Vorticism in BLAST

Vorticism is defined by Brittanica as an "attempt to relate art to industrialization." It stemmed from cubism and futurism, and in BLAST, the manifesto lays out what Vorticism is all about in the founder's, Wyndham Lewis's, own words.


On page 56 of the first edition of BLAST, there is an artwork by Wyndham Lewis himself, titled "Plan of War." The sharp, thick lines create a very structured and clean look, relating to the commentary on industrialization. Lewis titled this piece "Plan of War," which must indicate that he is attempting to relay a powerful, commanding message to anyone who sees this in order to reinforce his views he laid out in the manifesto earlier in the issue. His artworks in this issue allowed me to grasp what vorticism is because the manifesto was confusing, so the physicality of the art and the demanding shapes and lines allow me to understand what it is.

                                                          Plan of War


 

The Little Review Analysis

Implied Readership: Both higher class and lower class people at different times. Not much else can be seen. The early price for this magazine ($1.50 for a subscription, 15 cents for a copy) shows that this magazine is attempting to reach a wider, lower-class audience. The price raising over time, the print quality getting higher, and the ads which are mostly for articles and books (and the occasional magazine), show that the magazine is trying to target people who are on the higher end of the spectrum. 

Circulation: No explicit data about circulation could be found, though the content was very polarizing so this probably wasn't the most popular magazine.

Regular Contributors: James Joyce is probably the most famous contributor. He published Ulysses in The Little Review, and the 'explicit' content resulted in a lawsuit against the magazine. Other contributors include Djuna Barnes, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Mina Loy, Francis Picabia, Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair, Gertrude Stein, W. C. Williams, and W. B. Yeats. Ezra Pound and Jane Heap don't contribute any content, but they do become co-editors.

Contents: The content (the "obscene" Ulysses, and the partially blank September 1916) shows that it's attempting to reach an audience that is looking for more experimental works. Editions frequently feature anarchism and feminism. Literature shown is often highly plotically contriversal, and styles and subjects are experimental.

Editor: Margaret Anderson is the only editor ever listed. She's a publicly expressive anarchist and feminist. She was probably a very polarizing presence. She's uncompromising (or wants to appear that way), and if something isn't up to her standards she won't show it.

Format: Images seem to be shown more and more over the years, but the meat of the magazine is literature. Both poetry and articles are featured frequently. Magazine seems inconsistent on format. One issue might be in the mid thirties for number of pages, and the issue after might be brushing seventy.

History: Magazine began 1914 and ended 1922. This magazine saw the start of World War 1, and showed the effects of that. Many early editions are heavy on anarchistic themes, and one edition held an apology from the editor for having to raise the prices of subscriptions due to the war. 

Putting it all together: A very polarizing magazine. Often having strong magazine with strong political undertones and extremely experimental or shocking content, this was a magazine that the general public probably didn't have the best opinion of. It's influence is undeniable, however. Managing to get a lawsuit against it, it spread its influence far, even if people didn't like it.

 

Sources: 

The Modernist Journals Project (searchable database). Brown and Tulsa Universities, ongoing. www.modjourn.or

Anderson, Margaret. The Little Review.

La Casse, Christopher J. "“Scrappy and Unselective”: Rising Wartime Paper Costs and the Little Review." American Periodicals: A Journal of History & Criticism, vol. 26 no. 2, 2016, p. 208-221. Project MUSE muse.jhu.edu/article/628768.

Keenan, Owen. "Margaret C. Anderson." Legacy Project Chicago. https://legacyprojectchicago.org/person/margaret-c-anderson. Accessed 9, Sept. 2021.

Analyzing a Magazine (Good Housekeeping)

1. Even from the title, you can tell that this magazine is directed towards women but as you look at the ads you can tell that it was targetted towards most ages, economic classes, and intellectual classes. The magazine being about good housekeeping and being 15 cents imply the economic class targetted. While the ads for chocolate and school suggest a younger audience may read this magazine. Most depictions of women seem to be white which shows the implied audience's race.

2. While hardly any data on circulation could be found, a lot of the ads were based in the Northeast of the U.S. which implied a more modernist readership.

