Lot 645: ALS, one page, 7.5 x 11, Finca Vigia, San Francisco de Paula, Cuba letterhead, March 8, 1960. Hemingway writes to Ed Thompson, his editor at Life magazine, which had commissioned what was supposed to be a short article on bullfighting. Even before he was finished, Hemingway realized that the piece had grown into something much more substantial, inducing him to explain the situation in responding to a communication from Thompson. In full: "Thank you very much for your cable about the bullfight story. I hope it will be good. Asked Bill Lang to send you a copy of a letter I sent him explaining why I had to make it longer than I planned when I started it. Just now had a cable from him that he had been away at Agader but presume he will forward a copy of the letter now. I should have called you immediately to thank you for your cable but have been concentrating so hard on the piece that have let correspondence slide shamefully." After signing, Hemingway adds a postscript, signing again with his initials: "Have written 6500 words since called Bill Feb. 28th which is a lot of words for me. Trying hard to hold down and will start the work again when finish this." Matted and framed with a photo to an overall size of 19 x 16. In fine condition, with Hemingway changing pens halfway through the letter (the second half lighter than the first), penciled notation and small paperclip stain at top edge, a few wrinkles, and a very subtle touch of scattered soiling. The book that evolved from his Life commission, The Dangerous Summer, was a yearlong chronicle of the rivalry between two matadors. Published in 1960, it was the last major work that Hemingway completed. In fact, scholars conject that it was Hemingway's inability to edit this piece that led to his belief that he could no longer write to his full potential and, ultimately, his suicide in 1962.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 460
Wednesday, 16th September 2015
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