Rhythm: Art Music Literature Quarterly
Continued by The Blue Review
Date of Publication:
Summer 1911 (1:1) – Mar. 1913 (2:14)
Place of Publication:
Frequency of Publication:
Quarterly (Summer 1911 – Spring 1912)
Monthly (June 1912 – Mar. 1913)
The St. Catherine Press, Norfolk Street, London (Summer 1911 – Spring 1912)
Stephen Swift and Co., Ltd., 16 King Street Covent Garden, London (June – Aug. 1912)
Martin Secker, 5 John Street, Adelphi London W.C.: (Sept. 1912 – Mar. 1913)
36 pages of content followed by 4 pages of advertisements. Cover featured a nude woman sitting on a rock under a tree.
John Middleton Murry
Katherine Mansfield (June 1912 – Mar. 1913)
John Duncan Fergusson (Art Editor)
Libraries with Original Issues:
University of Michigan; Columbia University; University of Chicago; University of California, Santa Barbara; Princeton University; Stanford University; Rutgers University; University of California, Berkeley
Searchable PDFs of full run available online at Brown University’s Modernist Journals Project
Oxford undergraduate John Middleton Murry’s inspiration for Rhythm came from a 1910 trip to Paris, which at the time was a hub of avant-garde art and literature. In In Paris Murry visited the Scottish painter John Duncan Fergusson, who signed on to be the art editor. Murry published the first issue of Rhythm in London in June 1911. It was an elegant periodical of art, music, and literature that appealed to a small, cosmopolitan readership whose enthusiasm (and money) allowed a second issue to be printed that fall.
In June 1912 writer Katherine Mansfield joined as Murry’s co-editor. By that time Rhythm had garnered enough support, most notably that of Mansfield’s publisher Stephen Swift, to become a monthly rather than a quarterly periodical. Blue covers replaced the gray of Rhythm‘s first volume, and the magazine expanded to include reviews and criticism. When Stephen Swift declared bankruptcy in September, the magazine was able to continue with financial assistance from Edward Marsh and publisher Edward Secker. In March 1913, however, financial problems arose again, and Murry and Mansfield were forced to end Rhythm after its fourteenth issue. The magazine reappeared briefly in 1914 as The Blue Review, but lasted for only three issues.
Rhythm showcased an impressive group of contributors during its short span. In addition to several studies by Pablo Picasso, established Fauvist artists such as Albert Marquet, Othon Friesz, and Auguste Herbin appeared in Rhythm‘s pages. Anne Estelle Rice, S. J. Peploe, Georges Banks, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, J. D. Fergusson, and Paul Cézanne were also included.
Rhythm‘s manifesto appeared in its first issue.
AIMS AND IDEALS
RHYTHM is a magazine with a purpose. Its title is the ideal of a new art, to which it will endeavour to give expression in England. Aestheticism has had its day and done its work. Based on a reaction, on a foundation essentially negative, it could not endure; with a vision that saw, exquisitely, it may be, but unsteadily and in part, it has been inevitably submerged by the surge of the life that lay beyond its sphere. We need an art that strikes deeper, that touches a profounder reality, that passes outside the bounds of a narrow aestheticism, cramping and choking itself, drawing its inspiration from aversion, to a humaner and a broader field.
Humanity in art in the true sense needs humanity in criticism. To treat what is being done to-day as something vital in the progress of art, which cannot fix its eyes on yesterday and live; to see that the present is pregnant for the future, rather than a revolt against the past; in creation to give expression to an art that seeks out the strong things of life; in criticism to seek out the strong things of that art–such is the aim of RHYTHM.
‘Before art can be human it must learn to be brutal.’ Our intention is to provide art, be it drawing, literature or criticism, which shall be vigorous, determined, which shall have its roots below the surface, and be the rhythmical echo of the life with which it is in touch. Both in its pity and its brutality it shall be real. There are many aspects of life’s victory, and the aspects of the new art are manifold.
