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Whit Burnett (1899–1973)

Forfatter af Fiction Writer's Handbook

46+ Works 690 Members 6 Reviews

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Værker af Whit Burnett

Fiction Writer's Handbook (1975) 192 eksemplarer
This Is My Best (1942) — Redaktør — 181 eksemplarer
The World's Best (1944) 90 eksemplarer
Things With Claws (1961) 29 eksemplarer
The Seas of God: Great Stories of the Human Spirit (1944) — Redaktør; Forord; Bidragyder — 25 eksemplarer
Great Short Stories of the World (1965) — Redaktør; Bidragyder — 23 eksemplarer
The Story Pocket Book (1944) — Redaktør; Bidragyder — 13 eksemplarer
Time to Be Young: Great Stories of the Growing Years (1945) — Redaktør — 7 eksemplarer
19 Tales of Terror (1957) 7 eksemplarer
Firsts of the Famous (1962) 7 eksemplarer
The Flying Yorkshireman, [and other] novellas (1937) — Redaktør — 6 eksemplarer
Story : the yearbook of discovery (1968) 5 eksemplarer
Story: The Fiction of the Forties (1949) 5 eksemplarer
The Modern Short Story in the Making (1964) — Redaktør — 4 eksemplarer
That's What Happened To Me (1970) 3 eksemplarer
This is my best humor (1955) 3 eksemplarer
Two Bottles of Relish: A Book of Strange and Unusual Stories (1943) — Redaktør — 3 eksemplarer
The Tough Ones (1954) 3 eksemplarer
The Human Spirit 2 eksemplarer
Story, Autumn 1997 (1997) 2 eksemplarer
American Authors Today 2 eksemplarer
This is My Funniest 2 eksemplarer
The Avon Annual: 18 Great Story of Today (1944) — Redaktør; Bidragyder — 1 eksemplar
The Important Thing 1 eksemplar
Story, Winter 2000 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

50 Best American Short Stories 1915-1939 (1939) — Bidragyder — 28 eksemplarer
The Fiend in You (1962) — Bidragyder — 26 eksemplarer
Famous Stories (1966) — Introduktion — 8 eksemplarer
The Avon Annual 1945: 18 Great Modern Stories (1945) — Bidragyder — 1 eksemplar

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A standard study guide to The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy.
smichaelwilson | Jan 24, 2020 |
The concept was that "105 greatest living authors" present the World's Best stories, humor, drama, biography, histry, essays, poetry. Burnett explains he had officers of PEN Clubs etc. vote --96 authors actually took patr. These are selections from the work of authors living at the time, chosen by authors living at the time. There are al;so interesting ballots on diferent groups choice of the ten best --overall, the top ten were Shaw, Thomas Mann, Eugene O'Neill, Hemingway, Sinclair Lewis, Sigrid Undset, George Santayana, T.S. Eliot, Aldous Huxley, Robert Frost (as more voted from the US than elsewhere, there may be some bias)… (mere)
antiquary | 1 anden anmeldelse | Aug 25, 2011 |
Pretend it's 1950 and the so-called "105 greatest living authors," if we're to believe the title of this book, have hand picked themselves -- writers rating their fellow writers -- the best writers and writing that "the World" has to offer. If by "the World" they meant mostly U.S.A., then I'd say they did splendidly in selecting the best that "the World" had to offer in 1950. Any dead writers included? No, though a few, apparently, had died between the time of the balloting and the book's publication (Willa Cather was one) but thankfully, for the sake of the book (and Cather!) -- and since they'd already voted -- they considered her "alive" and included her.

105 Greatest Living Authors Present The World's Best: Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry has got that nice musty old book smell that reminds me of my grandparent's house, and namely their World Book Encyclopedia set from the late 1940s they proudly displayed in its own cherrywood rack next to my grandfather's maroon wing back chair.

The writers included in this anthology were voted in by a decent percentage of their fellow contemporary writers. And that's the most fascinating aspect of this volume, I think (which I'll elaborate on later) seeing what a, say, Hemingway or E.M. Forster, personally considered in their minds to be the world's greatest living writers at the time, circa 1948-1950. In fact, ninety-six of the 105 authors featured in the book cast a ballot for whom they felt belonged in a book featuring the so-called, 'Greatest Living Authors.'

