Edward William Bok > The Americanization of Edward Bok > Page 291

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Edward William Bok (1863–1930). The Americanization of Edward Bok. 1921.


Page 291


HIS complete absorption in the magazine work now compelled Bok to close his newspaper syndicate in New York and end the writing of his weekly newspaper literary letter. He decided, however, to transfer to the pages of his magazine his idea of making the American public more conversant with books and authors. Accordingly, he engaged Robert Bridges (the present editor of Scribner’s Magazine) to write a series of conversational book-talks under his nom de plume of “Droch.” Later, this was supplemented by the engagement of Hamilton W. Mabie, who for years reviewed the newest books.

In almost every issue of the magazine there appeared also an article addressed to the literary novice. Bok was eager, of course, to attract the new authors to the magazine; but, particularly, he had in mind the correction of the popular notion, then so prevalent (less so to-day, fortunately, but still existent), that only the manuscripts of famous authors were given favorable reading in editorial offices; that in these offices there really existed a clique, and that unless the writer knew the literary back-stairs he had a slim chance to enter and be heard.

In the minds of these misinformed writers, these back-stairs are gained by “knowing the editor” or through “having some influence with him.” These

XXVI. The Literary Back-Stairs
 

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