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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Session:         Page of 1029

Q:

We haven't discussed today your personal life. The last point we discussed was your trip to Europe just after you bought the Modern Library.

Cerf:

And I met Anita Loos, who wrote Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Q:

Right. Now, what happened to you as a person during this time, say, from 1935?

Cerf:

Let me give you my second trip to Europe, which was in 1928.

After revisiting London, I went down to Italy. I was 30 years old exactly. I spent my 30th birthday in Naples. It was a wonderful evening because I met a girl I had known in Philadelphia who was there on her honeymoon. I was alone, and her marriage had already gone sour, so I remember spending my 30th birthday with this beautiful young bride. I don't know where the hell her husband was.

But the great thing I was looking forward to then: I had written and had made dates to meet two people in Florence, whom I was very anxious to meet. One of them was D. H. Lawrence and the other was Norman Douglas.

When I got to Florence I found a note at the hotel: Mr. Douglas expected me to have dinner with him, and, sure enough, he came around. South Wind at this time was one of the top sellers in the Modern Library. Norman Douglas was very famous for this one book; also, a few others he had done on the



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