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Lot 13: Letter from Saul Bellow, Canadian-American writer and winner of Nobel & Pulitzer prizes
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: “I suspect that psychiatrists are like museum guides or other adult-educators, they give the patient a language in which to talk to himself about himself” ********** BELLOW, SAUL. (1915-2005). Canadian-American writer and winner of the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes and three National Book Awards. TPCS. (“S Bellow”). 1p. Postcard. West Halifax, Vermont, August 13, 1982. To notable Civil War scholar and autograph collector ARNOLD F. GATES (1914-1993). ********** “Well, of course the artist couldn’t have told you what he meant, he hadn’t taken courses in his own work. The young lady had had the courses. She also had assumed responsibility for talking to people who were filled with a sense of their ignorance and had come to learn how to talk about paintings valued by the whole world. Why were they valued, shown in a special New York building, etc? One has to know what to say about things, or else suffer the burden of ignorance. I suspect that psychiatrists are like museum guides or other adult-educators, they give the patient a language in which to talk to himself about himself. It’s quite a subject. Thanks for your note…” ********** Beginning in 1962 and for more than three decades, Bellow was a professor attached to the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He became a best-selling writer with Herzog, a novel about a college professor whose letters are never sent, including some to the dead, which some suggest is autobiographical. His 1975 book Humboldt’s Gift, inspired by the life of poet Delmore Schwartz, explored themes of art, power and the American consumer culture. His contribution to literature was acknowledged by his receipt of the 1976 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1976 Nobel Prize in literature. He was also won three National Book Awards for Fiction and numerous other honors. ********** Gates, a well-respected amateur historian of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, devoted 50 years to researching those subjects, reviewing books for the Lincoln Herald and contributing to such works as the anthology Lincoln for the Ages. He was an avid letter writer and “friend and unofficial agent of many a noted author,” (“Autographica Curiosa: How Not to Impress Emily Post,” Autograph Magazine, Butts). ********** On a pre-printed and stamped postcard; in fine condition.