- Introduction to Le Petit Journal des Refusées (PDF), by Brad Evans
Le Petit Journal des Refusées is an example of the ephemeral bibelots catalogued by F. W. Faxon in 1903. It was printed on wallpaper cut in the shape of butterfly wings, ran for just one issue, and was mostly the work of one man, Gelett Burgess, who appears in the magazine under the alias of “James Marrion.” Because each copy of the magazine is unique, the MJP is making available three versions, all of which come from Princeton University Library. While two of these versions share the same contents and page order, the third (copy 1) has slightly different contents (it lacks “The Sonnet of Sour Mucilage” but includes “Any Old Thing”) and has organized those contents differently. The short pieces of prose and verse in the journal are mostly presented as having been rejected by other magazines that are better known, and they are usually assigned to fictitious female authors. For students of modernism this journal is important as a precursor of the more ambitious little magazines, offering hints of Dada and Surrealism before these modes of modernism actually developed.
The Modernist Journals Project would like to thank Princeton University Library for providing us with scans of the three copies of Le Petit Journal des Refusées that appear in our digital edition. Copy 1 comes from the Robert Metzdorf Collection at the library (call number: Princeton Rare Books ExMe 0901.612_Metzdorf); copy 2 also comes from their Rare Books collection (call number: Princeton Rare Books Ex 0901.612); and copy 3 comes from the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton (call number: Pams/Eng 19/Box 080 11405).