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Lot #393
Paul Bowles

On Mrabet, Hebrew translations of Muslim works, and New York critics

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On Mrabet, Hebrew translations of Muslim works, and New York critics

Though he began his creative career as a composer of exceptional promise, American-born Paul Bowles (1910–1999) ultimately devoted his energies to writing. After moving permanently to Tangiers in the late 1940s, Bowles produced a distinctive body of literary work, including a wealth of poetry and short stories distinguished by the author’s incisive powers of observation. Bowles’s best known work, the 1949 novel The Sheltering Sky, has come to be recognized as a classic of modern literature. Three TLS from Bowles to Bob Sharrard, publisher/proprietor of City Lights Books in San Francisco, on onionskin, signed “Paul Bowles” and “Paul B” (two), 1986. Bowles writes from his home in Morocco on various literary matters. Some excerpts: “I think I wrote you that a gentleman named Piña-Rosales had taken Mrabet’s [artist-storyteller Mohammed Mrabet, a close associate of Bowles] drawings with him to New York, where he was to mail them on to you…. I’ve written, as I probably have told you, both to William Morris Agency and to Black Sparrow, asking for a reversion of rights on four volumes by Mrabet: The Boy Who Set the Fire, Harmless Poisons, Look and Move On, and The Big Mirror…. I suppose Black Sparrow could always claim that they intended to republish the titles, but even if they said it I wouldn’t believe it…. The check for Mrabet arrived yesterday; thanks…. I hope the additional drawings have reached you by now…. I’m pleased to hear that ten of them have been sold. I look forward to seeing the Voice’s review of Love with a Few Hairs. And the New York Native’s review of The Lemon…. The Burroughs quote for the Choukri’s book is excellent. Choukri is having a great success with that novel; it’s being translated into Bulgarian, and, believe it or not, Hebrew in Israel. (This last must be for political reasons: to show how abjectly the Moslems live. Perhaps I’m wrong, but it does seem suspicious)….” Accompanied by the original mailing envelopes. Intersecting mailing folds and small marginal hole to one letter, otherwise fine condition. R&R COA.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title:
  • Dates: #331 - Ended March 12, 2008