MODERN REVIEW: AN EXPERT’S VIEW - Marcus Vinton enjoys the strangely timeless appeal of the new Modern Review

It’s been a decade of considerable change. The thoroughly modern Mr Blair and the Gallagher brothers aren’t representative of Harold Wilson’s old guard but, instead, have become icons of the new, improved Labour Party. We have also discovered food - from the ever so cool couscous to the retro chic of prawn cocktail.

It’s been a decade of considerable change. The thoroughly modern Mr

Blair and the Gallagher brothers aren’t representative of Harold

Wilson’s old guard but, instead, have become icons of the new, improved

Labour Party. We have also discovered food - from the ever so cool

couscous to the retro chic of prawn cocktail.



Baudrillard calls this ’the process of reversal’. A point at which

modernity has splintered into recurrence. The nearer the end we come,

the more we feel the need to perfect the past. I suppose it should come

as no surprise that the Modern Review has also undergone a

transmogrification and reappeared.



As we enter the ’post-Diana age’, the Modern Review promises it will

’address the nature of this modernity, its identity, its distinguishing

marks’.



And all very worthy that sounds. Under the deluge of new titles,

pornography mascarading as new laddism and the proliferation of anal

lifestyle supplements, the Modern Review stands out as refreshing in an

old sort of way.



The model is similar to that of the New Yorker, featuring screen, book,

music, TV and media reviews, but the similarity ends there. The writing

is juicy and at times wonderfully savage. The launch issue offers a

controversial piece on Julie Burchill’s abortions. There’s ’Victoria’s

secret’ - not the latest US lingerie, but the suspect poshness of Posh

Spice. It looks at political difficulty and confusion over the

’muddle-nium’ dome. I speed read dozens of magazines every month for my

fix of pics and info, but the Modern Review’s restrained and uncluttered

art direction is calm and inviting. In fact it’s almost old fashioned.

How very modern.