February 19, 2006

William Faulkner letter auctioned for $18,000

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A letter by author William Faulkner
complaining about a screenwriting contract with a Hollywood
studio sold today for nearly $18,000, according to auction
house Bonhams & Butterfields.

The two-page, typed letter was written by the Nobel
prize-winning author of "A Fable" and "Soldiers' Pay" to his
agent in August, 1943.

In it, he complains about being conned into a screenwriting
contract with Warner Bros, saying his former agent tricked him
into signing a seven-year contract with Warner, and that the
old agent was now threatening to sue him.

Faulkner wrote the screenplays to such classic films as
"The Big Sleep" and "To Have and Have Not."

The letter was originally estimated to sell for up to
$3,500, according to Bonhams & Butterfields representatives.
The final selling price was $17,925.

Also auctioned off on Sunday were several letters by F.
Scott Fitzgerald, including one hand-written note in which he
apologizes to his agent for his behavior while drunk. The
Fitzgerald letters fetched nowhere near the price of the
Faulkner letter.

The auction house declined to identify the letters' buyers,
citing its privacy policies.