Monthly Archives: September 2010

What American modernist mags looked like abroad

Anyone interested in how American modernist magazines were read (and why they were read) in Spain would enjoy a piece by a renowned scholar and translator in the 1910s and 20s, Enrique Díez-Canedo.  He contributed a long review to Ortega’s Revista de Occidente in 1925 called ‘El país donde florece la poesía,” and it only takes high school Spanish to get through all the important parts of it.  Among the reviews he review are: Poetry, Little Review, Others, Contemporary Verse, The Quill, The Lyric West, Palms, and Interludes.  It’s fascinating; he sees some figures whom we know as famous as being important, others as even more deserving of praise whom we mostly ignore (Waldo Frank is in the latter camp, for one).

In Rev de Occ VII:21 (Feb. 1925): [sorry, lost the pg #s, somewhere around 357-62.]  Most university libraries will have this journal; if not, it’s available bound through ILL. It was easily the most influential Hispanophone review of the 20s and 30s.

MagMods Discoveries!

This is the second of what we hope will be many, many more columns.  MagMods Discoveries is dedicated to finding and publicizing relevant periodical-related digital resources already available to the public.  Every year, more and more modern magazines are appearing online, so it becomes hard to keep track of what is out there.  We will be posting discoveries as we find them, but we also would like to know about yours as well.  Please add them in the comments or send us an email using the contact form.

Djuna Barnes Illustration

Love it or hate it or probably both, Google Books has made some amazing material widely accessible for the first time.  The trouble is knowing that it’s there and then using Google Books’ pretty terrible search engine to find something.  I chanced into this find–Volume 2 of the odd but really interesting little magazine Bruno’s Weekly.

Bruno’s Weekly is one of several little magazines created by Guido Bruno in Greenwich Village in the Teens.  Bruno was born in Bohemia in 1884 and moved to the U.S. in 1906.  After starting a few magazines in Chicago, Bruno moved to Greenwich Village in 1913. He rented an apartment above an ice cream shop and turned it into a gallery and gathering place for bohemians. It came to be known as Bruno’s Garrett.  Continue reading

Espresso Book Machine

Pitt just bought one of these, will demonstrate it next week. It sounds pretty amazing, able to print any book for which it has a digital file, in or out of print, in a matter of minutes–all for only $75,000! My questions, of course, are (1) whether copyright is too messy for it to do some titles researchers like us would really need, and (2) if it can re-print periodicals if you were to feed it, say, the digital file of BLAST (I’m dubious on that one).

Espresso Book Machine site

British Vogue in America?

I’m trying to track down a library or book dealer that has holdings of British Vogue in 1925 and 1926.  Richard Aldington wrote a couple of columns in the magazine about modern poetry.  F. S. Flint and T. S. Eliot are mentioned by name, and (fingers crossed) there might be photos of them in the issues.  I like the idea of Flint and Eliot in Vogue.

–James Murphy

MSA Up-Close

MSA Up-Close is a column we will run until the start of the MSA conference in order to give readers more information on periodical studies related panels at the 2010 conferenceWe will be posting paper descriptions, abstracts, and panel descriptions; please make comments and raise questions in the Comments section.  Our seventh column features Susan Solomon’s paper, “Global Networks in The Little Review” (originally titled “Network Analysis in the Humanities” in the MSA Preliminary Program) which she will present as part of the Networks and Little Magazines panel.

“Global Networks in the Little Review,” 12 November 2010, 8:30-10am“Network Analysis in the Humanities”

This paper examines how the Little Review’s editor and contributors relate to the European avant-garde (Futurism) through a diversity of textual and rhetorical forms – like citation, review, translation, and criticism – made possible by the magazine’s multi-voiced and serial form. I consider how these networked engagements constitute or contribute to the developing identities of the magazine and of American modernism(s).

DIY Book Scanner Forum

Since I don’t have ten or fifteen grand sitting around, but I have about three shelf feet of magazines that I want to scan, I’m sending some of my more design oriented students out there to build us an overhead scanner. And it isn’t as tough as it may seem, judging by the DIY Book Scanning Forum.

My periodical studies capstone class needs to scan lots of magazines for The Virtual Newsstand site; if you’ve every tried to scan an old magazine, it quickly becomes clear that the normal flatbed scan is slow, unwieldy, too small,  and more often than not damages the magazine. And the point and shoot digital camera and tripod is little better — all sorts of issues arise, like light source and keeping the pages open. The DIY Book Scanning Forum offers schematics, open source software for synching cameras, suggestions for light settings… anything for turning some plywood or pipes, milk crate and paperbox into a fully functional (relatively) high-volume book scanner.

