Books: Guerrilla Jehad

MY THIRTY YEARS’ WAR—Margaret Anderson—Covici-Friede ($4). Margaret Anderson is 40. For 30 years she fought, she avers, a holy war for Art. against Philistinism; now she admits it was a guerrilla jehad, not so much a conscious fight as constant reaction. Like Poet Robert Graves (TIME, Jan. 6), she wants to get the memory off her chest, then try something else. Says she, aptly: “I am trying to become a new human being.” Famed among left-wing litterateurs and artists as founder-editor of the late Little Review, Margaret Anderson started life as the rebellious daughter of a well-to-do Columbus (Ind.) family. She hated her mother; her father sympathized with her but was too much married to do anything about it. Finally Margaret broke loose, went to Chicago. There she went to concerts, met the literary colony (Floyd Dell, Francis Hackett, Vachel Lindsay, Sherwood Anderson, Theodore Dreiser), wrote book reviews (sometimes 50 over the weekend ), played the piano. But Margaret Anderson wanted to run her own magazine. She thought of the Little Review, talked it up in the studios, wrote letters about it to writers she had never seen, collected ads, decided to pay no contributors. The magazine appeared. Never far from financial disaster, it had a succes d’estime, continued off and on for 15 years. Says Margaret Anderson: “1 was born to be an editor. I always edit everything. I edit my room at least once a week.” One day stocky, masculine Jane Heap walked into the office, became co-editor. Says Author Anderson: with the possible exception of Painter Pablo Picasso, whom she has never met, Jane Heap “is the world’s best talker.” The Little Review had many enthusiasms. Under the influence of Emma Goldman it was anarchist for a while. When it recovered from this phase, Subscriber Upton Sinclair cancelled his subscription. Said he: “Please cease sending me the Little ^ Review. I no longer understand anything in it, so it no longer interests me.” Replied Editor Anderson with similar brilliance: “Please cease sending me your socialist paper. I understand everything in it, therefore it no longer interests me.” Wrote Jane Heap, summing up their activities in the final number: “We have given space … to 23 new systems of art (all now dead), representing 19 coun tries.” The Little Review’s most famed accomplishment was to print, as fully as post-office censorship would allow, Author James Joyce’s Ulysses, never before -pub lished. Several issues were burned. They were prosecuted by John S. Sumner, paid a fine rather than go to jail. Wherever the editors decided to move, there their magazine followed: California (where, finding no art to please them, they capriciously published a blank issue), Manhattan, Paris. In France the Little Review encountered Critic Alfred Rich ard Orage (TIME, March 31), decided Art was not a grown-up occupation, ceased publication last year. Now Editors Ander son and Heap live in France, have adopted two small boys, intend to lead a new life, try to grow up. For an editor of her years, Margaret Anderson makes some surprising blunders in this book. She does not know Tom Mooney is still in jail. She is proud of having published Ulysses, but gives two facsimile pages, showing Joyce’s correc tions, of Work in Progress (TIME, Feb. 17), and labels it “Galley proof of Ulys ses.” Says she: A. R. Orage changed her whole life; but she calls him “A. E.” Blonde, chic, well-dressed, in striking contrast to her gossip Jane Heap (even when penniless, Margaret Anderson wears a gardenia, a rope of pearls), she looks conventional if fast; is neither. No longer a believer in ecstasy, she seems still in this book to have confidence in her cleverness. Like Poet Graves’ autobiography, hers ends on a note mystical but self-assured: “I no longer look out upon a.lighthouse. I live in one.”

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