Saturday, August 28, 2010

New at the Website

More new material at the website, both at the Editor's Gas-Bag department, including a delightful discovery about Christopher Morley by Sonia Fetherston,,
and an associated new page about Vincent Starrett's own "Mermaid Tavern" in Chicago, Schlogl's (long-closed) restaurant on Wells Street beneath the El in the Loop:


  1. The Bruce-Partington PlansAugust 30, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Fantazius Mallare was written and illustrated to test the obscenity law. Hecht and Smith (the illustrator) wanted to enter a million-dollar lawsuit against John Sumner and the Society for the Suppression of Vice if the books were seized and destroyed by the authorities. The idea was to stage a celebrity trial with Darrow for the Defense, calling on the leading literary figures of the day to testify and expose the law to ridicule in the popular press. The plan foundered when only Mencken (IIRC) was willing to testify. Accordingly Hecht and Smith entered pleas of nolo contendere, and the whole incident was reduced to a snore.

  2. and I am wrong on their wanting to sue Sumner if the book were seized. Hecht wanted to enter a civil suit against Sumner and the Society if the book was attacked. The ciminal case did not proceed to trial; Hecht and Sumner were wach fined $1,000, and the publisher printed an additional 2,000 copies