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Photograph of H. L. Mencken. Credit: Ben Pinchot (Public domain)
As editor of The Smart Set, H. L. Mencken took Joseph Conrad under his wing at a time when he was virtually unknown in America. Years later, when Conrad had established himself as a writer, Mencken wrote to him asking for a story, noting the magazine's tight budget. Many weeks passed with no word. Finally, Conrad's agent wrote to say that Mencken could have his story—for 0. "For 0," Mencken replied, "you can haveThe Smart Set


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