Now that the first flurry of excitement caused by the appearance of the Harvard Magazine and its monkey-covered parody is over, there arises the natural question as to what was the purpose of the anonymous satirists in producing their pamphlet. Only one purpose seems to fit the situation, namely a desire to destroy the new publication.
Just why to opposition go to the Harvard Magazine should go to such extremes is an unsolvable query. The Magazine competes only with the Advocate which should welcome the stimulus of such healthy rivalry. Undergraduate literature has been decadent since the college days of Aiken and Hagedorn and any revitalization is to be heartily welcomed.
The psychology of the authors of the red parody is somewhat unusual. Its brilliant color made it sell like wild fire; red magazines were sticking out of everybody's pockets on Wednesday afternoon. But the attempted blow proved a boomerang. For every copy of the parody sold,--the figure is said to approach 1,500,--a copy of the real magazine was also sold. The satirists gave the true paper the best possible free advertising and undoubtedly doubled if not trebled the circulation of the first number.
Possibly the parodists intended to perpetrate a joke on the College by if such was the case it was stretching things rather far. It is not likely that such care could have been taken to have the satirical paper correspond so closely to the real one had sole purpose of the anonymous authors been to raise a laugh.
It is with concern that the CRIMSON notes the heralded appearance of a second parody next Monday. Wednesday's effort was cleaver and of momentary interest; it created more of a stir in Cambridge that almost any other event in the memory of the present college generation; but its purposes were ill defined and even sinister.
The genuine Harvard Magazine will stand or fail on the merits of its present and three coming issues, and on the degrees of strong competition it may receive from the Advocate. It has faults,--some which the CRIMSON noticed were pointed out yesterday morning,--but its existence will be based on its ability to overcome these faults, not on jealous and anonymous attacks.
The second communication printed below indicates the trend of opinion. Undergraduate sentiment will not countenance a continuation of such methods.