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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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into the mire and financially unstable, and finally with these plays he was putting on, which helped bankrupt him, and these bad tips he was getting from Otto Kahn, he was through. It was very sad.

It was obvious there was going to be a raid on what few authors he had left. Everybody was making a dive for Eugene O'Neill. Also, he had one of the leading American poets on his list, Mr. Robinson Jeffers. These were the two authors I wanted. I wanted Sam Adams, too--Samuel Hopkinson Adams. We got him later. But O'Neill was the prize.

Q:

Had you ever met O'Neill?

Cerf:

Yes, I had. He was one of the many people who used to come around to these parties up at Liveright's office. I think I described them to you. We would see Swope and Ludwig Lewisohn and Harry Kemp and Eugene O'Neill and Edwin Justice Mayer and Dorothy Parker, Benchley, all these people.

Well, Liveright's final collapse, as I recall, came in 1933. O'Neill had an agent named Richard Madden. Every publisher in New York made a bee-line for Richard Madden when it became known that Liveright was in difficulties. I had a much better idea. I took a train down to Sea Island where Gene O'Neill and Carlotta O'Neill lived. You had to get off the train at Brunswick, Georgia. Gene came over and called for me in the car. I spent four days with Mr. and Mrs. O'Neill on Sea Island. Also, there at that time were Mr. and Mrs. Carl



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