Literary Debut

Ernst Samuels

Bernhard’s literary debut as a writer for the Harvard Monthly in his second year at the university would seem to have come about through his friendship with Santayana, who was a fellow member of the O.K. society and a member of the Monthly’s board of editors. A meeting with the scholarly young editor-in-chief George Rice Carpenter led in early February of 1886 to a friendly invitation to contribute to the magazine. Carpenter’s note acted like the breaking of a logjam. Bernhard responded with a rush of proposals. As a starter he could assure Carpenter of an article on a Gogol play, The Revisor, for the March issue (cat. BB.IV.4). Though he was only ten when he left the Russian Pale, he confidently explained, “I know nothing that is so true of a picture of Russian ‘Official’ life as that play.” He added that he had notes for three more essays, two on German writers and one on Catullus and a French poet, Du Bellay, as well as a sheaf of poems ready for publication. “Let me once begin to write,” he said, “and I’ll deluge you.” And deluge him he did.

Read the Complete Essay

Ernest Samuels. "Literary Debut" (cat. BB.IV.2) 

Bernard Berenson. Essays in the Harvard Monthly  (5)

Bernard Berenson. Reviews in the Harvard Monthly  (9)

Bernard Berenson. Creative Writing in the Harvard Monthly  (5)

Unsigned Editorials in the Harvard Monthly  (4)


"Talmudo-Rabbinical Eschatology"

(BB.IV.1) Bernard Berenson. "Talmudo-Rabbinical Escatology" [Senior Thesis]