Sale 2519 | Lot 38
EXTRAORDINARY ARCHIVE OF REVEALING LETTERS
GARBO, GRETA. Archive of over 65 letters to her close friend Salka Viertel ("Salka lilla," "Salka Liebe," etc.), most Signed "Tuscha," "Tusha," "G," or "T," in English except four in German, most in pencil, including 27 ALsS, 16 ALs, 21 TLsS, and a TL, on personal and professional topics, most making or avoiding travel plans, or complaining of health problems. Together over 100 pages, 4to or smaller; condition generally good. Many with the original envelope. Vp, 1932-73 Estimate $40,000 - 60,000
Circa 1933, in German: "I'm now back from my trip and tired . . . . I was so hounded, everything was so ugly that I no longer want to travel. And the terrible sense that Europe is dead. It's dead. Of course, this happens a lot with people one deals with, but Europe is nevertheless dead. Salka, I know I'm an impossible person, but I can't make Christina in Europe. When you are as involved in film as I am, then you'll understand. I know that you're hoping that Christina would be made in Europe--I'm very sorry Salka, but I'm in a state . . . ." Circa 1935: ". . . I saw in the paper that Fr[ances] Marion is working on Camille. Bielenson [attorney Larry Beilenson] has not then fixed it right at M.G.M. . . . I have . . . been feeling very off and on. . . . On one of my on days I meet Noel Coward who was very charming to me." Circa 1935: ". . . I don't understand why the[y] are not going to do Walewska [Conquest] first. And are you not doing anything on Camille? God help me if Thalberg does it alone. . . . I could write Mayer otherwise and perhaps he could let Selznick do Camille. We would have to move over to United. . . ." : ". . . I don't know anymore what to do. . . . I go nowhere, see no one--just like in Brentwood. . . . Perhaps you will come and resque [sic] me . . . . It is hard and sad to be alone, but sometimes it's even more difficult to be with someone. . . . When we are here on Earth it would be so mu[c]h more kind if for this short time we would be forever strong and young. I wonder why God preferred it this way. . . . [S]omewhere in this world are a few be[i]ngs who do not have it as we have, of that I am certain. And if I would stop making film I could go and see if I could find out a little about it. And [about] the sublime. . . . Walewska opens here in a few days and I am not glad that it does. It is the memory of this whole thing that makes me feel so low. . . ."
19 October 1938: ". . . Please don't tell [George] Cukor where we will meet and ask if he will be silent about my coming if it is not in the newspapers. Let us meet in Pasadena. I will wire 'Meet Bieler'--that means Pasadena."
11 January 1969: ". . . It is not strange that I don't remember having met Mr. [Gore] Vidal. I don't ever hear names, or anything when I am out somewhere, but it must be many years back since I do not go to anything any more. . . ."
21 November 1970: ". . . [I]t would be a mistake to go to Klosters as long as I have this condition. I feel very tired and cannot seem to get myself together to plan where to go. Again, to have to pack and leave seems rather too much. . . .
"I am sorry but something always seem to go a little wrong with me, and it is not in my head either. . . ."
18 December 1972: "Let us not underestimate dreams! Someone sent me a magazine which had pages about dreams. Then I dreamed that a cat bit me. I looked it up just for the deviltry of it--It promised troubles and I got them . . . . It's a good thing we don't remember dreams too often. If we looked them up we might get into all kinds of things. However, I am not going to look again. . . ."
Nd: ". . . You mean frightfully much to me. I hope you know that. I am leaving for Calif for a short while, before I collapse. [George] Schlee is getting along fine so it will be all right for me to leave. . . ."
Nd: ". . . I read the story of Ruth. You know it I suppose. It is a very beautiful story; but I wonder if it would hold interest enough for public of today. I would not know. . . ."
Nd: ". . . I am very tired and very sad. . . . But I am holding positive thoughts and all is going to be all right again. I am going to a church w[h]ere there is a saint called Jude and I stand and stare at him and ask him to remember me. There is a guardian there and since I don't cross myself or do anything . . . , I am sure he thinks I am some sort of lunatic. . . ."
Nd: "Cecile Da R. [Baroness Cecile de Rothschild] has final[l]y persuaded me to go with her and part of her family somewhere in July. . . . But I am not used to be with people for so long, so don't know how I will 'hold up.' . . ."
Nd: "I have disap[p]eared in the wilderness. I am sitting in a little homemade house in desertland. I am practically a prisoner, because I don't want anyone to know I am here. It is very unprotected and if someone should know they might come upon me and then no peace again. . . . Please don't . . . put my name on the envelope. Because then I will have to leave. . . ."
Nd: ". . . I am living in my usual rut again, seeing nobody. . . . [T]here is no one really to see. I feel rather tired all the time, but it could be from living such [a] monotonous life, never wanting anything. It is not so entirely. I want to do things in my mind, but I always postpone things till tomorrow and tomorrow is the same story. If only I had been born with some of your ways of be[i]ng. . . ."
with--Telegram from Garbo to Viertel, unsigned: "Thank you for everything you have done for me but above all thank Heaven that you exist auf wiederseh[e]n liebe Salka hope to God you had a chance to pay Black and White." 1 page, oblong 8vo, "Postal Telegraph" form. Np, 28 July 1932.
Salka Viertel (1889-1978) was an Austrian actress and screenwriter who performed in, or co-wrote the screenplay for, a number of films featuring Garbo, including Anna Christie (1930), Queen Christina (1933), Anna Karenina (1935), and Conquest (1937).