Modernist Magazines Seminar - Dr Gerri Kimber

Institute of English Studies

Modernist Magazines Seminar: "'The artists sail in stately golden ships over this familiar and adventurous ocean": Katherine Mansfield, Rhythm and Foreignness'

Dr Gerri Kimber (University of Northampton)

Rhythm, established in the summer of 1911, and which ran for 14 issues until its demise in March 1913, was an avant-garde publication with a bias towards Symbolism, the arts and Post-Impres­sionism, the music of Debussy and Mahler and the philosophy of Bergson. The list of contributors, mostly unknown at the time beyond the confines of the Left Bank in Paris, reads impressively today and included Derain, Picasso, Tristan Derème and Francis Carco.

Co-editors John Middleton Murry and his future wife Katherine Mansfield were well read in foreign literature; Murry had spent time in Paris and made many acquaintances within its artistic community and Mansfield had spent almost a year in Bavaria in 1909, where she had befriended a group of Polish writers. Thus there developed an émigré aspect to the contributors of both journals; Mansfield and Carco were both born and brought up in the south Pacific, and Eastern Europe was also strongly represented, with contributions by Floryan Sobienowski, with whom Mansfield had had a liaison in Bavaria in 1909, and who became the magazine's 'Polish correspondent'. In addition Mansfield's passion for the oriental brought foreign contributors such as Yone Noguchi into the Rhythm stable.

This paper will highlight the extent of the émigré creative input into Rhythm and also consider Mansfield's own contributions, which frequently took émigré subjects as their theme. This influence would manifest itself throughout the pages of Rhythm and its short-lived reincarnation as the Blue Review. As a result, both little magazines could be described as having a transnational identity, with a plethora of international correspondents publicising the new movement of the avant-garde.

All copies of Rhythm and the Blue Review are now digitised and can be viewed here:

School of Advanced Study, University of London
Dr Gerri Kimber (University of Northampton)
Event date: 
Thursday, 12 June 2014 - 1:00am
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