CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne (''Mark Twain'') (1835-1910). Autograph letter signed twice (''Samuel L. Clemens'' and ''S.L.C.''), including an autograph post-script signed from Livy L. Clemens (''Livy L. Clemens''), to Dr John Brown, Quarry Farm, near El...
Schätzpreis: 20.000 $ - 30.000 $
Zuschlagspreis: n. a.
CLEMENS, Samuel Langhorne ("Mark Twain") (1835-1910). Autograph letter signed twice ("Samuel L. Clemens" and "S.L.C."), including an autograph post-script signed from Livy L. Clemens ("Livy L. Clemens"), to Dr John Brown, Quarry Farm, near Elmira, New York, 4 September 1874. 17 pages (16 comprising Clemens's letter, with one-page autograph post-script from Livy Clemens), 114 x 178mm, on his Farmington Avenue Hartford stationery, sewn at left margin. In the throes of Tom Sawyer: Clemens pens a remarkable letter lifting the curtain on the process of writing one of his best-known novels. "I have been writing fifty pages of manuscript a day, on an average, for some time now, on a book (a story) & consequently have been so wrapped up in it & so dead to everything else, that I have fallen mighty short in letter-writing. But night before last I discovered that that day's chapter was a failure, in conception, moral, truth to nature & execution – enough blemishes to impair the Excellence of almost any chapter & so, I must burn up the day's work & do it all over again…" He continues: "It was plain that I had worked myself out, pumped myself dry. So I knocked off, & went to playing billiards for a change. I haven't had an idea or fancy for two days now – an excellent time to write to friends who have plenty of ideas & fancies of their own & so will prefer all the offerings of the heart before those of the head." Clemens had begun work on his masterpiece in late April; by this date, the manuscript consisted of some 400 pages, but as it turned out, his vacation from his labor – described in his letter to Brown as a brief interlude of billiards – would last until the following summer. He completed his first draft in July 1875. John Brown (1810-1882) was a Scottish physician and essayist, and the Clemens family became close with him during their visit to Edinburgh. Clemens's letter also gives a detailed description of his Elmira farm and studio, and encloses a set of photographs (two reproductions of which are present in lieu of originals). Letters from Clemens discussing the writing of Tom Sawyer are scarce on the market. Kaplan, Mr. Clemens and Mark Twain , pp.178-180; Letters , p.224.[ Together with :] Modern prints of two photographs. Provenance (for letter): Christie's New York, 22 May 1981, lot 70 – Christie's New York, 9 June 1992, lot 43.
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