[ModLib] Interesting Letter re: ML

Ann Cowan a.cowan at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 26 15:51:44 EST 2012


Please remove me from all future mailing updates.  I do not follow modern library anymore thank you Ann Krumplys



--- On Tue, 12/18/12, John Peterson <jpetersonlhi at frontier.com> wrote:

> From: John Peterson <jpetersonlhi at frontier.com>
> Subject: [ModLib] Interesting Letter re: ML
> To: "For collectors of Modern Library books" <modlib at thuban.owu.edu>
> Date: Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 5:19 PM
> 
> 
> 
> 
> I thought I’d share an interesting passage from the
> book “Letters from the 
> Editor: The New Yorker’s Harold Ross” (ML-2000), which I
> bought yesterday in a 
> used book store:  The letter is from Harold Ross,
> longtime editor of the 
> New Yorker, to E. B. White, and is from Spring, 1939.
>  
>  
> “Dear White:
>  
> ...When you are in town Bennett Cerf of Random House
> and the Modern Library 
> wants to see you.  I spent much of last evening with
> Cerf and he has a plan 
> for putting you in the Modern Library, which, it seems,
> needs light stuff.  
> It has no light stuff and apparently has no hopes of any
> unless they take you or 
> Huckleberry Finn, when the copyright expires next
> year, or both.  
> Cerf doesn’t think your last book would make a Modern
> Library volume.  He 
> speaks of some kind of omnibus volume.  I told him to
> write you about it, 
> but no, he wants to see you and me to tell you so. 
> Publishers always seem 
> peculiar to me in their approaches.  So I tell you
> so.  I think it’s a 
> good idea all around, a damn good idea.  The Modern
> Library has a big sale 
> all over and inclusion of you in it would be important
> recognition of some 
> sort.  I don’t know whether they pay a royalty, lump
> sum, or what, but 
> think it’s catch-as-catch-can in arrangements.  
> Mostly their authors 
> are dead and the copyright expired so the question doesn’t
> come up much.  I 
> will undertake to get you together with Cerf when you come,
> if you want.  
> Of all the publishers I know, I think I’d rather talk to
> him.  A quite nice 
> and sane fellow.    Ross.”
>  
> (Several months after this letter was written, Harold
> Ross was the one who 
> introduced Bennett Cerf to “Ginger’s [Rogers] goddamn
> kid cousin,” Phyllis 
> Fraser, who became Cerf’s wife).
>  
> While Cerf evidently chose Mark Twain for ML (1940),
> According to Scot’s 
> website, E.B. White is included in several ML humor
> anthologies.  
>  
> John Peterson   
>  
> 
> -----Inline Attachment Follows-----
> 
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