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

Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
Photo Gallery
Transcript

Session:         Page of 1029

reading popular magazines and junk. For Steeves‘course we had to study the contemporary authors of that day. There were very few American novelists. This was around 1918 and '19. This is a great change that's come over the publishing business. In those days the English authors were the popular ones. There were very few popular Americans. There was one man named Henry Sydnor Harrison, I remember, who wrote two books--one called Queed and one called V. V.'s Eyes. They're forgotten today, but those were considered outstanding American literature. And of course American readers were reading junk like Pollyanna.

Q:

Was he able to give you a critical eye?

Cerf:

Yes. He introduced me, I remember, to the Outline of History by H. G. Wells and the Forsyte Saga, by Galsworthy, and the Jungle Stories and Kim by Kipling; and Arnold Bennett's Old Wives‘Tale.

Q:

And you were able to look at literature with a more discerning eye, is that correct?

Cerf:

That's right. I began to discover myself that there were people like Anatole France, The odore Dreiser and James Branch Cabell in those days. I began to appreciate real books.

Then Raymond Weaver came along. I'll tell you the story of Raymond Weaver because it's an interesting one and it played





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