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The New Age, Volume 27 (May 6 to October 28, 1920): An Introduction
by Allen, Renée


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The six months covered by this volume were characterized by unrest and unfinished business. Though the Treaty of Versailles (signed June 1919) officially ended the war between the Allies and Germany on 10 January 1920, treaties with Austria, Bulgaria, and Turkey would not be signed until later in the year. Despite the official end to hostilities, Greeks and Turks, Poles and Russians were still fighting; the Russian and Irish Civil Wars were ongoing; the civil disobedience campaign headed by Mahatma Gandhi was in full force in India; and nationalist movements in the Balkans, Egypt, and elsewhere were, or were about to become, violent. The competition between Britain and the US for control of oil and international trade caused some, including The New Age/A. R. Orage, to believe the two nations would eventually go to war with each other. The League of Nations held its first meeting in February and established the International Court of Justice at the Hague, but the US Senate voted against joining the League. The USSR did not join either and many recognized that the League was doomed. Nevertheless, Woodrow Wilson and Léon Bourgeois, president of the French Senate, were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in November for their efforts to establish the League (Wilson's prize was officially for 1919 and Bourgeois's for 1920, but both were named in 1920). In August, the 19th Amendment gave women in the US the right to vote. In Britain the continuing problems of unemployment and rising prices meant that various trade unions were either striking or threatening to strike. David Lloyd George's “Coupon Coalition” government was still in power, but Lloyd George's public image was damaged by his policy of paying former servicemen (the Black and Tans) to put down the Irish rebellion by any means possible. Most of these struggles and events, however, were given only cursory attention as The New Age devoted all its political space to arguing that Major Douglas's “Social Credit” scheme would solve all the economic ills of the time and that, without an economic solution, more war was inevitable.

Names and Terms to Know

    David Lloyd George
  • The “Welsh Wizard” whose coalition victory split the Liberal Party and made him Prime Minister in 1916. He was reelected as PM in the “Coupon Election” of 1918 and was a central figure in the peace negotiations for both WWI and the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921. His rough handling of Ireland, however, tarnished his reputation and contributed to his loss of power in 1922.
  • Austen Chamberlain
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • Winston Churchill
  • Secretary of State for War.
  • Alfred Milner
  • Secretary of State.
  • George Curzon
  • Foreign Secretary.
  • Leopold Amery
  • Under-secretary of State for the Colonies.
  • Andrew Bonar Law
  • Leader of the Conservatives, leader of the House of Commons.
  • The “Triple Alliance”
  • The alliance of miners, railway men and transport workers.
  • (James) Ramsay MacDonald
  • Former and future Labour MP; leader of the Independent Labour Party (ILP).
  • Alfred Harmsworth, Lord Northcliffe
  • Newspaper baron (The Times, Daily Mail) responsible for publicizing the fraudulent “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” early in 1920.
  • Philip Snowden
  • Member of the ILP and later Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  • Frank Hodges
  • Secretary of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain.
  • Robert Smillie
  • President of the Miner's Federation of Great Britain.
  • Social Credit / Major Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879-1952)
  • Douglas was an engineer and former manager of the British Westinghouse Company versed in cost accounting methods. He believed that under capitalism as it existed total wages paid to workers would always be less than the total costs of production, thus leaving workers with insufficient capital to purchase the goods they produced. He therefore advocated giving workers “social credit”—money—so they could purchase goods. He argued that the gold standard—which determined the amount of money in circulation in Britain—should be abandoned and the government should print money in proportion to what he called “real credit”: a community's “ability to deliver goods when and where required” (quoted in Martin 271). Though many people in England and elsewhere were interested in Douglas's theory, it only had significant impact in Canada, where a provincial government touting Social Credit as the antidote to the Great Depression was elected in Alberta in 1935. The Social Credit Party, whose economic policy was more conservative than strictly Douglas-ian and which benefited from the province's significant oil revenues, ruled Alberta until 1971. Other “Social Credit” parties, which were even less doctrinaire, enjoyed success in British Columbia and Québec. For more on Douglas and Social Credit in The New Age, see Politics below.

