THE FILM CRITICISM OF OTIS FERGUSON
Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1971, pp. 363-365.
“Welles and His Wonders:II”
no way of knowing from available documents just how well these critics
actually knew one another. Working for The New Republic as art critic
in the late 30s, Farber had some contact with Ferguson before his death
in ‘43. Farber further indicates, in the interview at the end of
Negative Space, that he admired his work:
"From high school on, I read a lot of criticism. In San Francisco and Washington, I was very conscious of Otis Ferguson and Stark Young; their writing seemed to be the best at the time" (354).
However, he also says that:
" Ferguson went off patriotically to war in the Merchant Marine and died. The next day I was asking for a job as movie critic. I was never very sentimental in that period; I was ambitious" (355).
Farber’s personal account of his formative years as a critic
therefore offers little in the way of conclusive evidence. It goes without
saying that Farber himself, if he were willing, could shed light on
all of this.