Timelining.

     I enjoyed working on the timeline quite a bit. The spread sheet method of entry took very little time to get used to, and makes for easier scanning of articles now that I know what information I should write down which will have to be entered later. I had a bit of frustration trying to move the timeline to the right or left so as to find the articles I posted, but besides that, the program also navigates very well as a research tool. The way it allowed me to work with the texts was absolutely the most enjoyable part of the program.

     To prepare for our lab class last week, I entered all the texts I had been working with in the timeline. I thought that the MJP would be bogged down with eveyrone using it at the same time, and figured I would save myself load up time by being able to see the images without going through the labrynthian search procedure. Turns out that by entering the texts before the actual writing is done helped me to approach the content in a new way. Since I had already entered the Poetry cover images for an earlier class, I could see the way the newly entered texts interacted over time with the changing covers. The timeline is actually my favorite part of these assignments.

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Timelining

 

Using the timeline was a way for us to separate different ideas, especially the ideas used in our collaborative work. It helped to organize different thoughts and happened to be a more convenient way to learn about the different idea topics either in my group members articles or articles classmates were writing about. In the beginning however, the time lining was a bit confusing, but that came to an end once it was discussed and worked out during class. Sometimes thinking of an exact topic that covered my whole article was tricky because one of my articles could be categorized under several topics. Therefore, I decided to think about the article as a whole and what it was discussing over all; this helped me to narrow down some idea topics.
 
            During class we are currently and will continue to be working with articles of different dates. The timeline can help and did help me find a date which allowed me to read about something of that time. Not only can we find an article using the dates but also by looking up a topic. I think we all did a pretty good job coming up with a topic that would help us accurately find an article. Overall, even though the timeline tool wasn’t a big use in our collaborative project, it was a tool that helped us find information that has happened before the time of our article or a bit later.  
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My Experience Timelining

In the beginning it started out pretty hard trying to gete all of our ideas on the same page. None of us could find one specific theme that exemplified the whole magazine. The magazine is filled with so much writings and we did not want to have to sit and read through each issue. We eventually came together and decided that it would be easier if we each chose one genre to look at and then write our paragraph about it. After that decision, it was pretty easy to get things done. It was also kind of confusing to then try to figure out how to connect our ideas because none of us came up with the same idea that would connect the different genres in the magazine. We decided that it made sense that there were so many different themes because the editor was probably trying to cover as many broad topics as possible. The differences in genres is what unified the magazine.

The timeline aspect of it was different from working on our essay. We did not really need to work together for that part. We each picked the specific works that we wanted to enter in the timeline and we did it on our own. To me that was almost like a separate assignment because it really didn't have that much to do with the writing of the essay. I do think that the timeline is a cool and useful tool to search for certain works of art or essays that other people find interesting. It is nice to see what other people think is important and it also allows me to look at things in different perspectives.

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Periodical Studies and Genetic Criticism at the 2009 Buffalo Joyce Conference

Just thought I would report that there is a large amount of periodical studies and genetic criticism (the study of manuscripts, page proofs, and other avant-texte that go into the making of a published edition of a work) at the annual Summer Joyce conference, this year being held in Buffalo. The University of Buffalo houses the largest and most important collection of Joyce's papers.

Yesterday I saw a panel containing two papers dealing with The Little Review. Amanda Sigler, a doctoral candidate at the University of Virginia recontextualized the lawsuit brought against the magazine for publishing allegedly obscene sections of Joyce's novel-in-progress, Ulysses. In studying some unpublished letters of John Quinn, a well-known lawyer who defended avant-garde writers and artists against censorship in the U.S., she found references to other materials in Little Review numbers from about March-May 1918 that also alerted the authorities in the Post Office. These include erotic drawings based on Classical iconography and a pseudonymous (and fictional) letter from Ezra Pound, supposedly from a captured German soldier, ordering German soldiers go home and impregnate as many women as possible without moral or legal ramifications. Sigler's findings portray a different understanding of the Little Review lawsuit that actually takes Ulysses out of the center of it, but also highlights the ways in which various pieces in that magazine were questioning and courting censorship laws in a deliberate way.

Nancy Cushing, a doctoral candidate at Penn State, dealt with the imperial and nationalist tensions in romance fiction about South America, shedding new light on the "Nausicaa" episode of Ulysses and the story "Eveline" in Dubliners. She also recontextualized "Nausicaa" in The Little Review to show how various other pieces, as well as a novel by Henry Hudson called The Purple Land (1885), influenced the manner of Joyce's presentation of that motif in his work.

