Today we celebrate the 127th year since Max's birth in 1884. The Writer's Almanac had another wonderful segment honoring his birth that you can read here. We feel lucky to have this incredible family connection to the history of our inn and are continually excited about the richness this provides to the experience.
"An editor does not add to a book. At best he serves as handmaiden to an author. A writer's best work comes entirely from himself.
“. . .There is just one person in the world today who believes I will ever come to anything. That person is Maxwell Perkins, but that man's belief means more to me now than anything on earth, and the knowledge that I have it far outweighs the belief of everyone else"
A Harvard grad, Perkins started his publishing career in the advertising department at Scribners, the venerable — and distinctlyPrinceton — publishing house. In 1914, Perkins joined the editorial staff, where he quickly shook things up at the staid, highly traditional company by seeking out new, young writers. His first major — and controversial — acquisition came five years later with the manuscript of an unknown St. Paul man. Originally titled The Romantic Egoist, an earlier draft had been roundly dismissed and rejected by the other editors in the house, but Perkins saw promise. When F. Scott Fitzgerald revised and resubmitted the book as encouraged, Perkins accepted it against the judgment of his colleagues. The book, now titled This Side of Paradise, was a smash success, as was the follow-up, The Beautiful and the Damned.
Perkins' editorial eye, however, wasn't yet fully trusted by his co-workers. Fitzgerald'sThe Great Gatsby was a commercial disappointment, and still Perkins had the temerity to pay attention when the novelist recommended the work of an American writer he'd met in Paris: Ernest Hemingway. Again, Perkins had to fight his firm to publish Hemingway'sThe Sun Also Rises, considered profane for the time. Eventually, Scribners conceded that Perkins seemed to have a knack for his job. He became the editorial director.