Blindman and Blast

 For this post, I've found a page from Blindman No. 2 that depicts a somewhat animal type figure with a vaguely human like head. The poem underneath says, "Recharge, please, recharge/ avec la chimie de ta salive/ l'accumlateur de mon coeur." This translates to mean, "Recharge, please, recharge/ with the chemistry of your saliva/ storage battery of my heart." I thought this poem along with the image made quite the comparison of a human to an animalistic being and then of a human to a machine. By implying that the heart is a battery that needs to be recharged, and that said battery needs to be recharged by someone else, the author creates the notion that the human is the victim of someone else- of whoever the poem is directed at. The human is both morphed with the machine and perhaps that causes the animalistic representation above the poem- because they are not entirely human. 

In reading the poem, I was immediately reminded of the cover of the war issue of Blast. The people depicted on the cover are drawn using very harsh lines and look almost as though they are made out of metal. Then, they are shown in a line and their arms are pointed out, at which point it appears that they are morphed into guns. This creates a very strong image of the human being one with the machine, like the poem I mentioned above. Because this depicts France during wartime, I think it suggests that French citizens at this time act like slaves to the machine. They go out and fight not because they want to, but because they are told to and they have these guns that they must use. The individual does not matter after he has picked up a gun and joined the armed forces. Then he looks like the men-machines depicted on the cover, like every other man, and he has the main purpose of fighting.

Similarities in Blast and 291

Throughout issues of 291 I have found that the magazine in general is a lot more focused on art and music in comparison to BLAST and its interest in the war.  Both covers have similar drawings on the front cover. Blast, as we discussed in class, is directly related to the war and is depicting an image of soldiers in battle.  291 has a cover that is a little more difficult to interpret.  The sketching is most likely related to the section on the front cover “Economic Laws and Art”, which discussed the progression of art in America and the direction it is heading.  I chose this cover because not only was it the only Dada magazine I could read, but the cover also looked similar to Blast. There is another section on the cover entitled “Do Not Do Unto Others” discussing America’s restrictions that are imposed on oversea goods in a time of peace.  This section briefly touches on America’s relationship with other countries overseas and how we think of ourselves as dominant, which is why we restrict other countries from entering our own.



Also, inside of 291 there was another drawing with words on top of it, almost making up part of the picture.  I thought this was interesting because there is a section in Blast where Ezra Pound wrote poems and I thought it would be interesting to see his poems written out in the artistic format that 291 uses.


Wartime, Blast, the Blindman

 As Courtney's post mentioned, I also noticed the contrast between the directness of Blast's allusions to the War with the (if any) illusions I found in Dada magazines. I specifically compared the war issue of Blast with the second issue of the Blind Man, a Dada magazine published in New York in May of 1917. Though the Blind Man is written during the war, it makes virtually no reference to the first World War. Instead, there was a streak of intense American patriotism. Throughout the magazine issue are thoughts on American art, on its potential and growth. Europen art is mentioned in general terms, with French art and some French language scattered within the issue. It seems that instead of mentioning/noticing the war going on in Europe, European art is focused on as a standard to aspire to. On page 10, there is a letter to the Blind Man affirming its work, with the author writing that the support the Blind Man lends to American art will cause people to say "yes, they had an art, back in New York, in the days following the Great War, an art that was a vitalized part of their life..." Essentially, the Blind Man's patriotism, which is reflected through letters from "Midwestern mothers" and American poetry/editorials, is through art rather than through National security. 

The War issue of Blast, on the other hand, speaks directly about the War. There isn't so much a feeling of patriotism, but there is a rejection of the war. Where the Blind Man perhaps rejects the war by refusing to mention it, Blast speaks directly against it. One piece, Vortex Gaudier-Brzeska (Written from the Trenches), is the perspective of a "sculptor" fighting in the French trenches. He speaks, rants almost, in a piece that seems put into Blast directly to repulse the reader from any feelings of approval about the War. He says that "IT WOULD BE FOLLY TO SEEK ARTISTIC EMOTIONS IN THESE LITTLE WORKS OF OURS" (35). This line, in particular, felt most aligned with the notions of the Dada magazines; that art has no place within a war, or rather that war has no place in art or life. The piece is followed with an abrupt blurb about the author's death within the French trenches, which works only to bring about stronger anti-war sentiments within the reader. 