My own presentation performed a genetic reading of the "Wandering Rocks" episode of Ulysses in order to argue for influence from Einstein's special theory of relativity in the space and time relationships between events. I analyzed the fair copy manuscript to suggest evidence of Joyce's thought processes, showing that the most relativistic event-structures had been added in the margins or between the lines after the episode had been fully drafted. I then showed excerpts from articles by Dora Marsden in The Egoist from March to December 1918 that refer to relativity, as well as other examples of fiction and criticism that show an increasing editorial interest in space, time, and the nature of events.

Later this afternoon I'll be attending a presentation on archival preservation of Joyce's manuscripts and letters.

Timelining

The timeline is a convenient way to catalogue the various topics and themes found within the Modernist magazines, but it has its flaws as well. Searching for poems about nature, there are a number topics to choose from the checklist: nature, or poetry, or poem; and then in the genre category is poem, Poem, or poetry. These are just the result of a group of people working on a project, so it’s bound to have its flaws. Over all, the timeline is a tool that can be used to easily find related articles on any given topic. Another flaw that naturally comes along with the timeline is that not every item has been entered into the timeline, and some items are more popular than others for analysis, which can give a skewed sense---when looking just through the timeline--of what the magazines contain.
    The idea put forth by the professor, that whatever one chooses to list in the timeline is valid, gives me a feeling of the materials being more accessible. If I am truly free to focus on what I choose from the magazines, then their contents are much more interesting to me. Since other students seem to have other interests, the timeline can balance itself out pretty well, it seems. The issues of tagging, as well as writing the actual magazine’s page numbers, which is something I was not doing correctly before, still do not present any serious problem when using the timeline to find related articles. It seems, though, that as the number of entries increases, the confusion from disorganized tagging would increase.

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Feminism, Art and French Influence in Rhythm

Within the magazine Rythm many modernist artist and writers combined thier works together to expose to the world their thoughts and ideas. Throught out the issues of Rythm the concepts of femisim and humaism was depicted through the sketched and portriats with in the magazine. The use of a womans body as art was a reaccuring event as each issue developed over the course of its publication. The reader is first exposed to a woman siting by a tree holding a piece of fruit on the front cover http://dl.lib.brown.edu/jpegs/115989738112.jpg. This could be consider a relation to the moderinst belives that human posses an essence which nature and animals do not posses. The exposed woman is depicted as happy and content while her surroundings grow around her. Women are liberated with use of thier bodies. The depiction of an exposed woman is seen several time through out each issues. Each image either coinsides with the work before, in the mist of, or on the same page it is on. Sometime the images stand alone expressing the betuity and power of the woman at hand. In Vol 2 No. 10 the image Nude Study by S.J Peple  http://dl.lib.brown.edu/jpegs/1159897669406261.jpg  is a drawing of a woman who seems to be sitting and reading.  She is not cloth nor can you see her face. The artist leaves the viewer wondering what she is consitrated on.

Woman were admired for their beauty and grace. Within Rythm vol IV page 3 the drawing by Anne Estelle Rice http://dl.lib.brown.edu/jpegs/1159894618781261.jpgdepict several women working together. The woman seem to be gathering fruit while dancing through an orcher. The woman are also exposed to the world which reveals their cofidence and power. The woman stand tall along side eachother and bring new light on the concept of care giver. The womans purpose in life was thought to care for the house hold and her family. With the smile and embrace on the womans faces Rice depict several woman who took pride within them selves and their so called duty. They carry the fruit of their labor and open up to the world with in the single frame.

There is a major evident influence of French culture and art throughout Rhythm. It is apparent in various issues, whether in discussing French works, or artists themselves, that French artistry was held in high regard by the authors of this Modernist magazine. As the magazine came out with more issues between 1911 and 1913, more and more of the content of the magazine not only discussed French culture and art, but began to publish full pieces in the language itself. It is quite common to find French epigraphs or titles of pieces throughout Rhythm, as well as French essays and poems.

Many of these poems and works are accompanied by illustrations and drawings. There is a common trend with these poems that host artwork on their pages: that is that the drawing or painting is never done by the same author, and are often seemingly irrelevant. Petit Poeme by Tristan Dereme, in the Winter 1911 issue, depicts the trite scene of a relationship, lacking in the romantic ardor it once possessed. The scenario is blatantly set, and the scene is painted as if the romance should still be there, but discusses how smiles are forced, gardens are abandoned, and silence ensues between the two. Atop the poem is an abstract drawing by Jessie Dismorr. It depicts a nude woman, with dark hair, blank eyes, extended arm, and an unidentifiable figure in the background. A similar pairing of works is seen in Le Petit Comptable by Jean Pellerin. This poem, found in the 1912 Spring issue tells of an accountant taking inventory of a produce shop in his book. The poem uses sensory imaging in discussing the colorful touch and feel of the fruits and vegetables, almost as if one is caressing them romantically, reminiscently. Then the author nostagically takes in the sky on the rainy, dreary day. It is also accompanied by a drawing by Dismorr. The drawings possess similar features: both appear to be of nude women, with bold outlines, blank stares and awkwardly sketched background images. The poems, both posessing similar themes of the end of love in sad scenarios, are accompanied by these unusual drawings, which could merely be the editor's way of filling space, or an objective influence on how the reader should perceive these poems, particularly the reader who does not speak French. The Dismorr drawings could be acting as a link between the two poems for those who cannot comprehend the text. By placing these drawings near these poems, the editor offers a unique insight to the similarity in the themes of these French poets. He does not offer a translation; however, these drawings aid the reader in making the connection between the two.

