Thomas Seltzer (February 22, 1875, Russia − September 11, 1943, New York City) was a Russian-American translator, editor and book publisher.
Russia, or the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres (6,612,100 sq mi), Russia is by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, and the ninth most populous, with about 146.80 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77% of the population live in the western, European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe; other major cities include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U.S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Born in Russia, Thomas Seltzer moved to the United States with his family as a young child. He attended the University of Pennsylvania on scholarship and graduated in 1897, going on to do post-graduate work at Columbia University. In addition to speaking his native Russian, Seltzer was conversant in Polish, Italian, German, Yiddish, and French and it was his language skills that led him to a career as a translator. He parleyed his way with words into work as a journalist and editor, writing for newspapers and magazines, notably Harper's Weekly and in 1911-1918, Seltzer worked with Max Eastman, Charles Erskine Scott Wood, and others as editor of the socialist magazine, The Masses .
The University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League research university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is one of the nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence and the first institution of higher learning in the United States to refer to itself as a university. Benjamin Franklin, Penn's founder and first president, advocated an educational program that trained leaders in commerce, government, and public service, similar to a modern liberal arts curriculum.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
Polish is a West Slavic language of the Lechitic group. It is spoken primarily in Poland and serves as the native language of the Poles. In addition to being an official language of Poland, it is also used by Polish minorities in other countries. There are over 50 million Polish-language speakers around the world and it is one of the official languages of the European Union.
As an editor, Seltzer gained experience at Funk & Wagnalls and beginning in 1917 the New York publishing firm Boni and Liveright. It was during his tenure with Funk & Wagnalls that Seltzer met his wife Adele Szold and the couple were married October 21, 1906.
Funk & Wagnalls was an American publisher known for its reference works, including A Standard Dictionary of the English Language, and the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Encyclopedia.
In 1919 Seltzer established his own publishing venture, Thomas Seltzer, Inc., and is credited with bringing D. H. Lawrence's works to the American public. His work also brought him into contact with such authors as Henry James and Theodore Dreiser.
David Herbert Lawrence was an English writer and poet. His collected works represent, among other things, an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. Some of the issues Lawrence explores are sexuality, emotional health, vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.
Henry James was an American-British author regarded as a key transitional figure between literary realism and literary modernism, and is considered by many to be among the greatest novelists in the English language. He was the son of Henry James Sr. and the brother of renowned philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser was an American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. His novels often featured main characters who succeeded at their objectives despite a lack of a firm moral code, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency. Dreiser's best known novels include Sister Carrie (1900) and An American Tragedy (1925).
As a result of publishing controversial writers, Seltzer was attacked by the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice in 1922 and all copies of D. H.Lawrence's Women in Love , Arthur Schnitzler's Casanova's Homecoming, and the anonymously written A Young Girl's Diary were confiscated. Seltzer refused to back down, retaining a lawyer and fighting the attempted censorship in the court case People v. Seltzer. Although victorious, it was not to be the end of Seltzer's fight against censorship, as he was charged with publishing "unclean" books in 1923; once again, D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love was the impetus for the charges. Fighting censorship charges eventually led Seltzer's publishing efforts into bankruptcy. The business was taken over by Seltzer's nephews Charles and Albert Boni.
The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice was an institution dedicated to supervising the morality of the public, founded in 1873. Its specific mission was to monitor compliance with state laws and work with the courts and district attorneys in bringing offenders to justice. It and its members also pushed for additional laws against perceived immoral conduct. While the NYSSV is better remembered for its opposition to literary works, it also closely monitored the newsstands, commonly found on city sidewalks and in transportation terminals, which sold the popular newspapers and periodicals of the day.
Women in Love (1920) is a novel by British author D. H. Lawrence. It is a sequel to his earlier novel The Rainbow (1915), and follows the continuing loves and lives of the Brangwen sisters, Gudrun and Ursula. Gudrun Brangwen, an artist, pursues a destructive relationship with Gerald Crich, an industrialist. Lawrence contrasts this pair with the love that develops between Ursula Brangwen and Rupert Birkin, an alienated intellectual who articulates many opinions associated with the author. The emotional relationships thus established are given further depth and tension by an intense psychological and physical attraction between Gerald and Rupert. The novel ranges over the whole of British society before the time of the First World War and eventually concludes in the snows of the Tyrolean Alps. Ursula's character draws on Lawrence's wife Frieda and Gudrun's on Katherine Mansfield, while Rupert Birkin's has elements of Lawrence himself, and Gerald Crich is partly based on Mansfield's husband, John Middleton Murry.
Arthur Schnitzler was an Austrian author and dramatist.
