Founded by Margaret Anderson in March 1914, The Little Review became, over the course of its 15-year existence, one of the chief periodicals in the English-speaking world for publishing experimental writing and publicizing international art. The American magazine is famous today for its many bold gestures on behalf of the avant-garde—like its September 1916 issue, which protested the lack of acceptable material by leaving most of its pages blank, or the motto it subsequently appended to its title, “Making No Compromise with the Public Taste.” The Little Review is also remembered for its multiple, cacophonous interests—according to Anderson, the magazine managed all told to represent 23 schools of art from 19 countries in its pages. Embracing tumultuous change first-hand, Anderson began editing The Little Review in Chicago, then moved the paper to New York in 1917 (after a short stint in San Francisco the year before), and later moved it overseas to Paris after 1922. Along the way, she was joined, in 1916, by Jane Heap, as co-editor, and then—heralding a new phase of the magazine—by Ezra Pound, as foreign editor, in 1917. During its first three years, The Little Review was largely an anarchist publication that battled on behalf of Imagism and published such writers as Richard Aldington, Sherwood Anderson, Maxwell Bodenheim, Ben Hecht, and Amy Lowell. Under Pound’s influence, the magazine experienced a fresh infusion of international experimentalism and added contributions by the likes of Djuna Barnes, T. S. Eliot, Wyndham Lewis, Mina Loy, Francis Picabia, Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair, Gertrude Stein, W. C. Williams, and W. B. Yeats. But even among this talented field, The Little Review‘s most lasting (and boldest) achievement was its serialization of Joyce’s Ulysses, in 23 installments, from 1918 to 1920—until the Society for the Suppression of Vice charged the magazine with obscenity and Anderson and Heap, losing the court trial, were forced to discontinue the novel amid the “Oxen of the Sun” episode.
The Modernist Journals Project would like to thank Brown University, The Internet Archive, Princeton University, and the University of Tulsa for supplying us with the copies of The Little Review that are reproduced in our digital edition.