Vicious reviews of amateur singers, ambushing Robert Muldoon and interviewing gnome collectors … Wellington magazines have done all this, and more, over the years.
“This magazine … is made to sell.” Such was the philosophy of the flamboyant Charles Nalder Baeyertz, editor of the literary, musical and cultural magazine the Triad, which he ran from a villa in Mt Victoria after moving north from Dunedin in 1909. And sell it did, thanks in part to Baeyertz’s notorious frankness as a critic. He once described a sermon as “adding nothing new to our ignorance of God”, while one set of poems submitted to the magazine was returned with the note, “Publish it? No! Poison yourself first; you’ll be glad of it after.”
Despite expanding into the Australian market in 1915, the Triad eventually collapsed in the late 1920s under the weight of misdemeanours by drunken writers, the difficulty of trying to appeal to audiences on both sides of the Tasman, and lawsuits from offended tenors. (The magazine managed to survive one lawsuit after it described a singer as having a voice like “a pig’s whistle”, but lost heavily when it compared another to “a trussed turkey”.)
Read the full article here: FishHead – Wellington magazines history – July 2012