Date of Publication:
Mar. 15, 1915 (1.1) – Dec. 1916 (2.3)
Place(s) of Publication:
New York City, NY
Frequency of Publication:
Though it claimed to be a semimonthly magazine, it published erratically
Vol. 1, no. 1 claims a 15,000 copy print run (almost certainly ironic). If similar to comparable magazines, probably 500 per run.
New York : Rogue, Inc., 1915-1916.
26cm; Approximately 15-20 pages
5 cents per issue / $1 per year (1915)
10 cents per issue / $2 per year (1916)
Libraries with Complete Original Issues:
Many more libraries have only the first volume
New York Public Library (NYPL); Beinecke, Yale University Library; Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin
Fashioning itself as a play on Vogue, Rogue was magazine of extraordinary wit, consisting of poetry, short drama, short fiction, and articles on fashion, art and current events—as Jay Bochner puts it, “a sort of downtown version of Vanity Fair, mock[ing] the whole body of Victorian culture from within…” (49). It was supported by Conrad Arensberg’s patronage and edited by Allen and Louise Norton. Allen Norton was chief editor of the magazine for its entire run, though Louise Norton arguably played an equal or greater role in the magazine’s publication. Though it only lasted a year and a half (Mar. 1915 – Dec. 1916) and published at inconsistent intervals, the magazine can claim poetry and artwork of Wallace Stevens, Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, Clara Tice and others.
As Jessica Burnstein points out in Cold Modernism, “Rogue was all about fashion” (160). Its pages were strewn with trousers, corsets and tuxedos. For each issue Louise Norton wrote a section entitled “Philosophic Fashions” under the pseudonym Dame Rogue. It discussed shoes, buttons, skirts and the modern woman’s relation to each (celebrating, for example, a new corset design as a symbol for liberation). The magazine was also was playful, the second page of the first issue saying, “Advertise in ROGUE – It doesn’t pay” (the second issue exchanged “doesn’t” for “does”). The aphorism—the pithy, astute, witty, acerbic observation—may be the representative genre of Rogue.
Rogue subverted gender conventions and appealed to both men and women on its pages—as long as you (whether woman or man) felt comfortable stepping into modernity with this “Cigarette of Literature.” The fashion references highlighted tuxedos as well as corsets, though the advertisements were often more masculine in emphasis: “Rogue trusts everyone but himself,” and the perpetual “He wears the Dartmouth” suit advertisement.
Its short, haphazard life and brilliant contributors make it a seeming synecdoche of modernist little magazine’s elite playfulness.
Though Rogue never published an explicit manifesto, it published a great deal of sayings about itself. Here is a sampling:
“Advertise in ROGUE — It doesn’t pay” (Vol. 1., No. 1: 2)
“A magazine that believes in the people, and that the people express genius even more than genius itself.” (Vol. 1., No. 1: 3)
“Rogue Trusts Everyone But Himself… Rogue Sells the Truth And The Untruth for 5 cents $1.00 a Year” (Vol. 1, No. 1: 6)
“A magazine that does not believe in the people, or that the people express genius even more than genius itself.” (Vol. 1, No. 1: 3)
Editor: Mar. 1915 – Dec. 1916
In addition to editing Rogue, Allen Norton wrote his own poetry, collected in a volume entitled Saloon sonnets: with Sunday flutings (which received a rather unfortunate review on page 41 of the Fifth volume of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse). He was married to Louise Norton, who contributed a great deal to Rogue. They divorced in 1916.
Louise Norton (remarried as Varèse) (1891 – 1989)
Co-founder and Editor: Mar. 1915 – Dec. 1916
After writing and editing for Rogue, Louise grew to critical acclaim as a translator of French poetry and fiction. She was married to French composer, Edgard Varèse, writing his biography, “Varese: A Looking-Glass Diary.” Her forward begins with the lines, “I feel that I am in honor bound to warn musicians and musicologists that they will find nothing musical about the music of Varèse in this book by his nonmusical wife.” (9). Her wit and intelligence characterized her writing all through her life.
Walter Conrad Arensberg:
The Inner Significance of the Statues Seated Outside the Boston Public Library
To A Poet
The Awkward Age
The Flute Player
Yes, Trousers Are Handy
Filling a Page (A Pantomime With Words)
Overhead in an Asylum
To a Canary
The Corset Coach
One, One, One, There Are Many of Them
Watch Your Step!
Sketch of a Man on a Platform
Three Moments in Paris
Virgins Plus Curtains Minus Dots
Allen Plants Roses
The Idiot in the Lion’s Garret
Spring Days in Fall
The Wind Was Singing Songs to Me
With Me Without You
Aux Galeries Lafayette
Cy Est Pourtraicte, Madame STE. Ursule, Et Les Unze Mille Vierges
Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock
ROGUE’S Booklovers’ Contest
Virgin Minus Verse
Carl Van Vechten:
An Interrupted Conversation
The Nightingale and the Peahen
How Donald Dedicated His Poem
Bochner, Jay. “The Marriage of Rogue and The Soil.” Little Magazines and Modernism: New Approaches. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing, 2007. 49–66. Print.
Burstein, Jessica. Cold Modernism: Literature, Fashion, Art. University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2012. WorldCat Discovery Service. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
Churchill, Suzanne. The Little Magazine Others and the Renovation of Modern American Poetry. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006. Print.
Churchill, Suzanne W., and Adam McKible. Little Magazines & Modernism: New Approaches. Aldershot, England ; Ashgate Pub., 2007. WorldCat Discovery Service. Web. 18 Sept. 2015.
Longworth, Deborah. “The Avant-Garde in the Village: Rogue.” The Oxford Critical and Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: Volume II: North America 1894-1960. OUP Oxford, 2012. Print.
Varèse, Louise. Varèse: A Looking-Glass Diary. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, 1972. Print.
Watson, Steven. Strange Bedfellows: The First American Avant-Garde. 1st ed. New York: Abbeville Press, 1991. Print.
White, Eric. Transatlantic Avant-Gardes: Little Magazines and Localist Modernism. Edinburgh University Press, 2013. Print.
“Rogue” Compiled by Andrew Rikard (Class of 2017, Davidson College)