2009 Editorial intelligence The LRB gives up hope on James Wood Print HTML A small, incidental pleasure (among many larger ones) of reading the London Review of Books is the occasional editorial intervention in the "In the next issue" notice on the contents page. In the current edition of the paper, alongside advance warning of pieces by Perry Anderson, David Trotter and James Lever, the editorial voice announces that "We've given up hope of James Wood on Lermontov". I seem to remember Zadie Smith being the object of similar exasperation in the same place a couple of years ago -- and however mild and mock-diffident that exasperation is, I'd have thought the very fact that it's public is a rather effective goad to the recalcitrant, prevaricating writer. That said, the list of contributors on the LRB's website suggests that Smith still hasn't delivered, so clearly the tactic doesn't always work. › Will Brown face one last rebellion? Jonathan Derbyshire is Managing Editor of Prospect. He was formerly Culture Editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe More Related articles Measure for pleasure: sex, money and Shakespeare Baby you’re a rich man: the impossible madness of Paul McCartney’s life Is our obsession with class propping up the powerful?