A Child of the Century  

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"In my youth there was no finer mental sport than could be found in the pages of Huneker, Brandes, Pollard, Hazlitt, Taine, France, Vance Thompson, Mencken, Francis Hackett, Arthur Symons and their like. The novelist and storyteller wrote out of a score of different moods, most of them sour. The literary critic wrote out of only one mood, an enthusiasm for literature."--A Child of the Century (1954) by Ben Hecht

"A woman who is known to change her lovers five times a year is as acceptable socially as any virgin... Virgins have never been acceptable in Hollywood."--A Child of the Century (1954) by Ben Hecht

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A Child of the Century (1954) by is an autobiography of Ben Hecht.

Literary critic Robert Schmuhl says that it "received such extensive critical acclaim that his literary reputation improved markedly during the last decade of his life... Hecht's vibrant and candid memoir of more than six hundred pages restored him to the stature of a serious and significant American writer". Novelist Saul Bellow reviewed the book for the New York Times: "His manners are not always nice, but then nice manners do not always make interesting autobiographies, and this autobiography has the merit of being intensely interesting... If he is occasionally slick, he is also independent, forthright, and original. Among the pussycats who write of social issues today, he roars like an old-fashioned lion." In 2011, Richard Corliss, announced the Time editorial board named Hecht's autobiography to the TIME 100 best non-fiction books list (books published since the founding of the magazine in 1923).

New Yorker film critic David Denby begins a discussion of Hecht's screenwriting by recounting a long story from his autobiography. He then asks, "How many of these details are true? It's impossible to say, but truth, in this case, may not be the point. As Norman Mailer noted in 1973, Hecht 'was never a writer to tell the truth when a concoction could put life in his prose.'" Denby calls this Hecht's "gift for confabulated anecdote." Near the end of the article, Denby returns to A Child of the Century,

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "A Child of the Century" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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