Note (and pardon the redundancy but I just want the premise behind this book made explicitly clear): This anthology did not attempt to answer, "Who the Greatest Authors of All Time" were, but instead only attempted to answer who the best writers writing today were; "today" being 1950. The book is a time capsule of literary tastes, sixty-three years old.

Here's a summary of who participated in the voting: A total of 643 individuals cast their ballots, made up of, besides the aforementioned ninety-six of 105 authors, officers of both the P.E.N. Clubs (Poets, Editors, and Novelists) of Europe (30) and the United States (36); editors of the Columbia Dictionary of Modern European Literature (70); magazine and literary journal editors (24); book reviewers (31) -- peons like so many of us!; U.S. college presidents (121), U.S. librarians (108), booksellers (23), subscribers to The Saturday Review of Literature (82) -- more anonymous peons, and some other miscellaneous sources (22). Published in 1950, the ballots overwhelmingly favored, as can be expected considering the chauvinist, mid-Twentieth century zeitgeist, male authors, and mostly U.S. or British male authors. Here's the statistical breakdown (since I'm a data freak) by nation:

U.S.A...32 authors (29 men, 3 women)
England...20 (17 men, 3 women)
France...13 (12 men, 1 woman)
Ireland...5 (4 men, 1 woman)
Germany...4 (all men)
Spain...4 (' ')
Russia...3 ( ' ')
Canada...2 (1 woman and man)
Chile...2 (both men)
China...2 (both men)
Denmark...2 (1 woman and man)
Hungary...2 (both men)
India...2 (both men)
Italy...2 (both men)
Norway...2 (1 woman and man)
Argentina....1 man
Finland....1 man
Greece...1 man
Holland...1 man
Iceland...1 man
Mexico...1 man
Scotland...1 man
Switzerland...1 man

TOTAL.............94 men, 11 women.

Australia, Japan (WWII had just ended), Africa (the entire continent!), Brazil, Israel & the Middle East and Eastern Europe received no votes.

The above itemization seems familiar to me, like the medal count for any given Olympics? Except Russia and China are usually up there closer to the top.

And since I absolutely love lists, here's how the top 50 authors fared in the vote. Keep in mind the voting was circa 1950, and only writers who were alive at the time of voting were considered.

01. George Bernard Shaw (Ire.)...539
02. Thomas Mann (Ger.)...524
03. Eugene O'Neil (U.S.)...508
04. Ernest Hemingway (U.S.)...466
05. Sinclair Lewis (U.S.)...453

(My what 60 years can do to a writer's visibility. Would Sinclair Lewis have even made the top 500 if a vote were taken by contemporary writers today?)

06. Sigrid Undset (Nor.)...452
07. George Santayana (Sp.)...436
08. T.S. Eliot (Eng.)...435
09. Aldous Huxley (Eng.)...434
10. Robert Frost (U.S.)...432
11. John Steinbeck (U.S.)...427
12. W. Somerset Maugham (Eng.)...424
13. Carl Sandburg (U.S.)...414
14. Willa Cather (U.S.)...409

(As mentioned above, Willa Cather died just after the ballots were cast ... perhaps from shock over her position on the list, below Steinbeck and overrated Hemingway?)

15. Edna St. V. Millay (U.S.)...403
16. John Masefield (Eng.)...393
17. André Gide (Fr.)...382
18. Maurice Maeterlinck (Bel.)....377
19. Thornton Wilder (U.S.)...373
20. John Dewey (U.S.)...368
21. John Dos Passos (U.S.)...365
22. Jules Romains (Fr.)...358
23. Benedetto Croce (It.)...342
24. Pearl Buck (U.S.)...332
25. E.M. Forster (Eng.)...328

(Let's see, Sinclair Lewis in the 5 slot, and Forster in the 25th? What were these people smoking in 1950?)

