Manager as Muse: A Case Study of Maxwell Perkins’ Work with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway & Thomas Wolfe

My interest in early 20th century writers started with my thesis for my MBA from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, Manager as Muse. My research, from a business standpoint, into legendary Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ work with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, led me to study all four groups of writers’ salons from a communications standpoint for my Ph.D, ‘Such Friends.’

The thesis was completed in 1983 on my birthday [don’t ask which one], and has languished on the shelves on the Duquesne University library since then.

One of the regular participants in my ‘Such Friends’ seminars here in Birmingham, UK, recently passed on to me an article about an upcoming film called Genius, based on the excellent A. Scott Berg biography, Max Perkins: Editor of Genius which I used as a basis for my research. Apparently it is currently being filmed starring Sean Penn.

That was all the motivation I needed. I contacted Duquesne, got an electronic copy of my thesis, and have spent the past few months re-formatting it to look professional and up to date in the 21st century.

And now it is available, thanks to 21st century technology, at http://www.lulu.com/suchfriends.

All 466 pages of it. So I highly recommend that you purchase it as a download for only £3. Soon it will also be available through Amazon.com, thanks to Lulu’s distribution system.

Even if you are not interested in buying it, if you have the chance, go to the site above and tell me what you think. I have had a fairly good experience with Lulu in the past [www.lulu.com/gypsyteacher], but not many sales.

My future plans are to take the information in Manager as Muse, get rid of all the boring academic stuff, and hopefully find a publisher for a shorter, more interesting version that focuses on the relationships, both business and personal, between Perkins and his writers, who were indeed ‘such friends.’

In the meantime, if you are interested in what all the writers on this site are doing today, follow them on Twitter @SuchFriends. Or check out any of the articles on the pages to the right.

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‘Such Friends’ 100 Years Ago, February 1911

In Ireland

George Moore is turning 59. And once more he is disgusted with his home country.

He has been working on his three-volume memoir, Hail & Farewell, and is non-plussed that his friends in the Abbey Theatre are so angry that he wrote the truth about their conversations and relationships. After all the support he gave their little theatre project in its early years!

There is the possibility of an American tour, but Moore is thinking he should just move back to London and be done with his Irish roots. Last year, he gave up holding his Saturday night salons, although his friend from the Abbey, ‘AE’ [George Russell, 43] has said how much he misses them.

But when Moore’s brother Augustus died last year, the Irish Times obituary referred to the Moores as ‘an old Roman Catholic family,’ and George had to threaten to sue for libel. Catholic, ha! The entire family was Protestant for centuries until they took that misguided trip to the Alicante.

The hell with all the Irish. Moore will continue his writing and art criticism career in Chelsea, London.

In England

The first Post-Impressionist Exhibit, officially known as ‘Monet and the Post-Impressionists’ as mounted by critic Roger Fry, 44, has closed. But the buzz continues.

American art collector John Quinn, 41, writes to his friend, painter Augustus John, 33,

All the artists here are grumbling. The dealers seem to be over-stocked and the two or three dealers who are interested in modern work don’t seem to make much of a go of it and some of the poor devils are hard up. I wish the Post-Impressionist pictures were brought over here but I suppose that Durand-Ruel and fellows of that sort who are interested in cashing in on the Impressionists would ‘knock’ the Posts.

and again a few days later:

As to getting two or three specimens each of Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cezanne, I have thought that I should do this sometime…Picasso’s things, which you wrote that you admired very much, are in a different class.

Quinn resolves that he will add those three to his ever-growing collection.

In France

Henri Matisse, 41, is thinking of closing up his art school in Paris.

Successful for the past four years, the Académie Matisse has been helped out by his many friends, including American collector and art student Sarah Stein, now 40.

Sarah’s brother- and sister-in-law, Leo, 38, and Gertrude Stein, just turning 37, have been incredible supporters of his work. They introduced him to the young Pablo Picasso, 29, through their salons at 27 rue de Fleurus.

But now it is time to move on. He has had enough of teaching. Back to painting…

In America

Alfred Stieglitz, 47, is getting ready for next month’s showing at his ‘291’ gallery at 291 Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Fresh from the major exhibit of contemporary photography that he had just organized in Buffalo, Stieglitz is now planning a year full of shows of European artists new to Americans.

Stieglitz has been holding ‘round table’ salons at Mouquin’s Restaurant at 28th Street and 6th Avenue with his young friends, fellow artists Max Weber, 29, Marsden Hartley, 34, and Arthur Dove, 30. They are keen on all the new art that is coming out of Paris. But will his American clientele accept next month’s first showing of works by young Picasso?

Emmanuel Radnitzky, 20, had visited the independent artists exhibition at ‘291’ last year, and is looking forward to seeing the Picasso exhibit this spring. Man has been working on an abstract collage made from scraps of material, Tapestry. He is thinking of signing it ‘MR,’ initials of the new name he’s chosen, Man Ray.

If you are interested in any of the above artists and/or their supporters, check out my upcoming presentation, ‘Such Friends’: Supporters of the Arts, Then and Now, at the Birmingham [UK] & Midland Institute on 12th March. Details via the link under ‘Such Friends presentations’ at the top of the column to your right. For more information, e-mail me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com. I’d love to meet you there!