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    Description

    Ernest Hemingway Typed Letter Signed "Papa." One page, 8.25" x 11" on his personal Finca Vigía letterhead, Cuba, July 19, 1954. The great American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, Hemingway was part of the 1920s expatriate community in Paris. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 for The Old Man and the Sea and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.

    Finca Vigía (Spanish for "Lookout Farm") was Hemingway's home near Havana, where he spent a great deal of his writing and fishing. It was here that he wrote most of The Old Man and the Sea and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The house was built in 1886 by Catalan architect Miguel Pascual y Baguer. Hemingway lived in the house from 1939 to 1961; today it is a museum.

    During the winter of 1954-55, on a safari in Africa, the great author was seriously injured in two successive plane crashes; he sprained his right shoulder, arm, and left leg, had a grave concussion, temporarily lost vision in his left eye and the hearing in his left ear, suffered paralysis of the spine, a crushed vertebra, ruptured liver, spleen and kidney, and first degree burns on his face, arms, and leg. Some American newspapers mistakenly published his obituary, thinking he had been killed.
    Hemingway was badly injured again the following month in a bushfire accident which left him with second degree burns on his legs, front torso, lips, left hand, and right forearm. The pain left him in prolonged anguish and he was unable to travel to Stockholm to accept his Nobel Prize. It was during this time of recovery that Hemingway retreated to Finca Vigía to recover.

    This letter is directed to novelist and screenwriter Peter Viertel, to discuss making a movie from Hemingway's novel The Old Man and The Sea. In part: "Leland called and I said what we'd agree; Zinnerman [noted film director Fred Zinnemann] [sic] best; better to do Old Man [and The Sea] later and with him; same as you said and wrote. Leland wants you to do the script. . . . He seemed sort of cooled on Spence; maybe everybody has. It all sounded as though put-off was The Word. I think it's just as well. None of us want to do it right now and I'm not in shape yet. . . . Everything about me is clearing up good. Have the blood pressure down to 160 over 70 and it will get further down. Kidneys functioning good. Liver same. Back clearing up good. . . . It has been hot as hell but every place else worse. . . . When you come down will put you in some big fish. Haven't been out yet as the big ones are running and I didn't want to do anything stupid with back." Viertel did go on to direct The Old Man and The Sea, which starred Spencer Tracy.

    Letter is boldly signed "Papa" and is in fine condition. Hemingway's letters come to auction very rarely, this one being an excellent example with wonderful content!


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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