The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

September 29, 2016

September 29, 1970

Gilbert Seldes (January 3, 1893 to September 29, 1970) was an American writer who emphasized the importance of popular culture. His books include:

The 7 Lively Arts, (1924 is the first of many printings)


The movies come from America (1937)

The great audience (1950)

The Public Arts (1964).

He corresponded with T. S. Eliot, Clive Bell, Van Wyck Brooks, as part of his editing responsibilities at The Dial.

"The Krazy Kat That Walks by Himself," a chapter in The 7 Lively Arts, derives from the enthusiasm Seldes felt for this comic strip by George Herriman. The whole text of his essay on Herriman is here.

Michael Kammen has written The Lively Arts: Gilbert Seldes and the Transformation of Cultural Criticism in the United States (1996), to remedy the ignorance about "the first American intellectual to lend legitimacy to popular culture." I hope, if you hit this link, you will see one of the Christmas cards Herriman drew especially for the Seldes family to send out. (It is reproduced on page 97 of Kammen's book).

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