THE CENTURY IS AN ASSOCIATION of over two thousand authors, artists, and amateurs of letters and fine arts. For the club’s purposes, “amateurs” are defined as men and women “of any occupation provided their breadth of interest and qualities of mind and imagination make them sympathetic, stimulating, and congenial companions in a society of authors and artists.” The Century is a quintessentially New York place: Despite its debt to London clubs and the national and even international character of its membership, it could exist nowhere else. Its main activity is conversation.