Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 1029

particularly well. On the bed next to her was a copy of the Modern Library edition of the Essays of Montaigne. I said, “You don't have to dress the room up to please me, Marilyn.” She said, “What are you talking about?" I said, “That Modern Library book that you've got there--that's just to impress me, isn't it?" She said, “No. Why should it impress you?" She didn't know that I published the Modern Library. I said, “What are you doing with the Essays of Montaigne?” She said, “Somebody told me that every educated girl should know about the Essays of Montaigne.” I said, “You gullible girl! I don't think that anybody outside of college students who have to read the Essays of Montaigne, are aware the book is still in print. If you want to read some good Modern Library books, I'll send you a dozen that you'll love.” She said, “Do you seriously mean that I don't have to read this?" I said, “You certainly don't.” With this, to my intense delight, she climbed out of bed, in that little blue bed jacket and a very short nightgown, took the Essays of Montaigne in the tips of her fingers, walked across the room, threw it in the waste basket--and got back into bed.

I persuaded Marilyn to tell me the story of her romance with Joe DiMaggio. It made good copy for Esguire. DiMaggio emerged as a hero. Sure enough, Phyllis and Charlie Lederer arrived then, but they generously had given me twenty-five minutes alone with her. By that time, we were good friends; and I stayed friends with her until she

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help