“[A. Scott Berg, biographer of Maxwell Perkins] said that when [Thomas] Wolfe wrote a book that detailed how Perkins had hewn his novels from dense forests of Wolfean prose, ‘Perkins begged him, in vain, not to publish it. Max always said that if editors were too well known the public would lose faith in writers, and that, above all, writers would lose faith in themselves. And that is exactly what happened to Thomas Wolfe.’”
— From “Ghost Editor” by Tad Friend in the New Yorker (June 20)
Berg’s “Max Perkins: Editor of Genius” (1978) underlies the new movie “Genius,” in which Perkins is played by Colin Firth and Wolfe by Jude Law.
A local aside from Mountain Xpress previewer Ken Hanke: “Now, you might want to know that, no, none of the film takes place in Asheville (apart from one brief bit that’s supposed to be Riverside Cemetery), but considering that it only covers 1929-1938 that’s hardly surprising. “
“On February 18  Wilson and his daughters and his Cabinet gathered in the East Room for the first running of a motion picture in the White House [“The Clansman,” later retitled “The Birth of a Nation.”]
” ‘It was like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true,’ Wilson purportedly said when the lights came up. In fact, Wilson almost certainly never said it. The encomium does not even appear in the unpublished memoirs of the self-serving Thomas Dixon. The only firsthand record of Wilson’s feelings about the film appear in a letter three years later, in which he wrote , ‘I have always felt that this was a very unfortunate production and I wish most sincerely that its production might be avoided, particularity in communities where there are so many colored people.’ … Another member of the audience that night reported that the President seemed lost in thought during the film and exited the East Room upon its completion without saying a word to anybody….
“The comment did not appear in print for more than two decades. In any case, word of a White House screening circulated, and that was tantamount to a Presidential endorsement.”
— From “Wilson” by A. Scott Berg (2013)