Mabel Dodge Financing Reform : Intimate Memories

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Dublin Core

Title

Mabel Dodge Financing Reform : Intimate Memories

Subject

Labour, Politics, and Journalism

Description

Dodge is Self-Involved Yet Self Aware

Dodge possesses an extremely interesting and complex quality of both presenting herself as somewhat flippant and vain while at the same time persistently illustrating that she is self-aware. In this excerpt from Intimate Memories, Dodge illustrates that she is aware of the expansiveness of her influence while also presenting herself in a way that diminishes her actual worth. Dodge touches on both her financial influence and her influence as an orchestrator and organizer. She writes, “All sorts of people made use of me and of the free-flowing magnetic influence I seemed able to exert; also I seemed to them to have a lot of money" (Luhan 2995). By saying “I seem to have a lot of money,” Dodge makes subjective a statement that she certainly knows to be true, almost to poke fun at how much money she has. Being able to joke about finances illustrates her class separation from the people she supports, paradoxically conveying that she comprehends this separation. When Dodge comments on her “free-flowing magnetic influence,” she also diminishes her ability to draw people together by presenting the quality in such a light-hearted manner.

Dodge’s example letter is presented as her own illustration of how “in demand” Dodge was. Dodge is aware of her influence and revels in her position to provide vital support to artists, reformers, and their various committees and organizations like the one illustrated in this correspondence with Joseph O’Brien. O’Brien even praises her, calling her “the ablest committeeman of your sex,” which serves as a testament to how much Dodge’s assistance influence was valued. Dodge’s skill as an organizer of conversation is also spoken to in the letter as O’Brien tells Dodge, “You have somehow the magic of making people come to committee meetings, which is a rare gift” (Luhan 3000).

Luhan, Mabel Dodge. Intimate Memories: The Autobiography of Mabel Dodge Luhan (Kindle Locations 2995-3001). University of New Mexico Press. Kindle Edition.

Creator

Mabel Dodge

Source

Intimate Memories

Publisher

University of New Mexico Press

Date

Published 1999, Written ca. 1913

Contributor

Lois Rudnick
Joseph O'Brien

Format

Written Memoir

Language

English

Type

Memoir

Identifier

"Steff" refers to Lincoln Steffens

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

“All sorts of people made use of me and of the free-flowing magnetic influence I seemed able to exert; also I seemed to them to have a lot of money.

I was always getting letters like this:

Dear Mabel: I am appealing to you as the ablest committeeman of your sex. Will you please call together the Finance Committee of the International Workers’ Defense Conference at your house Wednesday afternoon, or if that is not convenient for you, the next available afternoon? You have somehow the magic of making people come to committee meetings, which is a rare gift.

Faithfully,
Joseph O’Brien”

Luhan, Mabel Dodge. Intimate Memories: The Autobiography of Mabel Dodge Luhan (Kindle Locations 2995-3001). University of New Mexico Press. Kindle Edition.

Original Format

Written Memoir