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    Description

    John Steinbeck Autograph Manuscript Unsigned with Carbon Copy. Five pages, 7.75" x 12.5", no date; no place. Written in pencil, with a few emendations. The manuscript discusses Steinbeck's feelings and concerns about the current state of the United States, and it reads in part:

    "Americans are obsessed with tensions. Nerves are drawn tense and twanging: Emotions, both in individuals and groups bail up and spill over into violence and largely in oblique and unnatural directions. We are developing a natural nervousness. In the cities people scream with rage at one another seeming to take out their inner uneasiness on the first observable target...A gas of nervous unease appears to have settled on us. A line has formed for candies of the psycho-analysts, by patients wound so tight that the main spring has snapped. The legal and criminal distribution of sleeping and pep pills is astronomical, the one opening escape into sleep and the other access to a false personality...Our tautness is becoming a recognizable national trait. On a recent trip to England, I came down with influenza in a London hotel. The doctor said, 'Go to bed and get some rest. Take one of your pills.' 'What pills?' I asked. 'Why your sleeping pills.' 'I don't have any.' 'What do you mean? You're American, aren't you? All Americans have sleeping pills.' This doctor treated so many well to do Americans and they all carried sleeping pills...A great many Americans are frantically worried about this tendency toward suspicion and despair, but most of them find their explanation in the area of their immediate interests and few if any seek an overall picture out of which the particulars arise...Attempts to write and pass laws defining ethical conduct in public servants become confused and aimless because no two people can agree on what constitutes ethical conduct. What we do know is that we are deeply but vaguely disturbed by patterns of insecurity and frustration. What we do know is that old rules no longer obtain and effective new ones have not emerged. Perhaps if we inspect rules of conduct, the reasons for having them, what they accomplish, and what a lack of rules entails, we may understand what is happening..."

    The original manuscript is accompanied by a carbon copy version. A few corrections that were made to the original were done after the carbon copy was created.

    Condition: Toning to the top and bottom edges of the original manuscript, with minor chipping to the first page edges. Minor smudging in places. The carbon copies have minor soiling and creasing throughout. Overall very good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    27th Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 478

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