Description

    Three John Steinbeck Unpublished Short Stories. This lot is unprecedented as far as we can tell. It features three hitherto unpublished Steinbeck short stories, purportedly written at the start of his writing career. Accompanying these three stories is a letter which contains the fascinating and amazing story, it reads; "Dear Command in Chief of the Legion of Steinbeckians: Here are milord John's earliest attempts and damn good ones they are too! Yers and yers" [sic] "ago when he was still in the youthful, passionate stages of indiscriminate loving he turned out these gems in a tiny room overlooking the Third Avenue 'L'. 'The Days of Long Marsh', 'The Nymph and Isobel', and 'The Nail' are probably John Steinbeck's first serious writings. I am quite sure they have never been published. As John's first 'literary agent and half baked adviser' I don't recall whether he gave these to me in payment of some slight debt, or for placement. In any case I've had them about ten years. Haven't the foggiest idea why I didn't burn them along with hundreds of my own stories, and those of others, when we left New York. I discussed possible publication of these stories with John when I saw him in Mexico City last Fall. Frankly he'd forgotten their existence. He did not want them to be published without seeing them and completely re-writing them because he was convinced they were no good. Frankly, I feel they were beautifully done and I am happy to pass them into your keeping with my compliments. Someday, whoknows [sic], you may get rich from them!!!!! Then you'll remember to throw a crumb to the one-time pots and pants salesman for the May Company."

    This letter was written to Mr. Paul Jordan Smith, a literary critic and friend to Steinbeck. He supported Steinbeck in his early career so these would have no doubt been of great interest to him personally. There are but a few times in the career of a writer where he/she can truly express a unique voice and position. Steinbeck, having been so well known throughout his career, has a chance, even now, seventy years after these were written to express a new side of himself. That is what the business of collectibles and antiques is truly about. It personifies the idea that we can preserve the cultural record and maintain it for generations to come. In addition to that duty, we also, on rare and wonderful occasions, have the opportunity to present something entirely new and unique to the world. This is one such time. The three stories offered in this once in a lifetime lot are; "The Days of Long Marsh", The Nymph and Isobel", and "The Nail."

    All these stories are in fine condition on average, presented in plastic sleeves. They do show signs of age and acid degradation. The letter is slightly torn on the edges and is beginning to become brittle with acid damage. Overall, a fantastic lot, with potential to be incredibly precious for the new owner!


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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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