New York: 1916. Wraps. The reaction to banning Dreiser's autobiographical novel "Genius" & the letter he addressed to Gelett Burgess on the topic. Dreiser's novel examined traditional and modern views of sexual morality, and was deemed blasphemous and obscene by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice.
Elias Rosenthal's pamphlet is a defense of Dreiser's banned work with specific reference to the overreactions of vice societies to the work: "This brings me down to the action of the locally organized vice society in Cincinnati, which discovered in Theodore Dreiser's "The Genius" seventy five passages which it considered "lewd",and seventeen "profane" .... what is needed is some strong bug powder, not for the purpose of sterilizing the book, but of dispersing its assailants."
(With) Dreiser's TLS copy of his letter to Gelett Burgess, VP of the Authors' League of AmericaCa. 1925. Dreiser demands to know why the League never defended or supported authors against censorship attacks (including his own work 'The Genius'): "No one of these, or their authors or their publishers, in so far as I know, ever received one word of encouragement or one dollar of cash from the Authors' League of America". This introduction is followed by a detailed account of the state Senate hearings on the Clean Books League Bill, and the fact that no member of the Authors' League was present "in any official capacity". Dreiser mentions Burgess' references in newspapers as Dreiser being the author of "dubious sex fiction", a "savage and very personal comment upon me and my fiction". He continues with other examples of the lack of support on the part of the League, listing Leonardo de Vinci by Freud; Hager Revelly by Daniel Carson Goodman; Jurgen by James Branch Cabell; The God of Vengeance by Sholem Asche: Homo Sapiens by Stanislaw Przybyszewski (this name is written in Dreiser's manuscript).
Sml. 8vo pamphlet, (nd) ca. 1915, 8pp. Original yellow wraps; no title at spine, with one horizontal fold and address and canceled stamp at rear cover, o/w very good. Addressed to George Sean Nathan "of the Smart Set N.Y. City 34th & 8th ave". Nathan was the founder and editor of the American Spectator and good friend to Dreiser and Ernest Boyd. OCLC: 29902821. Letter 4pp 11 x 8 1/2", held by straight pin upper left corner. Slight browning on verso of central fold. Very good condition. Item #14580