Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The New Age, March 11 1915

Hello all: I skipped an issue of The New Age because none of my favorite authors appeared in it, and a lot of it was saddening or offensive--but if you are looking for patronizing antifeminism from the time period, do take a gander at March 4 for the first installment of Maurice Rickett's "Women in a Guild Socialist State." Unfortunately many of the arguments are very familiar and still alive.

"It is no secret to the foreign Press that large forces of French and British troops have been landed on the Gallipoli peninsula, and that the Greek army is mobilising for a march on Constantinople as soon as the Dardanelles are forced... it will be seen that the attack on the Dardanelles is probably the happiest solution of the problem which could have been devised... There will be the minimum loss of
life; the minimum destruction of property" (S. Verdad, 500).

The battle of Gallipoli has begun. This issue of The New Age is an almost-unbelievable testament to British confidence at the beginning of the battle. Even Marmaduke Pickthall, the unabashedly pro-Turkish writer at The New Age, seems to have given up on the Turkish Empire, hoping instead that Turkey preserves an independent state ("The Fate of Turkey," 503).

For his part, the military adviser Romney (never a favorite of mine) takes a cheap shot at his co-contributor: "Before long, one may hope, the fall of Constantinople will have given Mr. Marmaduke Pickthall something to cry about" (501).

Of course, they are all wrong. The campaign will last until next January, and fail, killing half a million people in the process.

Quick notes:

B. Hastings contributes another "Impression of Paris" as Alice Morning. The funniest moment comes when she is explaining that she's moved, rented out three rooms for herself, which is one too many. The extra room has become The Necropolis:  "If anyone coming over here would bring me a parcel or two from THE NEW AGE office, I would reward them with a cup of tea and a view of my third room, the Necropolis, where I put masterpieces of dead art, and volumes of vers libre and Imagism, and yesterday’s milk bottle" (507).

And, under the heading of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, R.H.C. (presumably Orage) ends his "Readers and Writers" column with the below. Oh, for a vorticism-producing machine! Something went off deep in my memory, sending me to Ann Ardis' Modernism and Cultural Conflict, where I found that she discusses this passage on pages 167-8.

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