15 February 2012

Arthur Stringer's Recipe for Commercial Success

"I write my fiction as you do advertising copy – to make a living at it. But I have tried to save enough of myself out of the hurly-burly to do the stuff that counts in the end."
Arthur Stringer loved letters and somehow figured out a way to make them pay. A journalist, poet, novelist, and short story writer, he produced sixty books in his seventy-six years. "Stringer was no mere formula writer of commercial fiction," Clarence Karr notes. "Refusing to be typecast, he varied his genres and the settings, and at times, pushed the frontiers of literature beyond the point of easy acceptance for publishers and editors." Stringer was also one of Hollywood's earliest screenwriters, demonstrating such ease and adaptability that friend and fellow Ontarian Mary Pickford called him "Chameleon".

We've forgotten the man, his talent, and the fact that he was an extremely generous gent. Here he shares a priceless formula with 1904 readers of The Bookman:

Do take note – after all, the revival of the society novel is decades overdue.

Should be any day now.

I'm all set.


  1. Any recomendations as to what might be worth reading of his?

  2. Steerforth, I've yet to find a single piece of writing on Stringer that mentions parody, but I'm hoping there's something out there.

    Beau, other than The Woman Who Couldn't Die I've read only a few poems and short stories. I suppose one place to start is with his Prairie Trilogy (Prairie Wife, Prairie Mother and Prairie Child), which is sometimes celebrated as an early example of 'Prairie Realism' (of course). The novels I've been keeping an eye out for are the supposedly psychologically sophisticated The Wine of Life and the wildly weird and wonderful Without Warning. If you do read these, or anything else by Stringer, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.