Under Margaret Anderson, The Little Review was primarily dedicated
to literary works. In fact, the magazine did not print any images until
1915 when it included a photograph of Rupert Brooke. It was not until
1917 that drawings were included, probably by the assistant editor, Jane
Heap who was an art student. After this the magazine included more artwork.
|The September 1916 issue included the first rough sketches that The
Little Review published. These cartoons, by Heap, depicted
Anderson's entertaining herself instead of editing in response
to her threat in the August issue that she would not publish anything
unless it was beautiful.
Under Jane Heap, The Little Review included
more artwork like this work by Georges Braque.
Anderson's reflection on The Little Review’s
"I have been curiously depressed all day. In the night, I wakened.
First precise thought: I know why I'm depressed -- nothing inspired is going
on. Second: I demand that life be inspired every moment. Third: the only
way to guarantee this is to have inspired conversation every moment. Fourth:
most people never get so far as conversation: they haven't the stamina, and
there is no time. Fifth: if I had a magazine I could spend my time filling
it up with the best conversation the world has to offer. Sixth: marvelous
idea -- salvation. Seventh: decision to do it. Deep sleep."
(My Thirty Years' War)
Heap's Summary of The Little Review
"For years we offered the Little Review as
a trial-track for racers. We hoped to find artists who could
run with the great artists of the past or men who could make
new records. But you can't get race horses from mules....
" We have given space in the Little Review to 23 new systems of
art (all now dead), representing 19 countries. In all of this time we have not
brought forward anything approaching a master piece except the "Ulysses" of
Mr. Joyce. "Ulysses" will have to be the master-piece of this time. "
("Lost: A Renaissance," The Little Review, May 1929).
A Call to Write
“I have been realizing the ridiculous tragedy of The Little Review.
It has been published for over two years without coming near its ideal. The ultimate
reason for life is Art. Art uses up all life can give—and remains forever….
Well—I wanted art in The Little Review. There has been little
of it, just a very little…It is tragic, I tell you…. Now we shall
have Art in this magazine, or we shall stop publishing. I don’t care where
it comes from—America or the South Sea Islands. I don’t care whether
it’s brought by youth or age. I only want the miracle!
I loathe compromise, and yet I have been compromising in every issue by putting
in things that were “almost good” or “interesting enough” or “important.” There
will be no more of it. If there is only one beautiful thing for the September
number it shall go in and the other pages will be left blank. Come on all of
--Anderson, The Little Review, August 1916
Click on thumbnails for larger image