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little magazines

The Germ, The Savoy, The Dome, Blast, The Dial, The Egoist, Horizon, The Little Review

a term denoting periodicals whose specialized concern with aspects of literature or art generally places them beyond the ambit of commercial publishing. Numerous examples existed in the nineteenth century or earlier, notably The Germ, the organ of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood founded in 1850, The Savoy, and The Dome, both associated with the coteries of the 1890s; principally because of their major contribution to the dynamics of Modernism, however, little magazines are considered an essentially twentieth-century phenomenon: Malcolm Bradbury has written that ‘the “little magazine” … has been a central and primary feature of the modern movement in literature’, noting that between 1912 and 1947 some 600 appeared in England and America, of which approximately 100 may be considered of importance. These include Blast, The Dial, The Egoist, Horizon, The Little Review, New Verse, Poetry London, Rhythm, and Transatlantic Review. Instances of the little magazines' value to modern literature include the initial appearance of Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and substantial extracts from Ulysses in The Egoist and The Little Review respectively, the early promotion of Imagism in Poetry (Chicago), and the centrality of New Verse to the poetry of the 1930s. The work of the above publications was often characterized by an energetic sense of radical cultural revaluation that is largely absent from the little magazines of the present day. They remain, however, very numerous, as Peter Finch's Small Presses and Little Magazines of the U.K. and Ireland (1988, sixth revised edition) indicates in listing over 300; among the more notable and long-established are Agenda, Ambit, Honest Ulsterman, London Magazine, New Departures, Poetry Review, Poetry Wales, and PN Review, Ian Hamilton's study The Little Magazines appeared in 1976.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Lights of Bohemia to Love in Livery