3. In the one issue available for viewing, the authors don't seem to repeat but they most likely hold more conservative views based on the topics they are writing about.

4. There is a good mix of advertisement, fictional stories, poems, educational/ instructional passages, and photography but the stories make up the bulk of the magazine. There seems to be a 2 to 1 ration of content to ads respectively and there doesn't seem to be any heavy social issues discussed besides women's education. Even then, it is in an advertisement with a light tone and asks whether women should be educated to be better housewives. 

5. James Eaton Tower edited this issue but no further issues can be checked. A quick search only lead back to this exact issues of the magazine.

6. Issues can't be compared for aforementioned reasons, but the magazine consists of lots of images that have eye-catching shapes which could appeal to youger audeinces. The bright colors on the cover and smiling woman sets a light-hearted tone that fits the magazine. An abundance of photographs further the idea that the magazine is partly informational. 

7. History or public view is not readily available, but according to Lifetime "on May 2, 1885, the first issue of Good Housekeeping magazine was published" (Rosenberg).

8. The Good Housekeeping magazine targets women of all ages, economic status, and even educational level but a white emphasis is apparent. A sufficient number of ads is used to fund the magazine and these ads help suggests the target audience. History, public view, and information on the editor aren't readily available but the simple nature of the magazine doesn't hide much. Content in the magazine includes fictional stories, poems, ads, photography, and informational passages on housekeeping. All of these content items work together to appeal to its target audience and set a tone for future Good Housekeeping magazines.

Source(s)

Tower, James Eaton. Good Housekeeping, 1 August 1910.

Rosenberg, S., 2018. May 2, 1885: The First Issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine Was Published.           [online] Lifetime. Available at: <https://www.mylifetime.com/she-did-that/may-2-1885-the-first-issue-         of-good-housekeeping-magazine-was-published> [Accessed 9 September 2021].

Review of The Chapbook No. 23

In the Journal, The Chapbook, No 23 of May fifth, 1921, the book is a small modernist book with nineteen poems that seem to have an overall dark theme. This ranges from many subjects such as extreme adoration leading to murder in the poem Criminals by H. Stuart, and other subjects such as the fleeting nature of life as seen in the poem Flagermus, by Mabel Hart. It seems as though this particular journal tackles themes of Realism in an almost cynical way, as many of the characters in the journal individual poems seem to be subjected to whatever circumstances they seem to be in, whether that be self inflicted or by the nature of their being. This is given context in the Imagist nature of this publication, which helped pioneer Modernist ideas. Authors that have greater significance in the overall text seem to be John Redwood Anderson, with three poems and Maxwell Bodenheim with three poems as well. John Redwood Anderson, or as formatted in the text Anderson, John Redwood seems to be a somewhat notable author with seventy-nine works in one hundred and sixty three publications(Worldcat). Maxwell Bodenheim however, seems to be far more recognized in his work in literary bohemia, but is also recognized for his modernist writings(Brittanica). The audience for this journal seems to be middle to lower class individuals, with its cheap printing quality that was sold on the streets by individuals known as Chapman(British Library). This journal in particular lacks advertisements, which gives context to the fact that this was an annual publication, with such a small overall amount of content that lasted for four years.

Works Cited

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "Maxwell Bodenheim". Encyclopedia Britannica, 22 May. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Maxwell-Bodenheim. Accessed 7 September 2021.

Anderson, John R. While the Fates Allow: [poems], 1952-61. Beckenham, Kent: Bee & Blackthorn Press, 1962. Print.

Richardson, Ruth. “Chapbooks.” British Library, British Library, 15 May 2014, www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/chapbooks.

The Masses Magazine Study

In the excerpt "How to Study a Modern Magazine," authors Scholes and Wulfman offer a variety of things to consider when attempting to study a Modernist Period piece such as the implied reader, circulation, regular contributors, contents, the editor, format, and the magazine's history, as well as a description of the magazine. I chose to do the magazine Masses for an example of each of these things.


Implied Reader: On the front cover of the January 1911 issue, Masses declares itself a  "Monthly Magazine Devoted to the Interests of the Working People," meaning that the implied audience must be working-class, ordinary people.