Dates to Know

    4 June
  • The Allies sign the Trianon Treaty with Hungary; Hungary loses almost 3/4 of its territory.
  • 11 June
  • The Polish army loses Kiev and the Ukraine, which it had taken in April-May.
  • 25 June
  • International Court of Justice is established at the Hague.
  • July
  • Charles Ponzi's postal coupon scheme introduced, and then shut down, in Boston.
  • (summer)
  • Lord Milner meets with Egyptian nationalist Sa'd Zaghlul in London. These meetings will lead the Milner Commission, in February 1921, to recommend an end to the British protectorate of Egypt.
  • 2 August
  • Marcus Garvey introduces his “Back to Africa” program at the first Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) convention in Harlem.
  • 9 August
  • Allied peace with Bulgaria.
  • 10 August
  • Allied peace with Turkey.
  • 14-16 August
  • The Poles (with help from France) drive the Red Army out of Poland, which it had invaded in late July.
  • 20 April/14 August-12 September
  • Antwerp Summer Olympics, at which the Olympic flag is introduced. Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Turkey are not invited.
  • 26 August
  • The 19th Amendment to the US Constitution gives women suffrage. The League of Women Voters is founded shortly thereafter.
  • 31 August
  • Alvaro Obregon, who had been involved in the assassination of the former president on 21 May, is elected president of Mexico.
  • 12 October
  • Poland and the Red Army sign a peace treaty—which frees the Red Army up to concentrate on the White Russian forces, whom they will defeat in mid-November to end the counterrevolution.
  • 25 October
  • King Alexander of Greece dies and is succeeded by his father, Constantine, who had abdicated; the change in monarch does not cause any break in the Greek-Turkish war.
  • 27 October
  • The League of Nations moves its headquarters to Geneva.

Colette's Chéri, Franz Kafka's Country Doctor, D. H. Lawrence's Women in Love, Sinclair Lewis's Main Street, and Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence are all published in 1920.

The Journal Itself

  • This volume contains the usual 26 issues, all subtitled “A Weekly Review of Politics, Literature, and Art.”
  • Due to surgery and recovery, A. R. Orage turns the “Notes of the Week” over to Major Douglas for two weeks in June, and Paul Selver handles “Readers & Writers” in June and July. Orage must have been better by mid-August when he returns to “R&W.”
  • Several important changes are introduced in no. 16, all of which are announced on the first page of no. 15.
  • Issues 1-15 are sixteen pages and open with three pages of “Notes of the Week,” generally followed by a Social Credit article written (usually) by Major Douglas. “Drama” appears in the middle, “Views and Reviews” towards the end, followed by letters (if there are any). The issues close with “Pastiche,”“Press Cuttings,” or “Old England,” Bernard Gilbert's verse descriptions of various English characters.
  • Issues 16-26 are reduced to twelve pages to save the publishers money and avoid raising the price from seven pence. In these issues the “Notes” are reduced to two and a half pages, followed by a page and a half of “World Affairs,” and then—changing position from issue to issue—the “Explanatory Commentary on the Mining Scheme,” a plan to put Social Credit into practice that is referred to simply as “the Scheme.”

Letters

  • Only twelve of the twenty-six issues contain any letters to the editor. These letters are mostly from contributors or authors of books reviewed—the lack of letters from other readers gives a striking indication of how restricted the circle of readership has become.
  • Morgan Tud, himself an occasional contributor to vols. 10-17, writes to inform New Age readers that “Holbein Bagman” (Prof. P. E. Richards), a regular contributor to vols. 5-9 has died (11:175).
  • Achille Loria's Karl Marx is the nominal subject of a review in which “A Reader” critiques its introduction by translators Eden and Ceder Paul (03:39). A long reply from Messrs. Paul appears with commentary by “A Reader” (05:71). Maurice Dobb then writes a letter about Messrs. Paul's position on “The Salariat” (08:126). Messrs. Paul write in again (10:159).

