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Why is a writer is under a grant from the educational television and cooperation with the National Association of Broadcasters. Today's program in New York. If you don't care to listen ladies and gentleman I will tell you the story of a book which I wrote here was 18 0 9. The place was old New York and the mind if it hasn't been guessed is and was Washington Irving. Good day Miss Mitchell. Yes this is my New York City population 60000 give or take a few. I'm very proud of itself. Give or take a few minutes a city of old and dignified families
of families that take themselves rather seriously want you to be my brother William. Yes William. I thought it was you. But where you going going. After a bit of information do you mind. I knew you were touchy. I am not touchy. You almost prove it. I'm not I'm not touchy. If anything I'm tired you've not been doing anything. You're the most unsuccessful lawyer in New York City. I've been writing that book you know very well. You don't seem in good spirits about it. Is it going to be published. I'm just as happy as I can be. I've stolen parts from every English author I could think of. Well if you need help now that I'm through I suppose that what I was thinking. Some mention in the newspaper of my drum up interest. You won't mind if I hear the rest later I do have an appointment I have to turn off here for dinner. Yes and I'm free to say hello to Mary. I'm not seeing Mary.
As a matter of fact I'm looking up the record of one of our very proper citizens. And then I think I'll stop by and see the editor. And since it's not bound to leak out I don't see why not. How do you want to read. Well at the top in bigger letters it ought to read distressing distressing. Yes that gets the reader's attention don't you think. And then we can say something like. Left his lodgings some time since and has not been heard of. A small elderly gentleman dressed in an old black coat and cocked hat by the name of Knickerbocker as there are some reasons for believing he is not entirely in his right mind. Any information concerning him left either at the Colombian hotel mo Berry Street or at the office of this paper will be thankfully received. What a strange article.
Don't you think so father Why yes of course it's a sign of the times. The poor old fellow was a victim of society. Something wrong will you have a wrong. And you know why. With the face you made a face. Oh oh oh sorry. I have to think oh that's too bad. Probably just temporary and I'd better go anyway already why I thought you could stay with me. I'm afraid not. I promise to be home. Tell Washington I hope he feels better. Perhaps he's been working too much. And be sure to give our regards to all your family for the world. I didn't suppose I could hold it in. If her father wasn't there you might have told her it was a hoax. Did he really take it seriously seriously he said. He says Sign of the times. He never did have any sense of humor. But how could he believe such an obvious Well of course it's a hoax. But you didn't mean it to be obvious did you. It
will be as soon as the November 6th article is printed. What have you got planned. I've got it right here. Somewhere. Oh yes. To the Editor of The Evening Post. Sir. Having read in your paper of the 26 October last a paragraph respecting an old gentleman by the name of Knickerbocker who was missed from his lodging. Well you see the way it'll go. And part of it at any rate. Well the writer of this letter will report seeing Knickerbocker on the road to Albany. I suppose even Mary's father ought to catch on by then. And since the families of New York City are so very proud of themselves and their history. I being somewhat of sound mind have decided to write a humorous history of New
York which will have something to say about some people. I just have to stop here for a moment. Will Mr. Irving that you'll come. Sorry I hadn't realized the weather becomes so cold until I came out this noon. You're doing your best to make the town warm though. I should never have printed these hoaxes you know. There was bound to be some faithful reader who will take them for truth. And what's the point of it all. The point. But I've told you already only something about a book you wrote. Don't you see I have no intention of admitting that I wrote the book. Why not. For one thing people like writers to be older men and for another. There are several uncomplimentary things about certain people. So instead we make it look as if this old gentleman Knickerbocker who has disappeared from his lodging has left the manuscript for a book. So so isn't it obvious. Now the landlord of the Colombian hotel where Knickerbocker was staying finds the man you see there
were just those few pieces missing. Then I expect to find it in today's paper. It is already in today's paper. If you've forgotten this is Saturday. The paper has been out for an hour. Saturday. I'm expected for lunch at the home of a dear friend and not a word. Father was sorry but he just couldn't be here. And by the way have you been following this account of Knickerbocker. Listen to what it said. I've seen it. I'm very curious how you seen it. What do you make of it. It's obviously supposed to be funny although Father thinks it's quite serious. I agree with whom or with you of course but chose which of the first order. As a matter of fact if you promise not to tell I'll tell you that I wrote it. Washington you're doing whatever for. Very simply I've written a book which I don't care to have printed under my name. So instead I dream up this hoax present the book as the work of this old
Knickerbocker around was everyone's interest remain hidden from their anger and all's well their anger. Well not everyone's Of course just the snobs the snobs. Which ones do you want me just to rattle off their names. That wouldn't be very dignified. Besides a lot of it is truth. You can't have treated everyone in New York City. There must be 50000 60000. No not every Tom and his brother. Just the people with pretense. All in a sort of fun though. Sort of. Oh Washington Irving you'll be the talk of the New York City. I won't unless my friends tell secrets. You know I wouldn't do that. All right then there you are. No one's the wiser. Well brother I hear the Knickerbocker history is out. Whoever the writer is Mary just Andro humor cannot be had at the expense of dignity. Why were all sold out Mr Irving. Everyone wants to see if the written about.