Marketing in the New Age and the Little Review

I thought it would be interesting to compare an issue of the Little Review and an issue of the New Age, since I have some previous knowledge that both of them targeted higher-brow, elite audiences. I thought that in contrast to comparing the Little Review to a "every man's" magazine, it would be interesting to see how two elitist magazines differ or are the same. Both issues are from March of 1914, and I noticed two big differences.

1) Marketing/advertisement was reduced significantly in the New Age. Where the issue of the Little Review dedicated nearly the last 20 pages of the magazine to various advertisements, finding any marketing in the New Age was a struggle. The advertisements were relatively hidden in the New Age, and I could only find 3 small ones. Though the advertisements weren't for particularly elite items (cocoa, a restaurant, some books), their minimized placement was unique. The New Age also ended with an abstract art piece, rather than advertisements (as the Little Review does). This could show the desire of the New Age to leave the reader not with advertisements, but with images that are more elite.

2) Only the Little Review had advertisements for other magazines. The Little Review advertises for the Egoist and for Poetry, whereas the New Age definitely does not advertise for others. I think this speaks to the type of audiences each magazine is looking for. The Little Review may be looking for an audience that is likely to also read Poetry or the Egoist, whereas the New Age may be looking for an entirely singular/unique audience. 

Elite Advertising in Rhythm

 In the first two issues of "little magazine" Rhythm, the absence of any advertisements suggests that the publication began with the support and patronage of a coterie of intellectual elite. John Middleton Murray, in his introductory article "Art and Philosophy," attempts to bring Bergsonian aesthetic theory into British culture by first pointing out, " in France it is a living artistic force." Throughout the magazine, French culture and artistic philosophies are glorified as a modernist standard toward which Britain's own artists, authors, and poets should strive. The magazine itself would go on to publish pieces entirely in French without translation (e.g. Francis Carco's "Aix en Provence" and "Les Huit Danseuses" in the second issue), indicating that the magazine's readers were most likely highly educated and fluent in multiple languages. 

Advertisements in Rhythm do not appear until the third issue (Winter 1911), the same issue containing the critical piece "A Plea for Revolt in Attitude,"in which Holbrook Jackson notes, that in order for "the modernist art fulfill its destiny, [it] requires to be accepted, not by a few but by a nation or a race," thus denying the magazine's seeming appeal to only a select few. Of course, in order to promote a revolution in art, one must therefore have the means to do so, and Jackson's "Plea" may have been included to provide justification for the advertisements (titled "select announcements") which suddenly appear in the back of the magazine's third installment, and would continue until the final issue in March of 1913. 

These ads, however, seem to contradict Jackson's message in that they appeal to the interests and accessibility of moneyed British intellectuals. The first ad to appear in the 3rd issue begins with the French heading, “Photographies d’Oeuvres d’Art,” advertising the photographic reproductions of modern French masters (such as Renoir and Monet, as well as “The so-called Post-Impressionists”), located at 16 Pall Mall in London. The next add is for another radical journal, T.P. O’Connor’s Weekly. The final page contains a dense block of text, with language reminiscent of a critical review, advertising a volume printed by St. Catherine’s Press (same as Rhythm) that would reproduce drawings by Henry Ospovat. The advertisement—in keeping with the magazine’s theme—discusses the modernist art movement as an artistic revolution on par with the Renaissance.


I falsely assumed that the magazine failed because of its inability to reach a public outside the sphere of the British intellectual elite whose avant-garde aesthetics echoed French sensibilities. In fact, the magazine was able to generate a sizeable following, but John Middleton Murray and Katherine Mansfield’s publication failed because they were swindled: their publisher, Stephen Swift, disappeared in Fall 1912, leaving the editors with a debt of 400 pounds, from which their subsequent magazine, The Blue Review, could not recover[1] (Demoor 133).

