Charles Fort and Dreiser

charles-fort-and-a-man-named-dreiser

Posted above as a downloadable PDF file is an article about the relationship between Charles Fort and Theodore Dreiser that appeared in Fortean Times, a British publication, (Mike Dash, “Charles Fort and a Man Named Dreiser,” Fortean Times, no. 51, winter 1988/89, pp. 40–48). The article is not referenced in the entry on Fort in A Theodore Dreiser Encyclopedia.

 

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Charles Hoy Fort (1874-1932) and Theodore Dreiser met in 1905 and maintained a relationship until Fort’s death. According to the entry on Fort in A Theodore Dreiser Encyclopedia, the two “maintained a close, dynamic relationship.”

Born in Albany, NY of Dutch ancestry, Fort was an American writer and researcher who specialized in anomalous phenomena.

 

 
See Roark Mulligan, “Fort, Charles” in A Theodore Dreiser Encyclopedia, edited by Keith Newlin, pp. 144-145.

 

— Roger W. Smith

      October 2016

 

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Addendum
:

According to the Wikipedia entry on Charles Fort at

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fort

The Fortean Society was initiated at the Savoy-Plaza Hotel in New York City on 26 January 1931 by some of Fort’s friends, many of whom were significant writers such as Theodore Dreiser, Ben Hecht, Alexander Woollcott, and organized by fellow American writer Tiffany Thayer, half in earnest and half in the spirit of great good humor, like the works of Fort himself. The board of founders included Dreiser, Hecht, Booth Tarkington, Aaron Sussman, John Cowper Powys, the former editor of Puck Harry Leon Wilson, Woolcott and J. David Stern, publisher of the Philadelphia Record. Active members of the Fortean Society included journalist H.L. Mencken and prominent science fiction writers such as Eric Frank Russell and Damon Knight. Fort, however, rejected the Society and refused the presidency, which went to his friend writer Theodore Dreiser; he was lured to its inaugural meeting by false telegrams. As a strict non-authoritarian, Fort refused to establish himself as an authority, and further objected on the grounds that those who would be attracted by such a grouping would be spiritualists, zealots, and those opposed to a science that rejected them; it would attract those who believed in their chosen phenomena: an attitude exactly contrary to Forteanism. Fort did hold unofficial meetings and had a long history of getting together informally with many of NYC’s literati such as Theodore Dreiser and Ben Hecht at their various apartments where they would talk, have a meal and then listen to brief reports.

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