“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, December, 1920, Greenwich Village, New York City, New York

The most recent issue of The Little Review—the September-December number, just out now—is finally on the desk of the publisher Margaret Anderson, 34.

September-December 1920 issue of The Little Review

Anderson is proud of the mix of the 90 pages of content:  Work by emerging American talents such as Man Ray, 30; Ben Hecht, 27; Djuna Barnes, 28; Robert McAlmon, 25. Five pages of poems by the German avant-garde artist Else von Freytag-Loringhoven, 46. Several reviews and discussions of recent literature.

The jewel in the crown is the 11-page excerpt from Episode XIV of Ulysses, the ongoing novel by Irishman James Joyce, 38, living in Paris and submitting his work via The Little Review’s foreign editor, Ezra Pound, 35, in London.

But there are two long essays in the front of the magazine of which Anderson is particularly proud:  The lead article, “The Art of Law,” by Jane Heap, 37, the magazine’s editor—and Anderson’s partner; and her own piece defending their publication of sections of Ulysses. Anderson remembers that she was so exasperated when she was finishing the essay, she titled it “An Obvious Statement (for the millionth time).”

Margaret Anderson’s editorial

Jane is much better at being witty and pithy. She makes the points that the courts are not qualified to judge works of art, and that the real problem is that sex education is almost unheard of for the “young girls” who are supposedly being protected by the censors, the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice [NYSSV].

In her own piece, Anderson describes her and Heap’s recent arrest and preliminary hearing on obscenity charges. She then alerts the reader to their upcoming trial, scheduled for the early part of next year. Anderson states,

I know practically everything that will be said in court, both by the prosecution and the defense. I disagree with practically everything that will be said by both. I do not admit that the issue [of obscenity] is debatable.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Early next year I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre, and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, are available to view for free on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

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