The materials in the Steve Katz Papers span his career as a writer from the 1950s
the 2000s and contain drafts of his novels and short stories, as well as personal
and professional correspondence and a small amount of material associated with
college and teaching years. The collection is organized into four series: I. Works,
1940s-2007; II. Correspondence, 1942-2005; III. Personal and Career-Related,
1935-2006; IV. Works by Others, 1940s-1991.
Series I. Works comprises the bulk of the collection. It is divided into three
subseries: A. Novels and Short Story Collections; B. Short Works; and C. Journals
and Notepads. Subseries A. contains drafts of all of Katz's published works, as
as many unpublished works, including his first novel, The Steps of the
Sun, and a travel book about China called Jade Pork. The
drafts are primarily typescripts, although there are some handwritten sections
corrections included. There are often multiple copies and versions of individual
stories and novel sections. The works are arranged alphabetically by title.
Subseries B., Short Works, contains drafts and tearsheets of short stories, poetry,
and short non-fiction pieces.
The journals and notepads in Subseries C. represent the early drafts and include
notes for many of Katz's works. The notebooks contain story ideas, draft sections,
and journal entries and are arranged in rough chronological order, although there
are a number of undated journals. Along with the undated notebooks the collection
contains the yellow legal pads Katz used while writing early longhand drafts of
works. These notepads do not have titles or dates, and are arranged in the order
which they were received.
Series II. Correspondence is divided into two subseries: A. Family Letters; and B.
Personal and Professional. Subseries A. includes many letters sent by Katz and
wife Pat to his mother during the late 1950s when he was working on his first
(unpublished) novels, and the early 1960s while the family lived in Italy and
taught at various universities and army bases. Also present are letters sent by
father to his mother.
Subseries B. Personal and Professional contains correspondence from his agents,
including Lurton Blassingame and Georges Borchardt, as well as correspondence
other writers, artists, and personal friends. Of note is a letter written by Véra
Nabokov for Vladimir Nabokov, who was a professor at Cornell during Katz's time
student. Some of the authors and artists represented are A. R. Ammons, Peter Dean,
B. H. Friedman, Jerome Klinkowitz, Harold Schimmel, Primarosa Cesarini Sforza,
Sukenick, and Richard tum Suden. These files are filed alphabetically by last
Katz also kept a large amount of miscellaneous correspondence, some of which was
labeled with titles such as "Friendly fire," and
"Friendly fun." These files were placed at the
end of the alphabetical files and are arranged roughly by date. The correspondence
in these files is primarily from friends and acquaintances, some of whom may be
represented in the alphabetical files; there are some career-related materials
present as well.
The materials in Series III. Personal and Career-Related contain professional awards,
reviews of Katz's works, and photographs. The photographs include several folders
pictures taken for an "aborted car photograph
piece," Katz in his Boy Scout uniform, and slides taken on family vacations to
Spirit Lake at Mt. St. Helens, and Ashland, Oregon, in the late 1950s. Also included
are Katz's diploma from Cornell University, and reading announcements.
Series IV. Works of Others includes works by friends, colleagues, and students, such
as Mark Leyner, as well as interviews with and works about Katz. Also present
notebooks containing an apparent autobiography written by his father, Alexander
Katz, and one folder with drawings by Katz's youngest son, Rafael.