Scribner's WWI

In Scribner's Magazine on page 16 , of volume 58, No. 1 dated 1916-01, there is an artcile entitled "The World's Work- In The New Era After The War." In this article there is a lot of useful information regarding where America stands after world war one. Not only does it show concern for the country, but it also reassures the citizens that America has been "rising like a mighty giant as a world money power." Along with this attitude, the article goes on to address issues of commerce and finance. It makes attempts to explain how the government is making strides to prevent spending, claiming that we will soon be spending a lot less than what we are spending now, and also getting more in return when spending less money. Other issues touched upon are aims of the fighting nations and understanding our new foreign relations as well as the strategy of the great war. I feel that this article is beneficial because it gives the American people an insight into what is to come after the great war, and the things they could expect to happen as a result of the war. I think that relevant topics that are discussed in this magazine deal wih those of nationalism, politics and govenment.

Blast magazine (WW1)

In number 1 of the Blast magazine, page 30, there are statements made regarding the war. These statements are strong, powerful and really show how people during that time felt. The name of this article is "Manifesto". Number 4 in the list describes how we are all in war fighting for different reasons. In war we could fight for ourselves, others or both sides. They also stated how Mercenaries who were soldiers hired to fight in a foreign army, were the best kind. These statements use alot of metaphor and personification, for example number 10 says "We only want tragedy if it can clench it's side muscles like hands on it's belly, and bring to its surface a laught like a bomb". I took this statement as a way for them to say that we only want tragedy if they know how to laugh through it, put their hands on their side and just laugh at the opposing side. These were statements of opinions so perhaps I may be wrong on the actual meaning but that is what I took from it.

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Advertisments in Poetry

After reading the essay "Marketing British Poetry: The Freewoman, the Egoist, and Counterpublic Spheres" by Mark Morrisson, I thought it was interesting that he pointed out that many of the different magazines at the time would have advertisements in eachother's magazines. When I browsed through the magazines I came across many instances of this particular practice. One instance was in the magazine "Poetry" which had an advertisement for the "Egoist" (http://dl.lib.brown.edu/jpegs/1201880415109375.jpg). The advertisement isn't very flashy, it's pretty simple and plain. It basically listed how people can subscribe to the Egoist, who they should contact, why it is important that people subscribe, and the Terms of Subscription.

I thought this was important because although there were other ads that featured where people could find certain books, there weren't any other ads that showcased other magazines. Maybe this magazine held some importance to the editor of "Poetry". Or maybe the editor of the "Egoist" felt that they would be able to gain a lot of subscriptions from the readers of "Poetry". The author of the essay pointed out that the "Egoist" was having trouble gaining subscriptions, so this was probably one of the many different tactics they tried to use in order to get more people interested in the magazine. 

Rhetoric in Dana Advertisments

I found two instances in Dana of advertisements that use the tactic of convincing the reader their product is needed for a certain lifestyle. These are early forms of the advertising that became so popular in 1950s America and created the belief that living the American Dream meant owning certain things.

The first advertisement found in Dana Vol. 1, No. 1 page 33, is from a publishing company. The headline proclaims, "Great Novels That People Must Read." It creates an interesting statement, especially since it is in a literary magazine. One would hope that the editors of Dana would not publish an advertisement that they did not somewhat agree with. However, because this list was compiled not by the editors of Dana but by the people who stand to make money if the books are purchased, the whole thing seems a bit disingenuous. Also, not one of the books mentioned are classics and only Eugene Lee-Hamilton has a Wikipedia page.

The second advertisement appears in Dana Vol.1, No. 2 on page 65. This small advertisement in the center of the page is titled, “In the March of Civilization.” The ad uses a technique that Apple has mastered with its “Mac vs. PC” commercials: “Our product is the hip young product and the other is for older people.” The ad is for curled hair mattresses and begins by stating, “Some years ago our grandmothers prided themselves on their ample feather beds…” This advertisement is the exact kind of advertising that interrupts our favorite television shows today. The ads say: “In order to be young, civilized and fit in you should own this product.”

