ISRAEL ZANGWILL - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 07/11/1895 - HFSID 73214
Sale Price $324.00
His handwritten letter (1895), a cryptic refusal of an invitation, signed by him as "Diogenes Zangwill."
Autograph Letter signed: "Diogenes Zangwill", 1 page, 4½x7. London, 1895 July 11. On personal letterhead to "Dear Miss Cromartin [?]. In full: "I should have been delighted to have come on the 18th, but you forget that I am living in a tub. Yours". English playwright and novelist Israel Zangwill (1864-1926) wrote many novels on Jewish themes, including The Children of the Ghetto (1892), The King of the Schnorrers (1894) and Dreamers of the Ghettos (1898). He had tremendous American success with The Melting Pot (1908), a drama of ethnic fusion in America. Zangwill joined the Zionist cause of Herzl, but broke with Herzl to establish a rival Territorialist movement, aimed at creating a Jewish homeland in any available territory, not necessarily in Israel. This letter merits further research. Zangwill here alludes to Diogenes of Sinope (412-323 BCE), a Greek philosopher who demonstrated his commitment to a simple life by living in a tub. Diogenes also carried a lantern through the streets in daylight, claiming that he was searching in vain for an honest man. Was this reference an in-joke between Zangwill and his would-be hostess, or possibly even a veiled insult? Zangwill was known for his clever ripostes, which were sometimes biting. Lightly worn at edges and corners. Fold crease, not near signature. Otherwise, fine condition.
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