Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday's "Forgotten" Books: THE MASSES: ECHOES OF REVOLT 1911-1917 ed. William O'Neill; THE SMART SET: A HISTORY AND ANTHOLOGY ed. Carl Dolmetsch

At Phil Stephensen-Payne and William Contento's index from the Miscellaneous Anthologies site they host:

The Smart Set: A History and Anthology ed. Carl R. Dolmetsch (Dial Press, The LC:66-27392, 1966, $17.50, xxv+262pp, hc, cover by Paul Bacon); 

Massive celebration of Mencken’s famous magazines, mixing a history of the magazine with reprints of some classic pieces published therein, with a scattering of full colour cover reproductions. [PSP] 

ix · “Something Personal” · Carl R. Dolmetsch · fw
xix · An Introductory Reminiscence · S. N. Behrman · in
1 · Part One: The History
3 · Caviar for Dilettantes · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
13 · The Colonel versus Mrs. Grundy · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
23 · “For Minds That Are Not Primitive” · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
32 · Owen Hatteras in Eruption · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
43 · “Good Lord, Deliver Us!” · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
52 · Pistols for Two · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
67 · “The Aristocrat Among Magazines” · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
84 · The Costs of Cleverness · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
92 · Ringing the Changes · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ar
95 · Part Two: The Anthology
97 · A Cycle of Manhattan · Thyra Samter Winslow · ss The Smart Set Mar ’19; abridged
121 · Americanization: A Movie · William Gropper · ct The Smart Set Aug ’22
122 · The Three Infernal Jokes · Lord Dunsany · ss The Smart Set Jul ’15
127 · Union Square · Witter Bynner · pm The Smart Set May ’13
128 · Later · Willard Huntington Wright · pm The Smart Set May ’13
129 · The Education of Paul Gant · Howard Mumford Jones · ss The Smart Set Feb ’19
137 · Cats · Morris Gilbert · pm The Smart Set Oct ’16
138 · The Librarian · Mark Van Doren · pm The Smart Set Oct ’15
139 · Roses of a Dream: The Ballad of a Beach-Comber · Alfred Damon Runyon · pm The Smart Set Jun ’08
141 · Répétition Générale · George Jean Nathan & H. L. Mencken · ed The Smart Set Jun ’23; selections
144 · From the Journal of Madame Leandre · Helen Woljeska · ms The Smart Set Aug ’06
145 · A Ghost of a Chance · O. Henry · ss The Smart Set Jan ’03
150 · As Played Before His Highness · James Branch Cabell · ss The Smart Set Mar ’02
160 · How the Twelve Best Sellers Ended · Carl Van Vechten · ms The Smart Set Mar ’08
162 · Mirrors · Robinson Jeffers · vi The Smart Set Aug ’13
165 · That Second Man · S. N. Behrman · ss The Smart Set Nov ’19
178 · A Persian Love Song · John Hall Wheelock · pm The Smart Set Jun ’12
179 · Too Bad · Dorothy Parker · ss The Smart Set Jul ’23
186 · Pan Is Dead · Ezra Pound · pm The Smart Set Sep ’13
187 · Nina · Muna Lee · pm The Smart Set Sep ’16
188 · Violets · D. H. Lawrence · pm The Smart Set Sep ’13
190 · Barbara on the Beach · Edna St. Vincent Millay · ss The Smart Set Nov ’14
194 · The Needy Poet Invoketh the Gods · John McClure · pm The Smart Set May ’15
195 · Riot · John V. A. Weaver · pm The Smart Set Mar ’20
197 · A Little Cloud · James Joyce · ss The Smart Set May ’15
206 · From a Book of Familiar American Phrases · Hans Stengel · ct The Smart Set Mar ’23
207 · Ile · Eugene O’Neill · pl The Smart Set May ’18
217 · In the Subway · Louis Untermeyer · pm The Smart Set Sep ’11
218 · The Beggar-Woman Sings · Padraic Colum · pm The Smart Set May ’15
219 · “Ashes to Ashes” · James Gardner Sanderson · ss The Smart Set Jan ’15
224 · The Débutanté · F. Scott Fitzgerald · pl The Smart Set Nov ’19
237 · La Dame a L’Eventail · Anatole France · ss The Smart Set Aug ’02
240 · The Seventh Veil · George Jean Nathan · ar The Smart Set Sep ’23; abridged
243 · Si Mutare Potest Aethiops Pellum Suam · H. L. Mencken · br The Smart Set Sep ’17; abridged
249 · Leaves · Luis Muñoz Marin · pm The Smart Set May ’20
250 · After Reading Keats · Charles Hanson Towne · pm The Smart Set Jul ’07
251 · Shopping for The Smart Set · Marion C. Taylor · cl The Smart Set Feb ’11; abridged
256 · Afterword · Carl R. Dolmetsch · aw
258 · Notes to the History · Carl R. Dolmetsch · ms

(Phil, or his source, has broken the chapters of Dolmetsch's long essay on the history of The Smart Set magazine into individual essays here.)

