DREISER BRINGS PESSIMISM BACK
FROM U.S. TOUR

From the point of view of the Herald Tribune, this was the most controversial of my many stories: no reporter was supposed to name a personal bet, and what Dreiser had said here would be waving a red flag in the face of the Herald Tribune's readers. On the following day, the story did not appear. Or on the second day. But it was run on the third day with a contrary editorial. In the long run, though originally outraged, the editors were pleased since it gave them the opportunity to demonstrate a basic editorial policy. The bet revealed very much for many. The story was widely reprinted in America and somewhat abroad. It appears in Dreiser bibliographies.

Theodore Dreiser has returned from his voyage of exploration through the United States more than ever a pessimist. Yesterday he fumbled silently with the papers on his desk for ten minutes before he suddenly rose, drew himself to his full height and exclaimed, "All newspaper interviews are stupid. For years I have not seen one that is worth anything. I will bet you $10 that you cannot get into your paper the things that I am going to say."

The wager was taken up, and the novelist enthusiastically discussed the ills of the universe for an hour and a half Since modern business and financial developments have made American citizens into nothing but "trudging asses," there is no great contemporary American literature, he said. If there is to be any in the future, it will have to take the form of satire or expressions of despair.


HARDLY AN INDIVIDUAL REMAINS

"The constitutional government of America is abdicated. In every state in the Union there is no such thing as representative government," Mr.

____________________
An earlier version of this essay appeared in the New York Herald Tribune on July 8, 1930.

-24-

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