December 30, 2014 7:03 PM   Subscribe

The Partisan Review, a critical magazine founded by William Phillips and Philip Rahv (and Kenneth Fearing) and originally created as an arm of the American Communist Party was 'more a literary event than a literary magazine,' that lost its purpose after perestroika: The Death of a Literary Magazine. But even in death, the archives are not 'down the memory hole', but rather digitized and available online.

Some highlights and direct links.

The Real and the Ideal: Reflections on Partisan Review
Boston University, which published Partisan Review for the last quarter-century of that celebrated magazine’s sixty-nine-year history, has just put the entire archive online. It is a miniature history of 20th-century American intellectual life. It sometimes seems like half the century’s memorable essays about literature or politics, and especially the “bloody crossroads” (Lionel Trilling’s phrase) where the two meet, first appeared in those pages.
There’s a reason why a lot of modern culture was produced by people living on a shoestring, from the New York intellectuals to all those poets and painters starving in their fabled garrets. It’s time-consuming to do something original; it requires bad manners, or at least a lack of automatic deference for received wisdom; and it helps to have an abundance of low-paid but undemanding jobs around–mailman, night watchman, librarian, clerical worker–that one can drift in and out of, as well as a few cheap urban neighborhoods where like-minded artistic riff-raff can congregate. (Russell Jacoby’s description, in The Last Intellectuals, of the ecology of the freelance intellectual has never been bettered.)
8 Other Great Online Magazine Archives
Defunct American literary magazines
posted by the man of twists and turns (3 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Sponsored by the CIA.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:32 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

best use of CIA funding ever. When the intelligence services took the trouble to appear intelligent.
posted by homerica at 2:15 AM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is awesome. I just wish I could read it on my kindle.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:20 AM on December 31, 2014

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