Jeff at Syntax of Things always locates the coolest items and yesterday was no different. He found this Reuters report about a letter written by William Faulkner that drew nearly $18,000 at auction on Sunday. In the missive, Faulkner complains about being conned into signing a seven year contract with Warner Bros film studio.
Some F. Scott Fitzgerald letters at the same auction drew less money than the Faulkner piece. However, I would love to own the “hand-written note in which he [Fitzgerald] apologizes to his agent for his behavior while drunk.”
One summer during college, I worked at Neilson’s Department Store. Opened in 1839, the company moved to its current location in 1887, and is the oldest department store in the South. During my breaks, I frequently read a 1941 letter William Faulkner had written to the store.
Always short of cash, Faulkner informed the merchant that he was unable to pay his debts and that what little cash he had coming in would go to pay for gas and electricity, not clothes and such. “You may get an autographed book and that will be worth a damned sight more than an autographed check in a few years,” Faulkner wrote.