Life and Lillian Gish (1932)

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Also, the Intelligentsia 207 I don't know when Joseph Hergesheimer first came under the Lillian spell, but probably about the time he used her as his model for "Cytherea," which I regard as something less of a compliment than his article in the American Mercury, April, 1924. In this article, he is supposed to be talking to Lillian. "No one," I told her, "who has worked with you, has the slightest idea of what your charm really is. Two men, and not unsuccessfully, have written about it, about you . . . James Branch Cabell and myself. James thinks it is Helen of Troy; and if he is right, then you, too, are Helen. I mean that you have the quality which, in a Golden Age, would hold an army about the walls of a city for seven years." Hergesheimer was proposing a picture, in which, as he assured her, she would be "like the April moon, a thing for all young men to dream about forever . . . the fragrant April moon of men's hopes . . . 'No one, seeing you, will ever again be deeply interested in other girls.' I recalled to her the legend of Diana — how a countryman, hearing Diana's horn through the woods, lost in vague restlessness his familiar content. 'You will be the clear and unforgettable silver horn.' " It was in the guise of Jurgen that James Branch Cabell celebrated Lillian, wrote of her as Queen Helen, "the delight of gods and men, who regarded him with grave, kind eyes" . . . whom, long ago, Jurgen had loved, in "the garden between dawn and sunrise." Then, trembling, Jurgen raised toward his lips the hand of her who was the world's darling. . . . "Oh, all my life was a foiled quest of you, Queen Helen, and an unsatiated hungering. And for a while I served my vision, honoring you with