Author Archives: Michael Rozendal

I highly recommend this site that I just (belatedly, apparently) found out about over the RSAP-Listserv. It’s an updated address for Ellen Garvey’s collection of resources, full of tasty possibilities.

Small press and Zine resources

I’ve been coming across a few resources from the late 20th century that resonate with modernist magazine concerns. Here are a couple of Counterculture and Punk resources that may strike your fancy.

For a ’68 take on little journals, here is the first paragraph from the Douglas Blazek review “THE little PHENOMENA” (reprinted in The Portable Sixties Reader 267ff)
“Literature is now a wheel of fire and it’s burning a new cycle into the skulls of more people than ever before—mostly young people who first heard of gas chambers instead of jolly ice cream cones and ferris wheels. There is more direct communication, more involvement in life, more concern for the acts & paths of man in literature than ever before & 90% of this fire is located in the little magazines & small press publications that slither out of ungodly mimeos & bread-sucking offsets & even out of a few ambitious speed-veined hand letterpresesses”

Some of broadsides, manifestos, leaflets, and publications are available through the Digger Archives online.

Pushing forward to Punk subculture, there are quite a few of zines in the Punk Zine Archive, though most of these are dealing directly or indirectly with the music and scene. It has some pretty extensive runs of several of these publications.

If you’re interested in checking out a good recent zine and perhaps bringing it into your classes, I’ve been enjoying Erick Lyle’s On The Lower Frequencies: A Secret History of the City which gathers pieces on San Francisco from his zines including Scam which has recently had its first four issues reprinted by Microcosm.

Reading Catherine Keyser’s Playing Smart: The Limits of Irony?

The third installment of the MagMods book club comes from Michael Rozendal, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Language at the University of San Francisco.  His research focuses on the overlap between modernist and proletarian writers in the print culture of the 1930s.  His recent work has  focused on the institutionalization of these radicalisms in the late thirties and has incorporated teaching about the literary subcultures of San Francisco.

It has been a pleasure to read Catherine Keyser’s exploration of the development of smart interwar magazines as a liberating yet deeply problematic cultural formation.  She explores the ways that this gendered nexus of wit and physical polish, independence and conspicuous consumption offers increasingly public spaces for writers like Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dorothy Parker, and other figures who have been largely dismissed from canonical narratives for falling too far into the popular.  Keyser’s account of these authors’ self-awareness at this crux of often conservative gender roles and personal celebrity is striking, but for this post I am most interested in exploring the later developments of the thirties/early forties that she explores in her chapter on Mary McCarthy.  In what ways is the thirties a horizon to smartness?  Is it the waning of the promise of liberation through urbane performance?  Is it the hardening of gendered hierarchies in the magazines? Is it the shift from the flapper to the gun Moll that David Earle sketched at the MSA? Is it the dispersal of irony as a general postmodern stance (as Daniel nods toward in his post)?  Is it the institutionalization of the “middlebrow” magazines? Continue reading

MagMods Discoveries!

This is the first 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, which is wonderful for the field, but it also means that it becomes harder 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 with links in the comments or use the contact form.

Liberator (1918-1924) scans

Here’s  a resource that may be of interest–the Marxist Internet Archive has digitized part of the run of The Liberator which succeeded The Masses.  The coverage of 1918 is best here, rather spotty after that.  The page closes with cover images and tables of content for Workers Monthly (1924-27) which succeeded Liberator.