Lot 372

J.D. Salinger 3x Signed ALS Re: "god-awful dinner party in Weston"

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J.D. Salinger 3x Signed ALS Re: "god-awful dinner party in Weston"

Estimate: $6,000 - $7,000

Starting Bid: $2,000

(0 Bids)

December 14, 2022 11:00 AM EST
Live Auction
Wilton, CT, US


J.D. Salinger 3x Signed ALS Re: "god-awful dinner party in Weston"

A 1p autograph letter three times signed by American author J.D. Salinger (1919-2010): the first time as "Jerry" at the conclusion of the letter; the second time as "J" in the postscript; and as "Salinger" in the return address section of the included transmittal envelope. N.d. except "Sunday," but the postmarked envelope indicates this was Sunday, May 21, 1950. Westport, Connecticut. Written on a leaf of watermarked onionskin paper, showing expected wear including flattened transmittal folds, some with minor closed tears or isolated areas of separation. Lightly toned and with a few extra wrinkles. Else near fine. 8.5" x 11." The accompanying envelope is also engrossed by Salinger, bearing a cancelled 3-cent stamp and postmarked from Westport, letter-opened and heavily worn.

Portions of the letter have been electronically redacted to protect the privacy of the author and the letter's recipient. The letter itself has no redaction and is legible in full.

Salinger wrote this letter to his close friend, Joyce Miller. Miller was a staff writer at "The New Yorker" where Salinger had published most of his short stories since 1942, and it's likely that Salinger met Miller through his ties to the magazine. Salinger reports what he had been doing since seeing Joyce the previous Friday night. He had visited their mutual friends Peter De Vries (1910-1993) and Katinka Loeser (1913-1991), who had lived in Westport since 1948, where Salinger begrudgingly admitted that he had had a good time. Then, he went to an event in Weston, Connecticut that stressed and bored the mostly solitary writer.

Salinger elaborated: "…I got stuck at this god-awful dinner party in Weston…with some advertising goon." The rest of the letter is redacted for copyright purposes.

Devotees of "The Catcher in the Rye" will recognize its protagonist Holden Caulfield's voice in Salinger's letter. It seems that the real-life Salinger was just as morbidly self-aware as Caulfield, the snarky teenager protagonist who would debut with the publication of "The Catcher and the Rye" the following spring. Salinger loathed talking to the "advertising goon" about mundane things like cigarette brands.

Peter De Vries, like Joyce Miller, worked at the "New Yorker." De Vries maintained a working relationship with the popular magazine from 1944-1987.

American writer J.D. Salinger reached cult status after the publication of his 1951 novel "The Catcher in the Rye," which captured the jaded zeitgeist of a postwar adolescent generation. Salinger profiled members of the zany Glass Family in a string of short stories and novels including "Franny and Zooey" (1961).

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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