Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Call of Adventure

Just a short snipper today, a quote from Adventure Magazine's earliest days which sums up much about the pulp age:

The first issue of Adventure contained 19 stories on 188 pages, but prior to the first story was a message on pages [iii] and [iv]. It is signed The Ridgway Company but may have been written by White or perhaps even by Arthur Sullivant Hoffman, the man who would become his successor; it provides the editorial philosophy of the new magazine:
Have you ever noticed how the recital of an adventure always finds ready audience? 
The witness of an accident never wants for listeners, and if peculiar and mysterious circumstances surround the accident, the interest is all the keener. The man with a story of some stirring adventure always gets the floor. Men will stop the most important discussion to listen, women will forget to rock the cradle, boys and girls will neglect any sport or game. 
Try it some time and see how it grips all kinds, all ages. 
And the reason is that none of us ever really grows up. We are always boys and girls, a little older in years, but the same nature—alert to the new, questioning, investigating, growing, living; stirred by martial music; thrilled by the sight of the fire-horses dashing madly down the street; lured by tales of subtle intrigue and splendid daring. 
It will be a sad day for this old world if men and women ever lose this capacity to be gripped by tales of heroism. The man whose heart leaps for joy at sight of a heroic deed is the man who will act the hero when his turn comes. 
No, the love of adventure will never be lost out of life. It is a fundamental of human nature, just as sentiment is a fundamental, and it is almost as moving. So we reasoned that a magazine edited for this universal hunger of human nature for adventure ought to have a wide appreciation and appeal, and we decided to publish such a magazine and call it ADVENTURE. 
It is published in the hope and belief that hundreds of thousands of men and women will be glad to have a magazine wherein they can satisfy their natural and desirable hunger for adventure. 
A magazine wherein they can find adventure without being obliged to read through reams of stuff they care little about for the sake of getting a little they care a lot about. sto
A magazine published by the publishers of Everybody’s Magazine and edited with the same care and concern as is Everybody’s Magazine, but frankly made for the hours when the reader cannot work, or does not wish to, or is too weary to work. Frankly made for the reader’s recreation rather than his creative hours. 
If you care for stirring stories (and who does not?) — if you wish to get away for a brief time from the hard grind of the daily mill so that you can come back to it again with new zest, so that you can walk through the knotty problems and nagging limitations with renewed courage — get a copy of Adventure. 
You can get away for such a trip every month for 15 cents or you can get a season ticket entitling you to twelve trips for $1.50. 
No other kind of story in the magazine; just Adventure Stories. Factstories as well as fiction stories. If you don’t like that kind, don’t buy; but if you do like that kind, Adventure is sure to delight you.
A better mission statement for the writer I've yet to find. For more information on Adventure, (and the source for the quote) see "A History of Adventure" by Richard Bleiler. And thanks to StoryHack Magazine for pointing me to this.

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