Monthly Archives: September 2012

New Book on Transnational Modernism in a Periodical Context

One of the least tapped into but most exciting aspects  periodicals studies can play in literary history is the power of the magazine to create links across national literatures.  Modernist studies has been talking about transnational turn for the past decade, but transnationalism remains better theorized than actualized, which is why it’s so exciting to see that Gayle Rogers’Modernism and the New Spain Modernism and the New Spain:  Britain, Cosmopolitan Europe, and Literary History (Oxford University Press) is available now.  Rogers draws heavily on modernist magazines like The Criterion and the Revista de Occidente in order to uncover a long obscured history of collaboration that contributed to the mutual constitution of modernism in Spain and Britain.

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New Anthology on Making Magazines

Columbia UP has just published a new anthology on editing magazines, The Art of Making Magazines: On Being an Editor and Other Views from the Industry.  While it’s about contemporary magazines, it will likely hold some interest for those interested in the ways magazines are mad and work.  Here’s a list of the contents:

Essays include: “Talking About Writing for Magazines (Which One Shouldn’t Do)” by John Gregory Dunne; “Magazine Editing Then and Now” by Ruth Reichl; “How to Become the Editor in Chief of Your Favorite Women’s Magazine” by Roberta Myers; “Editing a Thought-Leader Magazine” by Michael Kelly; “Fact-Checking at The New Yorker” by Peter Canby; “A Magazine Needs Copyeditors Because . . . .” by Barbara Walraff; “How to Talk to the Art Director” by Chris Dixon; “Three Weddings and a Funeral” by Tina Brown; “The Simpler the Idea, the Better” by Peter W. Kaplan; “The Publisher’s Role: Crusading Defender of the First Amendment or Advertising Salesman?” by John R. MacArthur; “Editing Books Versus Editing Magazines” by Robert Gottlieb; and “The Reader Is King” by Felix Dennis

 

Drum Magazine slide show

There’s a nice slide show essay on Drum Magazine’s coverage of township life under apartheid in South Africa at the NY Times website.  It’s inspired by a show opening Sept 14 at the International Center for Photography in Manhattan, “Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life.”

Enough Blast Already, or Magazine Networks Matter

Bookslut recently posted a piece by Greer Mansfield praising the Modernist Journals Project and modernist little magazines. “We Will Convert the King if Possible: The Greatness of Little Magazines” is an interesting read.  It’s more evidence of the reach of little magazines and the MJP beyond academia and the uses to which they can be put.  Mansfield (a nice name for someone writing about modernist magazines!) uses the discussion as an occasion to blast the parochialism and homogeneity of what he calls “American book-chat culture.”

What is striking in these old Modernist magazines, aside from the roll call of their famous contributors? Mainly that they have very little in common with prominent literary magazines in today’s English-speaking world. There is no gee-whiz tweeness (surely you can find your own examples without too much trouble), no senile genteelism (ditto), no forced jokiness, no desperation on the part of the authors to prove that they’re good guys and gals who aren’t necessarily smarter than anyone else and maybe want to be your best friend.

I wonder if the “niceness” of contemporary literary magazine/blog culture is any less desperate than or even all that different from the combativeness of modernism, since both can be diagnosed as simply playing the rules of the game in the struggle for cultural and symbolic capital, etc.  But that isn’t the subject of this post.

What interests me is the reference to the “famous contributors” above and below: Continue reading