I’ve always liked the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley.  In doing some research on him, I came across …

The Yellow Book, with a cover illustrated by Aubrey Beardsley.

The Yellow Book, published in London from 1894 to 1897 by Elkin Mathews and John Lane, later by John Lane alone, and edited by the American Henry Harland, was a quarterly literary periodical (priced at 5s.) that lent its name to the “Yellow” 1890s.

It was a leading journal of the British 1890s; to some degree associated with Aestheticism and Decadence, the magazine contained a wide range of literary and artistic genres, poetry, short stories, essays, book illustrations, portraits, and reproductions of paintings.

Aubrey Beardsley was its first art editor and he has been credited with the idea of the yellow cover …

He obtained works by such artists as Charles Conder, William Rothenstein, John Singer Sargent, Walter Sickert, and Philip Wilson Steer.

The literary content was no less distinguished; authors found within its pages during the three years of its existence include: Max Beerbohm, Arnold Bennett,”Baron Corvo”, Ernest Dowson, George Gissing, Henry James, Sir Edmund Gosse, Richard Le Gallienne, Charlotte Mew, Arthur Symons, H. G. Wells and William Butler Yeats.

— The Great Wikipedia

John Singer Sargent Nonchaloir (Repose), 1911 oil on canvas 25 1/8 x 30 inches (64 x 76 cm.) National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. photograph courtesy Michael Weinberg Photography, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania

I like the  concept of using The Yellow Book as a inspiration.

It also affords a wide latitude in posting ideas.

And as I’m not familiar with most of the authors listed above, I might as well explore their work for a while until I get bored or find something new again for Flipped Again.

For some unknown reason, this poem by Yeats seems oddly familiar …


THE SECOND COMING

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


Spanish Dancer (woman) John Singer Sargent -- American painter c 1879-82 Private collection

The above poem was written in 1919 in the aftermathof the first World War. It can be found in:

  • Yeats, William Butler. Michael Robartes and the Dancer. Chruchtown, Dundrum, Ireland: The Chuala Press, 1920. (as found in the photo-lithography edition printed Shannon, Ireland: Irish University Press, 1970.) The various manuscript revisions of the poem also have
    references to the French and Irish Revolutions as well
    as to Germany and Russia. They can be found in:
  • Yeats, William Butler. “Michael Robartes and the
    Dancer” Manuscript Materials.
    Thomas Parkinson and

    Anne Brannen, eds. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1994.Harmon (1998) lists it as one of the hundred most anthologized poems in the English language.
  • Harmon, William, ed. The Classic Hundred Poems.
    New York: Columbia University Press, 1998.
  • Poem of the Week. org

Next time possibly H.G. Wells?

UPDATE:  (Sir Henry Maximilian) “Max” Beerbohm.

FINAL UPDATE: The Yellow  Book’s first art editor  was Aubrey Beardsley, who was relatively unknown until … my next blog post.

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