New and Continuing Series

  • MM Cosmoi's “World Affairs” is introduced in August (16:243) and runs through October of the following year. This column is intended to replace “Foreign Affairs”—which was written by JM Kennedy under the pseudonym S. Verdad and then continued by Orage, under that same pseudonym, in vols. 24-26 after Kennedy's death. “Foreign Affairs,” was an account of political events and actors; “World Affairs,” by contrast, is a discourse on relations within Europe and Europe's relations with the world in terms of group, or national, psychology. MM Cosmoi is also a pseudonym; see Politics below for more information.
  • Major Douglas's new series, “These Present Discontents,” (reprinted from The Nation) argues that Guild Socialists and other revolutionaries ignore the advantages of the “wonderful machine of civilisation and industry as we know it” (01:4) as they attempt to create a new world-administration, when what is needed is a new (economic) policy; this series is, of course, another on the benefits of Social Credit. Douglas's “Credit-Power and Democracy” (begun at 26.15:232) continues.
  • The unsigned “Practical Scheme for the Establishment of Economic and Industrial Democracy” (attributed to Douglas (20:290)) is introduced at 16:245 and continues in issues 17-26 as “An Explanatory Commentary on the Mining Scheme.” The Scheme—which claims to satisfy the demands of individualists, communists, socialists, distributivists, national guildsmen, and syndicalists, all without nationalization or other revolutionary measures—is divided into fourteen paragraphs and two sections; each week the scheme is reprinted and one or more paragraphs elaborated. Its basic principles are that every member of society has a right to share in its wealth and the state is responsible for the distribution of wealth, but producers should control production in order to minimize bureaucracy.
  • “Private and Confidential” (15:228) is a list of the journalists, politicians, and intellectuals to whom a summary or an advance copy of the Scheme had been sent, but who did not reply.
  • “The New Spirit in Germany”—a five-part series on “the actual condition and the new and living things arising therefrom in the countries that are being most punished by the war” (10:148)—presents a bizarre disjuncture between the conditions Huntly Carter reports and the rosy future he predicts. Carter is certain that the moment the economic conditions improve, the moral and spiritual bankruptcy he describes will disappear. Carter notes that pre-war Europe had 26 countries with open borders, while post-war Europe has 35, each with its own visa and currency—indeed, individual states within Germany are printing their own money and refusing to accept that of border states. He reports that Germany (and Austria) have been overtaken by poverty, disease, and filth, leaving their citizens too poor and tired to be interested in anything requiring intellectual effort, yet he predicts they will shortly become democratic and egalitarian (10:149). In the second installment, he says Germany has gone from being a country of sexual perverts to one of smugglers and thieves (11:165), but remains convinced they will be receptive to the “emotional impulse of the new idealism” others read in Nietzsche and Vaihinger, even as he details a climate of pervasive anti-intellectualism. While disdainful of the names they give themselves, Carter likes many of the individual artists working with the Dadaists (whom he believes are naturalists) and the Sturm Group: Kurt Schwitters, Paul Klee, Max [sic] Chagall, and Nell Walden (13:197). Turning to the theater, he claims that the war had virtually no effect on the quality or quantity of productions in Germany. He rejects Frank Wedekind's “sexual filth,” but is intrigued by Max Reinhardt's big theater (14:212). He adds a note on German philosophy in a letter (12:191).
  • The death of his father causes C. E. Bechhofer to explore his English roots by wandering the towns from which his ancestors came in a series of “Rural Walks.”
  • Ezra Pound's twelve-part “Indiscretions; or Une Revue de Deux Mondes” is a slightly-fictionalized autobiography that takes up—in a thoroughly comic fashion—the “Balzacian” endeavor of writing “the whole social history of the United States from one's family annals” (05:76). Like most autobiographies, this one contains several errors or inventions (Wilhelm 380, 381). Writing from a hotel in Venice, “Gargantua” (whose birth is finally described at 13:204), hop-scotches across the history of his family—which he compares to those represented in the writings of Sir Walter Scott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry James—and that of the US. He describes growing up in a political family (11:172) and takes up the question of race relations pre and post-Civil War (10:156), all the while comparing Americans to the British and providing translations of American slang for his British readers.
  • B. H. Dias (Ezra Pound) discontinues his “Art Notes” column, and William Atheling (also Pound) contributes only two “Music” columns. Pound will write a goodbye to The New Age in vol. 28, but still contributes two articles to vol. 30.
  • Hengist continues his/her series “Epistles to the Provincials” (begun 26.20:321 and ending 27.23:331). These columns describe the London theater, London manners, London fads, and London types, as well as how they differ from similar types in Manchester, Edinburgh, or other provincial cities. Wallace Martin suggests, based on writing style, that Hengist may be another pseudonym of Edwin Muir (279 n2).

