Hemingway-Dietrich letter opens at $54,000 with Moments in Time

A revealing letter sent from writer Ernest Hemingway to actress Marlene Dietrich is being offered by Moments in Time with an opening bid of $54,000.

Ernest Hemingway Marlene Dietrich letter signed autograph
The bizarre contents of the letter suggest that, as was common, Hemingway may have been drunk at the time of writing

The letter, one of many written between the pair from 1934-1961, reveals their friendship and romance, which went unconsummated due to what Hemingway described as an "unsynchronised passion".

Hemingway writes to Dietrich on August 28, 1955, his words printed from one of his famous typewriters. He begins with the affectionate opener, "Dearest Kraut".

Filled with innuendo, the letter sees Hemingway describing an imaginary theatre production with Dietrich in the lead role, in which she is "shot onto the stage, drunk, from a self-propelled minnenwerfer [sic] which would advance in from the street rolling over the customers."

"As you landed on the stage drunk and naked, I would advance from the rear, or your rear, wearing evening clothes and would hurriedly strip... to cover you revealing the physique of Burt Lancaster," Hemingway goes on.

As a serious note, Hemingway writes that, although an author of stories, he has "no grace for f****** them up for other mediums", and in response to her request for them to work together, "I love you very much and I never wanted to get mixed in any business with you… neither of us has enough whore blood for that."

The letter is one of at least 30 known letters between the pair, many of which are now housed in the JFK Library in Boston, having been made public in 2007. It is printed on stationary from Hemingway's Cuban home, Finca Vigia.

In July, one of Hemingway's typewriters sold through Profiles in History for $65,000

Paul Fraser Collectibles has a great range of literary collectibles for sale, including signed letters from some of history's most prominent writers.

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