Throughout its one-year, eight month run Rhythm used a certain piece of art on four different occasions. The drawing is of a figure in a prostrate position and seemingly studying either something on the ground or something floating in the air just above its outstretched hand. When I first discovered the picture, I thought it added something to the poem it was printed under. What I saw after seeing it attached to three other works is how the picture changed depending on what it was printed next to. The figure first appears in the very first issue of Rhythm after the first article. The opening article to Rhythm (Vol. 1, No.1) is an article on the philosophical belief of Thelema. A quick Wikipedia search will tell you that Thelema is the belief in living your life according to your own conscience. “The New Thelema” by Frederick Goodyear is a highly stylized look at this philosophy. Goodyear sees Thelema as more than just a religious philosophy, but as an imminent future. He writes, “Thelema lies in the future, not the never-never land of the theologian, but the ordinary human future that is perpetually transmuting itself into the past” (1). After two more pages of writing that consistently looks towards the future world the figure closes the page. Here, the figure seems to be the author, Goodyear, looking into the globe that is floating above his hand, looking into the future.

The next two times the figure appears is after poems of loss. The first poem is “The See Child” by Katherine Mansfield, featured in Vol. 2, No. 5 of Rhythm. The overwhelming feeling in this poem is despair. In the first stanza a mother is depicted forming her child with her own hands, yet in the second stanza the mother abandons the child. In the fourth stanza the mother is seen selling the very things she used to make her child and returning home heartbroken. In the fifth and final stanza the speaker takes on the persona of the mother, telling the daughter not to follow her. The poem ends, “There is nothing here but sad sea water, / And a handful of sifting sand” (1). The second poem is “Geraniums” by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, featured in Vol. 2, No. 7 of Rhythm. The poem is the story of a man who bought flowers from a poor woman so that she would have a place to sleep for the night. In the end, the speaker cannot help but think that not only will the flowers be dead tomorrow, but the old woman may be dead too. The speaker sees the woman’s death as an end to her “heavy sorrow” because they’ll be no “need to barter blossoms – for a bed” (73). The figure at the bottom of these two pages is a decidedly despondent one. The drawing loses its hopeful, philosophical bent and becomes a figure of bent over sadness and the orb seems to be merely a spot ink and not part of the picture.

The third and final time we see this figure the picture regains some of its hopefulness; not because of the work’s subject matter, but because of the tone it is delivered in. In Rhythm (Vol 2., No. 10) Gilbert Cannan writes a piece on marriage entitled “Observations and Opinions.” The piece is decidedly against marriage the institution as it stands in Cannan’s day. Cannan writes, “Every marriage is in itself a sacrament or a piece of blasphemy and neither the sanction of the State nor the blessing of the Church can alter its character” (265). Cannan even takes a surprisingly feminist stance in his views on marriage stating, “The majority of marriages are ruined by the absurd masculine theories concerning women, theories to which women, being ill-educated and economically dependent, subscribe.” Cannan is arguing for the right for people to divorce without becoming social outcasts, yet in his argument he makes points that could be used in the feminist movements of the time as well as the gay rights movement of our time. Cannan ends his piece, “Without simplicity, without courage, without generosity there can be no good marriage, and without good marriage, without ideal of marriage which can conquer fear of public opinion and its purblind, hypocritical, official morality there can be no health in us” (267). The figure once again looks hopeful, looks towards a better future and a better world.

Identity, Debate and Nature in Dana

The Irish periodical Dana was produced a total of twelve times in Dublin in the years 1904 and 1905, and was devoted to the discussion of an emerging and evolving Irish consciousness, as well as to relevant literature of the day.  There was no artwork and, although each issue featured the work of poets, the pieces included in Dana were primarily essays.  As is evident from the magazine’s pages, the cause of the Irish people subject to English imperialist power was particularly important and manifested itself often in discussions of national vs. racial identity and language.  Also regularly emphasized was the importance of open debate pertaining to these issues: billing itself as a magazine of independent thought, the authors included in Dana, such as Frederick Ryan, promoted rigorous discussion of various ideas to encourage this mission.  Another recurring theme, especially in Dana’s poetry, was the significance of nature.  While many articles dealt with the friction between the Irish and the English, nature poetry within Dana’s pages was ostensibly included to celebrate and glorify the bucolic lifestyle of the Irish people. 

