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Well, of course, we were amused to see the group. My
professor friend, the one I can't remember, introduced us to
some associates. All of them were a little bit sheepish but
laughing. You know, what the hell were we doing here after all?
Then the next film went on, and the reason I bring this
all up is that Frank and I are now convinced that Joan Crawford
was the girl in it. We had heard some nasty rumours about
this--probably all untrue. The new film was really filthy.
Instead of being titillated by it, I was disgusted. Halfway
through I said to Frank, “I've had enough of this.” He said,
“I have, too.” So the two of sneaked guiltily out. We walked
up Eighth Avenue for about three blocks without saying a word.
We were ashamed of ourselves and felt unclean. Frank broke
the spell. He suddenly turned to me and said, “Gee, I always
thought I was pretty good.” Well, in this picture the prowess
of the man had been something! I can still remember the two
of us standing on the sidewalk screaming with laughter. And
that was the end of dirty pictures for us. I've never seen
another one--and never want to!
Now, another property we came by about this time was
Marcel Proust. Thomas Seltzer was Proust's American publisher
then. He was a very erudite man, but not a good businessman.
He was the uncle of Charles and Albert Boni. He was going out
of business; he couldn't make it, and I bought from him Marcel
Proust's masterwork, Remembrance of Things Past. He had always
presented it in seven separate volumes. We put it into a fourvolume
set and had a beautiful wooden box cover made for it.
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