Notes: Leviathan '99 was Bradbury's four-decade effort to adapt Moby Dick for the space age, beginning with a radio play in 1968 and ending with a novella in 2007. Stage play and opera versions were also developed, as was this screenplay, which seems to be unrecorded. This 87-leaf working draft is assembled from a hodge-podge of sources, word processing printouts, one of Bradbury's holiday broadsides, and faxes sent to and from his daughter. Bradbury has corrected, added, and deleted words from almost every page.
The basis of the screenplay seems to be the radio play written in the late 1960s, rather than the later stage play and opera versions. Bradbury's extensive changes, while keeping much of the dialog intact, offer an interesting look at how he reconceptualized the story from purely auditory to sound and picture. The first page of the screenplay has two handwritten notes by Bradbury: "This version finished and sent for re-typing on Wed. March 16th 1994!" and "Is sent with love to Pat & Herb Yellin!" A note at the end of the typescript directs Bradbury's daughter to "fax all pages," presumably to the typist. Immediately after faxing, Bradbury apparently sent this working copy to his friend, collector, and publisher Herb Yellin (of Lord John Press) as the accompanying envelope is also dated March 16, 1994.
The contents of the typescript are:
- 14 typescript leaves photocopied on green paper, with handwritten changes on every leaf;
- Broadside of "A Christmas Wish 1993" with one stanza marked for insertion into the screenplay;
- 17 typescript leaves photocopied on green paper, with handwritten changes on every leaf;
- 1 fax leaf with deletions marked by hand;
- 9 leaves photocopied on white paper; with handwritten changes on every leaf;
- 1 fax leaf with a hand drawn arrow;
- 4 leaves photocopied on white paper; with handwritten changes on every leaf;
- 1 leaf of original digitally printed typescript, with handwritten changes;
- 1 leaf of photocopied typescript on white paper, with handwritten changes;
- 1 note to Bradbury's daughter with a drawing asking her to fax pages.
- 7 leaves of fax copy typescript, with handwritten changes on every leaf;
- 15 leaves of photocopied typescript on white paper, with handwritten changes on every leaf;
- 15 leaves of fax copy typescript, with handwritten changes on most leaves.
Substantial Bradbury manuscripts are uncommon on the market.
Edition + Condition: The sheets are very good to fine. The fax copies are probably unstable for the long run (preservation photocopies are supplied). With the original purple mailing envelope.
Item No: #361050