F. Scott Fitzgerald Says Appearance in January of Mencken and Nathan’s American Mercury Will Be Event of the Year—Tom Boyd Writing for Scribner’s Magazine.
Great Neck L.I.
You ask me for the news from literary New York. Outside of the fact that Rebecca West and Frank Swinnerton are in town, there isn’t any. Tom Boyd, after being feted on all sides by admirers of his books, got off for France and is sending back short stories for Scribner’s Magazine by every boat.
The books of the fall seem to have determined themselves as “A Lost Lady,” Thomas Beer’s life of Stephen Crane and Eleanor Wylle’s “Jennifer Lorn,” a remarkable period romance which just misses—but misses —being a classic. Floyd Dell’s new book (“Janet March”) is a drab, dull statistic throughout. How such an intelligent, sophisticated man can go on year after year turning out such appalling novels is a question for the psychoanalysts, to whom, I understand, he resorts.
Aldous Huxley’s “Antic Hay,” while a delightful book, is inferior on all counts to Van Vechten’s “The Blind Bow-Boy.”
But the real event of the year will, of course, be the appearance in January of the American Mercury. The Smart Set without Mencken and Nathan is already on the stands, and a dreary sight is is. In their nine years’ association with it those two men had a most stupendous and far reaching influence on the whole course of American writing. Their influence was not so much on the very first-rate writers, though even there it was considerable in many cases as on the cultural background. Their new venture is even more interesting. We shall see what we shall see.
You ask for news of me. There is little and that bad. My play (“The Vegetable”) opened in Atlantic City and foundered on the opening night. It did better in subsequent performances, but at present is laid up for repairs.
Published in unlocated newspaper (fall-winter 1923). Clipping in Fitzgerald’s scrapbooks.