To leave protest for progress, and to find art in the strong things of life, is the meaning of RHYTHM. The endeavour of art to touch reality, to come to grips with life is the triumph of sanity and reason. ‘What is exalted and tender in art is not made of feeble blood.’”John Middleton Murry. 1:1 (Summer 1911): 36.
John Middleton Murry (Aug. 6, 1889 – Mar. 13, 1957)
Editor: Sept. 1911 – Mar. 1913
John Middleton Murry was an English writer, editor, and critic. Though his fiction, poetry, and drama were not well-received, Murry wrote over 40 books on literary theory, politics, religion, and social issues. Murry’s career launched when he published Rhythm as an undergraduate at Oxford. The magazine caught the attention of England’s avant-garde elite, who introduced Murry to the literary establishment as the “bright, particular star” of English criticism (Cassavant 1). During his tenure as editor of Rhythm he became friends with D. H. Lawrence and fell in love with his co-editor Katherine Mansfield, whom he married in 1918. Following the demise of Rhythm and its successor, The Blue Review, Murry became editor of the literary magazine Athenaeum (1919-21), which published the works of many members of the Bloomsbury Group. After Mansfield died in 1923, Murry founded the magazine Adelphi (1923-48), in which he explored his spiritual beliefs. In 1935 Murry wrote his autobiography, Between Two Worlds, and continued to publish Mansfield’s work for the remainder of his life. After editing the Peace News (1940-46), Murry married for a fourth time and spend the final decade of his life developing Lodge Farm in Norfolk.
Katherine Mansfield (Oct. 14, 1888 – Jan. 9, 1923)
Associate Editor: June 1912 – Mar. 1913
Katherine Mansfield was a Modernist short story writer whose delicate, poetic prose is often compared to that of Virginia Woolf. Born in New Zealand, she went to England at the turn of the century to develop her career as a writer. In London Mansfield lived a tumultuous life, dabbling in sexual relationships with both men and women. Mansfield’s work was published regularly in the avant-garde magazines New Age and Rhythm. She joined John Middleton Murry as co-editor of Rhythm in 1912 and married him six years later. During the late 1910s and early 1920s, Mansfield developed a reputation as one of the best short story writers of the time. She continued publishing until her death from tuberculosis in 1923, publishing her best-known work, The Garden Party, a year before she died. Murry published her final stories and journals posthumously.
“Caricature of Katherine Mansfield”
“New Spirit in Art and Drama”
“Autumn in Three Lands”
William H. Davies
“Moral Little Tale”
“Thlobbon of Sappanal: Act VII”
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
“Mortadello or the Angel of Venice: A Comedy”
“Spring in a Dream”
“Confessions of a Fool”
John Middleton Murrry
“Art and Philsophy”
“What is a Hokku Poem?”
“From a Japanese Ink-Slab Part I”
“From a Japanese Ink-Slab Part II”
S. J. Peploe
Place de l’Observatoire
Portrait of Himself
Anne Estelle Rice
Spectre de la Rose
Michael T. H. Sadler
“Fauvism and a Fauve”
“Letters of Vincent Van Gogh”
Jack B. Yeats
In a Dublin Waxworks Show
Alpers, Anthony. The Life of Katherine Mansfield. New York: Viking Press, 1980.
Cassavant, Sharron Greer. John Middleton Murry: The Critic as a Moralist. Birmingham: The University of Alabama Press, 1982.
Griffin, Ernest G. John Middleton Murry. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1969.
Images. “Rhythm: Art Music Literary Quarterly.” The Modernist Journals Project. Brown University. 14 July 2009.
Mansfield, Katherine. Letters to John Middleton Murry, 1913-1922. Ed. John Middleton Murry. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1951.
The Modernist Journals Project. Brown University. 14 July 2009.
Weinig, Mary Anthony. “Rhythm.” British Literary Magazines. Ed. Alvin Sullivan. Vol. 3. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1986. 360-65.
“Rhythm” compiled by Ruchi Turakhia (Class of ’07, Davidson College)