Our Project

The little magazines of the early 20th century platformed a broad spectrum of voices, acted as a megaphone for unique artists. Their influence, although not widely acknowledged, was often seminal, jumpstarting the establishment of far more momentous intellectual ideals and literary careers. Publications like The Little Review introduced readers to writers whose names would become synonymous with 20th century literature, such as James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, and Sherwood Anderson. Several poets who wrote for the magazines would go on, under the influence of Ezra Pound, to create and perpetuate the Imagist poetry movement, casting aside the widely read romantic poetry that was the norm in Western Europe (Pound himself, a controversial and contradictory figure, harbored much of the deep-seated anti-Semitism of 1900s Europe, while also expressing profound interest in South and East Asian literature). Magazines such as The Crisis, founded by W.E.B. DuBois and funded by the N.A.A.C.P., and The Freewoman, founded in London by Dora Marsden, used their unique platform to promote progressive social movements. In this project we analyze the different ways in which the little magazines influenced the world around them. Through the next four pages we analyze specific ways that the little magazine’s influence can be seen; their most basic achievement was to elevate and embolden voices which were otherwise suppressed by the mainstream media of the time. We put forth the argument that, whether through literary movements, individual voices that reached internationally, and harbored nascent ideologies as they developed across print, minds, and passports.