bag·man (băg’mәn) n., pl. –men (mĭn). 1. Slang.

dishonest official; a person who collects, carries, or distributes illegal payoff money.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Max Brand: The Most Famous Meeting of a Pulp Writer and Editor

When Frederick Faust (Max Brand) met Robert H. Davis, chief executive of the Munsey Publishing empire in 1917. The legend goes like this:

"Davis prided himself on being able to spot a comer (he had purchased some of Joseph Conrad's early work, and is credited with discovering O. Henry; this is dubious, however, as Arthur Grissom, Smart Set's first editor, purchased O. Henry's first four stories, which were reputed to have been rejected by every magazine in the country).

Editor Davis gave Faust the outline of a plot and told him to go down the hall where there was a small room with a typewriter, and build a story from it. Faust cranked out a 7800-word story and returned same to Davis within two hours. Davis, amazed at Faust's speed, asked where he had learned to write.

'Down the hall,' was Faust's reply. The story was published in the March, 1917 All Story Weekly without a change."

--The Pulp Western, by John A. Dinan

Max Brand was to write roughly a novel a month for the next twenty years.

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