In the current New Yorker, critic at large Adam Gopnik writes: "There's always a measure of uncertainty ... about who owes what to whom; among the big three literary Johns, who can say exactly what Updike owes to Cheever, or what either owes to O'Hara?"

On June 7, 1930, publication of "Most Likely to Succeed." The New Yorker. A short monologue by a graduating college student, delivered to his girl friend Bess. Here are the first two paragraphs:

   Tell me, what are people really saying about it, I mean about my being voted most likely to succeed? Are they saying it will go to my head, or are they just not paying much attention to it?
   Because honestly, Bess, I give you my word of honor, it won't have any effect on me. I appreciate it, of course, because after four years if the fellows think enough of you to say you're the one they think is most likely to succeed, why it's a pretty swell thing to know. As a matter of fact, just between us, and please don't ever repeat this, but if they hadn't given it to me, I'd have been disappointed as hell. Because I tried to get it.

From a June 7, 1948 letter to Harold Ross: The enclosed, being a poem, does not mean I have surrendered or yielded from my position. As far as I know we are just where we were in January, and our stalemate is not affected by my being compelled to express myself in verse.

And here is Matthew Bruccoli's explanation in a footnote to the letter: In the late Forties O'Hara became increasingly upset by The New Yorker's rejection of his short stories. He felt that since the stories were written for that magazine, they were unpublishable elsewhere. Harold Ross refused to meet O'Hara's demand for a $500 payment for every rejected story. When The New Yorker's review of A Rage to Live appeared in 1949, O'Hara stopped writing stories for eleven years.

From a June 7, 1958 letter:

Our country club, the Schuykill Country Club, was about seven miles from Pottsville. Whenever we blades or our girl friends had visitors from out-of-town we of course took them to the Club for tea, tennis, dances, tea dances, and the view.

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