JF Ptak Science Books Post 2630
Manuscripts (MSS), edited by Paul Rosenfeld in New York, 1922-23, was a Small Magazine, a wonderful Dadaist publication with contributions from the leading artisitc/intellectual community including Georgia O'Keefe, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, John Marin, Charles Demuth, and many others. What I'm writing about right now is issue #5--appearing in March 1923--of the six (total) issues that were printed of this short-lived and very highly spirited magazine--the issue shockingly emerged from a box in the studio last night. The striking cover was designed by Georgia O'Keefe, and underneath the cover for issue #5 "one of the most remarkable issues" (according to the Dada Once and For All catalog by Ex Libris in 1983), was the work of the critic and Stieglitz-supporter Herbert Seligmann.
All this aside, what really struck me was the broadside "review" tucked into the twelve-page publication--a very segmented, highly typefaced and fonted (sorry!), very creative look at the composer Edgard Varese's Hyperprism, a very adventurous work for wind, brass, and percussion instruments was completed in 1922 and revised in 1923, and then obviously reviewed by Seligmann in this issue of MSS in 1923. Varese (1887-1965) was a very-modern modernist whose reference to his music as "sound-mass" (among many other things of course) that was in a way similar to the process of crystallization/chemical crystallography gives an insight into the name of the piece to be performed. The review admonished "This is a Serious Work, Those Who Don't Like It PLEASE GO" among other such tidy phraselets. I reproduce this fantastic little gem below:
Also if you'd like to listen to it:
By the way Music and Modern Art by James Leggio reproduces (on page 141) the Varese review as a full-page illustration.
See also Herbert Seligmann, Alfred Stieglitz Talking: Notes on Some of his Conversation, 1925- 1931, New Haven: Yale University Library 1966, for more on MSS.
For more on MSS:
- All six issues reproduced at Monoskop, here: https://monoskop.org/MSS
- Full text of the MSS Number 5 https://monoskop.org/images/3/3d/MSS_5_Mar_1923.pdf
And this from issue #5 on the previous issue of the magazine: "MSS. Number One contained writings by Sherwood Anderson, Kenneth Burke, Waldo Frank, Paul Rosenfeld, Herbert J. Seligmann, William Carlos Williams. MSS. Number 2 contained writings by John Marin, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Charles Duncan. MSS. Number 3 was entitled "What Is True Art?" by J. B. Kerfoot and W. Rhea Moreau. MSS. Number 4 was entitled "Can A Photograph Have The Significance Of Art?" by Sherwood Anderson, Thomas H. Benton, Ernest Bloch, Oscar Bluemner, Stephan Bourgeois, Gilbert Cannan, Charles Chaplin, Thomas J. Craven, Elizabeth Davidson, Charles Demuth, Marius De Zayas, Arthur G. Dove, Marcel Duchamp, Alfeo Faggi, Waldo Frank, Hutchins Hapgood, J. B. Kerfoot, Gaston Lachaise, Walter Lippmann, John Marin, Kenneth Hayes Miller, George F. Of, Georgia O'Keeffe, Leo Ornstein, Joseph Pennell, Carl Sandburg, Evelyn Scott, Charles Sheeler, Leo Stein, S. Macdonald Wright, Carl Zigrosser, Bibliography. The price of MSS. Number 5 is 15 cents. Subscription to 10 numbers one dollar. The entire cost of this MSS. Number 5 is the printing bill of $130.00 for the present edition of 1,000 copies, presented by Clarence S. Nathan, Inc., and paid by the Tin Whistle Fund. Each author is solely responsible for what appears over his signature. Complaints should be sent to individual authors. Subscriptions will be received by Herbert J. Seligmann, 129 East 10th Street, New York City. Donations of money will be received with thanks by the same. For the cover design: apologies to "Dada" (American), Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, and acknowledgment to "Anonymous." Copyright, 1923, by Herbert J. Seligmann."--from page 2 of MSS Number 5.