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Fearing, Kenneth (ed.) / The Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XXIII, Number III (December 1923)

K. F.
Fog bound,   pp. [unnumbered]-12


?fe Wisconsin Literarp Magazine A
Publication of the students of the University of Wisconsin
Editor-in-chief -KENNETH FEARING                        H. BALLAM   - - -
- - - - - - - - Business Mgr.
Managing Editor-                                      F. HASS - - - - - -
- - - - - Assoc. Bus. Mgr.
JOHN WEIMER                                       LUCILLE HANSEN-LESLIE KISSEL
   - - - - - Assistants
Exchange editor -CATHERINE DAVIS                        ETHEL N. SHREFFLER
- - - - - - - - -          Publicity
Associate Editors--                                     JULIA PEAT - - -
- - - - - - - Circulation Mgr.
OSCAR RIEGEL                                      EDITH MILLER   - - - -
- - - - - - - Sub. Mgr.
JOHN SCHINDLER                                    EDNA WALTER - - - 7 - -
- - - Advertising Mgr.
THE WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE will be glad to receive contributions of
short stories, essays, verse, sketches,
one or two-act plays-anything-and is especially anxious to bring out new
campus writers. Right now there is an especial
need for good free verse and humorous essays or short stories.
Mss. may be dropped in the boxes on the third floor of Bascom Hall, the Union
Bldg, or mailed to the editor, 14 So.
Orchard St., City. A stamped addressed envelope should be enclosed if the
return of the Mss. is desired.
Vol. XXIII
Madison, December 1923
Fog Bound
1.
Ever since the first issue of the Lit appeared,
and bowed, and vanished in an ominous clucking
of tongues, we have been trying to analyze the
moral urges that found matter so distinctly dis-
agreeable to them in that first issue. It was
strange because no later than last year we printed
material very similar in detail to the recently
challenged items, and aroused no adverse criti-
cism. Why this discrepancy, then? And after
much futile reflection, and after duly retreating to
the ancient custom of ascribing all the blunders
of the empowered to inscrutable chance and our
own ill fortune, the very obvious explanation an-
nounced itself quietly. It is this:
There is art that has been assimilated by the
masses of people, and art that has not. There is
art that makes a traditional, well established bow,
and art that makes a novel entree. Of course the
"traditional" art was once quite as novel as the
"new" art, but in the course of a century or so it
has become assimilated, taken for granted. After
the one or two masters have broken the new
ground for a city, the enamoured thousands rush
in and build shanties.
Now what has become daily bread (although
it was once manna!) passes into the way of the
meaningless, the de-vitalized, the very much
taken for granted. Of such were many of the
"voluptuous" poems and stor es we printed last
year; for example, a verse called "Yacinth,"
which may be remembered.
It must be understood that we are not criti-
cizing the intrinsic merits of poetry like "Ya-
cinth"; we merely say that such is cast in the
mould of Swinburne, who, himself a great popu-
larizer, has been more popularized than any poet
of equal rank Such verse is customary, conven-
tional in treatment-standardized. It carries no
particular conviction even as the extravagant
songs of the French trouveres.
Come now two or three writers in our first
Lit who strike the same theme, same details,
same canvass-but in an entirely different man-
ner of procedure. They are not working with the
blunted weapons of an established school, but
with the sincerity of their own urges and artistic
theories. Result: Such writing is-at its first in-
troduction-vividly alive and convincing.
"This man actually means it!" gasp the hor-
rified matrons.
3.
If the above seems somewhat analytical and
unrebellious, we make it plain that it is only an
explanation for the derogatory criticism we re-
ceived, and by no means an excuse for it. Any
attempt to intrude a hypothetical system of mo-
rality upon a literature is as blind and inexcusable
as the medieval efforts to hamper science with
morality. The instances are exactly analagous:
The monks flogging the devils out of a man who
used a telescope; the censorious protesting against
printed analysis of natural urges. Art and sci-
ence may be said to be the two great fields of ab-
stract human endeavor; they are always found
closely correlated in spirit, in a given epoch; they
even aid and supplement each other. But Art,
the less tangible the less obviously "useful" and
convincing of the sisters, lags behind in the race
for final and inevitable liberation.
The great Wisconsin Literary Magazine (un-
der protest) will apparently not be one of those
who hasten the millenium. We have a voting
constituency that looks to local and state rector-
ships.
N.] mh,-r 'I


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