Previous | Next
802803804805806807808809810811812813814815816817818819820821822823824 of 824
them, and he came from The New Yorker. He absolutely resented
pictures because pictures took away from the space that he might use
for his marvelous prose. He was a very good writer too.
How much and how often was the presence of Luce felt?
Well, he'd come down quite often in the early years. He
also took over occasionally for three, four weeks at a time, edited
the magazine, in the early years. Then, in the later years, when the
magazine got much more complicated to put together because of use of
color, and the fact that the magazine had gotten very fat from
success, so that it was no longer possible to close--so that an end
of week you were closing some sections on Tuesday, some sections on
Thursday, some sections on Friday. Then you were closing advanced
color sometimes six weeks ahead. Then fast color on a two week ahead
schedule, i.e. the issue after this. I can remember after three or
four years of absence when Harry came down and tried to edit the
thing again. He just tangled up in the mechanics of closing. I
think that was some time shortly after the war. I think that
practically the last time that he ever tried to do it.
Then John decided that his time had come, and Harry decided that
he needed an editorial director, and that John Billings should be it.
John, I think, never liked the idea, felt that he was sort of a
supernumerary, sitting up on Luce's floor, put him in charge of all
the unimportant things, much less interesting than editing the
magazine itself. He would occasionally sort of grumble. I saw a
fair amount of him then. He would occasionally--at that point I was
© 2006 Columbia University
Libraries | Oral History
Research Office | Rights and
Permissions | Help