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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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with Alfred and Blanche. I used to play games with Blanche. She was the most gullible woman in the world. I remember that once I told her that we were cutting our discount at Brentano's. I said, “They need our books, We're going to cut their discount to thirty per cent. They have to buy them.” Of course she went running back to Alfred and said, “Bennett's cutting his discount at Brentano's.” Alfred got on the phone to me and said, “If you don't stop telling my wife these damned stories... I'm the one that suffers.” Of course I knew that she would run back to Alfred with the story. It was obviously ridiculous, but Blanche took it all seriously. Blanche and I had gone on vacations together. I admired Alfred then and I admire him now as probably the greatest publisher of our era.


Why do you think that he was such a great publisher?


Because he had taste, he knew books, and he had integrity. I think that he's the most honest publisher I've ever met. Everything about Alfred to me is admirable except his temperament. He can't help it. That's the way he is. I respect him. I admire him. He knows it.


That's why the friendship was...


That's why the friendship was there. Also, I kid him. I'm not scared of him too much--just a little bit!

Anyway, he was coming to me, complaining about Pat, who

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