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Brant Gaede

Ayn Rand's 1937 Letter

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For sale on eBay is an eight-page hand-written letter by Ayn Rand to the studio executive who helped her sale "Red Pawn." Go to eBay and search "Ayn Rand" then price the search to 15000 dollars up.

--Brant

I copied the whole thing out in longhand but have no intention of typing it out for OL

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Here's the link. It only displays two of eight pages. Marcella Rabwin was the woman in the well-known story of how Rand hit on the notion of the second-hander - if everybody had one, I would want two,etc.

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Here's the link. It only displays two of eight pages. Marcella Rabwin was the woman in the well-known story of how Rand hit on the notion of the second-hander - if everybody had one, I would want two,etc.

I see eight pages. No time to read right now, wonder if there are any bombshells like in the Dudley letter.

http://www.auctiva.com/hostedimages/showimage.aspx?gid=346891&ppid=1122&image=506784231&images=506784231,506784284,506784319,506784346,506784359,506784382&formats=0,0,0,0,0,0&format=0

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Alrighty, I just read through it. The main point of interest is she talks about obtaining the rights to a play by a beginner that she calls a work of genius. She doesn’t name him, and says she’s going to try producing the play herself. Anyone know who she’s talking about?

Beyond that, there’s an ironic (foreshadowing?) part on page 4: “As to your questions: do I ever think of you? Of course, I do.”

Roark did think about “the principle behind the Dean”, and the character of Peter Keating. Ellsworth Toohey, not so much.

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The Murray is now called the Kitano. If it's the same building, and it almost certainly is, it's been heavily renovated, natch. It's located where 38th st intersects Park Ave. Rand seems to have been more a resident of the Murray Hill area than NYC psychologically. There are other places to live in NYC that give you a stronger sense of the city qua residence--the upper west side, which is down-scale from Murray Hill, or the upper east side, which is up-scale. As a city, I suspect a high-rise apartment on the upper east side over-looking the river would be views to die for.

--Brant

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The complete absence of intellectual content devalues this letter to me. If I could afford it, I wouldn't buy it except at a fraction of the asking price. A true mispricing was a letter sent to Rand as a contract which she signed. Well over ten thou. I don't think it sold.

A few years ago eBay typically had three pages of Rand listings. Last I looked I saw over 1500 items. I don't think this is mostly greater interest in Rand so much as Americans are selling all they can to raise cash because of the economy. They aren't catching many bids.

--Brant

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The complete absence of intellectual content devalues this letter to me. If I could afford it, I wouldn't buy it except at a fraction of the asking price. A

On the plus side, this one is completely hand written. The Dudley letter was typed. I don't know much about how this kind of memorabilia gets priced, but I doubt intellectual content is such a big factor.

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The Murray is now called the Kitano.

I stayed there once. Great sushi place on the bottom floor. The wait staff dresses like Madame Butterfly.

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As for the playwright, I venture a guess that he was her friend Albert Mannheimer, who turned 24 in 1937.

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The complete absence of intellectual content devalues this letter to me. If I could afford it, I wouldn't buy it except at a fraction of the asking price. A

On the plus side, this one is completely hand written. The Dudley letter was typed. I don't know much about how this kind of memorabilia gets priced, but I doubt intellectual content is such a big factor.

It gets priced at auction. A friend of mine, a renowned collector and authority of US bank notes of the 19th C., sold a portion of his collection several years ago. Using a catalogue I figured the expected minimum value of it all was well over a million dollars. I don't know how many pieces sold, but they all could have. He may have hit the market top.

--Brant

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The Murray is now called the Kitano.

I stayed there once. Great sushi place on the bottom floor. The wait staff dresses like Madame Butterfly.

I have a cultural adversion to eating raw fish. I'd only go into a sushi restaurant accompanied by Dante.

--Brant

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It gets priced at auction.

I meant "priced" in the Austrian sense, maybe I should have said "gets valued" or something else. I imagine that a handwritten letter is more valuable than a typed one with just a handwritten signature. Now, if the letter has something in the way of unique intellectual content, like the Dudley letter, that adds to it. Let me put it this way, if the Dudley letter were handwritten, I expect it would be much more valuable than this one. As it is, and I really don't know how these variables stack up, but I know I'd choose something handwritten, even if mundane, over something typed.

I have a cultural adversion to eating raw fish. I'd only go into a sushi restaurant accompanied by Dante.

Suit yourself. Fancy yourself a Virgil, huh?

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It gets priced at auction.

I meant "priced" in the Austrian sense, maybe I should have said "gets valued" or something else. I imagine that a handwritten letter is more valuable than a typed one with just a handwritten signature. Now, if the letter has something in the way of unique intellectual content, like the Dudley letter, that adds to it. Let me put it this way, if the Dudley letter were handwritten, I expect it would be much more valuable than this one. As it is, and I really don't know how these variables stack up, but I know I'd choose something handwritten, even if mundane, over something typed.

I have a cultural adversion to eating raw fish. I'd only go into a sushi restaurant accompanied by Dante.

Suit yourself. Fancy yourself a Virgil, huh?

In the "Austrian" sense? Gee thee to an auction too!

--Brant

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The Murray is now called the Kitano.

I stayed there once. Great sushi place on the bottom floor. The wait staff dresses like Madame Butterfly.

I have a cultural adversion to eating raw fish. I'd only go into a sushi restaurant accompanied by Dante.

--Brant

JR just emailed me, pointing out that "adversion" should be "aversion." Sob. So ashamed!

--Brant

I'm leaving it alone; it may be worth money someday in an eBay auction: print it out and I'll autograph it for you--or have my assistant do it

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