Source: The Modernist Journals Project (searchable database). Brown and Tulsa Universities, ongoing. w


Circulation: Masses circulated around a quarter million magazines per issue, due to its popularity.

Source: Maik, TA. A History of The Masses Magazine. Bowling Green State University, 1969.


Regular Contributors: "Radical Journalists John Reed and Louise Bryant;...Art Young...John Sloan and Boardman Robinson...Carl Sandburg, Louis Untermeyer, and Amy Lowell; fiction by Jack London, Upton Sinclair, and Sherwood Anderson."

Source: The Modernist Journals Project (searchable database). Brown and Tulsa Universities, ongoing.


Contents: Art, Poerty, Politics, Reporting/Journalism, Fiction. If another magazine had something in it, chances are that Masses had it too.

Source: The Modernist Journals Project (searchable database). Brown and Tulsa Universities, ongoing.


Editor: Over the years many different people edited Masses such as Thomas Seltzer, Horatio Winslow, and Piet Vlag in the first years, and Max Eastman with Floyd Dell for the later years.

Source: The Modernist Journals Project (searchable database). Brown and Tulsa Universities, ongoing.


 Format: Masses is set up in a three-colun format with visuals and title inbetween and around each piece of writing. Some pages are taken up by full drawings. There are limited advertisements and they only take up a few pages. There are consistently 15 to 30 pages in each issue including the adverts.


History: Masses was founded in 1911 and ran until 1917 when it was blacklisted by the government for espionage due to it's radical views and critiquing of the government. Over that time, there were many editors as well as lawsuits against the magazine.

Source: The Modernist Journals Project (searchable database). Brown and Tulsa Universities, ongoing.


Putting it together:  Masses is the most influential, radical, and shocking modern magazine. It is known as the "Socialist" Magazine of the Modermism era, displaying radical ideas for the time such as suffrage, birth control, and free love, as well as civil rights and unionization.

 

 

The Hunt for Fleas in "The Beggar's Hunt" by W. H. Davies

In the magazine, The Blue Review Vol 1, No 1, on pages twenty four to twenty seven, there is a story called,"The Beggar's Hunt" by W. H. Davies, and it is about our main character encountering a poor fellow that is infested with flees, so much so that the man cannot resist scratching himself frequently, as stated from lines thirty three to thirty four,"Soon came to the conclusion that the man was scratching himself, owing to the attack of fleas." This sentiment about this poor man's scratching is the main centerpiece of this story. To provide context, the main character was on a journey, and for whatever reason decided to try and travel with this man that he never knew before, but it could be implied that our main character needed to have a companion, even if it was a flea ridden beggar, which ties into what is believed to be the main theme of this short story. This short story is about how people see outcasts, beggars, and/or the impoverished in general.

The main character, after talking with the beggar and then proceeding to walk with him notes how often he scratches himself which in this story, seems to solidify the beggar's position as someone who is impoverished. The main part of this story that ties with the theme of the negative attitude toward people who are impoverished, comes in this part of the story, when the main character decides that he would wish to go to a tavern,"Even in the very lowest kind of a tavern; where the landlord and his customers would be certain to object to his company." The main character still wishes to give the man a beer for his time. They proceed to go into the tavern, but only on the condition that the beggar won't scratch whatsoever, thematically speaking, to not reveal himself as a beggar, as even the lowest of taverns would kick out someone like the beggar, who is so impoverished that he suffers from flees.

What happens in the tavern is that the beggar cannot resist the urge to scratch himself, thereby revealing himself as a beggar, but instead of the tavern kicking him out, the beggar leaves on his own volition, which makes the main character believe that the beggar has left for good, but later, about twenty minutes after the main character started traveling, the beggar came back, and after some talk back and forth, he proclaimed,"I have been having a lively time at hunting and killing fleas. I shall sleep well after this excitement." The beggar seemed to have managed to cleanse himself of his thematic burden, which of course was the flees.
It seems greatly apparent that in this story, society's negative attitude toward those who are stricken with misfortune, are represented by this man who has earlier stated to have lost his job, and then become ridden with flees. Now that he has gotten rid of these flees, he is able to properly travel with our main character, which implies that it would be too much of a burden for out main character, to deal with a man who has been stricken with flees, that signify his position as a beggar. Overall, the theme of society rejecting and looking down on those who are outcasts or rejects, is incredibly apparent in this story, to others views of the beggar, to his scratching, which represents his societal position, to his eventual cleansing, which relieves himself of this burden and allows the beggar to travel with our main character and, in a way, be accepted back into society.

