Feb 17, 2022 - Sale 2595

Sale 2595 - Lot 115

Price Realized: $ 1,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 500 - $ 750
THE WRITER'S LIFE: "A LIFE WHERE NOTHING EVER HAPPENS . . . EXCEPT INSIDE YOU" MILLER, ARTHUR. Three items, each Signed: Typed Letter * Flyer for a production of Death of a Salesman * Photograph Signed. The letter, to "Dear Mr. Norbutt," responding to his questions about what gives a piece of writing lasting importance and the nature of the writer's life. 1 page, 4to, personal stationery. The flyer, advertising the 1974 revival production at the Walnut theater in Philadelphia, featuring a reproduction of a drawing by Zipin showing Miller's head. Signed diagonally at lower right. 8x5 1/4 inches. The photograph, half-length seated portrait by AMW showing miller looking into the camera [on his 79th birthday]. Signed diagonally at lower right. 8 1/2x6 1/2 inches. Np, 9 April 1979; nd; nd

Additional Details

". . . I was in China . . . and on returning spent all my time writing a book which is at last finished and at the printers. ('Chinese Encounters'.) I don't know if you are still working in Bed-Stuy with addicts, but if you are and if your question still holds I'll try to answer it.
"The question was, what gives a work 'lasting' importance; (plus another--'is being blessed with a writers creativity a blessing or a lonely life?')
"The question is hard to answer mainly because there are so many different kinds of writing that have lasted. Shakespeare lasts, probably, because of the beauty of his language more than anything else, but a writer translated from another language, like Tolstoy, is forever new because of his stories and characters. A book like Robinson Crusoe, on the other hand, probably lasts so long because of the idea behind the story, one which reflects something we have all imagined at one time or another--being cut off from the whole world. A writer like Mark Twain probably lasts because of both his humor and the nostalgia his tales evoke in us for a simpler America.
"So I don't know of any single reason that would explain them all. . . .
". . . [W]riting lasts when it conveys a clear and vivid impression of itself, while at the same time it is complex enough to bear re-reading and study. The clarity of the expression seems most important. In short, whatever it is, it is just that most sharply and clearly so that it imbeds itself in the readers' minds.
"As for the writer's life--the best of it is that you are independent of others, but it is a very lonely life and you have to be built for it to endure. It's a life where nothing ever happens--nothing that really matters--except inside you, a life where very few times are you satisfied. But I wouldn't trade it for any other."