Facts | Description | Gallery | Manifesto | Editor | Contributors | Bibliography
Adam was an international review published in English and French, and was one of the longest running little magazines. The original periodical began in Bucharest in 1929 and later fell into the hands of its Romanian editor, Miron Grindea, in 1938. The first London publication came out in 1941 and continued to publish English and French writing. The name Adam is an acronym for Arts, Drama, Architecture, and Music. The review had many famous contributors, including Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, Jean Cocteau, and E.M. Forster (“Adam International Review” 57). The review also published unknown writers or artists who later became celebrities, such as John Mander, who used the review to publish his poem “The Ides of March.”
Adam published pieces ranging from poetry to manuscripts and letters to unpublished childhood memoir reproductions of Virginia Woolf’s early attempts at writing. The magazine also had issues devoted to individual artists, such as Baudelaire, Dickens, Beethoven, and Chopin. The review also sought to publish memoirs, reflections, or drafts, like eight unpublished poems by Charles Dickens. Adam published several contributions in French, including Grindea’s editorial introduction to the Graham Green tribute titled: “A la Recherche de Graham Greene.” The review regularly had about 1000 subscribers, and published its last issue in 1994 – over 50 years after its first English number.
The eclectic character of the magazine reflects the multi-dimensional nature of its editor, Miron Grindea, who mingled with the Bohemians of his day. Alvin Sullivan attributes Adam’s longevity to the magazine’s “diversity of material”; Cyril Connolly who claims he knew “of only three magazines which survive unaltered from the ‘thirties: Partisan Review, The Wine and Food Quarterly and Miron Grindea’s indestructible Adam” (qtd. in “Adam International Review” 4). In the 200th issue of Adam, Miron Grindea quoted T. S. Eliot’s commentary on The Criterion from July 1938: “so far as culture depends upon periodicals, it depends upon periodicals which exist as a means of communication between cultivated people, and not as a commercial enterprise: it depends upon periodicals which do not make profit” (qtd. in “Adam International Review” 5). Grindea believed that Eliot’s statement rang true for his own periodical.
Adam “endeavored to gather round it almost all the foreign writers, members of various P.E.N. centres now assembled in England” (“Adam International Review” 4). A wide range of contributors from countries around Europe, and publications in English and French, enabled the magazine to foster awareness of international issues.
Compiled by Bettina Lemm, Davidson College Class of 2013.