National Geographic

In the June 1910 issue of National Geographic, found on the Modernist Journals Project website, there is an article on page 487 called "Where Women Vote," in which Baroness Alletta Korff describes how Finland allows women to vote. Three years prior to 1910, in 1907, Finland allowed suffrage to women, which allowed the well educated women to have more power in their community, thus creating a better environment and quality of life for them. Because the Finnish women were educated, they demanded voting right, and although it was deemed too progressive by other countries' standards, they were even allowed to go in to politics. 

Camera Work - Signatures

The article Signatures by Eva Watson-Schutze was published in Camera Work Issue 1 on pages 35 and 36 in 1903. This magazine is focused around showcasing good photography, and is littered with articles about photography and how to create high-quality photos. At this time, photography as an art wasn't really cemented yet. This magazine seeked in part to solidify photography as a fine art, and the article Signatures is a great representation of that. The article itself is focused around talking about how important properly imbedding your signature into your photograph is. Watson-Schutze argues that an embedded, subtle signature can add to the piece instead of taking attention away from the main subject. This is a great example of the start of the shift from looking at photography purely as a way to document and record things to a form of art. The article is focused specifically on telling the reader how important making your signature match the photo is (and how jarring it is when your signature is just plastered on) and giving a few tips on how to make signatures look good. The author is focused more around the form of the photo than the function, showing that photographs are starting to be seen more as an art.

"Autumn in Three Lands" Summary

Magazine: Rhythm (Issue Date: 1911-06-01)

Item: "Autumn in Three Lands" from pages 34-35

Author: Rhys Carpenter

Form: Poem(s)

What the poem focused on was the imagery of the beginning and end of Autumn with a focus on comparisons to nature. The rain, mountains, grass, sea, and sky are all included into the poem. How it is written is a large part of why it is intriguing for it uses metaphors and personification when describing the setting. References to gods and the wind being wolf laughter gives an exaggerated majesty to natural weather events. The time for the setting, or the when, is both the beginning and end of Autumn. With the first part of the poem, the rain is compared to wolves on the hunt which sets a daunting mood. The second part suggests the seasonal transition with elongated nights and the third part describes the end of winter as snow starts to come in. As described before, the where of the poem is focused on nature and how flows with the season of Autumn. The setting changes from rainy cavern or forest, to fields at night, to a house with a clear mountain view. As for why the poem was written, Rhythm magazine focuses on making art with a deeper meaning, as most modernist art does, and tries to connect with reality. We can see this in the clear description of nature and how it changes depending on the time in Autumn.

 

 

"Autumn in Three Lands" Summary

Magazine: Rhythm (Issue Date: 1911-06-01)

Item: "Autumn in Three Lands" from pages 34-35

Author: Rhys Carpenter

Form: Poem(s)

What the poem focused on was the imagery of the beginning and end of Autumn with a focus on comparisons to nature. The rain, mountains, grass, sea, and sky are all included into the poem. How it is written is a large part of why it is intriguing for it uses metaphors and personification when describing the setting. References to gods and the wind being wolf laughter gives an exaggerated majesty to natural weather events. The time for the setting, or the when, is both the beginning and end of Autumn. With the first part of the poem, the rain is compared to wolves on the hunt which sets a daunting mood. The second part suggests the seasonal transition with elongated nights and the third part describes the end of winter as snow starts to come in. As described before, the where of the poem is focused on nature and how flows with the season of Autumn. The setting changes from rainy cavern or forest, to fields at night, to a house with a clear mountain view. As for why the poem was written, Rhythm magazine focuses on making art with a deeper meaning, as most modernist art does, and tries to connect with reality. We can see this in the clear description of nature and how it changes depending on the time in Autumn.

 

 

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