ML refs in literature

Vincent Rickey v.rickey at
Sat Jun 23 19:58:50 EDT 2001

The Modern Library, in about 65 to 70, published Grame Greene's The Quiet American.  In that story, I beleive, there was a reference to a character haveing a Modern Libray book. Regards. Vincent Rickey.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Gordon Neavill 
  To: modlib at 
  Sent: Friday, May 18, 2001 10:09 AM
  Subject: ML refs in literature

  I came across the following ML reference last night in a novel I'm reading, Patricia Highsmith's THE TREMOR OF FORGERY: "he'd suddenly had a hunger for Henry James ... and he had driven to Tunis and bought the only thing he could find, a Modern Library edition of The Turn of the Screw and The Lesson of the Master" (p. 228).  The book is set in Tunisia; I assume the descriptions of the country are based on visits that Highsmith, an American who lived much of her life in Europe, made there.  I expect the ML episode is based on an actual experience of the author--too bad we can't ask her (she died in 1995).  The reference is especially interesting since it indicates that ML books can be found just about everywhere.
  I know of several ML references in literature, and I assume there are dozens I don't know about.  In HUMBOLDT'S GIFT, Saul Bellow describes his protagonist Charlie Citrine wandering in the park with his Modern Library books, talking incessantly about them to his first love, and remembered by his boyhood pals as having had "the biggest collection of Modern Library books on the block" (Viking Press, pp. 76, 398).  Faulkner refers to the ML edition of GREEN MANSIONS in "The Brooch" (Collected Stories of William Faulkner, p. 663).  Annie Dillard writes in AN AMERICAN CHILDHOOD of learning to seek out books with the ML's torchbearer emblem.
  Any additions to these?  It would be interesting to come up with as comprehensive list of such references as possible.
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