(Remarkable to me that I can't [couldn't]  find an image of the latter nor a detailing of the former, though even Amazon has covers for both the 1966 hardcover and the 1989 paperback of The Masses...; clearly I need to get cracking with the indexing and scanning...) Meanwhile, the publisher's blurb for the paperback reprint of Echoes of Revolt notes:

The 9x12 format beautifully displays the contributions of Sherwood Anderson, Stuart Davis, Jack London, Emma Goldman, Louis Untermeyer, George Bellows, Floyd Dell, Art Young, Boardman Robinson, Upton Sinclair, Amy Lowell, Carl Sandburg, John Reed, Pablo Picasso, Randolph Bourne, John Sloan, Dorothy Day, and many others.

WorldCat isn't Too much help here, with the only index I find a breakdown of the chapters within, without details of the works collected or excerpted under those chapter headings:

I. Matters of Policy --
Editing a Radical Magazine --
'The Masses' and the Press --
'The Masses' and the Censor --
'The Masses' and the Left --
II. The Freedom to Express --
Just for Fun --
Fiction --
Verse --
Views and Reviews --
III. The Class Struggle --
The Capitalist Order --
The Political Order --
The Industrial Wars --
The Progress of Poverty --
IV. Moral Issues --
The Prostitute --
Feminism --
Birth Control --
Christ and the Churches --
'The Masses' and the Negro --
V. Wars in General and the War in Particular --
Wars in General --
Socialism and the War --
Christianity and the War --
The War in Europe --
Preparedness --
The War at Home --
The End of the Masses.

These are two coffee-table books, both oddly first published in 1966 (a good year for ct books from epochal early-century magazines, clearly), that I discoverd in 1979, the first in the Hawaii State Library and the second in my high-school recent years I've picked up copies of both, though they are in one of the many boxes, or I'd try to make time to get the index and image in now.

But reading these in nearly immediate succession was pretty mind-blowing, to say the least...while both feature material that seemed a bit quaint fifty years later (and now nearly a century), both also give a sense of the ferment around The Smart Set, "The Magazine of Cleverness" and the first joint publishing project of H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, and the eclectic radical magazine The Masses, edited by Max Eastman and Floyd Dell.

Both duos were ready to take on the world, and were fortunate and industrious enough to draw to them much of the literary (and larger cultural) ferment of the time; even if they might've published only a token piece by some important figures (while nurturing others, and inspiring even more that they didn't publish), in their magazines that reached only a fraction of the circulation of the well-established literary and political magazines that were less interested in the new and freely ranging work that appeared here. While such more sober and limited magazines as The American Mercury and The New Masses were in a sense the children of these, they weren't up to the best of the earlier magazines, one cut down by financial troubles (despite The Smart Set spinning off eventually legendary crime-fiction magazine Black Mask to help bring in some funds; SS contributor Dashiell Hammett made a bit of a splash in the new magazine), the other put out of business by the iron hand of the Woodrow Wilson Administration for its antiwar critique (among others).

They are fine anthologies that vividly give a sense of why their magazines are still important in understanding the history of (at least) literature of the time, and since, and good reading experiences (even given the slight disadvantages of propping a coffee table book on one's belly while reading in bed).

More, I suspect, later. (Sorry, other work, the paying kind, calls rather impatiently.)


pattinase (abbott) said...

Hey, we have that book our our shelf.

Todd Mason said...

THE MASSES volume, or THE SMART SET? (I'm suspecting THE MASSES...)(the Red Squad will be visiting soon...)

Richard R. said...

The graphics (font) on Masses marks it as 1966-1971 without even knowing anything else about it. Pretty much early rock poster stuff. Not something I'd have bought then, or read then or now, but an interesting post. Thanks.

Todd Mason said...

Though that's in part due to the hippie sorts' fascination for certain Victorian and Edwardian things...the image is pure MASSES, and the typeface isn't too far from some they employed as well.

The first time I was powerfully reminded of reading these two books essentially together was in an English class in college in which GATSBY and Agnes Smedley's DAUGHTER OF EARTH were the primary novel texts. And, of course, Hammett and Eugene O'Neill and Sherwood Anderson and Robinson Jeffers might well've appeared in either volume, and not they alone. (Emma Goldman and Dorothy Day maybe not so likely in THE SMART SET; James Branch Cabell might've been less comfortable in THE MASSES...).

Jerry House said...

Also of interest, Todd, is Smart Set Anthology (1934), edited by Groff Conklin (of Science fiction anthology fame) and Burton Rascoe. I remember this one having some pretty good stories. Wikipedia mentions that it was reprinted in 1944 as The Bachelor's Companion.

Todd Mason said...

Indeed. I finally caught up with the Conklin and Rascoe monster about ten years ago, when I was buying the two highlighted here...made a permanent "friend" of Alibris thus. It's a much larger (or at least more paginated) anthology than the Dolmetsch.

George said...

It's sad to consider periodicals like this have become dinosaurs. How would Mencken fare on the Internet today? And how much of the Internet will ever be saved and "anthologized" for future readers? These are the type of questions your postings cause me to ponder, Todd.

Todd Mason said...

I suspect Mencken would have a position today not unlike Christopher Hitchens's, still ensconsed in "old medium" publications but increasingly read online...and while I foresee ever greater numbers of ebook anthologies from webzines, the durability of books away from their hardware is somehting not comfortably lost, no.

And it might be a while before some of the esthetic advantages of book publication are caught up with by electronic publication...even given electronic publication's ability to briefly (or not so briefly) animate the image of Carla Gugino (as in the web version of THE LA TIMES MAGAZINE this week)(then again, the newstand edition of ESQUIRE is particularly keen on playing with new technologies in this regard, as well).