Questions of national identity, particularly those pertaining to race, nationalism, and the Gaelic language were of great importance to the editors of Dana.  In his article “Mr. Wyndham on Race and Nationality,” which addresses the introductory speech of English political figure, and Chief Secretary for Ireland, George Wyndham upon his installation as Lord Rector of Glasgow University, P. John Boland criticizes the lack of national feeling among his fellow Irish.  While Wyndham encourages fealty to particular races (or "clans" such as it was within Ireland), Boland retorts that such a suggestion is merely the thinly veiled attempt of an English imperialist to weaken the resistance of nations, such as Ireland, against English imperialist rule.  "Pride of race," according to Boland only promotes in-fighting and division among the Irish, "forbid[ding them] to agree" (Dana 270) and this, the author maintains, is exactly what Wyndham wants: to “let [the Irish] forget that [they are] Irish, that such a place as Ireland exists!” and to instead remember that they belonged to the “great British Empire” (270).  Ultimately, Boland views “want of pride of nationality” as “the curse of “Ireland” (269).  He argues that the development of a national spirit as tantamount to the success of the Irish people, while pride of race can only degrade both the Irish cause and the character of the Irish themselves.  Boland concludes with an indictment of the Empire, as it interferes with the liberty of nations and their people.  He states his belief “That one race or nation should control the actions of any other race or nation is incompatible with the fundamental principles of liberty,” and expresses his hope, synchronous no doubt with his wishes for a nationalist pride movement in Ireland, that “the world will one day perceive what the few perceive,” and work to topple such a system (272).

Questions of Irish identity pertaining to language were also raised in the pages of Dana.  While many Irish strove to reinstate Gaelic as the official language spoken in Ireland, as it was symbolic of Irish cultural freedom from oppressive, imperialist England, others such as frequent Dana contributor Frederick Ryan, believed that the widespread usage of English in Ireland was not only inevitable but could be beneficial to its people.  In his article, "On Language and Political Ideals," Ryan references the economic and cultural freedom of the United States, despite the fact that “it has not a separate language” as a positive example for his cause (275).  He suggests that “theorising” about the language question distracts from a more important goal: namely, “the problem of how to create in Ireland a people, healthy, educated, cultured in the best sense, with sufficient material comfort, developing in their minds and their bodies to the end of maximising life, sensitive to intellectual and moral values, and conducting their life on lines of justice, and freedom, and good faith” (275).  While Ryan does not disparage Gaelic “as a proper and honoured study in any Irish university,” he imagines the effort to force its reinstatement as the national spoken language could be more costly than beneficial, as the influence of English in Ireland was already deep and far-reaching.  To attempt to reverse its effects would be unfairly disruptive to the real people of Ireland, whose lives were conducted already in English.  The author ultimately believes that a language which promotes any kind of “nationality” but does not serve the people of Ireland could only serve a symbolic, and not a practical, good.  A nationalist movement, according to Ryan, therefore, should be secondary to creating an Ireland which provides its people with the greatest opportunities for intellectual, cultural, and economic success.

In a time when Irish tempers flared, the editors of Dana strove to not indulge in sectarianism. They were, however, sympathetic to the nature of debate and ardently encouraged the practice. In another essay, “Criticism and Courage,” Frederick Ryan writes of the importance of discussing the political and religious implications of the times constructively and without fear. Tossing aside the idea that everyone is entitled to their own, quiet opinion, he attacks the government and the churches for trying to squash the discussion in public forums. His essay outlines the exact reasons that Dana magazine was important: it was, as their tagline suggests, a magazine of independent thought in a time when independent thought desperately needed examination.

