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The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer$
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James Dempsey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813049267

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813049267.001.0001

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Starting with a Bang

Starting with a Bang

(p.63) 9 Starting with a Bang
The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer

James Dempsey

University Press of Florida

The first issue of The Dial under Thayer and Watson came out in January 1920. It was an almost immediate sensation, thanks to its offering works both avant-garde and approachable. Thayer championed the verse of Cummings in particular, but not everyone agreed with him: Amy Lowell and Thayer made a wager as to whether or not Cummings would come to be recognized within the American literary canon. Pound also published his prose and verse in the magazine, including “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley.” The magazine steered a careful course, trying to provide adult writing while avoiding the forces of censorship, including the infamous New York Society for the Suppression of Vice and its director John Sumner.

Keywords:   Censorship, E. E. Cummings, Amy Lowell, “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley”, New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, Ezra Pound, John Sumner

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