Did he really say that?

The kind of humor I like is the thing that makes me laugh for five seconds and think for ten minutes = GEORGE CARLIN...Stained glass, engraved glass, frosted glass–give me plain glass = JOHN FOWLES...Music is the mathematics of the gods = PYTHAGORAS...Nothing is more fluid than language = R.L.SWIHART

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Ring of the Lords (R L Jr #1)

"My favorite author is my brother, D.B., and my next favorite is Ring Lardner." -Holden Caulfield (in Salinger's Catcher in the Rye)

In 1971, Ring Lardner Jr. won an Academy Award for writing the screenplay of M*A*S*H. It was his second screenplay Academy Award. He was also one of the Hollywood Ten: film-makers who famously refused to co-operate with Joseph McCarthy's House of Horrors Un-American Activities Committee.
But the first appearance of "Ring Lardner Jr." in print occurred in an Illinois school newspaper. It was a pseudonym for someone named Ernest Hemingway.
During World War I, it was virtually impossible for Americans to laugh on a steady basis unless they were reading the letters of Jack O'keefe. A sample of which is in front of your very own eyes. Collectively, those letters became a novel written by Ring Lardner. Before submitting the original letters for publication, the author product-tested them on his future Academy-Award-winning toddler and his wife, Ellis Lardner.

Mrs. Lardner, contrary to most members of her gender, had a wonderful relationship with Zelda Fitzgerald.
In 1922, Mr.& Mrs. Fitzgerald rented a house in New York to be neighbors with the Lardners. Scott Fitzgerald's first famous writer/drinking buddy was Ring Lardner. They lived in Great Neck on the north shore of Long Island. Along with adjacent Little Neck, Great Neck became the model for East Egg and West Egg: the setting of THE GREAT GATSBY.

John Sayles wrote and directed EIGHT MEN OUT, a film about the 1919 World Series scandal. Sayles also starred in the movie as Ring Lardner.

It is a very good thing that YOU KNOW ME AL was originally published years before the Chicago BlackSox besmirched the sport of baseball.

You do not have enough fingers on your two hands to list all the Lardners who succeeded as professional writers. But you may use one of those fingers to click here.

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