"Conversations that fly:" the Little Review and modernist salon culture
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 14:28 by Ron Levy
Margaret Anderson (1886-1973), the American writer, editor, publisher, and impassioned promoter of avantgarde forms of expression, defined great art as a struggle for communication (Anderson, Little Review Anthology 11). She ardently believed that the exchange of ideas is a sometimes difficult but vital component of the creative process. It is because of this belief that she launched a magazine called the Little Review in 1914, which quickly established itself as the leading avantgarde magazine of its era. The Little Review was launched on the eve of the First World War, a period when widespread tensions manifested themselves in the arts as well as in political and social realms. It was therefore a time when Modernism - a revolutionary movement in the literary and visual arts that began in the late nineteenth century in response to traditional discourses of rationality and reached its apogee in First-World-War and post-war era- established itself with a broad array of new cultural expressions (Tew and Murray 11). Modernist experimentations were spearheaded by its avantgarde, a group of radical artists and writers representing an aggressively antagonistic spirit and revolting against the old systems of order and bourgeois institutions of art, as theorist Renato Poggioli (8) has described the historical avantgarde of the early twentieth century. As we shall see, the Little Review was an important member of a vanguard that helped create a cultural revolution by casting off, and inventing entirely new, literary and artistic conventions.