Re: RARA-AVIS: Mysterious citation

Date: 15 Dec 2002


Re your message below:

> Hello everyone - I'm new to the list, so if I breach
> a
> sacred tenet
> of (n?)etiquette, please hasten to let me know.

Welcome to the list. It's a great group of knowledgeable and interesting people, and I think you'll enjoy it.

> In doing some research on the history of
> autograph
> collecting, I found the following definition and
> citation
> in the
> Random House Historical Dictionary of American
> Slang:
> --------
> autograph hound n. a collector of autographs, esp.
> an
> offensive person who clamor for the autographs of
> celebrities. Now colloq.
> 1933 in Ruhm [ital]Detective[/ital] 72: He was an
> autograph
> hound....He collected autographs. Autographs of all
> the
> stars....He had five hundred of 'em.

I think it is, as you surmised, perhaps a reference to the Herbert Ruhm anthology of hard-boiled mystery short stories from BLACK MASK. I would imagine that 72 refers to 1972 which, IIRC, was the copyright date, though it could also refer to the page number from which the quotation is taken. Which story is being quoted is difficult to say without having the book in front of me. If it's from one of the stories, rather than the introduction, it's odd that it was attributed to the editor, rather than to the author of the original story.


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