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Marquand Reviews Early Years To Illustrate Writers' Hardships


"As a professional writer, you really have to take it on the chin," asserted John P. Marquand '15 last night. The Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, who is living in Kirkland House, addressed a large audience in the House Junior Common Room.

Although the title of the talk was 'My First Five Years As A Writer,' Marquand very briefly summed up his early career as "painful." He then narrated a number of personal anecdotes drawn from his whole career.

Marquand admitted that his early years as a professional writer were a difficult period. "When my publisher first read the manuscript of The Late George Apley," he related, "he turned pale and suggested that it be written under a nom de plume."

Generalizing about novel writing, Marquand stated that "any fictional character is derived from the sum of the author's experience. It is impossible," he said, "to transcribe any one person onto a printed page."

The biggest deterrent to novel writing is income tax, added Marquand. "I really think that money contributes to good writing."

With Marquand at the speakers' table was novelist Charles B. Flood '51, author of Love Is A Bridge. Flood asserted that the artist must be an arrogant person. "The artist must believe that he is right," Flood said. "He must believe that what he has to say will not be done unless he does it."

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