Tuesday, May 8, 2007

of mice and manuscripts: skippy's friend finds unpublished steinbeck works (true story!)

we are tickled pink to blog about this important literary find, because the lucky writer involved is actually a personal friend of the skippy's. la daily news:

writer joel eisenberg was poring over some crumbling manuscripts at 3 a.m. when the bombshell hit.

he realized that the handwritten scrawl swimming before his eyes was none other than the missing draft of sweet thursday by nobel prize-winning author john steinbeck...

the cardboard box, found in the effects of the late “guys and dolls” producer ernest h. martin, contained the 188-page draft of sweet thursday, the lighthearted sequel to cannery row.

on crumbling sepia-toned pages, it also contained the unfinished draft of “the bear flag cafe,” an unperformed musical comedy collaboration with martin and partner cy feuer from which the novel emerged.

as if that weren’t enough, there were carbon copies of 13 steinbeck letters dated from 1953, the manuscript of the log from the sea of cortez, and a never-published short story, “if this be treason,” which described the mccarthy-era firing of a tv star investigated by the notorious house un-american activities committee.

the steinbeck trove, sorted and preserved by eisenberg, will be auctioned may 24 in san francisco. sellers expect the sale, auctioned in two lots, to fetch more than $500,000.

“i would say it might well be the steinbeck sale of the century,” said bruce macmakin, senior vice president of pacific book auction gallery, which is handling the sale on behalf of the producer’s widow, twila martin.

it couldn't happen to a nicer, or more deserving, guy. the skippy's have had many a double date with the eisenbergs, as well as having attended their wedding, and have watched joel struggle (as all show biz hopefuls do) to make a name for himself. he actually has written and produced several low budget features as well as published not one but two how-to show biz books (and is working on a third, for which skippy was interviewed).

we are big fans of literature, and of history, but we are especially big fans of skippy's good buddy joel. we offer him, and all steinbeck scholars and fans, a hearty congratulations!

remember, where ever they's a large metropolitan paper dissing bloggers, we'll be there! where ever they's a gop meme oppressing the truth, we'll be there! we'll be in the way watertiger writes her snark and we'll be in the way dave niewert eviscerates bigotry...and when our folks have freedom for everyone and not just the select rich elite and we all can share in america...why, we'll be there!