Washington Irving. I don't care but it's the funniest movie I've ever seen. Quite a stir if I do say so myself. Of course it's a big book 500 pages. But still it's more a success than I supposed. Which is important. New York has never been exactly kind to a writer's block. Good morning William Where to. I'm on my way downtown. I was thinking of stopping in to see the gentleman who's printed knickerbockers history but we can stop on the way back. Well since it's a nice morning. It's not as much of a secret as you suppose. I haven't told anyone. If you think you know people see things and remember things such as the fact that a certain Washington Irving has borrowed every account of New York City could what he's handed on.
Oh well the book seems to amuse the town yes I suppose you're right. That's why I wanted to talk with you. Not the same talk the father had with me I hope I didn't know we had a talk with you. I haven't done much with the profession of law he says. Which is correct and if you're as unsuccessful as a lawyer as you are successful as a writer that's just my point. Why don't you make writing your career. People like to read you. Why don't you know. Writing is alright as a past time. Well the law is no good for you. Well William I'll think about it. Yes that's what I'll do. Think about it. You see I never really thought of being the writer. Of course I would never have thought of being a lawyer except that my father prompted me into it. Yet here was an opportunity. Everyone in New York wanted knickerbockers history. I thought they'd be angry.
No they enjoyed it. Good morning Mr Irving. What are you writing now. And see that he thinks I'm going to go on forever. What does he know of the labors. Where will I find another subject that interests me. Yes son I was angry at first but I must say your writing has a certain charm I rather like it. Course I could describe those scenes along the Hudson River. Not many people have been up that way. And the trip to Albany. Why just to tell about the trees would be lovely. Maybe a few stories. Why not. William likes the one about it. And the writer. Heard in today's program or Elmer Armstrong Don Stribling Chris Stan and Barbara Bywater can priest and
Fred as were our studio engineers. Why is a writer who's written by Floyd Horowitz and directed by Larry Walcott. This is Dexter Berg speaking this has been another program in the series. Why is a writer produced by a school of the air under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center and distributed by the National Association of educational broadcasters. Radio Network. The the.
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Why is a writer?
Irving's old New York
Producing Organization
University of Iowa
WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, "Irving's Old New York," focuses on Washington Irving.
Series Description
Produced by the Iowa School of the Air, this series focuses on various works of literature from Shakespeare to Twain.
Broadcast Date
Irving, Washington, 1783-1859--Friends and associates.
Media type
Actor: Stribling, Don
Actor: Armstrong, Elmer
Actor: Gilchrist, Jane
Director: Walcoff, Larry
Producing Organization: University of Iowa
Producing Organization: WSUI 910 AM (Radio station : Iowa City, Iowa)
Writer: Horowitz, Floyd
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: S60-6-26 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:30?
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Chicago: “Why is a writer?; Irving's old New York,” 1961-04-07, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “Why is a writer?; Irving's old New York.” 1961-04-07. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Why is a writer?; Irving's old New York. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from