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LOT 3088
5th November 2019
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LOT 3088
DOCUMENTS. - J.D. SALINGER. [Two documents typed on paper by the author J.D. Salinger, one of them signed with initials and dated in ink. Cornish, N.H.: 1978.] Two sheets (293 x 207mm.) One sheet has the 'Cornish, N.H' address, the date 'March, 6, 1978' and contains seven typed lines and signs off 'Sincerely' with 'JDS' in ink and the name 'J.D. Salinger' typed below. (Some fading to the type, some of the letter 'o''s have punched through the paper, some creasing along the two folds.) The other sheet is titled 'King and the Old Man' and is a ten line parable with some archaic spelling (creasing along the folds, some fading to the type and some of the letter 'o''s have punched through the paper.) Note: the first document reads in full: 'Cornish, N.H, March, 6, 1978/ The avator [sic] of selfishness/ breath of air/ Adam,s [sic] ale/ To wear the badge of poverty. They cross in front the butk [sic]/ To tie-in a softly falling. By the way… present life cannot… the darkest hour is before the dawn. Sincerely, J.D. Salinger'. The second document reads in full: 'King and the Old Man/ One day King was travelling the country with some great lords/ He was beloved of all, and took no account of a mans position/ but spoke to everyone. He spoke to certain old men too,, [sic] who had once been a soldier under him. After a word or two/ he realised who he was for King would recognise all that had/ served under him even when years had gone by,,/ In honour, old man, said the king/ Thank to the wife replied old man/ How many do you earn? Asked the king/ a Six answeres the old'. The documents came from the vendor's father who was friends with Mr. Janos Domokos, a director of the Hungarian publishing company 'Európa Konyvkiadó', that published 'Catcher in the Rye' in Hungary in 1974. The vendor's father met with Salinger. Salinger biographer, Kenneth Slawenksi, was able to show that a year prior to typing these documents Salinger's Remington typewriter was beginning to malfunction. He showed evidence of how some keys were overhitting the paper and filling in the 'o''s and some other letters. Slawenski also mentioned that in that in the late 1970's Salinger was at his most interested in Vedanta Hinduism. Salinger had long been interested in alternative spiritual and dietary disciplines, having studied under Swami Nikhilananda in the early 1950's. He considered Nikhilananda's translation of 'The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna' as the 'greatest religious book of the century'. These two documents, though cryptic, do suggest the influence of Vedanta Hinduism, possibly in response to a query. After his death, it was reported that among Salinger's unpublished writings was a story-telling manual relating to Vedanta, and it might be that the second document relates to that. With thanks to Kenneth Slawenski for assisting with the cataloguing of this lot.
Hammer price: £800
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