JOHN STEINBECK - CONTRACT SIGNED 02/24/1947 - HFSID 350485
Sale Price $1,912.50
Steinbeck authorizes the French production of a war-time play.
Typewritten contract signed: "John Steinbeck", 3p, 8x12½ Paris, France, 1947 February 24. John Ernest Steinbeck Jr. signed this contract, dated February 24, 1947, to permit Madame Rose Belin, the Director of the Saint George Theater, to finance productions of his play, The Moon Is Down, in France and Belgium. The contract also provided for the translation of the play into French. Steinbeck had written the play during World War II (1939-1945); it had opened on Broadway on April 8, 1942. After completing the play, Steinbeck immediately adapted it into a novelette with the same title. The Moon is Down deals with the Nazi occupation of a European country; Steinbeck wrote it as a contribution to the war effort while working with the Coordinator of Information, an agency created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) to combat Nazi propaganda with Allied films and literary works. The play was criticized in the United States for its humanizing portrayal of German fascists: however, it was well-received in Europe since it encouraged the resistance underground movement. Outlawed by the Nazis, The Moon Is Down was reprinted by members of the underground and was surreptitiously passed throughout the occupied territories; anyone caught with a copy was executed by the Germans. On November 15, 1946, only four months before he signed this contract. Steinbeck was presented Norway's King Haakon's Liberty Cross for having written this play. Previously, the award had only been given to Norwegian resistance heroes. In 1947, Steinbeck's The Pearl and The Wayward Bus were published. Although he is best remembered for his Pulitzer prize-winning The Grapes of Wrath (1939), his other works include: Cannery Row (1945) and East of Eden (1952). He also wrote several screenplays including the story line for Alfred Hitchcock's movie, Lifeboat (1944). In 1962, Steinbeck received the Nobel Prize for Literature primarily for his novel The Winter of Our Discontent (1961). Lightly creased with folds. Staple holes at upper left. Fine condition. Framed to an overall size of 35x29. Frame exhibits wearing at corners and some minor chipping.
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