Hi Nissa, I much enjoyed your talk and learned a lot about the evidently large American community in interwar Paris - thank you! I liked your term of transnational Americans and the way your talk stressed a sense of national community/identity that clearly co-existed with a sense of belonging to global/trans-Atlantic community of readers/artists etc. Is there any indication in the Sunday Magazine, or the Tribune, that the paper was also read by other Anglo-phone readers who were not expat Americans? Are such readers explicitely addressed? And does the magazine express a tension or ambivalence about styling itself as the only English weekly produced on the Continent and addressed to English-speaking readers on the one hand, and wanting to address an expat American audience on the other, with the latter being a more narrowly defined readership based on nationality, in addtion to language ability and cosmopolitanism?
Thank you, Susann. To (somewhat) answer your question: although the daily Paris Tribune wanted a readership beyond just Americans for circulation purposes, and there is evidence in the letters column and elsewhere that they did sometimes reach this wider audience, most of what the newspaper had going for itself was its comprehensive coverage of the American community's activities (arrivals on steamers from the US, lunches and other social events, etc) & updates from the US on American sports. There were other Anglophone papers available in Paris (generally imported from the UK) that did a better job reporting both the local and global news. Part of the Tribune's schtick was to assert themselves as more genuinely American than their main competitor, the Paris Herald, because they had an American editorial staff, while the Herald, despite having the same kind of American ties/origins as the Tribune, hired a British editor. When the Tribune launched the Sunday Magazine, one of their goals was definitely to transcend that national community and appeal to a broader Anglophone one, and but I don't have evidence either way as to whether they succeed in this... I think because the magazine was so short-lived, and their primary advertising vehicle seems to have been their own newspaper, chances are they didn't broad then appeal too much (although having Ford Madox Ford's columns featured in the first several issues may have attracted some wider audience).
Hello Nissa, many thanks for undertaking this in-depth study of the “Paris Tribune”, which has long been one of the “missing links” in our understanding of the role the American editors and writers in Paris played in the shaping of transatlantic and transnational modernist networks, in the early 20s. 1924 is also the year Hemingway took over (or rather hijacked) the edition of the Transatlantic Review from Ford Madox Ford -- Ford was then on a tour in the U.S. -- and a year before Ernest Walsh launched This Quarter, a short-lived, but important, forerunner to transition. Paul Gay’s insistence that the Sunday section of the Tribune was not just like any other American book digest is also intriguing, as is the general kowtowing to the French literary scene. Your paper nicely stresses the editors’ ambivalent desire to gain cultural capital and to assert cultural independence from France (and Europe). All this is fascinating. I am also curious to know how the initial Tribune targeted at American troops stationed abroad transitioned to this new periodical venue: was it the same staff? What was the connection, if any, with the American Library in Paris and with the War Library Service? Were these connections maintained after the Sunday section was created?
Dear Anne, Thank you for your insightful comments. I think that what was going on with these celebrated Little Magazines in-and-around 1924 is what inspired the Tribune to break from their daily newspaper format and start providing a Sunday magazine--that is, they saw that there was cultural interest in the magazine at the moment, and thought they'd seize on it (without having a clear enough sense of what their magazine's aim was to find success as a stand-alone publication). In fact, in relation to your question about the American Library in Paris, the library published its own magazine from 1923 to 1925! I recently wrote a piece (out next year? I'd be happy to send you a draft of if it would be useful!) on the symbiotic relationship between the American Library and the Paris Herald and Tribune--that is, they all relied on one another to promote their publications and services (which is fitting, since the American Library began as the Library War Service and the Tribune began as the Army Edition!). The shift in staff at the Tribune from its war-time staff to its peace-time seems to have happened gradually between 1919 and the early 1920s. The content of the paper changed over from targeting soldiers to looking for a wider audience between 1919 and about 1921, and necessitated bringing in new reporters to cover local beats.
I too found this paper fascinating, Nissa, and this thread of discussion about readership is intriguing. Is the readership also quite gendered? I guess your reference to soldiers suggests one way in which it might be. I also noticed that the slide about 'everybody is reading it' referred to 'Frenchmen' and 'businessmen', and the previous slide compared the refreshing effect of the magazine to that of a 'winsome girl', again implying a male reader. This is a rather basic question but it did strike me. Anyway, thanks again for a wonderful presentation and discussion.
Thank you, Faye! I have to admit I hadn't, yet, thought much about the gender of the magazine's readership, although I have thought about how slow the daily newspaper itself seemed to be in acknowledging a female readership (which begins to be obvious right around the time the Sunday Magazine started up, interestingly enough).