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Yes. Pantheon is still separate.
We got the ideal man to run it. He is André Schiffrin,
also the son of a famous professor. André has important connections
abroad. Pantheon is being nursed by us to do fine
books. We're not asking them to produce best-sellers, although
every once in a while they come across a surprise big winner.
It's doing very well.
To show you what a lucky bastard I am... it looked for
some time as though we paid too high a price for Pantheon.
But then Dr. Zhivago was made by MGM into what is one of the
three or four most successful motion pictures in history. Dr.
Zhivago is almost as big as Quo Vadis and Gone With the Wind and
The Sound of Music. The sale of the Modern Library Giant edition
of Dr. Zhivago and the paperback edition of Dr. Zhivago
has now earned us in royalties over half of what we paid for
the entire business. This is just sheer luck!
The immediate question that comes to my mind was whether
there was any conflict with Pantheon and Knopf because in some
ways they publish the same type of books.
We felt that Alfred and Blanche were losing contact
with publishers abroad. For awhile Knopf had them all. They
had Thomas Mann and Camus and Sartre, but Blanche was losing
her health. She was a gallant woman. She fought with all of
the strength that she had. She was an amazing woman... very
gallant, very annoying.
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