Politics: Social Credit, “World Affairs,” and Anti-Semitism

Like vol. 26, vol. 27 is a Social Credit volume: all of the “Notes of the Week” columns argue for Social Credit solutions to Britain's post-war problems; Major Douglas contributes to most issues (not all of his articles are signed); other contributors reiterate Social Credit points in their articles; there is even Social Credit fiction. Martin and others have rightly criticized Orage for falling prey to Major Douglas's economic scheme and reducing The New Age to a vehicle for Social Credit propaganda. It can certainly get tedious rereading the same arguments from one week to the next, one article to the next, as the conviction that putting Social Credit into practice would solve all problems crowds out discussion of political problems and events. Nevertheless, it should be emphasized that the point of the scheme was to distribute essential goods among all members of society, without turning to communism. Douglas sought to distinguish clearly between goods and money, to highlight the paradox that despite the fact that Britain was producing more goods than ever before, it was considerably poorer in monetary terms after the war than it had been before, and to then propose a system in which richness or poorness would be a reflection of a community or country's ability to produce and distribute goods, rather than of its ability to distribute or amass money. That said, Social Credit as expounded in The New Age was both isolationist and anti-Semitic. Isolationist in that it is concerned only with distribution of goods in the British isles; anti-Semitic in that the continuous negative references to “finance,”“credit,” and “banks” would be understood by most contemporary readers as references to Jews, even before both Douglas (07:99) and Orage (05:65, 12:179) explicitly claim that Jews control international finance.

“Notes of the Week”: C.H.D. (Douglas) writes and signs two “NOTW” columns (07:97, 08:113), but there is little difference in either content or style between his columns and Orage's. The primary issue in “NOTW” is the continuous rise in the cost of living—now 135% of pre-war cost (02:17)—and the lack of public protest. Civilization is at stake, according to “NOTW,” and only by solving the problem of prices can it be saved (02:18). At the same time, “NOTW” attacks all attempts to fix the problem that do not follow Major Douglas's plan exactly. The Labour Inquiry into High Prices is derided because it does not challenge the basic premises of the contemporary economic system and takes evidence only from those The New Age sees as invested in maintaining the status quo. Nationalization is dismissed. French workers striking to protest the 220% rise in the cost of living in France are criticized for being socialists. When the miners finally do threaten to strike, “NOTW” denounces both sides for failing to negotiate in good faith, but also expresses frustration with the public for siding with the government when the miners are at least trying to do something about prices (nos. 17-24).

The main foreign issue discussed is the Russian Revolution, but not in terms of the specific events of that war. Instead “NOTW” argues, on the one hand, that the only way for Britain to avoid a Bolshevik revolution of its own is to pre-emptively institute some form of communism in Britain and, on the other, that Bolshevism is neither communist nor Marxist, but rather a “dictatorship of the proletariat” (03:34). The Irish Civil War is not mentioned until 13:195, when the idea of a General Strike to protest the government's policy there is derided. “NOTW” insists that Labour is as hostile to the idea of an independent Ireland as Lloyd George's government and claims that the situation in Ireland is irresolvable. “NOTW” is convinced that British interests and those of other countries, particularly the US, are at odds. The League of Nations is rejected because it does not remove the causes of conflict. Trade unions and other “radical” groups who support the League are criticized for their hypocrisy in supporting a form of government when they are supposed to be revolutionary. The Treaty of Versailles and other peace-making efforts are likewise rejected as both irrelevant to Britain and bound to fail. Once the League is set up, however, “NOTW” does take Lloyd George's government to task for not following its provisions whenever they conflict with British self-interest (09:129).