Things Learned

The timeline proved to be a very useful tool for our collaborative project because it allowed us to share information in a very visible way.  The structure of the timeline makes it extremely convenient to pick out specific information as it allows for filtering. Our first collaborative project was on the Poetry magazine, so by clicking off the “Poetry” box I was able to see what Jenny was thinking.  This feature proved most useful in class because we were easily able to then share Jenny’s interest in the covers of Poetry with the class. Also as an added bonus we could also see what other peoples’ thoughts on the Poetry were through their timeline posts.

The timeline is further very important in our second project because now that we’re looking for one theme throughout 6 publications it helps us pull our information together. Although we all looked through all 6 magazines we each had 2 to focus in on but via the timeline we all gained an overview of all the important pieces for our particular project. Also, the structure of the timeline was very nice as it visually puts things in chronological order so we can physically see how our theme of gender develops as it grows and changes. The color coding of specific themes furthers adds to how clearly we see things in the timeline, which is pretty nifty in itself.

Due: 6/15 Blog Entry

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Rythm and the art of Advertisment

         With the realization of advertisement in middle class periodicals created a demand for their new products and expanded the market place manufacturers launch advertisement campaigns across the board. In many of the magazines with in the Modernist Journalist Project the advertisements were for other form of literature and upcoming books filled with subjects which the magazine its self focused on . With in the magazine Rhythm the reader was exposed to not only advertisements for new works of literature coming to the stand near you, but the opportunity to read excerpts from new books, notice of new art exhibitions, and local products.

        As discussed by Morrisson in his article the Marketing British Modernism with the increase in advertisement, the exposer to the magazines and the products advertised increase. As Rhythm developed there was a significant increase in the amount of advertisements within each issue. With in Rhythm’s first issue the advertisement consisted of only 3 pages consisting of art and literature in summer of 1911. Sticking with a consistent topography Rhythm increased the amount of advertising pages to almost double. The layout however did not change. Each advertisement was either on its own pager or separated with the use of lines and bullets. Bold writing brought the readers eye towards the subject and a description of the product followed under it.

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Classifieds in The New Age We Might See Today

       At the end of our modern newspapers are the classified ads. The ads suggesting rental properties, dates, and roommates. I am used to seeing these today, but it never occurred to me that these have probably been around as long as newspapers and magazines have. I expected as much from advertisements; the same kind of outlandish suggestions of product functions and nutritional information that we see and scoff at today were probably scoffed at then as well. (Although I wonder if perhaps with less advertisements bombarding them on a daily basis, were advertisements mostly ignored? Or did people pay more attention to them because they saw less of them? Even then could people find the humor in the falsities of advertising? Did New Age readers find ads as hilarious as I do?) But of course without Craigslist and other modern resources, newspapers and magazines were the place to find something like a room to rent, or a place to sell your things.

In Volume 7, Number 6, June 9th 1910 issue of The New Age I came across a small ad that read "Lady (speaking also French, German, and Italian) offers to share her artistic home. Terms moderate. Convenient and pleasant situation." One can almost hear the words "nonsmoker, no pets" coming after it. Time and time again when going through these magazines I have been reminded that they are really not different from what we read today. Assuming that The New Age could serve as a microcosm for society at that time in the same way that the Village Voice does for us, we are really not that different. Obviously today most people placing an ad would not describe their home as "artistic," but one may list the languages they know. The words "convenient and pleasant" seem rather ominous to me, but I am jaded by the modern world and it is probably just word choice that made more sense at the time rather than a warning that this multi lingual lady is going to do very strange things in her home. The words we use may be slightly different, but ignoring the parlance of our times, the basis of the ads is familiar. The next ad I saw in the same issue, just a few lines below the first ad, is one of a different nature, though equally recognizable. "Old false teeth- We give the highest prices for above. Offers made; if unacceptable teeth returned. Dealers in Gold or Silver in any form. Bankers’ references ; straightforward dealing." Just place your broken or unwanted jewelry in our safe, secure envelop and we'll ship it straight to our refinery. The first thing that comes to mind is Cash4gold.com. Granted, this is teeth for gold, but it is the same idea. Selling personal items with little return because of desperate times.

