William Faulkner 's long and detailed interest in sailing is reflected in this unusual and rare letter. Faulkner writes about his sail boat and draws a picture illustrating how he wanted to refit the sails of his small sloop. After offering his own ideas, he asks for t advice from his corespondent, Eric James Devine. Faulkner makes a sketch of the changes pointing to the "New Sail" he wants for his boat. He explains that, "a Navy bloke" his Marine fighter pilot nephew knows will, "make me a suit of sails out of airplane linen, a little lighter than the present canvas. They wont [sic] cost me anything...then I shall take the old jib and try to rig some kind of skysail, maybe turn it upside down, a balloon spkr, something like that. What do you think will happen...Sketch me a rig on paper, will you? My own idea herewith...." He labels two parts of his drawing in pencil. Faulkner suggests a gift of a pipe to Devine in the last paragraph and signs in pencil, "Bill." The illustration was likely intended to clarify the Nobel laureate's own words, although he didn't win the prize until the year after he wrote our letter.
A photograph of Faulkner in his sailboat accompanies the letter. Condition: center fold is prominent and in tact, other folds visible. Letter measures 8 x 11 inches and floats on a dark gray mat overlaid with a white mat, framed in black satin finished wood, matted and framed in museum quality materials, framed in 5/8/inch black satin wood. Frame measures 16 x 18 3/4/inches and the photo measures 8 x 10 inches, in pocket on back of frame.
Faulkner's novel, "Intruder in the Dust" came out in 1948, and was made into a film the following year, 1949, the same year he won the Nobel Prize in Literature.