Item #9036 Josef Škvorecký’s correspondence with the British television/film director Peter Duffell. 1984-1993. Approximately 30 pieces in total. Josef Škvorecký.
Josef Škvorecký’s correspondence with the British television/film director Peter Duffell. 1984-1993. Approximately 30 pieces in total.
Josef Škvorecký’s correspondence with the British television/film director Peter Duffell. 1984-1993. Approximately 30 pieces in total.
Josef Škvorecký’s correspondence with the British television/film director Peter Duffell. 1984-1993. Approximately 30 pieces in total.
Josef Škvorecký’s correspondence with the British television/film director Peter Duffell. 1984-1993. Approximately 30 pieces in total.
Škvorecký, Josef (1924-2012)

Josef Škvorecký’s correspondence with the British television/film director Peter Duffell. 1984-1993. Approximately 30 pieces in total.

Place Published: Various
Publisher: Various
Date Published: 1984 to 1993
Binding: No binding

Josef  Škvorecký was an acclaimed Czech-Canadian writer and publisher, who published and supported banned Czech literature during the communist era. The noted scholar and critic George Steiner in his 1994 book has called the Czech-Canadian author Josef Skvorecky ‘one of the major literary figures of our time. He was the recipient of many literary awards and humanitarian honors. Duffell (1922-2017) was a director and writer, known for BBC2 Playhouse (1973), The Avengers (1961), Man in a Suitcase (1967-8), and The Far Pavilions (1984). The correspondence concerns Duffell’s unsuccessful attempt to adapt two stories by Škvorecký, "The Swell Season" and "The Bass Saxophone," into a film with the working title "Danny and the High School Gang: The Life and Loves of Danny Smiricky, Amateur Jazz Musician and Would-be Casanova". The collection consists of 20+ items of correspondence (typed letters signed) exchanged between interested parties; and a film-related manuscript in the hand of Peter Duffell. All in good condition.

The collection includes:

1. 10 TLS, Škvorecký to Duffell. October 31, 1984 - May 21, 1993. Škvorecký expresses delight at Duffell's plan, which mirrored his own idea of combining the two works in a single narrative: "I even jotted down a first-draft script… I spent only two days on it, and it is awful. But it proves that our minds work along the same lines." By early 1985, Skvorecky was writing to Duffell to comment at some length on his script, promising, "When we close the deal - I hope to God we will - we shall, of course, go through this first draft in detail." Subsequent letters indicate that the project ran into legal problems over the film rights, particularly an option owned by Canadian filmmaker Pasia Schonberg (died 2018) on The Engineer of Human Souls by Škvorecký, which featured related characters to those in "Swell Season." Škvorecký's letters to Duffell become ever more discursive and revealing about friends and relations as the two become closer, but it gradually becomes apparent that the project has stalled: a 1989 letter begins, "You are absolutely right: the situation with Pasia Schonberg is monstrous." Skvorecky writes almost guiltily about other successful film adaptations of his work. He also include copies of material (resumé, letters, and reviews) pertaining to Zdena Salivarová, Škvorecký’s wife.

2. 10 TLS signed and exchanged between various correspondents including Duffell; Pasia Schonberg; Peter Israel; Lucinda Varida Agency; Lester & Orpen Dennys Publishers; and Hatton & Baker, Ltd. About Duffell's project in terms of violating a competing projects clause in the option on Skvorecky's The Engineer of Human Souls owned by Pasia Schonberg. Schonberg upholds her intellectual property rights.

3. List of expenses (1 p.) in Duffell's hand, [1984], including "Trip to Czechoslovakia" and "Trip to Canada to meet Škvorecký." With two photocopied information sheets about the cost of travel between London and Prague.

4. TLS, Alison Jackson, Channel 4 Television (London) to Duffell. October 19, 1984. Acknowledging receipt of a copy of “The Bass Saxophone”.

5. TLS, Colin Vaines, National Film Development Fund, to Duffell. January 16, 1985. Rejecting an application for funding for the development of "Danny and the High School Gang."

6. TLS, John D. Eberts, Embassy Communications International, to Peter Duffell. January 28, 1985. Rejecting the opportunity to support the production of "Danny and the High School Gang."

Collection on consignment with LDRB.
Good. Item #9036

$1,200.00 USD
$1,631.52 CAD

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See all items by Josef Škvorecký