During the depression and World War II the DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York enrolled about 10,000 students, all boys. They produced a literary magazine called The Magpie. It gave early voice to many writers and artists, some of whom would go on to distinguished careers in film, journalism and letters. Among them were novelist James Baldwin, film critic Stanley Kauffman, journalist Frederick Hechinger, screenwriter "Paddy" Chayesfsky, and print maker Robert Blackburn.
The Magpie offers the careful reader a window on the feelings and thoughts
of the generation that came of age in this very difficult time. What
follows are selections from The Magpie, arranged in clusters.
Pick a cluster, read its selections and write a 4x6 card analyzing
them. What was on the minds of the authors? What do their words
say about growing up in America at this time? How did their chronological
age influence their thoughts and emotions? How did culture and history
affect what they had to say? Are there any themes in these selections
that are timelness?
Alvin Schwartz, "Metamorphosis"
Melvin Greek, "Morning Becomes Night" (January 1938)
Arthur Whitman,"Study of a High School Boy" (January 1940)
A. Baldwin, "Peace
on Earth" (Spring 1940)
Adda Bayer, "A Letter" (January 1940)
Franklin Plotkin, "I Lived Through a Blackout" (Winter 1942)
Leonard Wender, "The Air Raid" (Winter 1942)
Jesse Zelden, "The Wall" (Spring 1940)