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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

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