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JOHN ALBERT MACY
A highly regarded literary critic in his day, John Albert Macy (1877-1932) is best remembered today for his instrumental role in the editing and publication of Helen Keller's The Story of My Life (1903). Macy married Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, in 1905, though the two were separated in 1914. Though he was an ardent socialist and author of Socialism in America (1915), Macy was best known for his literary criticism. Among his works in this genre are The Spirit of American Literature (1913), The Critical Game (1922), and The Story of the World's Literature (1925). During the 1920s, Macy lived in Greenwich Village and was an officer in the P.E.N. club, an international society of authors.
A letter from John Macy to Christopher Morley, 24 November [1920?]
This letter to Christopher Morley exemplifies Macy's characteristic levity as well as, in the words of James Branch Cabell, his "perennial charm." The letter refers to Morley's column "The Bowling Green", which ran in the New York Evening Post from 1920-1923 and the Saturday Review of Literature from 1924-1938 and often narrated the affairs of the Three Hours for Lunch Club. In 1921, Morley reprinted a chapter from The Spirit of American Literature in Morley's Modern Essays, prefaced with this biographical sketch:
"Mr. Macy was born in Detroit, 1877; graduated from Harvard in 1899; did editorial service on the Youth's Companion and the Boston Herald; and nowadays lives pensively in Greenwich Village, writing a good deal for The Freeman and The Literary Review. Perhaps, if you were wandering on Fourth Street, east of Sixth Avenue, you might see him treading thoughtfully along, with a wide sombrero hat, and always troubled by an iron-gray forelock that droops over his brow."