[1] Demoor, Marysa. "John Middleton Murry's Editorial Apprenticeships: Getting Modernist "Rhythm" into the Athenaeum, 1919-1921." English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920 52.2 (2009): 123-43. Project Muse. Web. 24 Feb. 2011.


The Random Interruption of Ads in Scribners

 In vol. 47 no. 2 of Scribner's Magazine (1910), I looked at the layout of certain ads in between the content of the magazine. I first approached Scribner's Magazine because I thought it would be interesting to observe the same magazine that we talked about in class. The ads were mostly concentrated separated apart from the content of this issue of the magazine. I noticed, however, that in one section there was a lead-up to Theodore's Roosevelet's article about traveling in Africa. Following those short "Magazine Notes," there were a series of ads for homemade products before Roosevelt's actual article on African Game Trails. I noticed that the randomness of the ads seemed completely unrelated (and maybe in direct contrast) to the tone of the content surrounding it.

The content surrounding the ads is related to Theodore's Roosevelt's adventures through Africa, "an account of the African wanderings of an American hunter-naturalist." To the American public reading the magazine, these articles would be representing something foreign, uncomfortable, and related to nature. In almost direct contrast, however, are the ads that interrupt these two articles about African adventures. The first advertisement is for soap, with the image of a young girl playing with her porcelain doll. The next advertisement is for Shredded Wheat Biscuit. Both these advertisements relate entirely to domestic, comfortable American products. Their presence makes the articles surrounding them seem even more foreign to the reader, which is perhaps the intent. 


Advertisements in The English Review

I opened the link to The English Review, Vol. 1, No. 4 and looked at what appears to be the first actual page titled, "The English Review Advertiser." This page then lists 7 different book titles, some with descriptions underneath and others with nothing more than an author and title. The first thing that I thought when glancing at this page is that there is no way anyone would give this a second glance today, particularly if it was the first page in something. A page with that much text is simply not aesthetically pleasing, something that ads try very hard today to be. The text does not stand out at all, and in fact, it almost seems like it would be a chore to read the entire page. But on one hand, it does say something about the dedication and attention span of readers at that time. If these advertisements actually worked, and I'm sure that they must have in some way because they are all throughout the magazine, then the reader must have read nearly everything on every page of the review. I think it's interesting that some of them did not include any description, like the first one titled, "The Bishop and the Bogieman." Perhaps they thought that title alone would be enough to lure in readers- I for one am curious as to what the plotline could be. 

In terms of the context of these ads, I think they fit within the terms of what else appears in The English Review and they fit the tone of the rest of the publication. People who were reading The English Review at this time certainly showed a dedication to reading, so it makes sense to advertise novels to people who are interested in reading. Now that I scroll through the thumbnails, I notice that the formatting for the ads is more inviting than most of the other pages, which just have straight text in the same font and typeface, etc. The ads tend to have boxes around them using thicker lines and some capitalized heads which are bigger than the rest of the text. So in that way, I suppose the advertisements are more aesthetically pleasing than the rest of the publication, which could have grown into what we are accustomed to in ads today.

