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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

to give a whopping party as soon as the furnishings were set up. This was one of the ways money got used up. As I told you, the place was always full of bootleggers. Everybody was throwing money around, and Liveright never seemed to care. It was the treasurer who went crazy. This big party was organized, and everybody came--including the usual freeloaders who thrive on literary cocktail parties.

Q:

Free liquor.

Cerf:

Free liquor! And interesting people.

Well, for that particular party, I remember Ford Maddox Ford arriving. He was the man who wrote The Good Soldier. He was terribly fat. He sat down on the brand new rattan couch, and with a terrible crash he went right through it. I'll never forget that. It was a great day.

Well, the change in Liveright's fortunes came. He was always interested in the theater, and he decided to become a play producer.

Q:

When was this?

Cerf:

This was about 1923.

Q:

Right when you were starting then.

Cerf:

Yes, about 1923. He produced his first play in 1924. The author was a young friend named Edwin Justice Mayer--another regular at these parties.



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