I don’t hate the Algonquin crowd

O. O. McIntyre // A writer in the Bookman recently hurled a few poisoned avelins at my thick epidermis. Among other things he said of me: “He hates the Algonquin crowd.” I don’t hate anyone—save a man who once, for no reason at all, fed ground glass to a dog of mine. I have thought and so expressed myself a time or two that certain members of the Algonquin crowd displayed a presumptuous cock-sureness that made them ridiculous. Only one or two of them have done anything at all noteworthy and I did not like their attitude of sneering superiority toward worthier writers, playwrights and novelists. Otherwise I go often several days without giving them a thought. Another and not unfriendly writer recently fashioned the simile: “As welcome as O. O. McIntyre would be at the Algonquin.” It so happens that Frank Case, owner of the Algonquin, is a friend of mine, and two members of my immediate family are prominent residents of the hotel and as a frequent patron of his dining room I have never noticed any coolness. So he must have meant two other guys.

The notion was set in motion by the local intelligentzia that the Marx Brothers and Joe Cook were absolutely incomparable as comedians. Not one of them has the stage finish or is half so amusing or versatile as Will Mahoney or James Donahe, and I assure you I have nothing whatsoever against the Messrs. Marx or Joe Cook. I have laughed at their antics heartily. A boost for them now and then is permissible, but I see no reason to single them out for perpetual puffery.

I have been reading “The Rise of the House of Rothschild” by Count Corti, published by the Cosmopolitan Book Corporation. Here was a family of golden Titans who pulled the strings on which kings and whole nations danced. It is an absorbing book. And what a figure money will cut almost anywhere in the world! Another dandy book is “Going to Pieces,” by Alexander Woollcott, published by Putnam’s.

Syndicated column, May 19, 1928

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