Review of Australian Literary Magazines 1923-1954 by John Tregenza
'To hell with literature / let's start a magazine', wrote E. E. Cummings, and the rest of his amusing poem is not without relevance to the little magazines which this monograph usefully surveys. The word 'little' in this connection refers above all to small circulation, though Dr Tregenza is probably right in thinking that the term derives from the famous Little Review which was the standard-bearer of Anglo-American modernism between 1914 and 1929. He takes the Little Review as his model instance, and from it derives two other 'essential features' of a little magazine—first, that it must be truly avant-garde, and secondly that its leading contributors must be 'concerned to examine and depict, and if possible to find a way out of, that social and intellectual Wasteland which was the aftermath of the first World War'. Implied in both these features is that the magazine is of a literary sort, even if in a fairly wide sense.
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