Seltzer died in New York on September 11, 1943, three years after Adele's death. He had no children.
Works translated by Seltzer:
Works compiled and edited by Seltzer:
Works Published by Thomas Seltzer, Inc.:
Leonid Nikolaievich Andreyev was a Russian playwright, novelist and short-story writer, who is considered to be a father of Expressionism in Russian literature. He is one of the most talented and prolific representatives of the Silver Age period. Andreyev's style combines elements of realist, naturalist, and symbolist schools in literature.
Hendrik Willem van Loon was a Dutch-American historian, journalist, and award-winning children's book author.
Harold Witter Bynner, also known by the pen name Emanuel Morgan, was an American poet, writer and scholar, known for his long residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and association with other literary figures there.
Mikhail Petrovich Artsybashev was a Russian writer and playwright, and a major proponent of the literary style known as naturalism. He was the great grandson of Tadeusz Kościuszko and the father of Boris Artzybasheff, who emigrated to the United States and became famous as an illustrator. Following the Russian Revolution, in 1923 Artsybashev emigrated to Poland where he died in 1927.
Harold Albert Loeb (1891–1974) was an American writer, notable as an important American figure in the arts among expatriates in Paris in the 1920s. In 1921 he was the founding editor of Broom, an international literary and art magazine, which was first published in New York City before he moved the venture to Europe. Loeb published two novels while living in Paris in the 1920s, and additional works after returning to New York in 1929.
The Ladybird is a long tale or novella by D. H. Lawrence.
The Glebe was a literary magazine edited by Alfred Kreymborg and Man Ray from 1913 to 1914. The first issue was published from Grantwood, New Jersey while the rest of the run was published in New York by Albert & Charles Boni. Ten issues were produced, with a circulation of 300. Issue number 5 comprised the first anthology of Imagism: Des Imagistes.
Nikolay Andreyevich Andreyev was a Russian sculptor, graphic artist and stage designer. As a young man Andreyev studied with Sergey Volnukhin and in 1902 became associated with the Peredvizhniki group of realists. Andreyev's brother V.A. Andreyev was also a sculptor.
Evelyn Scott was an American novelist, playwright and poet. A modernist and experimental writer, Scott "was a significant literary figure in the 1920s and 1930s, but she eventually sank into critical oblivion."
Genevieve Taggard was an American poet.
Horace Brisbin Liveright was an American publisher and stage producer. With Albert Boni, he founded the Modern Library and Boni & Liveright publishers. He published the books of numerous influential American and British authors. Turning to theatre, he produced the successful 1927 Broadway play Dracula, with Béla Lugosi and Edward Van Sloan in the roles they would make famous in the 1931 film by the same name.
Herman Bernstein was an American journalist, poet, novelist, playwright, translator, Jewish activist, and diplomat. He was the United States Ambassador to Albania and was the founder of The Day, the Jewish daily newspaper.
Cedar Paul, néeGertrude Mary Davenport was a singer, author, translator and journalist.
Sergey Terentyevich Semyonov was a Russian writer and a member of the Moscow literary group Sreda.
Albert Rhys Williams, commonly known by his middle name, pronounced "Reece," was an American journalist, labor organizer, and publicist. He is most famous for writing memoirs in favor of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia: he had been both a witness and a participant.
Boni & Liveright is an American trade book publisher established in 1917 in New York City by Albert Boni and Horace Liveright. Over the next sixteen years the firm, which changed its name to Horace Liveright, Inc., in 1928 and then Liveright, Inc., in 1931, published over a thousand books. Before its bankruptcy in 1933 and subsequent reorganization as Liveright Publishing Corporation, Inc., it had achieved considerable notoriety for editorial acumen, brash marketing, and challenge to contemporary obscenity and censorship laws. Their logo is of a cowled monk.
The Ministry for Internal Affairs of Komi Republic is the main law enforcement organization in the Komi Republic in Russia. It is subordinate to the Russian Interior Ministry and the President of Komi Republic.
Albert Boni was co-founder of the publishing company Boni & Liveright and a pioneering publisher in paperbacks and book clubs.
Benjamin Antin was an American lawyer and Democratic politician from New York.
The Smart Set Anthology is an anthology of selections from The Smart Set literary magazine, edited by Burton Rascoe and Groff Conklin. It was first published in hardcover by Reynal & Hitchcock in 1934, and reprinted as The Smart Set Anthology of World Famous Authors by Halcyon House in the same year. It was reissued by Grayson as The Bachelor's Companion in 1944. The book has the distinction of being the first anthology with which Conklin was involved in an editorial capacity; he went on to become a prolific anthologist, mostly of science fiction.
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