Modernist Journals Project

Love, Poetry, and Feminism

At first, I planned on looking up the frequency of "love" in Poetry and BLAST, but I couldn't get BLAST to work. My second plan, then, was to look up love in Poetry and The Freewoman. I thought it would be interesting to see how love was discussed in these two magazines with two very different agendas. Originally, I had expected Poetry to mention love quite a bit. This is maybe a little stereotypical of poetry, but I certainly figured that it love would make an appearence frequently in the various selections of poetry. In contrast, I figrued that The Freewoman wouldn't discuss love too often during its discussion of more politically relevant topics.

I was quite surprised by what I found in both magazines. The frequency with which love appeared in the two magazines was quite similar. In Poetry, love really wasn't discussed as much as I was expecting. There was really only one magazine that had a very high useage of the word. Similarly, in The Freewoman, love was discussed an average amount across all the issues, but there was one issue in particular where love was discussed a lot more. What is really interesting is that the frequencies were very similar. In Poetry, the highest frequency was 40/10,000. In The Freewoman, the frequency was 32/10,000. This was much more similar than I would have guessed.

What this showed me is that universal themes really are universal. I know that if I had looked at specific topics between the two magazines, I would have had different results. For instance, any of the topics in The Freewoman's political agenda would much likely not appear too often in Poetry. However, it seems that a universal topic doesn't escape the clutches of a political magazine, but it also doesn't steal the show in a more artistic realm.

"Reading" Gephi

I think that Gephi actually made it a bit more difficult to “read” the Little Review, but that’s probably because I don’t fully understand everything that the program can do and/or how to do it. It was helpful, though, to see how everything was connected because it wasn’t so obvious at first how they were, just reading it page by page. Something else that was really helpful/interesting was to see how you could isolate one of the nodes and it showed you what else was connected to that one, so you could see how one theme or author was represented throughout the magazine. I think it would be really cool if you could click on a node and see the actual journal page, kind of a mixture of the Modernist Journals Project and Gephi, and then all of the pages of the nodes that are linked to that one; that would allow you to “read” it through the graph, and to actually read it. Plus, it would make the issue’s themes easily searchable. (I tried to add screenshots, but they were not working for me.)


Music, Dismay, and the Blue Review

I explored the Blue Review, the short-lived successor to Rhythm. Each of its three issues followed a standard layout: contents, an imprint, an illustration, three or four short poems, several articles or essays, a visual art section in the middle, more essays, and, finally, advertisements on the back cover. The Blue Review seemed to appeal to a bibliophile audience and many of its ads relate to monographs, though one issue included a dressmaker’s ad and the same French ad was published in all three issues. This use of French, as well as appearances of other languages such as an article titled “Daibutsu” and sections regarding German and Italian books, also indicates an appeal to international audiences.

I picked an article in the middle issue - June 1913 - of the Blue Review called “A Fresh Start in Music,” which aims to balance two groups of composers: the academics and the modernists, in the article’s terms (volume 1, issue 2, page 97). The author toys with the mechanization and modernization of orchestras as well as the worth of preserving past theory and foundations for music. The page layout seems fairly simple: the pages are left-justified and one column; there is no visual art; the essay is situated toward the middle of the issue between an article called “Anger and Dismay” and another called “Epilogue: II.”  I find the juxtaposition with the “Fresh Start in Music” following the “Anger and Dismay” article, as music is often considered to be an antidote to anger and dismay, as well as a general soothing influence. The first issue of the Blue Review doesn’t have a dedicated music section, but the third and last issue concludes its articles with a survey of Beethoven, Elgar, and Debussy. This also indicates internationality on the part of the journal through its grouping of German, English, and French (respectively) musicians.

MJP Voyant Tools Corpora

I spent the day making a chronological Voyant Tools corpus of the 9 magazine text files provided by the MJP Lab: BLAST, The Crisis, The Freewoman, The New Freewoman, The Egoist, The Little Review, Others, Poetry, The Tyro. For comparative purposes, I also made individual corpora for each magazine. All links can be found on the Downloads page.

Here is an embedded version of the Word Trends tool showing an n-gram of the trajectory for "new," the corpus' most frequent word (standalone version here):


The Timeline Tool

Working on the timeline has been fairly simple considering that the directions and columns are easily recognizable. I feel that it doesn't take very long to post on the timeline once you have chosen your topic and literary work. I have never worked with this kind of a timeline before and I find it interesting to see what other peope in the class have written, and to also give myself the opportunity of letting others see what I enjoy reading, and how I have responded to the pieces that I choose to write about. Working on the timelines in my collaborative assignment has been successful because I was able to catch a glimse and get some insight as to what my group members were reading and writing about in regards to our topic. I think that the timeline makes our discussions easier and opens up the lines of communication within our groups. Even though we each wrote our timelines individually, we all came together in the end to discuss our pieces and responses to them. I don't mind the timeline because I see it as an effective tool in both individual and collaborative work.

Clifford Wulfman Visit & Last Day of Class

Many thanks to Clifford Wulfman for traveling all  the way from Princeton to speak with us about modernist magazines and the MJP. Also, I'd like to thank all of you for helping to make such a lively and interesting discussion. It was a fitting way to wind down the term, but don't forget that we have the Foucauldian and Barthesian pyrotechnics for the last day of class.

It's been suggested that we have a celebration this Thursday. I think it's a great idea, so I'll bring in some fresh assorted Italian cookies from a local bakery. If you'd like to bring some food or drink too -- or perhaps paper plates, cups, or napkins -- please list it in a comment to this post.

See you Thursday.