Ryan begins with the discussion of a club meeting he attended, where they talked about the importance of independent thought in Ireland, but came to the conclusion that "one should have as few opinions as possible, and no expression of them at all," (145). Offended by not only the irony of the debate, but by the ridiculous idea that independent thought should mean independent to one’s self, Ryan goes on to criticize the tendency of religion and politics to try to avoid criticism. Believing that this stems from a fear of finding out that their ideas are wrong, he goes on to scrutinize the motives of the churches’ desire to stay within their lines. “The stage when Catholic and Protestant clergymen held public debates in the Rotunda on the merits of their respective creeds has long been passed. Doubtless it was realised that such performances were more likely to make Freethinkers than converts to either Catholicism or Protestantism,” he offers a third option for those struggling with sects in Ireland: Atheism (147). He suggests that Protestants and Catholics would prefer not to interfere with one another’s flock, lest their collective religious ideals be questioned in the same way that an individual would prefer not to discuss his ideas, lest he be questioned. In doing so he changes the nature of the religious dispute in Ireland, and furthermore the dispute of free thought in Ireland: it is not about church, it is about fear, and it is not about respect for opinions, it is about fear. This is about fear of change. He believes that England would prefer as little discussion as possible pertaining to politics in Ireland, hoping that national apathy would quell the desire of the thinking minority, and in essence stop causing so much trouble. It stands in their favor that people would want thought and solutions in theory, but adopt the philosophy that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, because this implies that nothing should change. But the nation of Ireland needed change more than they needed mutual respect at that point because, as Ryan puts it, “political progress must involve change in political ideals and beliefs,” and if historical hindsight has shown us anything it is that Ireland needed political progress at that time or else the issue of Irish unity would go unsolved for centuries (146).  Ryan concludes that we must not fear debate, we must not fear finding out that we are wrong because “never yet was progress possible without intellectual change, never yet did humanity advance a step without the breaking of old traditions and the discarding of old beliefs. (149)” This emphasis on debate and constructive discussion was a recurring theme throughout Dana’s short run in 1904 and 1905.  This is one reason that Dana magazine existed and is still important today: it provided a platform that had been taken away from a people that were on the verge of distinguishing themselves as a nation. It was not about picking a side, it was about arguing each side, and it did so beautifully.

Finally, the topic of nature, always in association with joy and love, is found often in the poetry of Dana, including a poem titled “Two Songs,” a love poem by Seumas O’Sullivan, and “A Sunday in July,” by Edward Dowden, as well as many others which appear throughout the magazine’s issues. The impartiality of nature, which the lover in O’Sullivan’s poem describes, is perhaps part of the subject’s appeal as a means of unification. The idealization of rural life is also evident in the repetition of nature-themed poems. Nature as a theme may appear disjointed from the political articles in the magazine; however, in a publication which strove to find solutions for political troubles, the inclusion of these idyllic poems may have offered a respite for the reader. “Two Songs,” uses images of nature abundantly to praise the addressee of the poem—while both expressing the insufficiency of words and affection, and promising that his adoration will never cease. The structure of the poem includes two parts, three stanzas each, described as per the title of the piece as “songs.” Within each song, the speaker compares his own powers of praise with those of nature; in the first, nature’s affections are described as more appropriate than the lover’s. It is only the sky’s silence and the grass’s rustling or gentleness that is thought by him to adequately resemble the depth of his love. In the second section, however, it is noted by the speaker of the poem that nature is fickle, and that his affection goes even beyond the perfectly appropriate praise given by nature to his lover. It is also in this second song that the phrase “white brow” is introduced, and repeated twice within the few stanzas, as though this pet name were repeated unconsciously as the man’s admiration of the woman is peaking, alongside his declaration that his love—a product of nature itself, one could say—is in fact more true and constant than the natural world. To say such a thing is indeed high praise for a culture in which rural life is of great value and beauty.

Despite its brief run, the twelve issues of Dana comprise a body of work aptly demonstrative of the magazine’s goal toward engendering independent thought.  By featuring the work of a variety of authors on both sides of key debates, especially those pertaining to Irish identity and the future of the Irish people, Dana is an important artifact of cultural and political climates in Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century.  Further, the commitment of the editors’ to promoting Irish literature is also significant, as it affords contemporary audiences a view, not only of specific literature from the era, but also of the effects rendered upon art and literature by those political and cultural debates so carefully considered by the magazine’s essayists, such as the significance of nature in a bucolic nation struggling to preserve its character under imperialist rule.
 

-Elsie Dwyer, Calgary Martin, and Abra Stokowski

A Socialist Perspective in the Early Twentieth Century



            The modern era, a new time of prosperity of Western civilization, ushered in a mass consciousness of the need for change. This desire manifested in many ways, but one was the Socialist movement. One method that was employed to exchange and propagate ideas was the printing of periodicals that would contain sympathetic authors to their Socialist cause. One such magazine, The New Age, was a source of material in which the Socialists in London and elsewhere could rely upon for an injection of ideas. Throughout the magazine, whether discussing architecture, poetry, or alcohol a version that encapsulated the Socialist movement was proffered. All of the articles discussed come from the same volume of The New Age and are all written within three pages of each other.

