|Margaret Caroline Anderson|
Margaret Caroline Anderson, in 1951
|Born||November 24, 1886
Indianapolis, Indiana, US
|Died||October 19, 1973 (aged 86) 
Le Cannet, France
|Subjects||Esotericism, Fourth Way|
|Literary movement||New thought|
|Notable work(s)||The Unknowable Gurdjieff (1962)|
Margaret Caroline Anderson (November 24, 1886 – October 18, 1973) was the American founder, editor and publisher of the art and literary magazine The Little Review, which published a collection of modern American, English and Irish writers between 1914 and 1929. The periodical is most noted for introducing many prominent American and British writers of the 20th century, such as Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot in the United States, and publishing the first few chapters of James Joyce's then-unpublished novel, Ulysses.
Anderson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the eldest of three daughters of Arthur Aubrey Anderson and Jessie (Shortridge) Anderson. She graduated from high school in Anderson, Indiana in 1903, and then entered a two-year junior preparatory class at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio.
She left Western in 1906, at the end of her freshman year, to pursue a career as a pianist. In the fall of 1908 she left home for Chicago, where she reviewed books for a religious weekly (The Continent) before joining The Dial. By 1913 she was a book critic for the Chicago Evening Post.
In March 1914, she founded the avant-garde literary magazine The Little Review during Chicago's literary renaissance, which became not just influential, but soon created a unique place for itself and for her in the American literary and artistic history. "An organ of two interests, art and good talk about art", the monthly's first issue featured articles on Nietzsche, feminism and psychoanalysis. Early funding was intermittent, and for six months in 1914, she was forced out of her Chicago residence at 837 West Ainslie Street, and the magazine's offices at Chicago Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan Avenue, and camped with family and staff members on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The writer Ben Hecht, who was at least partly in love with her then, described her this way: "She was blond, shapely, with lean ankles and a Scandinavian face. ... I forgave her her chastity because she was a genius. During the years I knew her she wore the same suit, a tailored affair in robin's egg blue. Despite this unvarying costume she was as chic as any of the girls who model today for the fashion magazines. ... It was surprising to see a coiffure so neat on a noggin so stormy."
In 1916, Anderson met Jane Heap, a spirited intellectual and artist immersed in the Chicago Arts and Crafts Movement, and a former lesbian lover to novelist Djuna Barnes. The two became lovers, and Anderson convinced her to become co-editor of the Little Review. Heap maintained a low profile, signing her contributions simply "jh", but she had a major impact on the success of the journal through its bold and radical content. For a while, Anderson and Heap published the magazine out of a ranch in Muir Woods, across the San Francisco Bay Area, before moving to New York's Greenwich Village in 1917. With the help of critic Ezra Pound, who acted as her foreign editor in London, The Little Review published some of the most influential new writers in the English language, including Hart Crane, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Pound himself, and William Butler Yeats. Other notable contributors included Sherwood Anderson, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Malcolm Cowley, Marcel Duchamp, Ford Madox Ford, Emma Goldman, Vachel Lindsay, Amy Lowell, Francis Picabia, Carl Sandburg, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Arthur Waley, and William Carlos Williams. Even so, however, she once issued 64 blank pages between covers to protest the temporary lack of exciting new works.
In 1920, starting with the July and August issues, The Little Review serialized the first four chapters of James Joyce's Ulysses. Soon the U.S. Post Office seized and burned four issues of the magazine, and Anderson and her companion and associate editor, Jane Heap, were convicted of obscenity charges. During the trail in February, 1921, hundreds of "Greenwich Villagers", men and women, marched into Special Court Sessions; eventually, each was fined $100 and fingerprinted.
In early 1924, through Alfred Richard Orage, she came to know of Gurdjieff, and having seen the performance of 'Sacred dances', first at the 'Neighbourhood Playhouse', and later at the Carnegie Hall, she moved to France to visited Gurdjieff at Fountainebleau-Avon, along with Georgette Leblanc, Jane Heap and Monique Surrere, shortly after his automobile accident, where he had set up his institute at Château du Prieuré in Avon.
Jean Heap and Anderson adopted sons of Anderson's ailing sister Louis Peters, Tom and Arthur (‘Fritz’) Peters, whom they brought to Prieuré in June 1924, In 1925 when they returned to New York, the two children were brought up by Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein.
Later, Anderson moved to Le Cannet on the French Riviera, to live with the French singer Georgette Leblanc, and the final issue of The Little Review was edited at Hotel St. Germain-Des-Pres, 36 rue Bonaparte, Paris.
Anderson published a three-volume autobiography: My Thirty Years' War (1930), The Fiery Fountains, and The Strange Necessity. In her last years in Le Cannet, she wrote her final book, part novel and part memoir, Forbidden Fires.
The teachings of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff played an important role in Anderson's life. Anderson met Gurdjieff in Paris and, together with Leblanc, began studies with him, focusing on his original teaching called The Fourth Way. From 1935 to 1939, Anderson and Georgette Leblanc studied with Gurdjieff as part of a group of women known as "The Rope", which included seven members in all: Elizabeth Gordon, Solita Solano, Kathryn Hulme, Louise Davidson and Alice Rohrer, besides them. Along with Katherine Mansfield and Jean Heap, she remains one of most noted institutee of Gurdjieff's, ‘Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man’, at Fontainebleau, a commune, near Paris, France from October 1922 to 1924.
Anderson studied with Gurdjieff in France until his death in October 1949, writing about him and his teachings in most of her books, most extensively in her memoir, The Unknowable Gurdjieff.
By 1942 her relationship with Heap had cooled, and, evacuating from the war in France, Anderson sailed for the United States. Jane Heap had moved to London in 1935, where she led Gurdjieff study groups until her death in 1964. With her passage paid by Ernest Hemingway, Anderson met on the voyage Dorothy Caruso, widow of the singer and famous tenor Enrico Caruso. The two began a romantic relationship, and lived together until Caruso's death in 1955. Anderson returned to Le Cannet after Caruso's death, and there she died of emphysema on October 19, 1973. She is buried beside Georgette Leblanc in the Notre Dame des Agnes Cemetery.
Celebrating the life and work of Margaret Anderson and the Little Review's remarkable influence, an exhibition "Making No Compromise: Margaret Anderson and the Little Review" was opened at the Beinecke Library, Yale University, from October, 2006, and ran for three months.
Margaret Caroline Anderson (November 24, 1886 – October 18, 1973) was founder and editor of the celebrated literary magazine The Little Review, which published an extraordinary collection of modern American, English and Irish writers between 1914 and 1929.