Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ernest Hemingway

The great Ernest Hemingway’s original work frequently appeared in magazines throughout his career. Here are a few of the most significant from my collection.

His first publlshed literary effort was a short story in this extremely rare 1916 issue of Tabula, his high school literary magazine.

Double Dealer, a rare and important Little Magazine published in New Orleans, provided his first national appearance in 1922. Among the other authors first appearing in Double Dealer were Thornton Wilder and Jean Toomer.

In 1923, Harriet Monroe's important journal Poetry published a number of his poems which were later included in his first book.

Even after his national reputation was made, Scribner’s serialized "A Farewell to Arms" prior to publishing it in book form.

In the late thirties and forties, Hemingway’s articles as a war correspondant appeared in Ken, PM and Collier’s. One of his last works "The Old Man and the Sea" first appeared as a feature in Life in 1952.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe’s association with magazines is legendary, no other major American literary figure had a more intimate one. The vast majority of his most important works appeared in magazines and he was, at one time, editor of Southern Literary Messenger, Broadway Journal, Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine and Graham’s Magazine. He attempted on two occaisions to publish his own magazine but never succeeded. Over the years I have been fortunate to obtain most of the great Poe appearances and rarities.

Poe’s work first appeared in print in a favorable review of his work in this issue of John Neal’s Yankee in 1829. The December issue contains long excerpts and critique of "Al Aaraaf" and "Tamerlane".

The first horror story, "The Fall of the House of Usher"
appeared in this issue of Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine in 1838 while Poe was editor.

Poe’s editorship of the important Southern Literary Messenger began with this issue.

Poe edited and was often published in The Broadway Journal and frequently appeared in N.P. Willis’ Weekly Mirror.

Poe probably reviewed his own works in this issue of the rarely seen Aristidean, edited by Thomas Dunn English. This may have been Poe’s own copy! This copy, personally annotated by Poe and formerly owned by renowned Poe historian Thomas Mabbott has been authenticated by Jeffrey Savoye, director of the Poe Society. It was obtained at a paper show for eight dollars!

"Murders in the Rue Morgue", America’s first detective story, appeared in the newly formed Graham’s Magazine (the rare first volume of Graham's is volume 18, being a product of the combination of the seven volumes of Burton's and ten of The Casket). Under Poe’s editorship it rapidly grew in circulation. This scarce, early issue contains another Poe classic "The Descent into the Maelstrom".

"The Mystery of Marie Roget" was originally serialized in William Snowden’s Ladies’ Companion in three parts, beginning with this November 1842 issue. The basis for the story was taken from the highly sensationalized real life murder of Marie Rogers.

"The Tell Tale Heart" first appeared in the inaugural issue of James Russell Lowell’s rarely seen Pioneer after being rejected by Boston Miscellany due to its provocative content. This is the rare Philadelphia edition.

Poe’s best known poem, "The Raven", first appeared in the second issue of American Whig Review in 1845.

The final version of his last poem, "Annabel Lee" was first published
posthumously in this 1850 issue of Sartain’s Union Magazine.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Fabulous Pulps 1890's - 1950's

The Pulp Magazine era spanned from the late 1890's to the mid 1950's, bridging the gap in periodical fiction between the story papers and dime novels on one end and the comics and slick magazines on the other, when American thirst for cheap sensational reading matter was tempered to some degree by the new media of television.

Pulps are printed on cheap paper, hence the name, and usually have an alluring glossy cover. They continued some genres- western, adventure. mystery, sports, romance, war and pioneered others like aviation, science fiction and and hard-boiled detective fiction, the latter introducing and nurturing such esteemed writers as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

The fragile nature of these magazines puts a premium on condition and only a tiny percentage of the original runs have survived. Many also fell victim to the paper drives during the two world wars fought during their heydey.

Until recently, bibliographic information has been sparse. Checklists by Adventure House in Maryland ( and Bookery Fantasy in Ohio, as well as ongoing annual conventions of a small but devoted following of collectors and dealers have been extremely helpful, and pulps are consistently among the highest priced magazines on eBay. A magnificent coffee-table book "Pulp Culture"by Frank Robinson and Lawrence Davidson provides a wonderful and graphic overview.

Perhaps the most valuable example, and the most valuable single issue of any twentieth-century magazines is the first appearance of Tarzan in All-Story in 1912. Rare and desireable issues of other pulps often fetch thousands of dollars.

The universe of pulps is about 1000 titles. This writer's ten-year zealous quest to obtain the first issue of each and every one has now reached over 800 titles, though the prospects for completion are dim. Illustrated above are but a few of the most interesting, rare and graphic examples.