 

           The first article to be discussed “The Difficulties of Temperance” by G.R.S Taylor, which is an open essay located on page 20, disputes teetotalism and it's proponents respective arguments. The author comments on the lack of evidence and common sense that the Temperance Alliance, a proponent of teetotalism, issued in their pamphlets. The author rebuts the argument offered by the Temperance Alliance that liquor is one of the core reasons for trouble and laziness in society. Taylor states, “We are told that the ills of this world are accurately measured by the imperial pints of beer consume”. In other words, that there is a direct attributable relationship between beer consumption and the maladies of the world. Taylor instead argues that drinking is a result of the “capitalist system”(20). Therefore, Taylor advocates for the “abolition of that system” (20) and the institutionalization of public housing and other Socialist reforms. In addition, the author dismisses the methods employed by the Temperance Alliance to obtain their goals as “medical threats” (20). Instead Taylor offers the Socialist viewpoint that the pub is “the working man’s club” (20). These pro-Socialist arguments were able to be espoused by the confrontation of an easy target, namely the Temperance Alliance.

           In another article located on the next page, “Restoration of Beauty to Life,” there is a theme throughout of dissatisfaction with the current work practices of builders. This displeasure extended from the architect to the builder. The main contention of A. J. Penty, the author, is that the workers were forced to make concessions in their attention to both detail and time spent because of financial considerations. The architects, who worked off-site, are unable to maintain the same quality control that they had previously exhibited. Penty’s frame of reference extends to the Middle Ages, where architecture “was understood and practiced as a great co-operative art” (21). The builders, who offer lackluster product, Penty contends are doing so because they are “employing workmen whose work they supervise” (21) rather than doing it themselves as in earlier times. Although there are no real solutions offered, Penty does note that “few men who are possessed of private means” are able to offer continuity of excellence in their respective fields. Although there is no direct reference on how to rectify the situation through Socialist reform, the status quo is displayed as intolerable and needing a remedy that includes financial reform. One can conclude from this essay that if financial gain were to be taken out of the equation of building, architecture could resume its place as one of the pillars of art. Thus this essay too conforms to the construct that the editors sought to put forth.

In the poem “Utopia,” by E. Nesbit, a poem which reflects on how life could be in a harmonious world. This poem, which is located on page 22, describes a undiscovered place where happiness exists "There is a garden, made for our delight,Where all the dreams we dare not dream come true, .I know it, but I do not know the way"(22). The poem then relates that this place has remained undiscovered because the populace are still living in a world where they are unhappy and work all day, "The blank, unhappy towns, where sick men strive, still doing work that yet is never done, these are our portion, since they are our choice" (22). In other words, they live in this sad and depressing world because they choose to. A particular melancholic tone is struck by the poem’s relaying that the path or direction to this place is unknown, thereby leaving the reader in a state of despair. Eventually, the people can allow themselves to enter such bliss, but in the meantime, no one has been there before. This relates to the Socialist movement because during this time people were breaking away from old ways and trying to emerge into a new lifestyle where their hopes and aspirations could soar. This poem which is an eponym of “Utopia” a book by Thomas More, in which he writes about a perfect society where ownership does not exist, something akin to the Socialist movement. Therefore this poem attempts to give hope to those who were struggling in a world where they felt as if no chance of change could occur, unless action would be taken to secure their Utopia.

             Overall, these three essays, which are almost sequential in their placement, discuss a hodge podge of topics. The one similarity that ties them all together is the Socialist voice that whispers to the reader. It is interesting to note that in “ The Difficulties of Temperance,” the author actually uses the word “Utopia.” Whether or not the editor placed the word there specifically as a foreshadowing of the poem to come, we may never know, but it definitely provides for the possibility of such word placement. In addition, “ The Difficulties of Temperance” seems to disparage a true democracy, “Unfortunately, we have to deal with people who insist on disregarding nine-tenths of the wisdom of philosophers” (20). The only logical conclusion of that statement is an elevation of the one-tenth who abide by the wisdom of philosophers. This argument starts a journey down a slippery slope and may even end with the truncation of free speech. Which would make the advertisement on the following page for a book titled, The Land of Free Speech rather ironic. Whatever the reader's politics, these three articles allow for a glimpse into the Socialist movement and their philosophy at that time.

 

 

Gloom in 1909

The editor of The English Review, Ford Maddox Ford, seemed to always have an agenda on his mind when he published a magazine. For instance, if one would read the titles of the literary works and editorials on the index pages, one would get a sense of what the editor wanted to relate to the general audience. One example is the October issue of 1909 in which Ford tried to emphasize the negativity that was going on in the world around him by publishing works such as “Foreign Affairs,” "The Economic Aspects of Poor Law Reform," "The Policy of the Government,” “The Present Moment in Spain,” and a poem called “Town and Country.” After reading the different works in the magazine one can see how the editor felt about the world during that time period.