It is not just “NOTW” and the articles singed by Douglas that push Social Credit. Among the many other pro-Social Credit articles in this volume are the following:

  • Pound's “Kublai Khan and his Currency” (03:37) uses Marco Polo's account of the issue of paper currency in Khan's court to explain the “hoax” of paper money. Several critics attribute Pound's anti-Semitism, at least in part, to his faith in Major Douglas's economics; J.J. Wilhelm notes that Pound believed his grandfather anticipated Douglas because, while building his railroad, Thaddeus Pound had issued his own money when he could not get credit from any bank (378).
  • While the Labour Party conducts an Inquiry into the Causes and Cure of High Prices, HMM argues, in the four-part “Cure for High Prices” that proper distribution of purchasing power in relation to wealth produced will solve “all major economic, social, and political problems” (08:116).
  • Various articles (“A Reformer's Notebook,”“A Reader's Notes”), unsigned, but presumably written by Orage, also provide opportunities to discuss credit as understood by Douglas
  • Adrian Collins writes a four-part fictional dialogue (“Boots”/“Smith and Jones”) in which the doubting Smith raises objections to a plan for fixing prices that Jones explains away.

The “World Affairs” column is signed M.M. Cosmoi, which is a plural pseudonym for Dimitrije Mitrinović, who provided the ideas for the columns, and Orage, who wrote them, from its inception until 9 December 1920 (Rutherford 53). From December 16th to October 1921 Mitrinović wrote the columns himself, still using the Cosmoi pseudonym; indeed, he wrote a second set of “WA” columns twelve years later for New Britain, one of several short-lived journals he founded (Rutherford 53). According to Martin, Orage wrote the early columns because he had reservations about Mitrinović (285n2); H.C. Rutherford claims that the original plan to collaborate fell apart under the stress of competing egos (8-9). In either case, Orage must have approved of the content of “World Affairs”; though his approval of/collaboration on this project is odd in as much as “WA” sees psychology, not economics, as the solution to the world's problems.

New Age readers who expected a “Foreign Affairs”-like analysis of world events must have been shocked and confused when they first read “World Affairs.” What they got instead was a somewhat mystical theory of group psychology delivered in largely racist terms. It is in this column that we find the only mention in this volume of the Egyptian nationalist movement (20:292), Japan's growing competition with the West (22:316, 24:341), pan-African movements in the US (25:351), or the peace negotiations between Poland and the USSR (18:267). But these serve as starting-points for speculations about the character of the nations involved and their relationship to Europe, which is conceived of as the world-mind. “WA” is based on several assumptions: 1) The world is comparable to a body, and races and nations are analogous to organs. Each organ is essential to the proper functioning of the body, but the organs are neither equal nor interchangeable—i.e. the liver can't be expected to think. 2) Europe is the “conscious mind of the human race” (19:279). Not surprisingly, this leads to a number of racist assertions about all non-Aryans and about Jews, whom Cosmoi believes were the first Aryans, yet never became fully Aryan. 3) Psychoanalysis is a science that, like the science of biology, can lead us to definitive conclusions about individuals, groups, and the world they inhabit. This scientific pretension allows Cosmoi to claim that his assertions about the inferiority of a given race or nation is based not on ill-will towards that race—is not, in short, racist—but rather objective fact. 4) If the world is one giant body, and “the various races and nations may be regarded as rudimentary organs in course of development within the great world-embryo,”“[w]e need a psychology of races and nations as an introduction to the study of world affairs” (17:255). 5) Races are either feminine or masculine and their characters can be divined from their literature and other arts (18:267).

Mitrinović's followers claim his views are not racist. Although this claim is unconvincing, there is some value to understanding Cosmoi's/Mitrinović's particular form of racism/anti-Semitism in order to comprehend how someone so generally progressive as Orage could have shared it and how it is that many people both then and now could think of these views as progressive. Whereas racism is often understood as fear of difference that leads to violence against the feared group, Mitrinović insisted that differences were essential and should be explored through a psychology of races. In his organicist conception of the world, each race-organ is necessary to the continued health of the world-body. The extermination of any race would, therefore, be anathema to him. Indeed, Cosmoi sees violence, especially war, as a sickness—one he hopes race psychology will be able to cure. Moreover, because Europeans/Aryans are, according to Cosmoi, more advanced than other races, they have more responsibility and are more culpable when they fail to uphold their responsibilities than other races. He takes the West to task for the crimes it has perpetrated against Africa and its people (25:351) and for its hypocrisy in dealing with Japan (24:341). According to Rutherford, WWII convinced Mitrinović that Europe had failed in its duties to the world and thereby proven that it was not competent to impose world-order; he nevertheless continued to believe that only Aryans (represented now by America and Russia) were capable of bringing such order (60-61). Martin maintains that Cosmoi's “World Affairs” column cost The New Age some financial support (286n1).

