The Idea of the Literary in the Little Magazines of the 1940s

Authored by: Raphael Dalleo

The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature

Print publication date:  June  2011
Online publication date:  June  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415485777
eBook ISBN: 9780203830352
Adobe ISBN: 9781136821745


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The local publications founded in the West Indies during the 1930s and 1940s are frequently mentioned by critics as pivotal to the emergence of Caribbean literature in English. The Beacon published monthly in Trinidad and Tobago from 1931 to 1933, with one issue in 1939; Public Opinion was founded as a weekly in Jamaica in 1937, became a daily in 1944, and then returned to being a weekly until 1974; the Barbadian BIM published twice annually from 1942 until 1973, and has come out sporadically since; Jamaica’s Focus published issues irregularly, in 1943, 1948, 1956, 1960 and 1983; and Kyk-Over-Al was a biannual publication in Guyana from 1945 to 1961, returning during the 1980s and 1990s. Because all of these publications were founded between 1931 and 1945, literary histories of the Caribbean often group them together as a boom in local literary publication that demonstrates the rise in Caribbean nationalism and sets the stage for the birth of West Indian literature in the 1950s (see, for example, Baugh, Ramchand, Ramraj and Sander). Critics emphasize the importance of these periodicals to the development of a locally published literature, and place them in the context of the rise of nationalist political movements and the explosion of literary outlets from throughout the region.

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