A witty if dry profile of George Jean Nathan (1882 - 1958), one of the more prolific essayists and reviewers of all things dramatic and literary during the Twenties. At the time of this printing he was serving as the co-editor (along with his friend H.L. Mencken) of the American magazine THE SMART SET while contributing occasional drama reviews to VANITY FAIR. You'll read a very long list of Nathan's likes and dislikes, which, in fact, comprise 99% of the profile.
Later in life, Nathan would wed Mary Pickford - read about her here...
The back-and-forth that took place throughout a number of Florentine conversations between journalist Fredericka V. Blankner and Italian writer and drama theorist Luigi Pirandello (1867 – 1936: awarded Nobel Prize for Literature in 1934) were printed in her 1928 article, "Pirandello, Paradox":
"I see life," says Pirandello, "as a tragedy..."
An enthusiastic review of the Hollywood silent film, "The Tiger Woman" (1917) starring the first (but not the last) female sex symbol of the silent era, Theda Bara (born Theodosia Burr Goodman; 1885-1955). This very brief review will give the reader a sense of how uneasily many men must have sat in their chairs when she was pictured on screen. Theda Bara retired in 1926, having worked in forty-four films.
Legendary silent film player Erich von Stroheim (1885 – 1957) gave an account of his life and career in this 1920 interview printed in Motion Picture Magazine. The article touches upon von Stroheim's roll as producer for the movie "Blind Husbands" (1919), but primarily concentrates on his pre-Hollywood life and his disappointment with the "provincial" nature of American films:
"Motion picture audiences have been educated down to to accept drivel until they have lost all perspective. It will take time to again build up a sane balance and an artistic judgment."
William Seabrook (1884 – 1945) was an explorer of mysticism, whose interests had once compelled him to study the secret rites of Haitian Voodoo, the ritual of Muslim dervishes and the sorcery of African cannibals. He was witness to the orgiastic worship of these African natives as they cavorted before blood-stained altars deep in the jungles. A battle-scared veteran of the W.W. I French Army, Seabrook was author to numerous books on many such topics that his contemporaries in the West considered freaky taboos that were best left for oddballs to pursue.
Nonetheless, his pursuits attracted the attention and friendship of such fellows as the eccentric Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947) and the noted parapsychology scholar Joseph Banks Rhine (1895 – 1980); it was the latter of these two who is mentioned in this article for his collaboration with Seabrook in the study of extrasensory perception.
"It isn't a sports show; it's entertainment for the same kind of people who listen to Jack Benny"
- thus said the sportscaster Bill Stern (1907 – 1971) - who is remembered in our age as the announcer to broadcast the nation's first remote sports broadcast and the first telecast of a baseball game.