23 June 2020

Groucho's letter to Peter Lorre

In the fall of 1961, Peter Lorre sent Groucho Marx a copy of Stuart Gilbert's James Joyce's Ulysses (1930), a study of Joyce's (often considered unreadable) novel. After receiving the book, Groucho wrote Lorre the following letter, saying that now he needed another book to explain Gilbert's study. In typical Groucho fashion, he then "confused" Stuart Gilbert with Gilbert Stuart, the artist who had painted the portrait of George Washington in 1796.
October 5, 1961
Dear Peter:  
It was very thoughtful of you to send me a book explaining James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. All I need now is another book explaining this study by Stuart Gilbert who, if memory serves, painted the celebrated picture of George Washington which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum. I realize that there is some two hundred years’ difference in their ages, but any man who can explain Joyce must be very old and very wise.
You disappeared rather mysteriously the other night, but I attribute this to your life of crime in the movies.

Best to you both.

Source: The Groucho Letters: Letters from and to Groucho Marx (1967) 


  1. Hi there and hope you are well!

    I've nominated you for the Sunshine Bloggers Award as a recognition of your writing. I've included the link here - https://silverscreenclassicsblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/30/the-sunshine-blogger-award-a-second-time-honour/ which will outline the process to you accepting and thus being honoured with the award.

    Of course, there's no pressure but I hope you'll accept!

    Best regards, Paul from Silver Screen Classics.

    1. Thanks, Paul!
      I feel honoured and will definitely check it out.