Lot 618: Three ALSs in German, totaling five pages on three sheets, various sizes, dated 1963–1964. All are to German publisher Joseph Meltzer. One letter, in part (translated): "My thanks for your letter and for the two books is late—I sincerely ask you to forgive this tardiness. Quite frankly, I was so distressed by your lines that I knew not what to answer. A few days later, in Zurich, I was able to speak with Margarete Susman about you and the things that befall you—you will have hardly an idea of the vivid understanding and alert attention with which this singular, unique lady appreciates all that causes you such grief...During the last years I myself have experienced so many disappointments that Paul Schallueck is the only person in your vicinity whom I could name who might have an ear for all this, and a hand capable of doing what is necessary. But perhaps, I still do hope it, there remain people on whom you may count in areas where one concerns oneself with Jewishness for other reasons than overt charity or to establish an alibi. You see: all I have to offer you is perplexity...and this minute piece of hope that seeks a home on common ground." In overall fine condition, with light creases, filing holes to edges, and some trivial brushing to ink. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope addressed in Celan's hand, incorporating his name in the return address on the flap. An interesting letter with its mention of writer Margarete Susman, who also wrote on the position of Judaism in a Christian environment and feelings of displacement in the postwar era. Both of their lives were heavily affected by the Nazi rise to power in World War II, with Celan imprisoned in a labor camp and Susman fleeing to Switzerland, and their experiences heavily influenced their writing. A fine group of letters with desirable literary associations.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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