“N.Y. ‘400' Apes Chicago Manner; Fails; So Dull”
by Henry Wales (Chicago Tribune Press Service)

PARIS, Dec. 6.—Scott Fitzgerald, official chronicler of America's “wild life,” said in Paris today that Ellin Mackay, in lambasting New York society, did not tell the half of it.

The young author of This Side of Paradise,” and other tales of the jazz age, agrees with Miss Mackay that the New York circle in which she grew up is an unbearably dull society.

“Its manners come from London or Chicago, and frequently from its own demimondes.” Mr. Fitzgerald said. “Chicago, like London, has personality, whereas New York society has always been imitative and most conspicuously anemic alongside of the English manners. What like it has had always came back from Chicago.

“Dullness is natural among people like those in New York society—too stupid to find interest outside—and the people must do something to escape the society. What Miss Mackay failed to discover along with the revelation that society can be dull and the only relief found in a cabaret, is that the debutante is not the only one who must escape something.

“The innocent middle westerners of Yale and Princeton must also escape the interminable engraved cards informing them that their presence is requested at debuts of the Miss Ellin Mackays whom they never had the honor of meeting.

“When I was at Princeton I never accepted, but I wish I had once. That was at the debut of a Miss Kahn, where I might have seen the great debacle when a humorous reveler with his pockets stuffed with the special silver of Sherry's, fell on the parterre with a notable crash.”

Mr. Fitzgerald is in Paris seeking material for a book on the antics of Americans abroad.

Copyright: 1926: By The Chicago Tribune.

Published in Chicago Tribune newspaper (7 December 1925).