Full text: Secession (Number one) (1)

The Dial is, I suppose, generally considered to be 
America’s leading magazine of literary expression. One 
critic has even called it the recognized organ of the 
young generation! True, there is not much competition 
for these honors, and the career of the Little Review 
has been sufficiently obscure for the réclame brought 
by size, money, circulation and famous names to over 
shadow it in public esteem. What, then, is our „leader“ 
It boasts: „We have freed ourselves from commer 
cialism and manifestos, from schoolmen and little 
schools, from a little nationalism and a snobbish cos 
mopolitanism". That is, it has freed itself from a fixed 
point for judging, the absence of which for morality 
Pascal found so lamentable, but which happily exists 
for art. It has liberated itself from a definite direction. 
It feels no obligation to homogeneity. Naturally, its 
chief effect is one of diffuseness. It is late Victorian, 
Yellow Book, philosophic, naturalistic, professorial, 
dadaistic, traditional, experimental, wise, silly, inter 
national and nationalistically concerned in a developing 
literature. It prints Anatole France, Thomas Hardy, 
Santayana, Yeats, Beerbohm, Sherwood Anderson, 
Pierre Loving (!), professorial articles on German 
literature and Thomas Moore, Kenneth Burke, E. E. 
Cummings, James Oppenheim, Mina Loy, Ezra Pound, 
Jean Cocteau, D. H. Lawrence and an article on 
Higher Education in China! A stringent catholicity is 
admirable, but where is the reconciliation here? With 
this array of irreconcilables, it is no wonder a copy 
of the Dial gives the impression of splitting apart in 
one’s hand. 
As an intellectual cable across the Atlantic, the 
Dial has informed America that Remy de Gourmont 
has lived and died. The news of Guillaume Apollinaire 
is still * untransmitted. 
It features a wallowing ox of a stylist who retails 
each month acres of vague impressionistic excrement 
on music, painting, and books. Still, his uncouth attempts 
* February, 1922.

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