Blast (magazine)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

BLAST was the short-lived journal of the Vorticist movement in Britain. It had two editions, the first published on 2 July 1914, and the second a year later.

BLAST was edited and largely written by Wyndham Lewis with contributions from other Vorticists. The first edition was printed in folio format, with the oblique title BLAST splashed across its bright pink soft cover. Inside, Lewis used a range of bold typographic innovations and tricks to engage the reader.

The opening 20 pages of Blast 1 contain the Vorticist manifesto, written by Lewis with assistance from Ezra Pound and signed by Lewis, Edward Wadsworth, Pound, William Roberts, Helen Saunders, Lawrence Atkinson, Jessica Dismorr and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. David Bomberg and Jacob Epstein chose not to sign the manifesto, although their work was featured.

The manifesto is primarily a long list of things to be 'Blessed' or 'Blasted'. It starts:

  1. Beyond Action and Reaction we would establish ourselves.
  2. We start from opposite statements of a chosen world. Set up violent structure of adolescent clearness between two extremes.
  3. We discharge ourselves on both sides.
  4. We fight first on one side, then on the other, but always for the SAME cause, which is neither side or both sides and ours.
  5. Mercenaries were always the best troops.
  6. We are primitive Mercenaries in the Modern World.
  7. Our Cause is NO-MAN'S.
  8. We set Humour at Humour's throat. Stir up Civil War among peaceful apes.
  9. We only want Humour if it has fought like Tragedy.
  10. We only want Tragedy if it can clench its side-muscles like hands on its belly, and bring to the surface a laugh like a bomb.

The first edition of BLAST also contained articles by Pound, Rebecca West, Gaudier-Brzeska and an extract from Ford Madox Hueffer's novel The Saddest Story, better known by its later title The Good Soldier (published under his subsequent pseudonym Ford Madox Ford). The first edition also contained many illustrations in the Vorticist style by Jacob Epstein, Lewis and others.

The second edition contained a short play by Ezra Pound, and T. S. Eliot's poems Preludes and Rhapsody on a Windy Night. Another article by Gaudier-Brzeska entitled Vortex (written from the Trenches) further described the vorticist aesthetic. It was written whilst Gaudier-Brzeska was fighting in the First World War, a few weeks before he was killed.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Blast (magazine)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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