Lot 70 of 196:
Jack London Letter to Arnold Genthe on photography  

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Lot closed - unsold
$900 - $1,200

Jack London on Arnold Genthe photography, 1901 letter

London, Jack





London, Jack. Typed Letter Signed. Oakland, Calif., March 31, 1901. To Mrs. Bingham (probably the publicity agent of McClure’s magazine), promising to send photographs of himself, including one by Arnold Genthe, “the best I have ever had,” and mentioning his first wife and newborn baby daughter. 

An early letter in London’s career, a year before publication of his first novel, as well as an early comment on the work of Genthe, who had just opened his San Francisco photographic studio in 1898.

London writes: "I find that I have not the 'Wave' picture of myself which I mentioned to you. But I expect to get some shortly. Then I will send you one. I heard the other day that Arnold Genthe (the man who took it) said that it was one of the best he had ever taken. I know that it is the best I have ever had, though many, accustomed to the re-touched lie of the average photographer, think it very poor. I send you herewith one from the 'Bookman', which you may not have seen. Bessie is just at this moment printing some of Joan's pictures, so they are not available for immediate mailing. When up Oakland way be sure and drop in on us."

The Wave was a San Francisco literary magazine of the fin de siècle, best known for publishing short stories of muckraking author Frank Norris. Soon after the magazine had agreed to buy one of London’s first “rattling good” short stories, its editor sent the author to Genthe’s studio to have his picture taken, the photographer being struck at once by London’s “poignantly sensitive face. His eyes were those of a dreamer, and there was almost a feminine wistfulness about him. Yet at the same time he gave the feeling of a terrific and unconquerable physical force".

Lot Amendments

Some fold creases otherwise very good.

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