In Transition: A Paris Anthology: Writing and Art from Transition Magazine 1927-30

BDD, Author, Samuel Beckett, Other Doubleday Books $25 (256p) ISBN 978-0-385-41150-9
As a historical document, this collection is exceptional. It brings together for the first time many of the finest contributions to transitionl.c. ok , a magazine of art and literature published in Paris between 1927 and 1932 by the poet Eugene Jolas and critic Elliot Paul. For its time, transition was a mouthpiece of high modernism unmatched by any other journal in Europe, and most of the great avant-garde writers (and many artists) of that era are represented here: Kafka, Rilke, Joyce and Gide, for example. Yet, what is most important is Of particular interest are not the pieces by acknowledged masters but the contributions by their pk then largely unknown disciples--most of them, like Jolas and Paul, American expatriates. By comparison, many of these American writers, such as Malcolm Cowley, Laura Riding and Harry Crosby, appear repetitive and reductive in their style, adhering more to modernism's rhetoric than to its spirit. In this light, it is clear how Hemingway became a popular modernist icon for Americans and why Hart Crane remains underappreciated by the public. In Transition might just help to sway that balance. Illustrated. Fitch is the author of Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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