The viaLibri website requires cookies to work properly. You can find more information in our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Recently found by viaLibri....

Typed Letter Signed with annotations, with handwritten post script also signed, 2 separate 4to pp on "Hotel Elysee" stationery, large 4to, n.p., New York, n.y.
- Marx writes a rich letter to his family, "Svenskie, Arthur, Miriam and Ma" on Sunday afternoon. Probably written between 1931 and 1932, this letter to his family in Los Angeles talks about his work and mentions many people he knew in those days but also expresses his loneliness, missing his family and his home. He addresses the letter to "Svensk, Arthur, Miriam and Ma." It seems plausible to assume that Svensk is a nickname he called his wife, Ruth (Johnson) as she was the daughter of a Swedish immigrant. They were married in 1920, their son, Arthur, was born in 1921, and their daughter, Miriam, was born in 1927. Groucho's mother, Minnie, died in September of 1929, so it seems likely that his reference to "Ma" would be his mother-in-law. The Marx family moved to Los Angeles in 1931. According to "Groucho Marx and Other Short Stories and Tall Tales?," edited by Robert S. Bader, Groucho first met Arthur Sheekman in Chicago, during the run of "Animal Crackers." Sheekman was a columnist for the Chicago Times. Before working on "Duck Soup," Sheekman moved to New York in 1932 to work on Groucho and Chico's radio show "Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel." Groucho begins by describing New York, being nostalgic for California, and wishing his family was with him. "This is Sunday afternoon, a particularly gloomy Sunday too." He mentions walking in Central Park saying "how I miss the green grass and the trees? thing that would drive me crazy about living in the city. Nothing to look at but stone and asphalt and nothing to smell but carbon monoxide" He tells his family news of his work and social life. "Am still working on the radio script and although I don't think it's too good, we will probably audition it? if we get it too smart the sponsors nor the public understand it, if it isn't smart enough we don't like it, so there you are." He seems to be referring to the radio show he was trying to create with Chico, which eventually became "Flywheel, Shyster & Flywheel" for Standard Oil's "Five Star Theatre," on the air from 1932-33. "Had dinner last night with Hecht," he says, referring to Ben Hecht, the screenwriter who was a friend and writing partner of Charles MacArthur who Groucho also mentions. Further discussing Hecht, "We are trying to get him to do an outline for either a play or a movie? we have definitely abandoned the first Sherwood and Hart idea?," here referring to the collaborators of musicals, Robert E. Sherwood and Moss Hart whose "Miss Liberty" came out in 1949. Further to colleagues and friends, "I am going with Sheekman and Perrin, and the Goodmans and the Bennys, to Lea Sachs for dinner. Last Friday I was out with Ross (Harold)? Luchow's? food was fair, but the beer was superb?." Arthur Sheekman, as mentioned above, and Nat Perrin were writers who wrote "Duck Soup" (1933) for the Marx Brothers. Groucho became a close friend of Sheekman's and, in 1967, edited "The Groucho Letters." [See "Monkey Business: The Lives and Legends of the Marx Brothers," by Simon Louvish, pages 129-130.] He also refers to Harold Ross, editor of "The New Yorker." Groucho spends much of the letter talking about missing his family and wanting them to arrange to come to New York as soon as they can. He says he wants them to come when he gets "something definite." His emotion for his family shows throughout, "I hope my little sweetheart has completely recovered from her fall? I look at the pictures every day and getting increasingly lonesome?." He refers to the troubles Chico and his wife, Betty, were having by stating that "Betty is returning to California next Sunday.". The letter is signed with great love and devotion, not at all close to how he might feel one day when in 1942 he and Ruth are divorced. "Kiss yourself and Arthur and Miriam for me, and love to you all, from your ever lovin man Groucho," then signed in pencil, "Groucho." He writes in pencil, "Did you cut down the vines?" and signs again, "Love - Groucho." Two holograph corrections in the [Attributes: Signed Copy]
      [Bookseller: Schulson Autographs, Ltd.]
Last Found On: 2016-03-19           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


Browse more rare books from the year 1931

      Home     Wants Manager     Library Search     562 Years   Links     Contact      Search Help      Terms of Service      Privacy     

Copyright © 2018 viaLibri™ Limited. All rights reserved.