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Little Magazine


Little Magazine is a publication through which normally indicates the trend of the course of literary writings. Little Magazine strikes the mind of a reader with new perceptions and consciousness as its contents bear novelty of style and thought. The motto of such publication is to foster an unprecedented literary trend with the writings of creative and imaginative authors. Their relentless effort to create something new is a very special feature. They appear in their work with high degree of assertion and clarity. The most important feature of the Little Magazine movement is its strong stand against the archaic and flow-less traditional thoughts and ideas.

Little Magazine- these two words were used together first in Europe in the last decade of 18th century, when literature was a commodity. In this backdrop an effort was initiated to publish off track literary magazines for rearing up a new literary perception. The concept of Little Magazine developed from that perception. So, periodicals of similar nature published from the last decade of 18th century to the first decade of 20th century have been catagorised as Little magazines for their very special characteristics. The number of writers and readers of Little Magazines are normally quite limited on the ground of its newness in style, language and theme.

The Little Magazine movement got momentum with the publication of 'Kallol' (1923), 'Kalikalom' (1927), 'Pragati' (1927) and 'Purbasha' (1932). Writers of these periodicals had a common motto of setting a new trend in Bengali literature by avoiding the influence of Rabindranath. With a view to reaching the target they selected several subjects as their topics for the first time in Bangla. These were materialistic life in the European ideal, critical analysis of psychology and issues relating to politics and economy. The Little Magazine kavita (1935) edited by Buddhadev Bose thus appeared as a revolt against the established literary trend set up by the great senior writers.

In Bangladesh, Simanta (1947-1952) is regarded as the pioneering little magazine. Published from Chittagong in 1947 and jointly edited by Mahbub-ul Alam Choudhury and Shucharit Choudhury, the magazine became famous for its role in the history of language movement. Agattya appeared in 1949 with Fazle Lohani as its editor. As reflection of bourgeois humanitarian mentality and life of middle class and neo-urban people were prominent in its contents.'

Abdul Alim Choudhury and Ahmed Kabir published Jatrik in 1953 as a platform of leading young litterateurs. Samakal edited by Sikandar Abu Zafar appeared at the same time and dominated the literary area throughout the sixties. This progressive and creative magazine used to publish write ups of new ideas. In Bangladesh, the little magazine movement took a new turn in the sixties through publication of various little magazines like Sad Generation (1963), Swakshar (1963), Kanthaswar (1965), Chhatogalpa (1966) and Sampratik (1964). Some other remarkable little magazines are: Saptak (1962), Baktabbya (1963), Yugpath (1963), Kalbela (1965), Naa (1967), Bahubachan (1970), Swadesh (1969), Shabder Bikriti (1969) and Shilpakala (1970).

The literary movement which started in the sixties could not sustain the trend after the war of liberation. The main reason may be economic crisis immediately after the emergence of Bangladesh. During this period, daily and weekly newspapers became the media of literary activities. Only a very few little magazines were published in the 1970s. The first little magazine after independence was Mukhapatra. Jointly edited by Obaidul Islam and Mahammad Habibullah, the magazine was first published in 1972. Another magazine was Ganasahitya (1972) edited by Mofidul Haq. It played the role like Samakal of the 1950s. Literature related efforts of the next three decades are evident in this magazine. A magazine titled Bepakshe was brought out in the late seventies. Edited jointly by Abu Sayed Juberi and Jahid Haider the magazine took a vow against the cheap popular literature and the attitude of writers of those articles. Later another magazine Alokta edited by Titas Chaudhury stirred people's imaginations. These two magazines played a key role is promoting fiction style of the seventies. Kabi, a poetry related magazine, edited by Abid Azad started publishing from mid-seventies. The magazine used to publish experimental and analytical poems of contemporary poets.

In the mid eighties, there is little protestations and innovations in the Little Magazine contents. At present (2011), the problem has aggravated further. Long standing trend is ruling the domain of Little Magazines. The main reasons are: higher printing cost, scarcity of advertisements and above all scarcity of new ideas and thinking. In this backdrop, Lokayata (1982), edited by Abdul Kashem Fazlul Haq could acquire the features of a little magazine.

Sanskriti edited by Badaruddin Umar has brought massive changes in our perception, as it was a medium for writing on politics, economy, society and cultural life. Mizanur Rahmaner Traimasik Patrika edited by Mizanur Rahman ruled the domain of the Little Magazine quite for some time in 1980s and '90s. Sanskriti edited by Badaruddin Umar, Atmaprotikriti (self-protait) edited by Abu Yusuf and Ushaloke edited by Mohammad Sharkerullah have shown some sparks and then got dimmed. [Mizan Rahman]