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    "Will write good stuff from Key West."

    [Ernest Hemingway]. Autograph Letter Signed by Ernest Hemingway to Esquire Publisher Arnold Gingrich, Recounting Tales and Travails in Africa.

    Two-page letter, written on both sides of one sheet of notepaper with letterhead of the New Stanley Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. Letter is addressed "Dear Arnold" and is signed "Yours always, Ernest Hemingway." Dated "Jan. 18" [1934]. In fine condition, with one horizontal fold at the center. Sheet measures 4.5 x 7 inches. With transmittal envelope, addressed to "Arnold Gingritch [sic], Esq.," presumably in Hemingway's hand, with the return address on the flap reading "E. Hemingway, Care Barclays Bank, Nairobi, Kenya." Envelope with cancelled stamps, postmarked January 19, 1934.

    A chatty, somewhat scattershot letter in which Hemingway writes to Arnold Gingrich about recent exploits in East Africa. Arnold Gingrich (1903-1976), founder and editor of Esquire magazine, had asked Hemingway if he would agree to be a regular contributor to the magazine as it was about to be launched in 1933. Hemingway agreed as long as he could write about any topic he wished. This arrangement lasted for three years, during which Hemingway contributed twenty-five essays and six stories to the magazine.

    This letter suggests that the two had a congenial relationship (despite the fact that Hemingway misspells Gingrich's name on the envelope). In addition to discussing business matters, Hemingway recommends writer friends Gingrich should hire (Malcolm Cowley, Alfred Vanderbilt, and Evan Shipman), mentions an upcoming vacation of sword- and sailfishing, and discusses his recent hunting exploits ("killed my 2 buffalo with the 30-06 Springfield [...] [g]ot some beauties and some wonderful heads"). He describes (at some length) his recent bout with dysentery, concluding somewhat bitterly with a comment about certain people in the circle of Gertrude Stein: "One of Gertrude's feathered friends told her Papa was always breaking things, getting sick etc. But wonder what would happen to G. and her friends if they went where Papa goes and did what Papa does."

    The letter's primary focus, though, is business, with Hemingway updating Gingrich on his progress on the "Letter from Tanganyika" he is writing for Esquire, apologizing for the lateness of his submission due to his illness, and suggesting that instead of writing quarterly pieces for the magazine that he "will do you 12 a year if you want. When get back to Key West will do 3 or 4 so you will have some ahead and not have to worry." He promises he "will write good stuff from Key West."

    This is a great letter, full of humor, interesting tidbits and asides, and with an inside look at the way in which Hemingway managed his business obligations.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
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