Collier’s magazine, which published Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Upton Sinclair, and other popular writers and artists, expired in 1957, killed by television and changing tastes.
Until now. A Collier’s “Special Relaunch Issue” starts a subscription drive (goal: 200,000) for the reborn bimonthly by John T. Elduff, publisher at JTE Multimediain Berwyn, whose other titles include Postgraduate Medicine, Physician and Sportsmedicine, and Hospital Practice. Elduff bought Collier’s two years ago at auction for $2,000.
Collier’s was not only a great literary magazine, but also a pathfinder in investigative and journalism and war correspondence. Its star reporter was the great Martha Gellhorn (Hemingway’s third wife, to whom For Whom the Bell Tolls is dedicated), whose work bears comparison with the best. Here she is, reporting from Madrid during the Spanish Civil War:
An old woman, with a shawl over her shoulders, holding a terrified thin little boy by the hand, runs out into the square. You know what she is thinking: She is thinking she must get the boy home, you are always safer in your own place, with the things you know. Somehow you do not believe you can get killed when you are sitting in your own parlour, you never think that. She is in the middle of the square when the next one comes. A small piece of twisted steel, hot and very sharp, sprays off from the shell, it takes the little boy in the throat. The old woman stands there, holding the hand of the dead child, looking at him stupidly, not saying anything, and men and women run out toward her to carry the child. At their left, at the side of the square is a huge brilliant sign which says ‘ Get Out of Madrid’.
Gellhorn was a lefty and a limousine liberal, of whom Hemingway once said, “Marty loves humanity. It’s people she can’t stand.” And questions have been raised about the veracity of some of the incidents she described. But, thanks to her own enterprise, she was the first woman ashore after D-Day (Hemingway was stuck on a ship in the English Channel), and was present at the liberations of both Paris and Dachau. Although she called herself a pacifist, she never stopped following the sound of the guns, heading off to cover the Arab–Israeli war of 1967, Vietnam, and elsewhere before her death in London in 1998 at the age of 89. Never the novelist her husband was, she outdid even the great macho man himself in the mud and blood of the battlefield.