Beginning with the editorial portion of the magazine, the following articles discuss the social and/or political state of the world: “Foreign Affairs” by Sir Charles W. Dilke; “The Policy of Government” by M.P.; and “The Present State of Spain” by William T. Goode. The first article discusses the alliances that were made between the different countries before World War I. “It is difficult to defend our expressing for a cynical Europe official horror at the conduct of the Servians in the murder of their king and queen, and equally difficult to justify our joining Russia in a support of Servia, against Austria, too absolute for French concurrence.” (pg 497) The words “Triple Entente” appear in the article as well, signaling to a reader many years later that The Great War was looming. (pg 499) 

The next article speaks about all of the changes that the government is making in order to improve the social well being of the country. "There has been passed this summer, for example, a Bill for the regulation of the wages of labor by the State in certain trades." (pg 517) This article continues to speak about the changes and also possess some questions, "Can the State obtain that severe and arduous service which alone can render possible the continuance of the industrial supremacy of this country? And will it be able to attract, by what recompense it can offer, just those ambitious and alert men without whose guiding and driving force no particular industry can long survive?" (pg 523)

The last article by William T. Goode discusses exactly what the title suggests – the present moment in Spain. Goode traveled to throughout Spain to write this piece and he gives a great description of the physical state of Spain, “Barcelona may be tranquil, but it is the tranquility of a storm just passed, of which one does not feel sure that it will not break out again... Now, the ordinary business life of a great city mingles with the evidences of a desperate struggle, so fresh it might have been yesterday.” (pg 526) He speaks about how the churches were being burned and how nobody was doing anything to stop this:

 

Again and again I have been told that the destruction of church or convent was brought about by a mere handful of men or youths, and the question strange unbidden: “Why did not the inhabitants living near do something to put a stop to it?” For though fire threatened their own dwellings, nothing was done. The reply was characteristic. “If you lived here you would soon learn to avoid anything which would bring you into conflict with the authorities.” Mark that! It was not fear of the rioters, so mush as fear of being mixed up with the authorities that caused people to remain quite while a building was burning next door to them. (pg 534)

Goode continues on and on about how people were left for dead in the streets because they did not want to be held accountable for the deaths of others. Goode later mentions that schools were being closed down left and right throughout the country.

 

Looking through the rest of the magazine one can see the same negativity and gloom that is ever-present throughout the editorial pages. For instance, there are four drawings titled “Four Studies” by Max Beerbohm. All four have a similar common theme throughout them – the subject, a person, is looking down onto someone or something. The first picture is of a woman with her hand on her hips looking down at something towards her left. It seems as though she is telling the reader that he should not even bother her with his nonsense and just move onto the next page. The next picture is the profile of a fairly big man who looks very stern. His face is all crunched up and his eyes are closed, as if he is mad. The third picture is of a smaller looking man dressed in a tuxedo with a top hat in his hand. The mans face is difficult to read, however it seems that he is looking down onto something to the viewers left based on the way that his head is positioned. The last picture is of another man who looks somewhat disheveled in comparison to the other people in the previous pictures. His facial expression looks as though he is annoyed, mad, or incredibly upset. It seems as though Ford told Beerbohm to draw some pictures that portrayed those types of moods and feelings that were in line with the rest of the magazine of with the rest of the world.

There is a short essay that is towards the beginning of the magazine that speaks mainly about funerals and the evolution of the burial process. In “The Church in Lucina’s House,” by Edward Hutton, the word “Death” is mentioned four times in the first paragraph, giving it a very gloomy start. It is interesting to note that this particular piece is written right after the poetry section, since a decent chunk of the poems before this piece talk about god. It is possible that Ford wanted to speak about god first and then talk about the gloom that was going on in the world. It is also possible that Ford wanted to show that god had left the world, which is something that I’m sure a lot of people felt back in 1909.

In closing, throughout the entire magazine one can see evidence of the gloom and sadness that was going on throughout Europe in 1909. Ford achieved his message of gloom, by only publishing works that he felt were relevant. I feel that it is  fairly interesting to learn of the way that people were feeling before The Great War broke out, not only by reading it in a text book or listening to a history teacher speak about it, but also by reading the magazines published during the time. 

Genre in The Blue Review

“The Blue Review” was a monthly magazine with a short run from May to July of 1913.  A follow-up to the quarterly “Rhythm”, “The Blue Review” provided an additional outlet for the publication of visual arts, literary works, and academic essays.  Though generally dense with semantic contributions, sparse works of visual art, as well as critical pieces, with thematic significance add to both the aesthetic and literary value of “The Blue Review”.  This unification of poetry, fiction, visual elements, and analytic works is such that when combined, the effect is harmonious.  Rather than detract from the individual quality of one piece, these works compounded make the overall exponentially better.

