First Response


This is a valuable piece of research that forms the basis of a challenge to Beasley’s analysis of the separation of the verbal and visual content in early modernist little magazines. The close reading of the double-spreads and the attention to the significance of advertisements are done well and the author conveys an assured sense of her/his dialogue with current debates the wider field of modernist studies. Two things could be taken further, perhaps, to open out the wider implications of this research. First, research on the wider scholarship on advertising and the visual arts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century would enrich the argument about the blurring of boundaries between the perceived antitheses of modernism and mass culture. Second, sharpening up the sense of the pre-history of this integration of the visual and literary in the late-nineteenth century forebears to these magazines such as the Yellow Book would give a more assured tone to the less confident explication of the arts and crafts movement early on in the piece. At its core this chapter has a sharp thesis that could be developed into an important essay for a leading journal in due course: ‘The interdisciplinary nature of the periodical extends beyond a simple conjunction of art and literature by uniting art and commerce in a manner that reconfigures advertisements as pieces of art.’ Tightening and reconfiguring the material to radiate out from this as an opening argument would make for a strong contribution to modernist studies.