Some Aspects of British-French relations during pre-war magazines


Some Aspects of British-French relations in pre-war magazines


In the magazine “Maintenant”, Special issue of October, November 1913, “Oscar Wild is alive”, the poet describe his struggle and incapacity for originality at the moment in Paris. He is wondering between describing romantically his feeling but through the reality of the present moment. As he is describing himself of being ‘paresseux’ lazy to make change, he has recourse to a surrealistic and imaginary visit of the defunct Oscar Wild. I find this article very interesting because it doesn’t follow the French trend of evolution through revolution by rejecting all the past, or being nationalist in the search for a French cultural identity. In the contrary the writer seeks for an international ‘British’ inspiration of the defunct Oscar Wild. In a way we can realize a continuity and not brusque rupture with the past which is quite different from the French tradition of quarrels between Ancients and Moderns that ends with the victory of the moderns and the abolition of the ancients’ literature model. We can see a combination of French romanticism, symbolism and realism all fused together in a surrealist pursue of a definition of something not given yet.
In this article we find reciprocity between past and present as well as between respect for the French classicism -the place and time unites- and Dead poet Oscar Wild’s visit which come to break this unity as a surrealist conquest for a more modernist French Literature. Somewhere between reality and dream the writer is trying to find out how to escape l’ennui of the French classic literature. There is a recall from the past through the example of Voltaire success at both levels as anti-dogmatic ideology and free spirit writings which the poet put in comparison with his incapability for the moment –Maintenant- of achieving similar success in the present status quo. Nevertheless, his revolutionary ‘état d’âme’ tainted with Ennui et Mélancolie has no effect. In a poem the poet describe his revolution as a lion sleeping on the sand but all he can do is swing his hand and indeed strangle it. In his eyes French literature Maintenant is a “ta ta ta ta ta” and needs inspiration from the Oscar Wild modernity. Oscar Wild represents an international literature that the French needs to consider and follow its modernist foot steps without radical rupture with the past. This interpretation is well articulated when the poet raise his tone in page 5. While science is developing and the world is discovering modernity, I am still in Paris and I am too weak and lazy to be able to break free.



Finally, there is a call to open the door for breaking the classicism in order to pursue the exploration.  Art is exploration of an absolute unreachable,.. Oscar Wild is described to be « more Muscial than plastique » and laugthing continuously … into and inside the absolute « riait continuellement … dans l’absolu ». In this special issue the rebel Sébastien Melmoth is or should never stop his creative production through inspiring other poets. Oscar Wild is described as a cheerful music that goes for eternity. In a Nietzsche  interpretation the poet seem to be recalling for a self realization through a stimulated sensibility through culture that should be free from chains and internalized to be transformative as there is no eternal or absolute facts but there is a historical philosophy that the artist need to understand and assess its development and its process of creation. Pursuing this thought, the French writer call not for change as there is no final word in arts but there is a continuous activity of exploring and comprehending the human life and experience through aesthetic values to attain satisfaction and contention.

French-British Relations in Rhythm

For this assignment, I found a piece published in Rhythm in Vol. 1 No. 3 during Winter 1911. It's on page 32 and it's titled "Railway Vision" by Arthur Crossthwaite.


First of all, before I comment on this specific piece, I would like to point out that there are French phrases scattered throughout this issue of the magazine and an entire poem published in French on page 10 called "Petite Poème." This in an of itself says something to me about the relations between France and Britian, that a magazine published in London still includes things that I assume are for French readers since many Brits wouldn't know French. Likewise, by including a poem entirely in French without any translation or explanation of it in English, it's almost as though it is solely for an inclusion of a French audience.

But for the specific piece of "Railway Vision," one of the lines towards the beginning really stuck out to me. It says, "In Paris one talks and talks, in London one dreams and does." This line strikes me as giving an attitude of the time of how British people thought of Parisians- that they are simply all talk and no action. But as the piece continues, I got a little lost in the monologue of the author. It's almost as though he claims that London is where dreams can take place, in the beginning, but then he changes his mind during the course of the piece as he talks about art and the ability of an artist to do as he pleases. One of the last lines says, "And that phrase, 'The Art of Essentials' set me dreaming again of Paris and café-talks, and I saw vague ideal visions of a misty future, until the rasp of breaks and a hoarse 'Victoria!" brought me back to reality and London." So this last sentence is in direct contrast from the start of the piece and I particularly think it's amusing that at the beginning she said that in Paris you can only talk but in London you can dream, and then once she's back in London, she's dreaming about the café talks in Paris. I think in terms of relations between the two cities, this idea can offer some of the mutual fascination between the two cities. The two cultures are interested by one another and try to include one another, as shown in this piece and the inclusion of other French phrases and works in this issue.