Category Archives: Publications

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.

Scholes and Wulfman in Harpers

Robert Scholes and Clifford Wulfman’s Modernism in the Magazines makes a powerful case for reading beyond the little magazine in order to understand modernism.  It’s fitting, then, that one of the few extant mainstream magazines to feature modernist writers, Harpers, returns the favor in its latest issue with a review of the book.

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 Bookclub Begins!

The Magazine Modernisms blog is pleased to inaugurate our first book club event.  Several times a year we will be selecting new publications in the field of modern periodical studies and inviting contributors to post on the book.  These posts are not intended to be reviews of the book so much as provocative comments and questions, the kind you might raise in a seminar.  We would, in fact, like the book club to work like an on-line seminar, so please comment on the posts and keep the conversation going.  For this first run of the MagMods book club, we’re using our core members, but in future iterations we hope to invite outside contributors. After the initial posts, the author of the book under discussion will be invited to post her own response.

Our first installment of the book club, written by Daniel Worden, appears below.  I’m really thrilled that our first book will be Catherine Keyser’s Playing Smart:  New York Women Writers and Modern Magazine Culture.

Professor Keyser is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of South Carolina.  She has previously published on Edna St. Vincent Millay and Vanity Fair in American Periodicals (17.1, May 2007) and on New York women writers and their magazine personae in A New Literary History of America (Harvard UP), ed. Werner Sollors and Greil Marcus and has an article forthcoming in Modernist Cultures about Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, and the intersection between theatre and magazine culture in 1920s NYC.

Here is the Rutgers University Press description of Playing Smart: Continue reading

New Essay Collection: Ford Madox Ford and Magazines

The latest volume of International Ford Madox Ford Studies is sure to be of interest to fans of modern periodical studies.  Ford and Pound are the 2 giants of modernist magazines in the Teens, but Pound has received more attention to date.   Ford Madox Ford, Modernist Magazines and Editing, edited by Jason Harding (Amsterdam/New York, NY: Rodopi, 2010), gives Ford the attention he merits. It includes seventeen essays by leading scholars, editors and poets.

It can be bought direct from Rodopi or, even better, is distributed free to members of the Ford Madox Ford society subscribing during 2010.  Click here for a Table of Contents (pdf).