The Chicago origins of The Little Review

Hi all! Seeing as how we’re unable to visit bookstores, libraries, and the like, we thought we’d look at other aspects of Chicago literature, starting with The Little Review.

Running from 1914 to 1929, Margaret Anderson began The Little Review from her house at 837 W. Ainslie Street in Uptown, with the magazine’s offices at the Chicago Fine Arts building at 410 S. Michigan Avenue. Shortly thereafter, due to monetary issues, she, her family, and staff members had to camp on the shores of Lake Michigan for six months.

Margaret Anderson


Despite that and other setbacks, she kept TLR going, leading it to become one of the most influential literary magazines of the 1910s & 1920s, publishing, among others, Sherwood Anderson, T.S. Eliot, and Ernest Hemingway.

TLR
became most famous after it began serializing James Joyce’s Ulysses in 1918. (Check out the digital versions of the actual issue at the Modernist Journals Project) Issues were seized and burned by the U.S. Post Office, and Anderson and her co-editor were convicted for obscenity, and fined $100 each.

Although she moved the magazine to New York in 1917, (and later to France), it all began in Chicago. Owing to that, Anderson was inducted into The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame in 2014 and her influence on the literary scene cannot be overstated.

The copy of The Little Review Anthology pictured here is my personal copy. I found it sitting in the free bin at a San Diego library. Only later did I realize it was signed by Anderson herself, and there’s pencil in the upper corner of the page listing it as part of a three volume set for sale at $1250.00. That’s why it’s always worth looking in the free bin!

Got any ideas for things we can cover while the city is in shelter-in-place mode? Send an email to us at LiteraryChicagoland@gmail.com.

Stay home and stay safe!

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