THE LITTLE REVIEW
A Quarterly Journal of Art and Letters/ Literature, drama, music, art.
Vol. 1 no 1 (March 1914) - Vol. 12 no 2 (May 1929, Final number). Chicago, New York, Paris, 1914-1929. Complete set of 88 issues in unusually good condition. Most issues are very good to near fine, with only few exceptions when for financial constraints cheaper paper had to be used, which inevitably caused that a few numbers (mostly around vols. 4-5, 1918) are weak and occasionally lightly damaged. The set as a whole is in very good condition, some numbers variably show light traces of humidity, but many numbers (in particular the important special numbers on larger size, starting with vol. 8) are near mint. The whole is housed in 7 uniform custom slipcases.
“Making no compromise with the public taste” was the motto of this American avant-garde periodical, edited by Margaret Anderson, later on joined by Ezra Pound as European editor. Together they turned the “Little Review” into a truly international vanguard publication for the arts and letters. A magazine that featured a wide variety of transatlantic modernists and cultivated many early examples of experimental writing and art. Contributors were American, British, Irish and French Modernists. In addition to publishing a variety of international literature, the Little Review printed early examples of Surrealist artwork and Dadaism. It showed sympathy to feminism and anarchism (Emma Goldman collaborated and raised a scandal with the May 1914 issue). Anderson looked out for such controversial work but for lack of sufficient material published in 1916 a Blank Pages issue as a “Want Ad”. The journal has become best known for the first serialized appearance of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”, of which Episodes 1-14 are consecutively contained in the issues between 1918-1920. This resulted in a (second) trial for obscenity and helped to establish the journal’ reputation. A first obscenity trial occurred some years earlier when the Post Master refused distribution of the October 1917 issue for a story by Wyndham Lewis. In its history the journal was often criticized and threatened in its existence, such as for the sexually explicit writings of Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (her photograph Sept/Dec 1920 by Man Ray). There were a number of special issues, such as 'A study of french modern poets', 'An American Number' and issues dedicated to Henry James (with essays about him by Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot a.o.), Remy de Gourmont, W.H. Hudson. In 1923 the editors travelled to Paris, and between 1925 and 1929 Heap became the new editor. Then the journal started to publish more art in addition to literature (2 expositions organised: Machine Age and Intl.Theatre Exposition in NY). There were elaborately produced important special numbers in this period (which are in particularly very good condition contained in the set): Special issue: Brancusi, Picabia, Joseph Stella, Exiles (the Paris avant-garde), Juan Gris, an issue for Van Doesburg/I.K.Bonset, American and the Frernch Surrealists a.o. Work of the following artists is reproduced: Stanislaw Szukalski, William Saphier, Osip Zadkine, Jean de Bosschere, Stuart Davies, Man Ray (various photographs), Hans Arp, Atkinson, de Bosschere, Duchamp, Max Erst, Léger, Joseph Stella,and others. Literary contributions and essays by: James Joyce, Tristan Tzara, Francis Picabia, Apollinaire, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Conrad Aiken, Malcolm Cowley, Louis Lozowick, Jean de Bossschere, Arthur Winthrop, Dorothy Richardson, Marianna Moore, William Butler Yeats, Ribemont Dessaignes, T.S. Elliot, Margaret Anderson,Helen Hoyt, Lupo de Braila, sherwood Anderson, Marjory Siefert, Alexander Kaun, Arthur Symons, Eunice Tietjens,Emma Crane, Hart Crane, Wyndham Lewis, Maxwell Bodenheim, William C. Williams, Giovanni Papini, Emannuel Carnevali a.o. Drawings by Stuart Davies, Max Weber, Jerome Blum, Marie Laurencin, De Segonzac, et al. The final issue of this controversial and notorious literary magazine contained confessions and letters from 62 leading writers and artists of the period, including James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Sherwood Anderson, Jean Cocteau, T. S. Eliot, Havelock Ellis, Ford Madox Ford, Andre Gide, Emma Goldman, Ben Hecht, Moholy-Nagy, Ezra Pound, Edith Sitwell, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, a.o., the questions were criticised with Tristan Tzara replying "What the fuck are you doing ?" Publication sequence as follows: Vol.1, Nos.1-11 (March-December, 1914, and January-February, 1915); Vol.2, Nos.1-10 (March-December, 1915, and January-February, 1916); Vol.3, Nos.1-10 (March-November, 1916, and January-April, 1917); Vol.4, Nos.1-8 (May-December, 1917); [Vol. 5-6]January-December, 1918...erroneously numbered]; [January-December, 1919...erroneously numbered]; Vol.6, Nos.9-11 (January, March-April, 1920); Vol.7, Nos.1-4 (May-June, July-August, September-December, 1920, and January-March, 1921); Vol.8, Nos.1-2 (Autumn, 1921 & Spring, 1922); Vol.9, Nos.1-4 (Autumn & Winter, 1922 & Spring and Autumn-Winter, 1923); Vol.10, Nos.1-2 (Spring-Summer, 1924 & Autumn-Winter, 1924-25); Vol.11, Nos.1-2 (Spring & Winter, 1925); Vol.12, Nos.1-2 (Spring-Summer, 1926 & Spring [May], 1929 - the Final Number) . It seems that there has been a supplement to this last number (not included in the set) as an Editorial by Margaret Anderson and tentatively numbered as 12 No.3 (May 1929).