I’ll let you know how our project comes along…

–David M. Earle

Modiginet seminar under way

The Modernist Digital Networks MSA seminar is ramping up over at http://modiginet.wordpress.com. Until the conference, this is a closed blog: those who have registered for the seminar have been subscribed as authors, but if any members of this community would like to visit and comment, please let me know.

Magazines in Literature

One non-quantitative way to categorize magazines — or, at least, the way people perceived magazines — is to track different instances of magazine reading in literature. Certainly this is highly unscientific but it can give us a way of seeing the work a particular magazine title does in the period. For example, is the magazine placed in an oppositional relationship to the literary work in which it appears? Or not?

This came up because I just finished reading In Cold Blood for fun and periodicals kept popping up. (Periodicals are everywhere now!) So, Perry (one of the killers) is described as being bored by the magazines that the sheriff’s wife gives to him while he is in a holding cell: Good Housekeeping and McCall’s (Vintage 254). In contrast, Mrs. Clutter, one of Perry’s victims, is described as subscribing to Ladies’ Home Journal, McCall’s, Reader’s Digest, and Together: Midmonth Magazine for Methodist Families (30). On a purely simplistic level, this highlights the difference between Perry and Mrs. Clutter; it also shows Perry’s distance from a particular kind of domestic world. It also reveals the kind of women who may be reading these kinds of magazines. There’s actually a ton of reading material in Capote’s book, including an excerpted article from The American Journal of Psychiatry (298) and Doc Savage pulp magazines (306).  In fact, Reverend Post makes a connection between Perry and Doc Savage (who is described as a “fiction hero popular among adolescent readers of pulp magazines a generation ago.”)  The book was serialized in the New Yorker, which also provides a contrast between Capote and the people he writes about. This is a pretty simplistic reading, and I’m sure more interesting things can be done with this.

Similarly, Toomer mentions Literary Digest in the “Kabnis” section of Cane; Halsey (who is a black Southerner) says, “I gets t thinkin. I used to subscribe t th Literary Digest an that helped a bit. But there werent nothing I could sink m teeth int.” Parts of “Kabnis” were published in the little magazine, Broom, so there’s an interplay between those who read Literary Digest and those who read Broom.

I’m sure there are many more examples of magazine reading in literature, so feel free to post them in the comments if you’d like. There’s also a Modernist Journals Project wiki page on this topic.  I think this can give us a way of thinking about perceived readership of the magazines and also give us more information about what work the magazines are doing in the literature.  Eurie.

The British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme: Call for Applications

An interesting call for applications; please don’t be thrown by the  use of ‘pre-modern’ in the grant description, as this is a relatively flexible program.  The EAP will fund projects to preserve all kinds of archives that are in former colonies/the developing world.  This can include archives left by modern/Western [yes, all sorts of problematic terms here] writers, artists, journalists, &c. who may have spent time abroad. Per the current recipient list, this can include places such as Cuba, the former Eastern Bloc, India, and so forth…  JP

The British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme

– Call for applications –

The Endangered Archives Programme at the British Library is now accepting applications for the next round of funding. Detailed information on the timetable, criteria, eligibility and procedures for applying for a grant is available on the Programme’s website. Applications will be accepted in English or in French. The deadline for receipt of preliminary grant applications is 5 November 2010. Continue reading

MSA Up-Close

MSA Up-Close is a column we will run until the start of the MSA conference in order to give readers more information on periodical studies related panels at the 2010 conferenceWe will be posting paper descriptions, abstracts, and panel descriptions; please make comments and raise questions in the Comments section.  Our sixth column features Phyllis Alsdurf’’s paper, “Christianity Today Magazine and the Development of Modern Evangelicalism:  Balancing Ideological Commitments and Journalistic Standards,” which she will present as part of the The Efficacy of Activism in Modernist Magazines panel.

“Christianity Today Magazine and the Development of Modern Evangelicalism: Balancing Ideological Commitments and Journalistic Standards,” 12 November 2010, 10:30am-12pm

This presentation will consider the impact of Christianity Today on an emerging American evangelical consciousness. In particular, it will focus on what internal documents reveal about the intersection of the publication’s strong ideological message with its stated journalistic commitments. While achieving journalistic credibility was important to Graham and other Christianity Today leaders, that credibility was not so much a desirable end in itself as a means to advocating an evangelical ideology.

Alsdurf Abstract