Friday, June 21, 2013

The New Age, June 19, 1913

I miss Beatrice Hastings.  She hasn't written an article in the last few issues of The New Age (unless, of course, I miss Hastings because I miss her pseudonymous publications)The other writers seem largely concerned with cultivating the cold hauteur of English masculine intellect--and their writing suffers for it.  The post on this issue, then, will be primarily historical rather than critical.

It's refreshing when The New Age is intelligently socialist.  I liked the opening article on why poor people shouldn't have to put skin in the game through taxes--it could have been reprinted during the last election.  The thesis: if you take money away from wage earners who are living at a subsistence level, you will have to provide services to make up the gap, which defeats the purpose of taxation.  Of course, it's wages that are the problem--The New Age wants to abolish them altogether.

While S. Verdad and Romney, the international and military correspondents, are often very very wrong, sometimes they really nail it.  This is from S. Verdad: "Everybody knows that Russia is supporting Servia, and that Bulgaria is counting upon the assistance of Austria.  What will happen in the event of a dispute?  May there not be another crisis?  And, if so, war is inevitable" (197). Inevitable because Germany is losing its allies and needs to put up a show of strength. 

On eugenics, The New Age has a common-sense response to Edgar Schuster's book about how England is degenerating etc. etc (209).  The response: nobody knows how heredity really works, or what can be passed down, or how--so why make assumptions?  I wonder how this piece resonates in 2013.  I'll ask my friend and subject-matter-expert Adam Turner next time I see him. 

Remember how Poetry was in ecstasies over Tagore?  Not The New Age.  Awful skewering satirical piece on page 213. 

Henri Bergson seems to haunt everything modern/ist: he gets attacked in a letter to The New Age for being mystical (214-215). 

There's a great caricature of G.K. Chesterton on the back cover.

Last, a quick thought: The New Age  is always quick to run down poets and authors, but the poetry they publish is awful.  I hope someday they explain what they like. 

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