Katya Knyazeva (avezink) wrote,
Katya Knyazeva
avezink

Vox, the ‘child’ of Emily Hahn and Shao Xunmei (1935)

“Being an editor has done something strange to me... Already I am growing stodgy and inclined to admit there are after all two sides to every question.” Emily Hahn, Vox, September 1935.

Thanks to a discovery by a fellow researcher of Shanghai modernism, Kelly W. S. Ritter, we now have a “then and now” comparison of The Modern Press publishing house (时代印刷厂), created in 1935 by the renowned literati Shao Xunmei 邵洵美 (aka Zau Sinmay). The address is 21 Pingliang Road 平凉路21号, right on the border of Hongkew and Yangtszepoo.

1935:


2015:


It is said that since starting the publishing house, Shao Xunmei moved in a house nearby, to be closer to the office. Most Chinese sources point at 47 Macgregor Road (now Lintong Lu) 临潼路47号, which is an old terraced house. I guess you can call it "a gabled Victorian home of roughcast brick"?



Or maybe it was 25 Pingliang Road 平凉路25号 – a beautiful villa right behind the Modern Press building? I'm not sure.

A notable product of The Modern Press was the Vox (声色画报) – a Sino-English pictorial monthly, which first appeared in September 1935 and ran for three issues. Shao Xunmei was the Chinese content editor, while his colleague Emily "Mickey" Hahn acted as the English-language editor. The monthly became a weekly in 1936, with Emily Hahn editing it together with T. U. Loh from an office on Foochow Road, but that's another story...

Here is the cover of the first issue of Vox:


Below I am copying the description in Chinese:

[Vox 声色 (1935)...]

1935年9月在上海创刊,同年11月第3期停刊。由《声色周报》继承。由项美丽、邵洵美主编,发行人为沈同,时代图书公司出版。月刊,为综合性画报。

该刊介绍各国文化,解释国际形势,交流中西方文化,刊载著名影星照片、国内外著名画家的作品等。载文采用中文论著后添加英文说明,或英文论证附中文说明的形式,方便中西方人士阅读。

曾载有《最近来华的四文人》以访问记录的形式,对于中西人士互相认识方面有高明见解,应予以特别重视;此外《现代国际政治的透视》一文,强调日本侵华已经是公开的事实,痛斥日本所谓的“亚洲是亚洲人的亚洲”言论。该刊图文并茂、生动地展现了《龙》这一主题,认为龙的产生始终是一个神秘,不论世间是否真有此动物,他的尊严的线条,已足够使人们奉若神灵了,有此种神兽在翱翔的图案是艺术的最高表现。该刊还关注妇女,刊有《现代中国女子的面面观》,多幅图片呈现了现代女性在政治、艺术、学习、旅行、婚嫁等多方面的现状和发展。

附:

……我们对于刊物的性质,也曾经有过多次的商量。最先想到的当然是一种完全文字的刊物,内容介绍各国文化的精华,并作最诚恳的自白与最透彻的批评。但是这一种的刊物,定会发生一种高深的弊端,一般决不会对之发生兴趣;少数人的享受,也不是我们所鼓励的。浅明而真切的,当然莫过于照相;同时还更可以提高兴趣:我们于是决计办一种图文并重的刊物。图文的性质,又是解释重于研究,诉述重于批评。……(1935年第1卷第1期)



Download the September 1935 issue from Archive.org to read Emily Hahn's confession and to find out why "Shanghai is swell" and at the same time "rotten."

Tags: 1930s, 1935, americans, magazine, pingliang road, shanghai, then and now, yangpu, yangshupu, yangtszepoo, 临潼路, 平凉路, 杨浦区
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