Archive of Correspondence to and from J.R. Lamour [aka Yves Malartic]. RADICAL, PROLETARIAN LITERATURE.

Archive of Correspondence to and from J.R. Lamour [aka Yves Malartic]

V.p.: 1946-47. Excellent archive of original correspondence dating from Sinclair's productive wartime and post-War period, during which he produced the monumental, eleven-volume Lanny Budd series of novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning Dragon's Teeth.

The correspondence appears to have been struck up by Lamour in late 1945 (those letters not present here), seeking rights to translate and publish a number of Sinclair's early proletarian novels including The Jungle, They Call Me Carpenter, Samuel the Seeker as well as such shorter works as No Pasaran!, The Flivver King, Depression Island and others. Lamour (born ca. 1911), at this date in the early stages of his literary career, would go on to translate numerous works by American authors, in particular Chester Himes and Alex Haley, under the pseudonym "Yves Malartic." In his letters to Sinclair, Lamour/Malartic shows careful reading and textual analysis of the novels under consideration, expresses admiration for Sinclair's body of work and is clearly excited about exercising a newly-available liberty to publish leftist works after the long occupation of Paris, stating in one (undated) letter: "France is groping for a notion of human socialism and french [sic] people are very interested in everything that refers to U.S.A..." At another point Lamour dismisses the publisher Bernard Grasset, who had turned down several of Sinclair's works for translation during war-time: "In 1944, Grasset has been deprived of his ownership for collaboration and a manager has been appointed by the government..." (indeed, following the dismissal of its principal, the firm of Grasset would become the primary publisher for many of Sinclair's works in France).

Sinclair's replies range from long, admiring letters to brief acknowledgments and notes of transmittal. Throughout, he shows concern not only for his own legacy among French readers but for the wellbeing of his putative translator – Lamour (who does in fact appear to have been driven by a somewhat altruistic impulse) at one point appears to suggest that he is willing to translate and edit Sinclair's works without compensation, to which Sinclair replies: "..." Sinclair's ongoing, consuming work on Presidential Mission and One Clear Call, the eighth and ninth installments in his Lanny Budd series, forms a backdrop to the entire correspondence; at one point he attempts to engage Lamour's assistance with background research on One Clear Call; at several others, he begs off new writing assignments because of the all-consuming nature of his work, even declining to read a recently-published short story by Lamour, claiming that all his energies are consumed by the Lanny Budd project. Indeed, Sinclair's output during this period was phenomenal: in the two-year span in which these letters were written, Sinclair, well into his sixties, produced three massive novels – A World to Win, Presidential Mission, and One Clear Call – and was well along on a fourth, O Shepherd Speak! (published in 1949).

While Sinclair letters are hardly an oddity in commerce, the current archive of correspondence is noteworthy for providing real insight, not only into Sinclair's working methods but also into the post-war literary climate in France, where it is clear that writers on the left, who had been radically disenfranchized during the long Occupation, were eager to take on any project that might re-establish their careers while also (hopefully) putting food on the table. Archive of six TNS (typed notes, signed), five TLS (typed letters, signed), and one Western Union telegram from Upton Sinclair to the Paris literary agent and translator Jean-Robert Lamour (better known by his pseudonym, Yves Malartic). Together with ten of Lamour's retained carbons of communications to Sinclair and others. Correspondence spans the period January, 1946 to December, 1947, and deals with Lamour's efforts to secure publishing contracts for French-language translations of Sinclair's works including The Jungle, They Call Me Carpenter, Our Lady, and others, as well as Sinclair's ongoing work on the Lanny Budd series. Sinclair's letters range from notes of as few as four lines to letters of two pages, the entirety comprising approximately 2500 words, with numerous hand-corrections and signatures in blue or black ink. Lamour's letters to Sinclair comprise nine pieces of correspondence (of which three are partial) and one draft contract, with a total of approximately 3000 words. Three of Lamour's letters are in French, addressed to French correspondents, all on matters concerning the translation and publication of Sinclair's works. Occasional toning; old folds; onion-skin carbons creased at margins; Very Good.

Price: $6,500.00

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