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Chinese illustrated magazines in their mass form


Andrés Zervigón
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 4
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Dear Michel,

Thank you for the fascinating talk. I wonder if the magazines you discussed bear any relationship to the mass-market illustrated periodicals of the time? Did they similarly ply photo-text relationships where, as it seems here, the text illustrated the picture rather than the other way around? And were they committed to reporting the news through photography as well? Also, I'm curious about the case of censorship that you highlighted. What exactly was it about the relationship of image and text (in that magazine's case) that led to the serial being banned?

The case of Chinese photo-illustrated periodicals is so interesting.

Michel Hockx
Joined: 2 years ago
Posts: 14

Dear Andrés,

Thank you for your comments and sorry for being late in responding. Given literacy levels in China in the first half of the twentieth century, we can't perhaps speak of "mass-market" periodicals, but definitely in the 1930s there were some pictorials that were very popular and whose layout was dominated by all manner of photographs and other images. This would include news coverage as well. All part of the same package, so to speak. A good reference is this one: .

The censorship case I discussed is from 1916, so a before the big "mass-market" boom, and the moral disapproval of the censors seems to have focused on the way in which the entire editorial style of the Eyebrow Talk magazine seems to have foregrounded male-female relationships. In our article we looked at specific examples of stories and poems being written in response to photographs, and the other way around, arguing that the emphasis on transgressive topics went beyond the mere publication of nude images.