'One of the few books that doesn't stink': the Intellectuals, the Masses and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Faye Hammill

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Abstract

Anita Loos's tribute to Aldous Huxley appeared in a memorial volume compiled by Julian Huxley in 1966. Among the contributors were Lord David Cecil, Stephen Spender, T.S. Eliot, Osbert Sitwell, Leonard Woolf and Isaiah Berlin. Loos was one of Aldous Huxley's most famous friends: she was a successful and well connected screenwriter, and the astonishing sales of her novel Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925) made her a millionaire and a celebrity. The novel also significantly increased her cultural capital, since it was admired by eminent writers and thinkers including James Joyce, Edith Wharton, H.L. Mencken, William Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson, William Empson, George Santayana and Rose Macaulay. For many years, Loos was one of the best known women in the United States, and 1966 was the year she published her autobiographical volume A Girl Like I, which received enthusiastic reviews and led to retrospectives of her films. And yet, if Anita Loos today stands out from the list of Julian Huxley's contributors, it is because the other names are still so familiar, while hers has become obscure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-48
Number of pages21
JournalCritical Survey
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Anita Loos
  • Aldous Huxley
  • literature
  • history

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