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Partisan Review

Related: Susan Sontag - New York intellectuals - Clement Greenberg - Robert Warshow - American literature - left

The Rise of the New York Intellectuals: Partisan Review and Its Circle, 1934-1945 (1986) - Terry A. Cooney [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
Image shown is not cover of book, but of 1938 issue of Partisan Review


Partisan Review was an American political and literary quarterly published from 1934 to 2003. It was founded by William Phillips and Philip Rahv. It grew out of the John Reed Club as an alternative to New Masses, the publication of the American Communist Party, but became virulently anti-Communist after Stalin. Many of its early authors were Jewish immigrants from Europe. The journal reached its peak influence from the late 1930s to the early 1960s, but then gradually lost its relevance to modern American culture. Phillips died in September 2002 at age 94. The journal continued under his wife Edith Kurzweil until it ceased publication in April 2003.

In 1949, Partisan Review awarded George Orwell £357 for the year's most significant contribution to literature, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Classic stories and articles first published in Partisan Review:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partisan_Review [Feb 2006]


New York Times and Boston Globe: Partisan Review ceases publication with tribute issue to William Phillips

Partisan Review, an influential quarterly journal of culture and politics, founded in 1934 in New York’s Greenwich Village and housed at Boston University since 1978, publishes its final issue this month as a tribute to cofounder and editor in chief William Phillips, who died in September 2002. In its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, the journal provided readers with an introduction to abstract expressionism, existentialism, new criticism, and works by young writers such as Robert Lowell, Susan Sontag, Norman Mailer, and Elizabeth Hardwick, reports the April 17 New York Times. The journal’s influence had been supplanted by such high-profile competitors as The New Republic and the New York Review of Books, and its dwindling circulation, recently down to about 3,200, combined with Phillips’ death, proved decisive to its fate. In a Boston Globe interview on April 17, Chancellor John Silber says he surveyed a dozen or so intellectual and literary figures in deciding what to do with the magazine. “The general attitude was that Partisan Review was a reliquary. What it needed was a new editor and purpose and direction.” In the New York Times, Silber says that the journal “was magnificent when it was the left’s response to Stalinism. Following Stalin’s death it continued to still have relevance because we were in the Cold War period. But after perestroika, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the breaking down of the Berlin Wall, the magazine lost its purpose.” Still, he calls the journal “a valuable name,” adding, “I would still hope that it could be revived.” BU, which owns the rights to the journal’s name and archives, hopes to eventually resuscitate it. “The Yale Review was discontinued some years ago, and after there was some reconsideration they found a new editor, a new direction, and they revived it,” says Silber. “I suspect something similar might happen with Partisan Review.” Phillips’ wife, Edith Kurzweil, who has overseen the journal as executive editor since his death, says that she and the magazine’s advisory board decided to cease publication with the new issue and make it a tribute to Phillips. “We thought we should go out with a bang rather than whatever we had on hand,” she says. --http://www.bu.edu/bridge/archive/2003/04-25/in-the-news.html, Week of 25 April 2003· Vol. VI, No. 30

The Rise of the New York Intellectuals: Partisan Review and Its Circle, 1934-1945 (1986) - Terry A. Cooney

The Rise of the New York Intellectuals: Partisan Review and Its Circle, 1934-1945 (1986) - Terry A. Cooney [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Terry A. Cooney traces the evolution of the Partisan Review—often considered to be the most influential little magazine ever published in America—during its formative years, giving a lucid and dispassionate view of the magazine and its luminaries who played a leading role in shaping the public discourse of American intellectuals. Included are Lionel Trilling, Philip Rahv, William Phillips, Dwight Macdonald, F. W. Dupee, Mary McCarthy, Sidney Hook, Harold Rosenberg, Delmore Schwartz, among others. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

A Theory of Popular Culture (1944) - Dwight Macdonald

In 1944, meanwhile, Dwight Macdonald, an editor of Partisan Review, published his seminal essay “A Theory of Popular Culture” – to which T.S. Eliot paid the compliment in 1948 of saying that he believed Macdonald’s was the best alternative to Eliot’s own Notes Toward the Definition of Culture. Macdonald for his part refined his views in 1953 with the essay, “A Theory of Mass Culture,” later expanded in the long essay, “Masscult and Midcult.” Roger cites Eliot frequently in his book, but he does not cite the American Macdonald – though truth to tell, Roger seems to me rather closer to Macdonald than to Eliot. --Culture: High, Low, Middlebrow, and Popular by Mark C. Henrie via http://www.isi.org/lectures/text/pdf/henrie10-15-04.pdf [May 2006]

Dwight Macdonald (1906-1982) was an American writer, editor, social critic, philosopher, and political radical. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwight_MacDonald [May 2006]

See also: mass culture popular culture theory

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