Oct 29, 2009 - Sale 2192

Sale 2192 - Lot 211

Price Realized: $ 9,000
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
"I KNOW A LOT ABOUT AMERICANS, I'VE HATED THEM SO HARD" BALDWIN, JAMES. Typed Letter Signed, "Jimmy," to editor Samuel L. Blumenfeld ("Dear Sam"), announcing his intention to finish a possibly unpublished work, Letter for My Younger Brother, extensively describing his thoughts on his newly begun second novel [Giovanni's Room], and elaborately requesting a loan of $20. 5 pages, 4to, written on one side of each sheet; folds. Cannes, [11 February 1954] /> ...

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". . . I suppose Knopf is interested in the second novel, on which, . . . and after a long attack of second novel jitters, have begun to work. . . . God knows how it will go, it may all evaporate beneath my hands tomorrow--it's in that awful stage when you feel as though you're running one of those crazy egg-races . . . .
"This is either going to be a very good book or a very bad book, it's as unlike Go Tell It as anything could possibly be, in the e ...
". . . I suppose Knopf is interested in the second novel, on which, . . . and after a long attack of second novel jitters, have begun to work. . . . God knows how it will go, it may all evaporate beneath my hands tomorrow--it's in that awful stage when you feel as though you're running one of those crazy egg-races . . . .
"This is either going to be a very good book or a very bad book, it's as unlike Go Tell It as anything could possibly be, in the entire woodpile there's not a single nigger. It's all about Americans, and it's done . . . with wit and malice and perception and cruelty and love: with love above all. You know, I know a lot about Americans, I've hated them so hard, and watched them so hard, and loved them so hard--so this is my attempt to give expression to, and to personally transcend[,] an awful pain which was once a bottomless bitterness, which is now no longer either, though the wound remains.
". . . I distrust novelists talking about their works in progress--it betrays a state of nerves, but, then, you know how prone I am to be in a state of nerves--we'll let it wait until we can have a dry martini together, or something. But it is, in a way, the sequel to Go Tell It on the Mountain . . . .
"You see the wretched pretexts a novelist uncertain about his new novel will descend to in order to delay the moment when he must go to work. . . . I want you, as quickly as you can, if you can, to loan me twenty dollars. . . . I'm asking you because you're the only person I know in NY who subscribes to two conditions, (a) you won't lecture me, and (b) you have a job. . . ."