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The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist MagazinesVolume II: North America 1894-1960$
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Peter Brooker and Andrew Thacker

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199545810

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199545810.001.0001

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Middling Modernism and the Midwestern Little Magazine

Middling Modernism and the Midwestern Little Magazine

The Midland (1915–33) and Prairie Schooner (1927– )

(p.558) 24 Middling Modernism and the Midwestern Little Magazine
The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines

Jeffrey C. Swenson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the histories of The Midland in Iowa City and Prairie Schooner in Lincoln, Nebraska, two of the most successful periodicals to follow an expressly regional agenda throughout the 1920s. The main dilemma faced by Midwestern magazines was how to remain true to both artistic standards and to the overarching goal of serving the region. How can one write about the Midwestern farmland and still live in the avant-garde? In short, the Midwestern little magazine had to be both modern and anti-modern, standing against urbane modernity while simultaneously embracing those standards. The editorial staff of both The Midland and the Prairie Schooner took different approaches to solving this dilemma, but both were essentially in conflict about how to write a regional literature in a modern setting.

Keywords:   American magazine, periodical, Midwest, modernist magazine, regional literature, modernism, regionalism, little magazine

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