JOHN STEINBECK - DOCUMENT SIGNED 02/18/1947 - HFSID 101247
STEINBECK COLLECTS FOREIGN ROYALTIES ON WAR-TIME PLAY JOHN STEINBECK. Typed DS: "John Steinbeck", 1p, 7½x9¾. No place, 1947 February 18. In
Sale Price $2,337.50
STEINBECK COLLECTS FOREIGN ROYALTIES ON WAR-TIME PLAY
JOHN STEINBECK. Typed DS: "John Steinbeck", 1p, 7½x9¾. No place, 1947 February 18. In full: "This is to authorize Mademoiselle Marie Louise Bataille, 150 Boulevard Hausmann, Paris 8, representative of Mr. Franz J. Horch 325 East 57th Street, New York 22 N.Y. to collect all sums of money due to me out of French and Belgium performances of my play THE MOON IS DOWN. Mademoiselle Bataille is authorized to conduct all negotiations in connection with the French production of the aforesaid play and to act on my behalf in all matters concerning this production. The "Société des Auteurs" is hereby instructed to pay all sums of money due to me to the aforesaid Mademoiselle Marie Louise Bataille." American novelist and playwright John Ernst Steinbeck, Jr. (1902-1968) signed this authorization to allow Marie Louise Bataille to collect royalties due him for the adaptation and the use of his play, The Moon is Down, which was being performed in French in both France and Belgium. Steinbeck had already received a large sum of money from selling the film rights for the play to Warner Brothers. He was originally promised $300,000, the largest amount offered by a movie studio for an individual story, but Steinbeck actually received less than half that sum. The movie, considered the best of the resistance films, premiered in 1943, the year after the play and novelette of the same title were published. The Moon is Down deals with the Nazi occupation of a European country during WWII (1939-1945). Steinbeck wrote it as a contribution to the war effort, though many critics claimed that it actually helped the Nazi war effort by portraying the German fascists as too humane. Critics further complained that Steinbeck's belief that free men always win wars gave a too optimistic view of the war's outcome. They also feared that his support of the underground would encourage Nazis to take a stronger stand against members of the resistance. The Moon Is Down was well received in Europe because it helped keep up the morale in the resistance movement. Europeans found it remarkable than an American who had never lived in an occupied nation could relate to their situation so well. The year after this contract was signed, Steinbeck suffered a nervous breakdown following two major upheavals in his life; his best friend was killed in an auto accident, and his second wife, Gwyndolyn Conger, wanted a divorce. He vented his emotions in his next two major works, Burning Bright (1950) and East of Eden (1952). Lightly creased with folds, light horizontal fold at the descender of the "J". Slightly soiled. Fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 30x20½.
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