Previous | Next
865866867868869870871872873874875876877878879880881882883884885886887888889890891892893894895896897898899900901902902a903904905906907908909910911912913914915916917918919920921 of 1029
sell their stock while the selling was good. It was now worth
infinitely more than what they had paid for it. They had
bought into Pantheon only to help Kurt Wolfe get started. It
was almost a charity. Suddenly their stock was worth a lot
By June, 1961, the Sears, Roebuck people had had to
take over Kurt Wolfe's interest because he went back to Germany
in a huff, having fought with Scharbert. One by one he tried
to steal back all of the authors, but didn't get very far.
Eventually he made a deal with Harcourt--Harcourt still has a
division called Kurt and Helen Wolfe Books--and then died.
His widow, a very brilliant woman, is now carrying on.
Did you take Scharbert?
Yes. We bought Pantheon and Scharbert came along with
Paula Van Doren, whowas Carl and Irita Van Doren's daughter.
We set them up, and that became part of Random House. Scharbert
didn't work out. He had sadly overestimated his ability to
run Pantheon by himself. Without Kurt Wolfe, the business
started wavering. The one big author he managed to keep was
Mary Renault. I forgot to put her name down with Pasternak
and the others. She's had two Book-of-the-Month Club choices
since we took over the business.
Do you still keep her under Pantheon?
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help