Although there aren't many poems in "The Blue Review", the majority of the poems that are included tend to have very similar concepts of love and nature. Most of the poems use nature as a way to express the authors ideas about being in love as well as the effects that aging and getting older has on a person's feelings of love. The poem "Loves Youth" by William H. Davies, written in 1913 (Vol 1. No.3, pg 151), is an example of the use of nature to portray the authors feelings about getting older and still being able to love. He says, "Not only is my love a flower/ that blooms in broad daylight/ But, like the evening Primrose, it/ Will bloom again at night". He uses nature as a metaphor to show that he acknowledges the fact that he is getting older, however, he isn't mournful about it because his love is still young and fresh. James Elroy Flecker uses this same technique in his poem, "Yasmin A Ghazel", written in 1913 (Vol 1. No. 2). His poem describes the romantic connection he has with nature. He talks about waking up in the morning and seeing the suns rays shine down on the lilies and the roses and being able to have the person you love laying next to you. I think these two poems exemplify the way the poets that are included in "The Blue Review" use nature to portray their ideas of love.

 It seems that the same themes of poetic reverence for nature, and all things natural, resonate in the artwork of “The Blue Review”.  And yet, it is though there is a subtlety to these pieces that keep them from feeling hackneyed; a quality that makes for relevance.  “Painting”, by Ambrose McEvoy  might very well be called “Portrait” if we were to only consider the foreground.  The white of the subject’s dress catches our attention, but it is the background that holds it as we consider her muddled reflection--- All at once the whole painting is transformed by her hidden sadness, and we look back through the mirror at a woman and painting made suddenly beautiful.  This notion of complex duality can be found in the use of shadows in G.S. Lightfoot’s “A Composition”. Again, a young woman serves as the subject.  But unlike “Painting”, this piece has a voyeuristic feel to it---  As though we are observing something we are not supposed to see.  If we consider the shadow in the background, this eerie sketch becomes all the more haunting as it appears this woman is in some sort of spotlight, in addition to being scrutinized by us, the audience who exists in reality.  Perhaps the questions these works raise are indicative of a growth and maturation; an understanding that nature encompasses more than what we can observe.

Understandably, the essays published by "The Blue Review" are markedly different than the artistic pieces within a given issue. The distinction between them is not simply one of theme, however, but one of scope as well. Whereas the poems, stories, and visual artistic pieces tend to focus on a single idea, such as man's relationship to nature, distilling it into an impression or image, the academic contributions offer broader, theoretical criticism of the arts. Though the contributions to this category are diverse, there is a discernible current of thought running throughout. Specifically, the question of nation and its connection to artistic output recurs frequently. Perhaps counterintuitively, given their publication by a single magazine, these articles do not hold a unified position on the argument of how much British artists should submit to influence from other country's artistic trends. Rather, there is a clear schism between, on the one hand, critics who believe that British art suffers when it borrows from foreign sources and, on the other, critics who insist that there is value in being open to such influence. "Georgian Music" by W. Denis Browne represents one essay that takes the former position. In it Browne expresses disdain for composers who are "content to borrow the latest thing... from abroad and fit it onto English ideas that have no relationship to it" (65). He is encouraged, though, by the emergence of a new style which he sees as both modern and thoroughly native. Conversely, in "Conventions: Chinese, English and French", the author Gilbert Cannan posits that British theater can be improved by foreign influence, though he does recognize that recent attempts have been, thus far, unsuccessful. Nevertheless he claims that, "we have, after all, something to learn from the Chinese" (45). It is then in the juxtaposition of these seemingly irreconcilable essays that some overall motive may be understood. By positioning these, and other likewise divergent essays, side by side the editors have both revealed an ongoing debate of the times and permitted the readers of "The Blue Review" to participate in that debate in absentia.

Once this particular incongruency is resolved, however, a larger question arises: how do the varied genres in "The Blue Review" inform each other and fit together to form a cohesive whole? Though there is no clear answer to this dilemma, "The Esperanto of Art" by W.L. George may offer some key to resolution. To George the compartmentalisation of the arts is problematic: "There is, there must be a link between the painter, the sculptor, the writer, the musician, the actor, [and] the poet" (28). Consequently, he proposes a unified criticism under which all of the arts can be analyzed. This essay, in a way, verbalizes what may be the goal for "The Blue Review" as well. That is, not perhaps the universal lexicon George suggests, but simply the democratization of art. In this "The Blue Review" succeeds by presenting its readers with a heterogeneous mixture of genres, and criticisms of genres, to illuminate that, in George's words, "art is...all of one stuff" (28).

 

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