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."
She had been a key figure in the most spectacular murder trial of the Gilded Age. An artist's model, a Broadway chorus girl, the obsession of crazed millionaire and the play thing of one of America's greatest architects; her beauty was legend - driving men to do the sorts of things that they knew were wrong. Her name was Evelyn Nesbit (1884 – 1967) and when that era faded into obscurity, so did she; until the hard-charging reporters of PEOPLE TODAY found her decades later - in the Land of Fruits and Nuts (Southern California), where the celebrities of yesteryear all go to "find themselves".
Kate Douglas Wiggins recalled her childhood train ride in the 1840's in which she was able to have a chat with one of her favorite author, Charles Dickens (1812 - 1870), as he traveled the United States on a reading tour.
"'Of course, I do skip some of the very dull parts once and a while; not the short dull parts but the long ones.' He laughed heartily. 'Now that is something that I hear very little about' he said'".