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    John Steinbeck. Autograph Letter. [No place: no date]. Two and one half pages on folio sheets (8 x 12.5 inches; 203 x 317 mm.). On ruled yellow legal paper, rectos only. Written in pencil. Horizontal creases, some rubbing, else fine. This letter is written to his friend George Wallace, and is in answer to Wallace's inquiry of what Mack (apparently there was a real-life Mack who lived in Monterey, and who was the basis for the character of the same name in Cannery Row) was like under his smart exterior. Steinbeck provides a lengthy and insightful analysis of Mack. Some excerpts: "He was quick and gay and smart. Not well educated, but he picked up things quickly. He got so that he could do many things around the lab, techniques of injection and dissection [from assisting "Steinbeck's friend, Ed Ricketts, the basis of "Doc" in the same novel]... He was a drunk and when drunk was completely undependable. This used to make him very sad... He was an offbeat character. I think essentially very lonely. He would wander around at night looking for some one to talk to... After I left, he would write to me often-very amusing letters. I heard that he kicked the hell out of a tourist in a bar who said something against me... I don't know whether this will help or not. But it may show you that he was not a one dimensional guy. The gaiety was real but underneath there seemed to be a little kid begging to be like and never believing he succeeded." The first page of this is framed and glazed with other Steinbeck-related items (the other two pages are in a pouch on the back of the frame), including a program for the stage version of Pipe Dream; a promotional photo of Steinbeck; eight Steinbeck commemorative postage stamps; and an envelope of Steinbeck's stationery. Overall, an excellent letter.

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    Auction Dates
    March, 2018
    7th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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