The Stuart Gilbert papers embrace correspondence, diaries, notebooks,
clippings, photographs, and other material created between 1900 and 1985 (bulk
1928-1975) documenting Gilbert's literary career, particularly his work with
James Joyce and as a literary translator. Due to the dislocation brought about
by World War II little of the collection apart from one diary and Joyce's
correspondence to Gilbert date from before 1941. There is virtually no material
in the collection on Gilbert's personal history and non-literary activities,
apart from a curriculum vitae and a few official documents. The material had
little apparent original order when it arrived at the Ransom Center; the
arrangement employed here is largely an imposed one. The papers have been
organized into three series: Series I. Stuart Gilbert, 1900-1969 (bulk
1940-1969) (15 boxes), Series II. Moune Gilbert, 1919-1985 (bulk 1941-1975) (1
box), and Series III. James Joyce, 1921-1973 (bulk 1928-1973) (2 boxes).
The first series reflects several aspects of Stuart Gilbert's life and
professional activities. The materials have been divided into eight subseries:
Subseries A. Correspondence, 1940-1969, Subseries B. Diaries, 1929-1967,
Subseries C. Notebooks, 1928-1952, Subseries D. Works, 1900-1957, Subseries E.
Translations, 1946-1960, Subseries F. Biographical materials, 1907-1969,
Subseries G. Photographs and illustrations, 1925-1960, and Subseries H.
The Correspondence subseries represents material essentially
professional in character. The letters to Gilbert--and a significant number of
his surviving carbons--give considerable insight into his relationships with
writers and publishers. Significant correspondents include Sylvia Beach, Peter
Du Sautoy, T.S. Eliot, Richard Ellmann, Desmond Harmsworth, Ben Huebsch,
Patricia Hutchins, André Malraux, Roger Martin du Gard, and Harriet Weaver.
Gilbert's correspondence with James Joyce is found in the Joyce Series.
Diaries kept by Gilbert between 1929 and 1934 and from 1941 to 1967 are
present, as are notebooks and drafts of articles and longer works. The
notebooks are about equally divided between those containing fairly systematic
material on Joyce and his novels, particularly
Finnegans Wake, and commonplace books of the
sort many writers maintain to store turns of phrase and to work out
The diary for the years 1929-34 (published by the Ransom Center in 1993
Reflections on James Joyce: Stuart Gilbert's Paris
Journal) outlines Gilbert's evolving relationship with Joyce in those
years. The diary for 1941-45 was written during Gilbert's wartime exile, and in
his reaction to the war and rural Wales represents his least guarded writing
present in the papers. The diaries for the years 1948-67 are essentially brief
notations of appointments kept and friends seen.
Stuart Gilbert's Works subseries includes numerous essays and articles
in manuscript, typescript, or galleys, as well as a film script of
Anna Livia Plurabelle. His
James Joyce's Ulysses is present in
manuscript form, along with partial galleys, and related materials.
Drafts of Gilbert's translation projects are present only in fragments,
apart from that of Valéry's
Analects, which is essentially complete in
manuscript and typescript. A small group of biographical materials, together
with some photos and four boxes of musical and theatrical programs of 1920s and
'30s Paris concludes the series.
Series II comprises materials relating to Moune Gilbert's life as the
spouse and sometime collaborator of Stuart Gilbert and as a homemaker. Her
papers are arranged in three subseries: Subseries A. Correspondence, 1939-1985,
Subseries B. Notebooks, 1920-1981, and Subseries C. Home Economics Materials,
1953-1968. Moune's correspondents were generally social acquaintances, and
included James and Christiane Emmons, Milton and Laura Runyon, Narcissa S.
King, and Anie Parent. The notebooks contain poems and excerpts from French
authors, together with abstracts of various books. An undated interview (in
typescript and with notations in Moune's hand) describes her husband's
relationship with James Joyce. The home economics materials are largely
clippings and other materials indicative of maintaining a home in Paris in the
The third and final series illuminates James Joyce's relationship with
one of his most trusted associates during the years
Finnegans Wake was being written and its
author achieving international fame. The series embraces four subseries:
Subseries A. Correspondence, 1921-1973, Subseries B. Works, 1929-1935,
Subseries C. Biography and Criticism, 1928-1982, and Subseries D. Photographs
and Artwork, 1928-1982.
The correspondence subseries includes about seventy postcards and
letters Joyce sent Gilbert between 1928 and 1940. These missives were generally
brief, dealing with questions Gilbert asked of Joyce, Joyce's comments on his
own writing, and otherwise simply keeping in touch. Joyce's letter of 11 June
1938 includes a short poem,
"Dapple Grey." Correspondence from Nora,
George, and Lucia Joyce is also present.
The major item in the Works subseries is the opening chapter of
Finnegans Wake in typescript, though the
"Ecce Puer" and other pieces of short verse by
Joyce are also included. The Biography and Criticism subseries is formed of
numerous clippings on Joyce and his work that the Gilberts began collecting in
the late 1920s and maintained the remainder of their lives.
The final subseries, Photographs and Artwork, embraces a significant
number of photos of the Joyces, together with a number of pieces of Lucia
Joyce's calligraphic art from the early 1930s.