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Letters & Essays: M-O

Thomas Guinzburg

By Peter Matthiessen

When Tom Guinzburg became president of The Viking Press in 1961, its editors and other staff were, of course, people his father had hired. But Tom rapidly put his own personal stamp on Viking. No books were signed up that he didn’t personally approve, no advances against earnings offered that he didn’t authorize, no publicity plans and marketing arrangements plotted without his knowledge. And he made the often humdrum procedures quite dashing, being dashing himself.

A Blurred Retrospective

By Jerome Mellquist

Certain sentries of respectability still cannot accept Cubism. The Musée de l’Art Moderne has scoured the continents for the 231 items in its vast Cubist retrospective (1907-1914); it has assembled documents, photographs and architectural motifs to prove the movement’s overflow into adjacent fields; Jean Cassou penned a eulogy holding it up as the most fundamental renewal since the Renaissance; and still the more reluctant wing of French criticism can only stiffen up and mutter that a split was generated by the movement.