26. Van Wyck Brooks (U.S.)...324
27. Arnold J. Toynbee (Eng.)...318
28. Erich Maria Remarque (Ger.)...313
29. Bertrand Russell (Eng.)...311
30. Charles and Mary Beard (U.S.)...307
31. H.L. Mencken (U.S.)....306
32. Sholem Asch (U.S.)...305
33. Walter de la Mare (Eng.)...300
34. Knut Hamsun (Nor.)...293
35. André Maurois (Fr.)...290
36. William Faulkner (U.S.)...287

(Hard to imagine that even as late as 1950, Charles and Mary Beard were more respected by their professional colleagues than William Faulkner!)

37. Lin Yutang (China)...280
38. Maxwell Anderson (U.S.)...278
39. Rebecca West (Eng.)...277
40. André Malraux (Fr.)...276
41. Arthur Koestler (Hun.)...268
42. Edgar Lee Masters (U.S.)...264
43. Archibald MacLeish (U.S.)...255
44. Hilaire Belloc (Eng.)...253
45. Jacques Maritain (Fr.)...250
46. W.H. Auden (Eng.)...249
47. Lord Dunsany (Ire.)...247
48. José Ortega y Gasset (Sp.)...245
49. Noel Coward (Eng.)...243
50. Upton Sinclair (U.S.)...237

The system of voting used for this anthology I won't even attempt describing, other than to say it sounds as complicated and convoluted a procedural matrix as the B.C.S. College Football rankings employed by the NCAA. Mystifying.

What sets this anthology apart from others, besides its endless lists, is this unique feature: the writers who made it into the anthology got to pick their own poems, stories, essays, or novel excerpts for inclusion in the anthology (instead of an editor's or advisory board's selections); with the only editorial criteria mandated being that the writer should include the piece of writing that "best represented their aims and ambitions of their work."

The writer's choices, sometimes, are surprising. Sinclair Lewis, for instance (I seem to be picking on him, even though I adore Elmer Gantry), choosing Cass Timberlane over Main Street, Elmer Gantry, Babbitt, or Arrowsmith, speaks, if such a dubious choice can be understood, to a writer's tendency to favor their most recent work written as being their best, rather than recognizing what is or will be their most enduring.

105 Greatest Living Authors Present The World's Best: Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry.

Maybe not the World's best, but switch out "World" for "North America and Great Britain," and you've got a good sketch of what mid-Twentieth Century writers perceived as being the finest writers of their time.
… (mere)
24 stem
absurdeist | 1 anden anmeldelse | Nov 5, 2010 |
A bit uneven for my interests, but surprisingly full of writerly gems.
wktarin | Nov 17, 2008 |


