You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
Each week, we select the most interesting Jewish obituary. This week, it’s that of Frederica Sagor Maas, who wrote screenplays all the way back during the silent era—there were still words!—and who died earlier this month at the age of 111 (as, apparently, the 44th-oldest person in the world: one of those really old Ashkenazim, perhaps). Born in Manhattan in 1900 to parents whose name in Russia had been Zagorsky, she studied journalism at Columbia, worked at the New York Globe copy desk, and by 24 was in Hollywood, where she wrote a Clara Bow film and married another screenwriter.
The obituary alludes to a Salon article, published in 1999 on the occasion of her memoirs, and it’s really a delight. “I’m something of a Bolshevik. I’m always for the underdog,” she told Jenn Shreve (old-time Jewish Hollywood!). And how was she able to write her memoir so late in life? “When you use your brains,” she explained, “they just get sharper. Everything is recorded up there; you don’t have to make it up.”
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.