An Air Raid Siren for the Left
Stove, Judy, New Criterion
In London in 1937, Stefan Lorant, a Hungarian photojournalist who had served time in a Nazi prison, started a pocket-sized monthly magazine which combined English humor with European style. It was called Lilliput. Throughout the Second World War it entertained readers in bomb shelter, canteen, and mess with its unique mix of stories, articles, photography, and cartoons.
On the magazine's third birthday, in the August 1940 issue, as London came under sustained night attack, the editors wrote:
When we started Lilliput, in July 1937, we planned for the first time an intelligent magazine for intelligent people, at a popular price. It has been our guiding policy ever since. But in July 1937 we could not have foreseen that less than three years later we would be producing Lilliput in the middle of a world war, although, even then, Lilliput was in its own way attacking the dictators and warning the democracies of the dangers ahead.
The magazine was subtitled "The Monthly Magazine for Everyone," and so it was. First of all, the covers were drawn by Walter Trier, another European refugee. Trier's charming artwork always showed a man, his girlfriend, and their dog, walking, working in a munitions factory, or sunbathing. Then there were the advertisements: All-Bran cereal, Kiwi shoe polish, Macleans toothpaste, and Mars Bars. My Goodness--My Guinness! Milk of Magnesia. Eno's Fruit Salt. Ministry of Food recipes pompously exhorted housewives to make cakes out of potatoes, carrots, and powdered egg.
The first column was always by "Lemuel Gulliver," decorated …
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Publication information: Article title: An Air Raid Siren for the Left. Contributors: Stove, Judy - Author. Magazine title: New Criterion. Volume: 24. Issue: 1 Publication date: September 2005. Page number: 93+. © 1999 Foundation for Cultural Review. COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group.
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