The Modernist Journals Project es un proyecto de digitalización de las principales revistas culturales del modernismo anglosajón. El sitios admite bajar el material en formato pdf. Una introducción a BLAST que podrán completar con su consulta online:
On July 1, 1914 — a miserable day of thunderstorms and the hottest day of the year — a new little magazine burst upon London. Its cover was described by the Chicago modernist magazine Little Review as “something between magenta and lavender, about the colour of a sick headache,” while the Pall Mall Gazette jibed that its color was “chill flannelette pink,” like “the catalogue of some cheap Eastend draper, and its contents are of the shoddy sort that constitutes the Eastend draper’s stock” (qtd. in O’Keeffe 157). Oversized black capital letters cut diagonally across the cover with the British expletive “BLAST.” The magazine featured a sharply worded, dramatic, often bitingly humorous manifesto that began, “BLAST First (from politeness) ENGLAND,” and it went on to “blast” the entire Victorian age, much of the British art world, British humor, France, and a wide range of other targets. It then “blessed” many of those same targets, yet with qualifications that delineated fairly consistent polemical positions.
The manifesto, written by Blast’s editor, Wyndham Lewis, was signed by a group of young writers and artists: Richard Aldington, Malcolm Arbuthnot, Lawrence Atkinson, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Jessica Dismorr, Cuthbert Hamilton, Ezra Pound, William Roberts, Helen Saunders, Edward Wadsworth, and Wyndham Lewis. This list of signatories does not reflect the level of unity and coordination often signaled by the manifesto genre. Few of those named had taken a serious role in the creation of the magazine or of the manifesto. As Richard Cork puts it, “Aldington probably summed up the attitude of the others by recording, in the same year, that Mr Lewis has carefully and wittily compiled a series of manifestos, to which we have all gleefully applied our names” (Cork 246). William Roberts later noted that “The first knowledge I had of a Vorticist Manifesto’s existence was when Lewis, one fine Sunday morning in the summer of 1914, knocked at my door and placed in my hands this chubby, rosy, problem-child Blast” (qtd. in Cork 247). But it was important for the magazine to convey a sense of a cohesive and effective avant-garde group, even if “Vorticism” could only vaguely be said to exist. Just five years before, another avant-garde impresario, F. T. Marinetti, had published in the Parisian newspaper Le Figaro a manifesto and account of the founding of another avant-garde group, the Italian Futurists. At the time, the Futurists as a group did not even exist — or, if it did, Marinetti was both its leader and its only member. Marinetti had more or less created the Futurists ex nihilo by publishing the manifesto and asserting their existence. Similarly, Lewis would later say that “Vorticism, in fact, was what I, personally, did and said, at a certain period” (qtd. in Wees 3). While Lewis exaggerates in equating Vorticism entirely with his own personal efforts, there was certainly something P. T. Barnum-like in Lewis’s and Marinetti’s efforts to manufacture an audience for their enterprises. Indeed, avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century owed a debt to the rapidly developing promotional culture of the modern industrial West — a debt that Blast, like the publications of the Italian Futurists, openly acknowledged.
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