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Session:         Page of 1029

Q:

What was the fight about? Do you know?

Cerf:

God knows--some idiotic thing. Boni's uncle was in the publishing business then, too. His name was Thomas Seltzer.

Q:

Would you say there was any influence of Boni on the business?

Cerf:

Yes. It was Boni's idea to start the Modern Library. Now, this was, to me, the backbone of Liveright. It was fine to have Eugene O'Neill and Gertrude Atherton and Hendrik Van Loon and Sam Adams. But the solid thing was the Modern Library. I had used Modern Library books at college; so suddenly to be connected with the firm that was publishing the Modern Library was very breathtaking.

Q:

How did Boni get this idea?

Cerf:

It was modeled on Everyman's Library in London. But Everyman's was very English, and they had no American authors at all. Boni's idea was to start a series here with all the classics but mixing them up with young American authors and books that were famous here in America.

Q:

Would you say that he was more down-to-earth than Liveright?

Cerf:

He was a dreamer, too. They had a little book store down in Greenwich Village, the Boni Bookshop. Liveright was much



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