Title: John Steinbeck Manuscripts, Including Dog-eaten Fragment from Of Mice and Men, Set for Auction
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John Steinbeck enthusiasts will have an opportunity to own a unique piece of literary history next month as a surviving fragment of his original draft of Of Mice and Men, partially eaten by his dog, Toby, will go up for auction. The incident, described as a “minor tragedy” by the acclaimed author himself, occurred in 1936 when Steinbeck had to redo two months’ worth of work due to the dog’s unexpected intervention.
Scheduled to take place in New York on October 25, the auction will feature not only the dog-eaten fragment but an array of other significant manuscripts, letters, and personal items from the iconic novelist. The torn fragment particularly catches attention, as it contains references to the main characters, Lennie and George, in Of Mice and Men.
Steinbeck’s frustration at having to redo his work stemmed from his belief that Toby, his loyal companion, was acting critically and did not wish to ruin him for a manuscript. The author shared his heartfelt sentiments in a letter to his editor in 1936, exhibiting his dedication and commitment to producing high-quality literature.
In addition to the dog-eaten fragment, Steinbeck’s personal journal from 1949, expressing his profound despair following the loss of his wife, children, and best friend, will also be featured in the auction. These deeply personal items, alongside correspondence between Steinbeck and his family, are anticipated to fetch prices ranging from $250,000 to $350,000.
The items up for sale originate from the family of Steinbeck’s youngest sister, Mary Steinbeck Dekker, ensuring the authenticity and significance of each piece. A wrought-iron sword gifted by Steinbeck to his sister will also be included in the auction, adding to the sense of personal connection.
Among the highlights of the auction is the original typed manuscript of Steinbeck’s debut novel, Cup of Gold, complete with margin notes and corrections made by the author himself. It is anticipated to reach a final bidding price between $100,000 and $150,000.
Furthermore, one of the ten specially bound copies of The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, will also be auctioned. With its literary significance and prestigious accolades, it is expected to generate significant interest among passionate Steinbeck collectors.
The upcoming auction offers an extraordinary opportunity for fans and collectors alike to own and cherish pieces of John Steinbeck’s life and literary journey. It is a chance to acquire artifacts that not only reveal the author’s creative process but also provide insights into his personal emotions and experiences.
As October 25 approaches, anticipation continues to grow within the literary community, with speculations abounding regarding the final sale prices for these highly sought-after Steinbeck memorabilia. One thing is certain – this auction will be an unforgettable event for all lovers of literature and John Steinbeck’s timeless works.