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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Interview #8
Interviewee: Bennett Cerf
Interviewer: Robbin Hawkins
New York City
November 7, 1967


This is Mrs. Hawkins and I'm interviewing Mr. Cerf. Thank you.

We started on Faulkner last time. Would you like to continue or elaborate a little bit?


Yes. I'll tell you a few more stories about Faulkner. I think that I told you how Phyllis met him with a hole in his sock. Yes. Now, the first time that we ever had him up to Mt. Kisco, there's a very characteristic little story about him. At that time, the main street crossed the railroad tracks and the guarding gate was operated manually. When we got off the train, Bill stood there watching a little old Italian close the gate and open it by turning a wheel. I asked, “What's so fascinating about that, Bill?" He said, “I didn't know that anything up North was still done by hand.” He knew he was being funny.

The very last time he came into our office, he had just written one of his most amusing novels, The Reivers. It was his last book. It was a Book-of-the-Month Club choice. And Phyllis who adored him, as I told you--he called her “Miss Phyllis” all of his life--said, “Bill, I love The Reivers. I think it's a terribly funny book.” And Bill, who always paused before he answered a question, you know,

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