Two items: a TLS signed “T.D.,” one page, 8.5 x 11, The American Spectator letterhead, October 4, 1932, addressed to author and romantic interest Marguerite Tjader Harris, and reads, in part: “This slip, and the enclosed publisher’s announcement, will explain a little something about a new monthly literary newspaper, the editorial welfare of which has been taken over by George Jean Nathan, Ernest Boyd, James Branch Cabell, Eugene O’Neill and myself…Any of the five editors can do what I am doing—indicating to the preferred mind or temperament his desire for some reaction of the preferred one to his or her favorite mental preoccupation. If such a document reaches me and convinces me, depend on it I will do my best to convince the other four, and so make this invitation unanimous,” with Dreiser correcting the spelling of Harris’s first name and adding a brief postscript to the conclusion: “Where are you?”; and an ANS signed “T. D.,” one page, 3.25 x 8.5, in full: “Here you are—oh noblest Roman dame. If you don’t agree don’t use it.” Includes the referenced ‘announcement.’ In overall very good to fine condition, with rusty paperclip impressions to the thin slip. Marguerite Tjader Harris, who divorced her husband in 1933, met Dreiser in 1928. They had an intimate, on and off relationship, that continued until 1944 when he married. From 1937-45 she founded and edited the left-wing journal of the arts ‘Direction,’ and with Dreiser’s support she subsequently became his editorial assistant and then a type of spiritual advisor to him while he completed his penultimate novel The Bulwark.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.