John Steinbeck Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 8.5" x 11", plain paper, Los Gatos [California], not dated [1938], to Paul Jordan-Smith. Steinbeck answers Jordan-Smith's request for a meeting, in part "Of course I shall be very pleased to see you...," discusses his schedule "...During the week I see no one until after four- that's just routine. On saturday I do only half a days work and on sunday none at all...," and gives directions "...As for getting here- no one has found our place unaided and there are no road signs... go to los Gatos and get a taxi driver to lead you up here..." This home in Los Gatos is where Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath." Paul Jordan-Smith, a journalist, editor, and bibliophile, was an interesting character. In 1924, annoyed at the reception his wife's realistic still-lifes were receiving, he created, under the pseudonym Pavel Jerdanowitch, a badly painted, blurry picture of a Pacific island woman holding a bunch of bananas and titled it Exaltation, claiming it was symbolic of "breaking the chains of womanhood." He called his "new" artistic school Disumbrationism. The same critics that belittled his wife's work praised this spoof painting! In 1927, after several more works were exhibited, he confessed the hoax to the Los Angeles Times. This present letter is in fine condition, with light mailing folds and crinkling, and one tiny tear at the upper right edge, mentioned for accuracy. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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