Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958

By Laurence G. Avery; Maxwell Anderson | Go to book overview
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needs more than anything is an audience. Forgive my ex-cathedra utterance, and thanks for your interest.

Sincerely, Maxwell Anderson

Quinn ( 1875-1960), in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania from 1895 until retirement in 1945, was among the pioneering scholars in the field of American literature and published a number of historical studies, among them a survey of American Fiction ( 1936) and a biography of Poe ( 1941). But his main interest was in the drama and his most ambitious work A History of the American Drama, the first volume of which, coming to the Civil War, appeared in 1923. He devoted two volumes to the period from the Civil War to the present ( 1927) and, though the work must have been substantially complete before the present letter arrived, Quinn made use of its biographical information in his discussion of Anderson ( 2: 233-36).
White Desert was not produced again and has not been published.
The following September Longmans, Green published the acting script of Saturday's Children, unrevised.
Frederick H. Koch ( 1877-1944), a leader of the regional drama movement at the universities of North Dakota and (after 1918) North Carolina, was at North Dakota during Anderson's last two years there, 1909-1911. At North Dakota Koch, always an inspirational teacher, focused on acting and play production and developed his playwriting courses after moving to North Carolina, where Paul Green and Thomas Wolfe were among his students.
The one-act plays have not come to light, and Anderson omits his first full-length play, Benvenuto ( 1922; Catalogue, pp. 64-65). For Henry David Gray, see Appendix I, no. 5 and n. 3 there; and Chronology, 1913-14 and September 20, 1919.
You Who Have Dreams ( 1925). In the margin of the original Quinn marked this and the remaining sentences of the letter but did not use them when he discussed Anderson's verse plays in the second edition of his history ( 1936; 2: 266-71).


New City
April 5, 1929

Dear Mr. Clark-- 1

I'll be in New City for a few weeks beginning next Monday. Our address in town is 323 W. 112th St. The telephone is Monument 3130.

I hope you won't think me discourteous if I am niggardly of information about myself. This modern craze for biographical information leaves me cold for many reasons. For one thing it's always inaccurate; for another it's never possible to be sure that it's relevant. For another it's so bound up with publicity and other varieties of


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Dramatist in America: Letters of Maxwell Anderson, 1912-1958
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