Mitrinović was born in 1887 in Herzegovina to Orthodox parents of Serbian culture. His father was an Austro-Hungarian functionary and farmer; his mother an arts teacher. Dimitrije began publishing poems and criticism in 1905 in Bosanka Vila, a literary journal in Sarajevo. After 1913 he wrote mostly criticism, exclusively in English. In 1914 while at Munich University, he met Kandinsky, who introduced him to the writings of Erich Gutkind. After reading Gutkind's Sidereal Birth, he went to meet him in Jena and joined his Blutbund (Blood brotherhood), a group intended to “'lead mankind out of the wilderness of materialism'” (Upton Sinclair quoted in Rutherford 7). The Blutbund fell apart under the nationalizing tensions of WWI, but Gutkind's works had a life-long influence on Mitrinović. To avoid being drafted into Austro-Hungarian army, Mitrinović moved to England when the war broke out. There he met Paul Selver, The New Age's critic of Eastern European literature, after Selver criticized a book he had written on Slav nations. Selver eventually introduced him to Orage, with whom he shared abiding interests in philosophy and the occult. In addition to writing as M. M. Cosmoi, Mitrinović also used the pseudonyms “Filioque” and “D” in The New Age; there are also four “World Affairs” columns signed “Volker,” which is a pseudonym for Gutkind. In 1926, after he had left The New Age, Mitrinović founded the English chapter of the International Society for Individual Psychology (the [Alfred] Adler Society). He also founded the New Europe Group, which was intended to promote a federated Europe. The New Europe Group spawned the New Britain Group in 1932, with an economic plan based Douglas's Social Credit and S.G. Hobson's National Guilds (Rutherford 9), both originally elaborated in The New Age. After Mitrinović's death in 1953, The New Atlantis Foundation (http://www.mmu.ac.uk/h-ss/pap/politics/naf1.htm), whose name was taken from the title of one of Gutkind's works, was founded to promote Mitrinović's works and ideas. In 2003-04, the New Atlantis Foundation donated Mitrinović's library to the University of Bradford in England. Neither the New Atlantis Foundation website nor the University of Bradford Special Collections Library's introduction to the Mitrinović archive addresses the question of racism/anti-Semitism in Mitrinović's work.

Note: Most of the biographical information about Mitrinović comes from H.C. Rutherford, who—according to the University of Bradford Library's webpage on Mitrinović—was an active member of Mitrinović's New Europe Group. Rutherford defends Mitrinović's racial and gender politics, but his introductions to Mitrinović's works do at least address questions of racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-feminism in those works.

Scholars commonly fall into the trap of believing that their subjects are good people, by virtue of being their subjects, and therefore overlook or seek to excuse their subjects' errors and faults. Though this is the Modernist Journals Project and we, as both scholars of Modernism and readers of newspapers, recognize A. R. Orage's brilliance as an editor, we should not allow that brilliance to blind us to his willing participation in the anti-Semitism of his time or to compel us to make excuses for that anti-Semitism. Knowing that anti-Semitism was omnipresent in Europe in the early 20th century and recognizing which forms of anti-Semitism Orage espoused may help us understand Orage, but, again, it does not excuse him. Anti-Semitism is part and parcel of Orage's economic platform in these later volumes; the fact that Major Douglas originated the Social Credit doctrine and was responsible for much of its elaboration in The New Age cannot alter the fact that Orage whole-heartedly backed Social Credit and Douglas's anti-Semitic rationale for it. Nor does the fact that the politics of the “World Affairs” column originated with Dimitrije Mitrinović alter the fact that Orage not only published, but also helped to write many of those columns.

