Commerce, little magazines and modernity: New York, 1915-1922
This thesis examines the theme of commerce in four magazines of literature and the arts, all published in New York between 1915 and 1922. The magazines are The Seven Arts (1916-1917), 291 (1915-1916), The Soil (1916-1917), and The Pagan (1916-1922). The division between art and commerce is addressed in the text of all four, in a variety of different ways, and the results of that supposed division are explored for each magazine. In addition ‘commerce’ is also used in this thesis in the sense of conversation or communication, and is used as a way to describe them in the body of their immediate cultural environment. In the case of The Seven Arts, as discussed in Chapter 1, the theme of commerce with the past, present, and future is examined: the way that the magazine incorporates the European classical past and rejects the more recent intellectual past; the way it examines the industrial present, and the projected future of American arts and letters. In the case of The Soil and 291 (the subjects of Chapters 2 and 3) there is extensive commerce between them in the sense of intercommunication, a rival dialogic demonstrating both ideological and economic rivalry. These two chapters comprise an extensive examination of the relationship between the magazines, and shows how much of this involves commerce in the financial sense. The fourth magazine, The Pagan, is concerned with a different sense of commerce, in the form of its rejection of the American capitalist system, and is critically examined here for the first time. The introduction is a survey of examples from the whole field of American periodicals of the time, particularly those immediately relevant to the magazines described here, and acts to delineate the field of scholarship and also to justify the particular approach used. The conclusion provides a summary of the foregoing chapters, and also suggests ways in which each magazine approaches the dissemination, or ‘sale’ of the idea of the new.
- PhD