The Modern Quarterly. Vol. 1 No. 4. Spring, 1924.

‘Morals and Determinism’, serialized here, was one of Claverton’s most important works, Haim Kantorovitch gives his analysis of five years of the the Soviet experience, Plechanoff’s ‘Materialism and Art’ (linked to online text here) from 1899, and a number of valuable books reviews in this volume.

The Modern Quarterly. Vol. 1 No. 4. Spring, 1924.

Contents: Editorial, Morals and Determinism (V) by V.F. Calverton, The Rise and Decline of Neo-Communism by Haim Kantorovitch, Villanelle by Marcia Nardi, Night Fires (a sketch) by V.G. Korolenko, Adolf Moor (a novel) by V.F. Calverton, Materialism and Art by G. Plechanoff, The ‘As If’ and Aesthetic Contemplation by Huntington Cairns, The Problem of the Neurotic by John Jepperson, The Career of American Poetry by Eileen Hood, The Trend of Modern Psychology by V.F.C., Minor Reflections.

Modern Quarterly began in 1923 by V. F. Calverton. Calverton, born George Goetz (1900–1940), a radical writer, literary critic and publisher. Based in Baltimore, Modern Quarterly was an unaligned socialist discussion magazine, and dominated by its editor. Calverton’s interest in and support for Black liberation opened the pages of MQ to a host of the most important Black writers and debates of the 1920s and 30s, enough to make it an important historic US left journal. In addition, MQ covered sexual topics rarely openly discussed as well as the arts and literature, and had considerable attention from left intellectuals in the 1920s and early 1930s. From 1933 until Calverton’s early death from alcoholism in 1940 Modern Quarterly continued as The Modern Monthly. Increasingly involved in bitter polemics with the Communist Party-aligned writers, Modern Monthly became more overtly ‘Anti-Stalinist’ in the mid-1930s Calverton, very much an iconoclast and often accused of dilettantism, also opposed entry into World War Two which put him and his journal at odds with much of left and progressive thinking of the later 1930s, further leading to the journal’s isolation.

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