The Papyrus Magazine, Ed. by Michael Monahan, RARE, 1st Ed, June 1904


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The Papyrus: A Magazine of Individuality
Edited and Published by Michael Monahan
JUNE 1904, Vol 2 No 6
Mount Vernon, NY

The Huntington Library's website reports having a complete run of the magazine and notes that "it is very unlikely that another complete set has been collected." Other libraries with mostly complete runs include Davidson College, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Princeton University, and Cornell University.

Publisher: Self Published by Michael Monahan, Mount Vernon, NY
Copyright: June, 1904

This magazine is in good condition. Softcover. Boards are lightly toned with some wear to edges and spine. Staples used to saddle stitch have rusted over time. The text block is crisp and clean. Advertisements confined to beginning and end of each issue. Subscription rates were 10 cents per issue / $1 per year / and $10 for lifetime subscription.

The Papyrus was a little magazine published between 1903 and 1912 under the editorship of Michael Monahan. It catered to a distinctly intellectual audience with an interest in literature; its content included poetry, short fiction, literary criticism, and comments on current events.

The character of the magazine is inextricable from the personality of its editor, as Monahan had almost complete discretion in selecting the magazine's content. The Papyrus often served directly as a voice for Monahan's own opinions, and he would often supply more of his own content for an issue than any other single contributor.

Monahan tenaciously saw The Papyrus through an entire run of nine years and eighty-one issues (continuing it afterward as the Phoenix). The Papyrus shares the fiercely independent spirit of so many of its contemporary little magazines. It holds a unique place within this group, however, owing to the decidedly mixed social values of its editor. Monahan championed ideals of liberty and the rights of the working class, and he eloquently decried the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde in Papyrus' May 1905 issue (1-5). At the same time, however, Monahan was proudly a literary elitist who, judging by the content of his magazine, had no interest whatsoever in the stylistic innovation typically seen as characterizing modernism.

The following manifesto appeared on the inside back cover of Papyrus from its first issue through volume 7, issue 1:

"The Papyrus has none of the Stock Features of the Other magazines, which make them All so fearfully Alike. It does not propose to review the Futile Fiction of the hour. It is for people who want to get away from the Eternal Trite-who are sick and tired of Canned Literature-who demand Thinking that is born of the Red Corpuscle. It is also intended for persons who are Young enough to Understand and all others who do not easily get into a Panic for some one to Blow out the Light. The Editor of The Papyrus is a Free Agent-which means that he is not controlled by Officious Friends, Advertising Patrons, or any other Influence subversive of the Chosen Policy of the Magazine.

Briefly, that policy is-
Fearless thinking and Honest writing.
Hatred of Sham and Fake under whatever forms they may appear.
The American ideal.
The true literary spirit.
And a sane Philosophy of Life helping us all to bear our burden."

32 pages, 5" x 6.75"
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