While the likes of Esquire, Playboy and Evergreen Review had all been lightning rods for scrutiny and condemnation (and their imitators as well), none of them (certainly not even Playboy) was solely about sex...even if aids to masturbation (for the audience that enjoyed women's aspect) were the most obvious selling point of a given issue. And, certainly, the majority of women and not a few men were left out of the target-audience equation for these magazines, and the less ambitious skin-magazine digests that flourished at mid-century. Even if Evergreen Review didn't promote itself (overtly) as a men's stroke-book, the mix certainly leaned that way...these two publications were making, to what degree of success is another matter, an effort to reach out simultaneously to those of several persuasions, at a time when the presumed default assumptions ran to the sickness of all homosexuality, the baseness of male heterosexual lust, the odd mix of dainty and guilty that was assumed to be female heterosexuality.
So, the advent of the occasional attempt such as these book-a-zines...and it's probably notable that both of these were published in hardcover format even though they were periodicals, and could be sold either way...with a mix of materials new and old, the old having the advantages of usually being out of copyright protection as well as giving a certain classic or at least (very) arguably tony flavor to the enterprise in question.
Among the more interesting new items in either issue here is the Ray Bradbury story "The Long After Midnight Girl", which deals in part with homophobia and sexual violence in a fairly straightforward way, if going about it somewhat cutely (Bradbury could preach). It's notable (to me, at least) that Anthony Boucher makes a point of mentioning how unsettling he found the story, in not including it but shortlisting it in the appropriate volume of The Year's Best Detective Stories.
These remain interesting for what they suggest about the times, what was and wasn't possible in this kind of publishing, and how they are and are not too much different from similar attempts today, and in recent years.
Please see Patti Abbott's blog for more of today's books (and perhaps a few other magazines...).
- 3 · Why Celine · Hal Zucker · es
- 5 · Hobohemians · Philip Owens · nv
- 43 · The Tongue of Spring and other poems · Beatrice Baron · pm; illus. Picasso
- 56 · Five Poems · Shearman Ray · pm
- 59 · The Labyrinth · Anais Nin · ss
- 63 · Was It Will Be · John Lee Weldon · pl
- 74 · Tennis Anyone? · Anon. · pt; [photographic study]
- 81 · Married Misery · Harry Roskolenko · ss
- 88 · Edge of the Nest · Eugene Armfield · ss Pagany Apr-Jun 1931; illus. Roy Krenkel
- 97 · London Aphrodite · Denys Val Baker, ed. · mg; [separate pagination, 1-160]
- 7 · Introduction · Denys Val Baker · ed
- 9 · The Wanderers · Alun Lewis · ss The Welsh Review Oct 1939
- 25 · The Kimono · H. E. Bates · nv Missing from Their Homes, ed. Anon., Hutchinson 1936
- 43 · A Pearl of Great Price · Rhys Davies · ss
- 53 · The Bridal Night · Frank O’Connor · ss Magpie Nov 1951
- 61 · The Lady and the Tramp · L. J. Daventry · ss
- 80 · The Trap · Dorothy K. Haynes · ss Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch, London: Methuen 1949
- 86 · The Touch · Liam O’Flaherty · ss
- 95 · The Bishop Who Was Never Lonely · Norman Nicholson · ss
- 104 · The Saviour · Glyn Jones · ss
- 116 · The Girl at the Fair · Denys Val Baker · ss
- 126 · A Prospect of the Sea · Dylan Thomas · ss
- 134 · The Vindication · James Thurlby · ss The Face in the Mirror, ed. Anon., London: Opus Press 1946
- 141 · The Imprisoned · Rearden Conner · ss
- 149 · Lost · Patrick Shone · ss
- Eros #4:
- Love in the Bible / Rufus Mott --
- The Jewel Box Revue : A Photographic Essay / Raymond Jacobs --
- A Letter From Allan Ginsberg --
- Was Shakespeare a Homosexual? / John Erno Russell --
- I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl --
- The Long After Midnight Girl : A Short, Short Story / Ray Bradbury --
- The Sexual Side of Anti-Semitism / Shepherd Raymond --
- My Life and Loves / Frank Harris, introduction by Warren Boroson --
- New Twists on 3 Great Trysts / Dan Greenburg --
- President Harding's Second Lady / John Hejno --
- Bawdy Limericks : The Folklore of the Intellectual --
- The Natural Superiority of Women as Eroticists / Eberhard W and Phyllis C Kronhausen --
- Memoirs of a Male Chaperon / John Sack --
- Black and White in Color : A Photographic Tone Poem / Ralph M Hattersley Jr. --
- Lysistrata / Aristophanes, a free adaptation by Ivan Grazni;
- artwork, Albrecht Durer, Rembrandt, Heindrik Goltzius, Jost De Negker, Geller, Jerome Snyder, John Alcom, Charles B Slackman, Milton Glaser; Norman Lindsay, photos, C. White, Raymond Jacobs
Details supplied by Ned Brooks.