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Among the Literati

One of those fellows who is always figuring out how far something or other if it were laid end to end would reach, comes forth with the following: German has given to the world 39 Nobel prize winners. This total has placed them ahead of any other country, but, of this 39, 14 were Jews. Herr Hitler, however, has decided that these 14 were not Germans, therefore Germany no longer leads the nations but drops down to third place. Or to put it even more tersely, Germany’s 60,000,000 Aryans produced 25 Nobel winners while Germany’s 590,000 Jews produced 14.

Funk & Wagnalls, who publish the Literary Digest and who have made the holding of elections a waste of time will announce a new publishing department very soon. This department will issue current non-fiction of topical interest and will have the full support of the Digest. In addition there will be some kind of tie-up with the Literary Guild. I understand arrangements are being made whereby F. & W. will bring out Trotsky’s life of Lenin, a book not yet written. The idea was offered to a number of other publishers but not any of them could see their way clear to meet the advance payment asked by the agent.

Hillel Bernstein, who has a sense of humor, will make his American debut with a novel titled “L’Affair Jones.” Stokes will bring the book out and the Literary Guild has selected it for January. It has been very successful in England and France.

Lowell Brentano’s latest collaboration is a novel called “The Storm Blows Over”, which he wrote with a young lady who calls herself Judith Ravel. She is the daughter of a prominent mid-western physician and her real name is quite unpronounceable.

Victor Calverton, who has had a varied career in the publishing business, seems to have struck pay dirt at last. He is reported as Hollywood-bound, where he will do this or that for a movie concern. His latest effort was an attempt to get Long & Smith some salable books.

“Work of Art” is the provocative and suggestive title of the new Sinclair Lewis novel which Doubleday will issue on January 24th, just a year after the publication of “Ann Vickers.”

The World-Telegram book page has taken the lead in book advertising lineage over the other evening papers. The N. Y. Sun fell off so badly that one of these days somebody connected with that paper is going to read the book page and ask what has been going on…. Why authors continue to write books in the hope of gaining economic security for themselves is hard to figure. A successful play will net the author anything from $50,000 up. Ask Sidney Kingsley, whose “Men in White” continues to draw the playgoers…. Ben Hecht can add a few words; his best-selling novel didn’t earn him the equivalent of a four-week Hollywood contract—according to reports he was offered $30,000 for thirty day’s work—even at $15,000 it is a lot of money!… Anita Brener is back from Spain and already at work on that book, which Smith & Haas will publish…. Another Jewish girl who made good, Catherine Brody, is on the Spring lists with another novel….

More Things to Wonder About—Why anybody goes to literary teas, you never know more than half the people there, the air is always bad, the gin straight from the bath-tub and the reason for the party generally unknown…. Why somebody doesn’t suggest to Gollancz, the English publisher, that he move into larger quarters. One of the most enterprising of the British bookmen, his office looks like a Bronx Express at 5.30 P.M…. Why Coward, McCann, when they made the dies for the binding of Jacob Wassermann’s new book didn’t spell his name correctly….

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