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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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said, “What happened?" He said, “Ask Rodgers,” and stamped out. As soon as he was out of sight, I called Dick Rodgers. Dick said, “He's a lunatic.” I said, “What happened?" He said, “Well, he came in here and said that he wanted to name his book after one of my songs. I said, ‘I'd be delighted, John. What song?‘He said, “Small Hotel.” All I said was, ‘That's great, John, but, to be exact, the name of the song is “There's a Small Hotel."'” O'Hara grabbed the manuscript from Rodgers and said, “When I need you to name my books I'll tell you,” and slammed out of the office. This is an example of how childish John was and still can be. Nevertheless, he's a wonderful man. These ridiculous little childish outbursts of his are terribly funny if you get to know him, but it's not very pleasant to be on the other end of them.

In September, 1952, I noticed in our catalogue, we announced a book called The Walnut Trees of Altenburg by Andre Malraux. He never wrote it. But now we understand that part of that book is going to be in a volume for which Doubleday coughed up a $350,000 guarantee. We could stop this if we wanted to because we still have a contract for his next novel and a big part of it apparently will be in this book. It may never be finished. Obviously we're not going to interfere. Our contract was signed sixteen years ago! This is what goes on in the publishing business.

Also in 1952, we did a book that had quite a history. It's called Spindletop by Jim Clark and Mike Halbouty.

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