Jun 15, 2023 - Sale 2641

Sale 2641 - Lot 96

Price Realized: $ 15,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 7,000 - $ 10,000
FINISHING "CATCHER," ADVISING WRITER: "DON'T WORRY ABOUT CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT" SALINGER, J.D. Typed Letter Signed, "Jerry," to staff writer at The New Yorker Joyce Miller, with holograph postscript ("Miss you"), describing his having written through the distractions of a rain storm, reporting that he is nearly finished [with Catcher in the Rye (1951)], joking about a story she is working on, recalling a dinner party and concluding from the encounter that writers should stay away from each other, explaining that it is difficult for him to keep his mind off his work, planning to type up his book at the apartment belonging to his parents, reminding her of their lunch date, and encouraging her to continue working on her story. 1 page, 4to, onionskin paper; small holes at fold intersections with minor loss to small portion of a word. With the original envelope, addressed in holograph Westport, CT, "Monday night" [29 May 1950]

Additional Details

"Sharing my brand-new silk typewriter ribbon with you. The supreme sacrifice. Some men covet Cadillacs, homes in the country, etc. With me, it's typewriter ribbons.
"It's been raining here all day, banging on my roof like stones. I've worked, though. Another forty hours and I'll probably be done. I doubt if I have the whole thing ready by Saturday, though. . . .
"Dinner with the DeVries last night, over at some Japanese restaurant near the beach. Another New Yorker guy and his wife came along. A very nice dinner, but too much shop talk afterward. Writers, writers, writers. If only we could do our work and then shut up when we're finished. We talk so goddamn much, and we're such hopeless megalomaniacs. The wives aren't much help. In fact, they're worse than the writers. More dogmatic in their opinions. We should all stay away from each other.
"Dinner tonight over at the Mitchells', my Canadian friends. I just walked in, ate like a pig, then sat in absolute silence for an hour. My mind's hopelessly singletracked, and I'm quite a little bore when I'm working on a script.
"I've sort of given up the hotel idea for Wednesday. It involves too much moving and rearranging, and I think I can finish typing up the book at my parents' apartment gracefully enough.
"Don't forget our 11:30 lunch date at the Biltmore Thursday. I'll be sitting in the lobby. I'll flirt with you, over my fan.
"I'm thinking of you, and I hope vice versa. Work on your nice story, like a good girl. Don't worry about character development and the other textbook claptrap. Just keep the action going--like the little girl wiping off her hand--and the dialogue sounding real, and you won't have anything important to worry about. . . ."