Anita Loos receives notes from William Faulkner, Aldous Huxley, and F. Scott Fitzgerald

anita-loos-by-clarence-sinclair-bullAnita Loos worked for a very long time in the film industry, had an unfailingly cheerful disposition, and knew a whole hell of a lot of people. She wrote several books, including “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” and a few memoirs, from which we cull the following: A fan letter from William Faulkner, after he read “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes:”

I have just read the Blonde book, Bill’s copy. So I galloped out and got myself one. Please accept my envious congratulations on Dorothy—the way you did her through the (intelligence?) of that elegant moron of a cornflower. Only you have played a rotten trick on your admiring public. How many of them, do you think, will ever know that Dorothy really has something, that the dancing man, le gigolo, was really somebody? My God, it’s charming…. I am still rather Victorian in my prejudices regarding the intelligence of women, despite Elinor Wylie and Willa Cather and all the balance of them. But I wish I had thought of Dorothy first.

Sincerely, William Faulkner

A letter from Aldous Huxley in 1926 (“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” had been published the year before) asking to be introduced:

Dear Miss Anita Loos, I have no excuse for writing to you—no excuse, except that I was enraptured by the book, have just hugely enjoyed the play, and am to be in America so short a time that I have no leisure to do things in the polite and tortuous way. My wife and I are to be in New York for about a fortnight from Monday 17th onwards and it would be a very great pleasure—for us at any rate—if we could arrange a meeting with you during that time. Please forgive my impatience and accept the sincere admiration which is its cause and justification.

Yours very sincerely, Aldous Huxley

And a few months before he died, a note from F. Scott Fitzgerald. Miss Loos describes a long friendship, complicated by his alcoholism, and Zelda’s mental illness. The note was written in an autograph book, organized by birth dates (his was September 24th), and kept in her home.

This book tells that Anita Loos Is a friend of Caesar, a friend of Zeus Of Samuel Goldwyn and Mother Goose Of Balanchine of the Ballet Russe Of Tillie the Viennese papoose (Tillie Losch) Of Charlie MacArthur on the loose Of Shanks, chiropodists—what’s the use? Of actors who have escaped the noose Lots of Hollywood beach refuse Comics covered with charlotte russe Wretched victims of self-abuse Big producers all obtuse This is my birthday, but what the deuce Is that sad fact to Anita Loos

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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  1. George Kaplan
    October 15, 2014

    Very splendid and funny, especially Fitzgerald’s! Faulkner’s is peculiar and amusing; the fine compliment “My God it’s charming”, followed by “I am still rather Victorian in my prejudices regarding the intelligence of women? As the kidz – and those who are not – say, “Not cool, William Faulkner, not cool!” As the Victorian era brought forth George Eliot for one, his excuse for his prejudices was hardly convincing!

    • October 16, 2014

      I was trying to figure out who Fitzgerald was referring to when he said “Shanks”… I thought a shank was a knife made out of a toothbrush!

    • October 16, 2014

      He circumnavigated the globe on his own! That is very cool!

      • October 16, 2014

        Yes, it was something quite amazing back then.

  2. October 15, 2014

    Fitzgerald particularly; wonderful!
    He did know Hollywood, didn’t he!

    • October 16, 2014

      He certainly did, and I have a confession to make, I never read The Last Tycoon. A situation I should remedy this weekend 😉 .

  3. George Kaplan
    October 16, 2014

    Vickie, as to “Shanks” – I believe the clue is in the word which follows: “chiropodists”. “Shanks’s pony” means to walk and then there’s that charming historical chap “Edward Longshanks”! So, therefore we can conclude…!

  4. George Kaplan
    October 16, 2014

    …we can conclude that “Shanks” are a supportive fiddle-de-dee in the sole of a boot or shoe, and I am a blithering idiot!

  5. October 18, 2014

    […] Anita Loos receives notes from William Faulkner, Aldous Huxley, and F. Scott Fitzgerald […]

  6. July 16, 2015

    How did I miss this post? Such lovely letters…. And such a haunting, beautiful picture!

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