Monday, November 27, 2006

This came last week from the Writer’s Almanac. I thought it was brilliant for those of you who did not get to read it. Oh may god grant me a publisher like this!!!!

It's the birthday of the publisher and editor of The Little Review magazine, Margaret Anderson , born in Indianapolis, Indiana (1886). She grew up in the small town of Columbus, Indiana, but early on she decided that she didn't fit into small-town life at all. So she moved to Chicago, which was the artistic capital of the Midwest at the time. In order to create a circle of artistic friends, she decided to start a magazine devoted to the avant-garde. She said that her plan was to fill the magazine with "the best conversation the world has to offer."

She called her magazine The Little Review , and the first issue came out inMarch 1914. The magazine had a motto printed on the cover that said, "A Magazine of the Arts, Making No Compromise with the Public Taste."

In 1918, thepoet Ezra Pound showed Anderson the manuscript for a new novel called Ulysses by a man named James Joyce. When she read it, she wrote to Pound, "This is the most beautiful thing we'll ever have! We'll print it if it's the last effort of our lives."

It took three years to serialize the whole novel, during which four complete issues of the magazine were confiscated and burned by the U.S. PostOffice. She was eventually convicted of obscenity charges for printing the novel. At the trial, the judge wouldn't let the offending material be read in herpresence, because she was a woman, even though she had published it. But she said that the worst part of the experience was just the fact that all those issues of her magazine had been burned.

She said, "The care we had taken to preserve Joyce's text intact. ... The addressing,wrapping, stamping, mailing; the excitement of anticipating the world's responseto the literary masterpiece of our generation ... and then a notice from the Post Office: BURNED."

She kept publishing The Little Review after that, but the issues appeared lessand less frequently. Her last issue came out in 1929.

Margaret Anderson said, "I believe in the unsubmissive, the unfaltering, the unassailable, the irresistible, the unbelievable”in other words, in an art of life."

1 comment:

LJCohen said...

Thank you for sharing this. An anthem of strength I needed to read today.

Hope you are well.