The influential literary magazine The Dial is regarded as a titanic artistic and aesthetic achievement for having published most of the great modernist writers, artists, and critics of its day. As publisher and editor of The Dial from 1920 to 1926, Scofield Thayer was gatekeeper and guide for the movement, introducing the ideas of literary modernism to America and giving American artists a new audience in Europe.In The Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer, James Dempsey looks beyond the public figure best known for publishing the work of William Butler Yeats, T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, E.E. Cummings, and Marianne Moore to reveal a paradoxical man fraught with indecisions and insatiable appetites, and deeply conflicted about the artistic movement to which he was benefactor and patron. Thayer suffered from schizophrenia and faded from public life upon his resignation from The Dial. Because of his mental illness and controversial life, his guardians refused to allow anything of a personal nature to appear in previous biographies. The story of Thayer's unmoored and peripatetic life, which in many ways mirrored the cosmopolitan rootlessness of modernism, has never been fully told until now.
Tortured Life of Scofield Thayer
University Press of Florida