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I was afraid that everybody would say, “What liars.”
There was no way of checking. Some pompous people would claim
ridiculous totals, especially since there were some anthologies
there including, let's say, 32 diverse stories. If you'd read
one of them, you'd include that as one of the books you had
read. It was just one of many ideas that died aborning.
I just don't understand how Liveright was able to attract
all those celebrities. I know that all the other publishers
were very stuffy and they weren't willing to gamble. But there
must have been... I mean some of the books he published are
Eugene O'Neill, for instance. Well, that was because...
Did he really appreciate O'Neill or was this just luck?
Some luck was involved, but remember he was the only
publisher who would dream of going way down to the Provincetown
Playhouse. Those other stuffy publishers would go home to
Long Island or Connecticut to their social friends. Publishing
was sort of a closed corporation in those days. The owners
were all middle-aged or older, members of old old families.
Publishing was considered a very dignified profession. Liveright
was deeply resented by these old boys. They hated him. They
even hated Knopf and Huebsch, who were starting at this time.
There had never been a Jew in the publishing business. This
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