Previous | Next
157158159160161162163164165166167168169170171172173174175176177178179180181182183184185186187188189190191192193194195196197198199200201202203204205 of 1029
and then he'd go out for lunch and we'd rub all the marks off.
He'd come back after lunch and wouldn't even notice it.
Was he a bitter man at all? Sometimes you find that in
some of his books.
No, but he was gruff and disagreeable. We had a very,
very pretty telephone operator at that time, and Dreiser was
intent upon making her his. It was the joke of the whole office,
because his clumsy approaches were so ludicrous. Finally
she went out to lunch with him to see what would happen. When
she came back she used an expression that became quite popular;
this is the first time I'd ever heard it. She said,
“He's just an old garter snapper.”
Soon after I left, Dreiser turned in his most popular
book to Liveright, The American Tragedy.
Did you get it for Modern Library?
Later on, many years later, but it was just being
published then by Liveright. It was a big hit, almost immediately
became a best seller. Liveright by this time was casting
an envious eye on Hollywood. Hollywood was now becoming
bigger and bigger, and Horace was made to order for it. He
decided he was going out there and look over the terrain.
Before he left he said to Dreiser, “I think I can sell American
Tragedy while I'm there.” Dreiser roared with laughter at
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help