I loved seeing the maturation and expansion of some of The Dial‘s ideas in The Pageant today.
The reflective and neurotic self-explication in The Dial seems to have settled over the seven years between the first volume of The Dial and the first volume of The Pageant. The Pageant, instead, seems to embody a more mature confidence in its own value. We can see this in its length, its design, and its role as an illustrated gift “book beautiful”. It seems to have found its niche as an expensive and crafted artbook in a marketable way. Since around this time Ricketts would have been labouring on his Vale Press, it makes sense that the coterie would have decided to make their product less “experimental art house” and instead make a more marketable and sustainable product. In this sense, it acts as liminal material, embodying both the aesthetic and symbolic artistic influences of The Dial while also marketing itself well in modern consumer culture. I wonder if this was a debate among the coterie, since their earlier works seemed to be so anti-mass production (and, by extension, anti-consumption).
I’d like to know if the self-explanation of The Dial is apparent in The Pageant. Do some of the essays self-reflexively explain the worth of the magazine? Can we say that The Pageant is a maturation of The Dial – especially considering that the editors are not the exact same? I have lots of questions!