Tag Archives: Blast

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

Reproductions of Magazines

As much as I love the Modernist Journals Project, I do like to assign hard copy reproductions of magazine issues (with advertisements!) to my students whenever possible. This gives them access to some magazines that are not available on the MJP, and it mimics more closely the experience of the original readers of the magazines.

Below are links to three reproductions of magazines issues that are easily available.  I would love to hear of others, so, if you know of any, please do note them in the comments.

Blast 1

Fire!!

Survey Graphic, March 1925, the Harlem Number