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Associated Authors

Hallie Burnett Editor, Contributor
Martha Foley Editor, Contributor
Hallie Southgate Burnett Editor, Contributor
William Saroyan Contributor
William Faulkner Contributor
Erskine Caldwell Contributor
H. L. Mencken Contributor
John Steinbeck Contributor
Langston Hughes Contributor
Robert Benchley Contributor
Dorothy Parker Contributor
Luigi Pirandello Contributor
Ellen Glasgow Contributor
John Gunther Contributor
Van Wyck Brooks Contributor
Willa Cather Contributor
E. B. White Contributor
Edna Ferber Contributor
Hendrik Van Loon Contributor
Lillian Hellman Contributor
Thornton Wilder Contributor
John Dos Passos Contributor
Upton Sinclair Contributor
Conrad AIken Contributor
Eugene O'Neill Contributor
Muriel Rukeyser Contributor
Carl Sandburg Contributor
Ogden Nash Contributor
Richard Wright Contributor
Ludwig Bemelmans Contributor
Morley Callaghan Contributor
Sherwood Anderson Contributor
Irwin Shaw Contributor
Jesse Stuart Contributor
Kay Boyle Contributor
Clarence Day Contributor
Warren Beck Contributor
Manual Komroff Contributor
Cornell Woolrich Contributor
Eric Knight Contributor
Lord Dunsany Contributor
Ernest Hemingway Contributor
Eudora Welty Contributor
Thomas Wolfe Contributor
Aldous Huxley Contributor
William Fifield Contributor
Anton Chekhov Contributor
Ivan Bunin Contributor
Bernardine Kielty Contributor
Pearl S. Buck Contributor
Michael Fessier Contributor
Zora Neale Hurston Contributor
Stoyan Christowe Contributor
Hallie Southgate Contributor
Clara Laidlaw Contributor
Max Brod Contributor
Selma Lagerlöf Contributor
Leo Tolstoy Contributor
Franz Kafka Contributor
Thomas Mann Contributor
Franz Werfel Contributor
Glennyth M. Woods Contributor
August Strindberg Contributor
Olive Schreiner Contributor
Kahlil Gibran Contributor
Jean Toomer Contributor
Pierre van Paassen Contributor
Honoré de Balzac Contributor
Mary Brinker Post Contributor
Joan Vatsek Contributor
Ruth Domino Contributor
John Cournos Contributor
Lloyd Douglas Contributor
William Zukerman Contributor
Isaac Peretz Contributor
Sigrid Undset Contributor
Louis Paul Contributor
Mary Webb Contributor
Sholem Asch Contributor
Rainer Maria Rilke Contributor
Mary Austin Contributor
Dana Burnet Contributor
Tennessee Williams Contributor
Edmund Ware Smith Contributor
Norman Mailer Contributor
Frederic Prokosch Contributor
A. E. Shandeling Contributor
Carson McCullers Contributor
Ferenc Molnar Contributor
Seán Ó Faoláin Contributor
Marcel Ayme Contributor
Howard Nemerov Contributor
Liam O'Flaherty Contributor
Mary O'Hara Contributor
Robert Payne Contributor
Nancy Wilson Ross Contributor
Frank O'Connor Contributor
Jack Iams Contributor
John Cheever Contributor
Peter Devries Contributor
Eddie Cohen Contributor
Stuart Cloete Contributor
Henry Treece Contributor
Brian Glanville Contributor
Jerome Weidman Contributor
Graham Greene Contributor
Emily Hahn Contributor
Truman Capote Contributor
Evan Hunter Contributor
Stanley Kauffmann Contributor
W.R. Johnson Contributor
Edmund Ware Contributor
James Thurber Contributor
Frances Eisenberg Contributor
Dean Fales Contributor
Sylvia Thompson Contributor
Richard Hehman Contributor
Mary Medearis Contributor
William C. White Contributor
Jeanne Singer Contributor
George Santayana Contributor
Mark Twain Contributor
James Street Contributor
Booth Tarkington Contributor
Robert Traver Contributor
MacKinlay Kantor Contributor
W.E. Fishbaugh Contributor
Kenneth Grahame Contributor
Brendan Gill Contributor
Bertha Damon Contributor
Frank Brookhouser Contributor
Helen Keller Contributor
Wolcott Gibbs Contributor
Marcel Proust Contributor
Victoria Lincoln Contributor
Alice Farnham Contributor
Dorothy Canfield Contributor
Marjorie Marks Contributor
Sally Benson Contributor
Havelock Ellis Contributor
George Jean Nathan Contributor
Irwin Edman Contributor
Walt Grove Contributor
I. J. Kapstein Contributor
Rachel Maddux Contributor
Helen R. Hull Contributor
Albert Maltz Contributor
T.R. Carskadon Contributor
Edgar Calmer Contributor
Michael Bruen Contributor
Ruth Blodgett Contributor
John Peale Bishop Contributor
H.E. Bates Contributor
Mikhail Zostchenko Contributor
Nelson Algren Contributor
Elizabeth Wagner Contributor
Daniel Fuchs Contributor
Mary Heaton Vorse Contributor
Peter Neagoe Contributor
Lyford Moore Contributor
Dorothy McCleary Contributor
Alan Marshall Contributor
Frederick Scribner Contributor
H.M. LeTissier Contributor
Gertrude Stein Contributor
Martha Dodd Contributor
Eugene Jolas Contributor
Eric Howard Contributor
Wayne Grover Contributor
Herzl Fife Contributor
John Fante Contributor
Dorothy Thompson Contributor
Vicki Baum Contributor
Guido d'Agostino Contributor
J. D. Salinger Introduction


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