The date may have changed, the product may have changed, but we have not changed. We are still looking for miracle cures for our ailments. We are still looking for kitchen products. We are still looking for money in exchange for our stuff. We are still looking for synthetic vitamins. We are still looking for roommates. And we are still looking at the back pages of our newspapers to find these things.

Advertisements or Works of Art

Finding advertisements or commercial typography was somewhat difficult since most of the magazines published during WWI did not include advertisemets or commercial typography. Many of the magazines published just included works of literature with an occasional sprinkle of art. While reviewing the different magazines published during WWI, I noticed that the Scribner's magazine had the most visual advertisements. By most visual I mean to say that the advertisements in this particular magazine had writings as well as illustrations. Almost each page that tries to sell a particular product has a picture of the item or has the particular items' name in big bold letters. I noticed that all of the advertisements throughout the different volumes are somewhat similar - they all try to sell the same products every month. In addition, all of the advertisements appear in the beginning and the end of every issue.

While I was scrolling through the entire magazine in the thumbnails version, I noticed that there really wasn't a lot of differences between the advertisements and the actual writings. For instance, the different articles throughout the magazine include pictures and maps. It seems to me that the articles are trying to sell something as well. Of course the pictures throughout the articles do not represent items being sold, rather they are generally pictures of people, landscapes, or both. Since every editor has an agenda, I believe that the editor of Scribner's magazine wanted his readers to have a desire to travel to the places that were published. Scribner's magazine published many different types of works, many dealt with travels and the Panama Canal construction. I think that in choosing a similar layout between the advertisements and the articles published the editors agenda was to sell, not only items such as Bonbon's Chocolates but also the snowy mountains.

Advertisement Then and Now

When looking through The Owl I came across an interesting page that depicted a man playing pool while surrounded by a small crowd. All the characters depicted seem to be of the working class except the man himself. While those surrounding him seem to be fairly ragged and unrefined the man himself is very polished and vibrant. The text on the very top of the page seems to indicate that the scene is somewhere in Ireland. The top right hand corner reads: “Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland, The Metropolitan School of Art, Kildare Street, Dublin” which would lead me to think that this was some sort of an ad for the Metropolitan School of Art. The only two characters not completely grey washed are the pool player and a raggedy man on his right, which almost seems to pose the subliminal question of which character the viewer would rather be. The advertisement itself can be found on pages of an May 1919 edition of The Owl.

This piece was particularly interesting to me because it seemed so distant in time yet so close to modern advertisements. Published in 1919 this advertisement is nearly a hundred years old yet so familiar.  The ad seemed to be screaming if you go to The Metropolitan School of Art you too can be refined and the center of attention much like most modern ads do now. We always see well defined models and hot chick using various products as if the product will somehow make all of us beautiful and blessed. I never before realized that the very basic advertising techniques being used today were so far back reaching (in their exact same form and structure). It was really nifty finding this ad.

Due: Project 1

 

Typography and Rhetoric style in advertisements in The New Age

The typography in advertisements in The New Age is consistent with that used for the magazine's articles.  There are a few exceptions for products like Ruskin Fabrics and Fry Cocoa, where logos appear to disrupt the overall text-heavy look of the magazine itself, but even within these advertisements, the actual substantive (textual) portion of the ad matches the magazine's typeface.  The result is a certain subjugation of the advertisement: by forcing the ads for certain products to conform to the magazine's own aesthetic, the importance of the ad becomes relative to the magazine's content.

On another note, the ads are clearly written to cater to readers of The New Age, by appealing to their assumed "superiority" of intellect/interests.  An ad for Hovis Bread proclaims that the product is "NOT an ordinary bread, but a highly specialized article," and Fry's Cocoa purports to be "real food" which promotes "a clear brain and steady nerves."  An ostensible attempt to lessen the cheapening necessity/effect of advertisements, it's as if the ads in The New Age aren't proper ads so much as they are tasteful suggestions for a discerning reader/consumer.  Ads for other publications like The Daily News appeal outright to the oppositional groups presumed to be reading the magazine: in one ad, a brief blurb against the degenerate sport of horse-racing/betting is titled "A Woman's Question" and takes up nearly 3/4 of the ad itself; the title of the magazine appears almost as an afterthought.  

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