DU BOSE HEYWARD Following the stage success of Porgy and Bess, he signs a typed letter (with handwritten postscript) to a fellow writer, suggesting collaboration on a film adaptation of another of his novels, Lost Morning

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DU BOSE HEYWARD Following the stage success of Porgy and Bess, he signs a typed letter (with handwritten postscript) to a fellow writer, suggesting collaboration on a film adaptation of another of his novels, Lost Morning. Typed Letter signed: "DuBose", 2 pages (front and verso), 7¼x10½. Hendersonville, North Carolina, circa 1936. On personal letterhead to "Dear Elizabeth". In full: "I am so happy that you like LOST MORNING. I wish, though, that you hadn't seen those proofs, but the corrected copy. I did a lot for it in little ways - pulling it together - toning it down where I had let my vice of purple writing get the better of me. It will be manufactured now in about ten days and I'll  try to get a copy right out to you. But I suppose all of that is paternal pride stuff and has nothing to do with picture value. In the same mail with yours comes a letter from Farrar's picture manager, Miss Sherer. I suppose I have no business to, but I want you to see it, so I am sending it along and relying on your discretion to read it and return it to me. I am doing this, Elizabeth, because if the picture is sold I would like you to work on it. Translating it into terms of action from its present telling in terms of psychological effect of action upon character will be one hell of a job. You would know what it is about, and I don't think many of the slick, successful Coast writers would, or care. I have told myself that if I sold it I would kiss it goodbye and not weep over what should happen to it afterwards. But if you had a chance of interesting some sympathetic producer in some sort of hook-up by which the story and you and I could all be acquired in a sweeping gesture, and we could take a swing at it together, I'd like that. Idea being that you would sweat early and late, while I would indulge my Southern nature to the full, loaf about the studio, offer trite and useless ideas, then - having learned at least one Hollywood lesson - come screaming for the full credit when it was all over. But, joking aside, (yes, it was a joke) I am rather excited about taking a crack at it that way if it is possible. And I shall write to Miss Sherer and ask her not to close definitely (if she gets an offer) if it is possible to hold off for you to have a chance to think it over and do what you can. Of course I am not telling her that I am open for an engagement now under any conditions. Keep me posted, dear Elizabeth, by airmail or wire if anything breaks. And bless you for liking it. With love, [handwritten: "Over". I suppose any negotiations for my services should be handled through Arthur Landau, and for the story, of course through Farrar & Rinehart." Postscript in Heyward's hand: "If you couldn't - or would rather not - tie me in on it, but could take it on solo, that would be quite ok and my blessings upon you."  Poet, novelist and screenwriter DuBose Heyward (1885-1940) wrote the novel Porgy (1924); he and his wife Dorothy wrote a play of the same name (1927). Porgy and Bess, which opened on Broadway in 1935, followed the play very closely. While the music is George Gershwin's, most of the lyrics are by Heyward, even though the more famous Ira Gershwin commonly receives more credit for them. Heyward's sympathetic and informed portrayal of southern African-Americans was unusual for white Americans of his era. Heyward wrote several other books, as well as the screenplays for the film adaptations of Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones and Pearl Buck's The Good Earth. His hopes for a film version of Lost Morning (936) were not fulfilled, however. DuBose Heyward is included in Stephen Sondheim's Invisible Ghosts: Fifty Americans Who Shaped History but Missed the History Books. Fold creases, not at signature. Fine condition.   

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