BECKETT, SAMUEL. 1906-1989.
28 Autograph Letters Signed and 6 Autograph Postcards Signed ("Sam Beckett" and "Sam"), approximately 35 pp, 16mo and 12mo, mostly Paris but also Le Touquet, Tangier, and Berlin, 1967-1986, to Helaine Blum, many on personal stationery, with original transmittal envelopes, thanking Blum for letters and catalogues she's sent and arranging future meetings with her, mentioning travels to Morocco, Berlin, London, etc.
26 pp of handwritten notes, 8vo, and approximately 9 pp of notes in a 3 x 5 inch spiral bound memo book, 1974-83, written by Blum recounting her conversations with Beckett in person and over the telephone, and containing Beckett's reflections on writing, various productions of his plays, mutual friends, etc; a copy of Film, Grove Press, 1969, 8vo, original wrappers, inscribed by Beckett to Blum in 1970; 4 gelatin silver print photographs of Beckett, 5 x 7 to 5.5 x 8 inches, including a class picture from the Portora Royal School, 1920; the butt of a cigar evidently smoked by Beckett, in an envelope on which Blum has written Beckett's name along with the date of one of their meetings; and 6 autograph and typed letters signed to Blum from Beckett biographer James Knowlson.
An archive of correspondence and other material documenting the friendship between Samuel Beckett and the American sculptor Helaine Blum. Blum, who split her time between Santa Monica, New York, and Paris in the years represented by the present correspondence, first reached out to Beckett via letter in 1967, but the two did not meet until July of 1972, the same year that Blum completed a sculptural bust of Beckett. The letters are mostly brief, with Beckett giving updates on his whereabouts and travels and arranging future meetings with Blum. In a letter postmarked April 4, 1982, he comments on the Joyce centenary, "There was never any question of my returning to Dublin for the Joyce celebrations;" In a letter of January 1, 1977, he mentions that he has "been in London lately working with BBC TV (2 short plays)." Also included in the archive are approximately 35 pp of handwritten notes by Blum documenting her visits and phone conversations with Beckett, which offer a great deal of commentary by Beckett on his writings and on productions of his plays, among other subjects. For example, Blum records that when she asked him whether any progress had been made concerning the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Oxford, Beckett replied, "I am sorry that I ever had anything to do with it. Oxford has bought a building with a garden, which is all wrong for a theatre." Elsewhere she quotes Beckett as saying, "I am doing too much in the theatre. It is not the best thing for my work."