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LH
Interview #3
Interviewee: Bennett Cerf
Interviewer: Mrs. Mary Hawkins

Q:

Do you remember how many books a year Boni and Liveright published?

Cerf:

Oh, I would say, leaving out the Modern Library, probably about 60. It was quite a big firm.

Q:

Do you remember whether Horace Liveright was ever interested in getting foreign authors at all?

Cerf:

Not particularly. He was a dedicated Broadway character. He met people who were the equivalent of the swingers today.

Q:

Would you compare any publihser today to him?

Cerf:

I don't think Liveright could last six months in the publishing world of today. He ran a one-man show. Nobody took care to keep the business growing and to seek solid things that meant future growth. Everything was for the moment. Witness the fact that I was able to get the Modern Library from him--that was the backbone of his business! It didn't interest him. Flaming Youth was his kind of baby--a book about the flapper age. It was the biggest of the flapper age books until Scott Fitzgerald came along. As I told you, Warner Fabian was a pseudonym for Samuel Hopkins Adams, a very dignified, wonderful



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