The Arts

  • In a series of columns on aesthetics Jan Gordon, an artist first mentioned in vol. 26, explores the nature of beauty and how machines have altered our perception of it, as well as what he considers to be the negative affect of mechanical reproduction on artistic production.
  • R.H.C. (a pseudonym of Orage) returns to the “Readers and Writers” column at 16:247 and reflects on The New Age's “shrunken state”—from its heyday of thirty-two-page issues, extending sometimes to forty-eight pages with supplements, to a mere twelve pages now. He also reviews some new journals: The Cocoon, (23:331), Coterie (25:355), and The Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany (26:366). Paul Selver had written two columns (06:89, 11:167) in Orage's absence, one of which assesses the state of German literature and language in the post-war.
  • A. E. Randall continues to contribute heavily: he writes “Views and Reviews” under his own initials and “Drama” under the pseudonym John Francis Hope for each issue. Four “V&R” columns are devoted to Spiritualism: Its Present-Day Meaning, which is edited by Huntly Carter, and another six to Sidney and Beatrice Webb's A Constitution for the Socialist Commonwealth of Britain. Several other columns review lectures rather than books (e.g. 04:62, 05:77, 06:94, 12:190, 13:205). Among the plays Hope reviews are: Gogol's The Government Inspector (01:8), Phillip Moeller's Madame Sand (08:119), Chekhov's (Tchekov's) The Cherry Orchard (12:184), J. M. Barrie's Mary Rose (15:232), and Somerset Maugham's The Unknown (18:270).
  • Edwin Muir, who had become Orage's assistant editor in January, writes the occasional column “Recent Verse,” as well as a number of other book reviews signed Edward Moore.
  • Among the notable books reviewed in this volume are: J. T. MacCurly's War Neuroses (01:7), Edward Cook's The Press in War-Time (02:31), D. H. Lawrence's Touch and Go: Plays for a People's Theatre, No. 2 (11:175), Ezra Pound's Umbra (12:186), and F. T. Marinetti's Les Mots en liberté futuristes (16:248). The Re-making of a Mind by Henry de man, C. de G, and M. C. (02:29, 03:45), The Psychology of Insanity by Bernard Hart (07:102, 08:118), and the first issue of Psychic Research Quarterly (25:358, 26:370) are all reviewed both by A. E. R. and in the unsigned “Reviews” column. For a complete list of books reviewed in this volume, see the compilation accompanying this introduction.
  • Ruth Pitter continues to be a frequent contributor of poetry, usually in “Pastiche.”

Psychology & Philosophy

  • Denis Saurat—a Frenchman and professor of 17th and 18th century literature at King's College who became a popular occult writer and whose book on Milton is reviewed in this volume (07:107)—writes an eleven-part series in which “the psychologist,”“the metaphysician,” and “the poet” comment on ideas—e.g. “The Actual and the Potential” (09:138), “The Self” (17:261), or “Evil” (15:237)—as well as men's and women's different experiences of these ideas. Though written in the form of a dialogue, Saurat explains that rather than a discussion, these are the impressions of three “Intelligences, simultaneously watching the infinite procession of facts and ideas” (12:185).
  • J. A. M. Alcock, psychologist, writes a number of columns on psychology/psychoanalysis, including reviews of books on Jung (10:155) and Freud (15:231), as well as analyses of dreams (11:166) and buried memories (17:260).
  • Alcock also has something to say on “Nietzsche and the Mahabharata” (02:27).
  • In preparation for a new printing of his translations of Nietzsche, Oscar Levy's publisher asks him to prove that Nietzsche did not plan or cause WWI. This request sparks a two-part essay in which Levy traces the history of Nietzsche's reception in England while arguing that “We Nietzscheans” were opposed to the racist and nationalistic war just ended (14:217, 15:229). In vol. 28 Levy writes to tell New Age readers of his impending deportation—ostensibly for being a Nietzschean, but more likely for being German and Jewish (29.20:240).

Other

  • The question of birth control and its relation to the current economic and employment crises is mentioned several times in “Notes of the Week” and taken up, from a Malthusian and anti-feminist point of view, by George Pitt Rivers in “Is there a Population Problem?” (05:70). Abortion was legalized in the USSR in 1920, but made illegal in France in response to the large numbers of war dead.

—Renée Allen

Works Consulted

  • “Antwerp 1920.”BBCSport 7 August, 2003. BBC MMV. 3 May 2005 <http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/olympics_2004/history/3054504.stm>
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