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Publication Name:

The Hesperian

Years in print:

1894- 1917


The Hesperian, an illustrated quarterly of seventy-two pages, edited and published by Alexander N. De Menil, made its appearance in May, 1894. Its prospectus announced the issue of "a magazine of a more serious character than any in present existence in the West;" it is a magazine of critical essays, "treating principally on literary, historical, philosophical and sociological topics;" it "seeks for Truth, and accepts literary dogmas only in so far as they may be correct." While it is designed principally as an editorial review, about one-fourth of each number is filled with outside contributions...The Hesperian does not publish stories; it is devoted entirely to higher literature.
(From the Encyclopedia of the History of Missouri by Alexander N. De Menil, 1901).

The Hesperian 1894
By Alexander N. DeMenil, Editor.

Without prior advertisement or announcement of any kind, The Hesperian is ushered into existence. Its publishers make no idle promises or vain boasts; they merely announce that they will issue a magazine of a more serious character than any in present existence in the West.
The Hesperian will address itself to the educated and thinking classes of readers. It will virtually be a magazine of essays, treating principally on literary and historical topics. Sensationalism will find no place in its pages, nor will discussions of political or religious questions.
It will seek for TRUTH, and when it shall discern glimpses of it in the accumulated mass of false rubbish that passes for it, it will proclaim the result of its labors boldly and in unequivocal terms. It will have “the honesty of its convictions,” whether its judgments be in accord with the reigning critical canons, or not. It will accept literary dogmas only in so far as they may be correct, and no further.
The Hesperian is small in size. It should be judged by quality, and not by quantity. Whether it will be enlarged with time, or not, will depend on the patronage that a discriminating public will either accord our efforts, or withhold from them.
Dr. Johnson, in The Idler (No. 1, April 15th, 1758), says: “Those who attempt periodical essays seem to be often stopped at the beginning, by the difficulty of finding a proper title.”  Such was our predicament. We desired to incorporate the word “Western” in the title of our periodical, but standing aghast at the number of magazines that have borne the word in their titles in the past, we finally accepted a substitute that conveys the same sense. Nor do we find fault that it has the further virtue of being more classic and distinctively original.  

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