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George Reavey:

An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Reavey, George, 1907-1976
Title: George Reavey Papers
Dates: 1914-1976, undated
Extent: 114 document boxes, 1 card box (48.30 linear feet), 2 oversize folders (osf), 1 galley folder (gf)
Abstract: The papers of the Russian-born Irish surrealist poet, literary agent, publisher, and translator George Reavey include manuscripts for his works and translations, his extensive correspondence, papers for his Europa Press and European Literary Bureau, as well as various personal papers for Reavey and his family.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-3430
Language: Chiefly English and Russian language materials, with materials also written in French, Italian, and Polish
Access: Open for research



Acquisition: Purchase and gift, 1981-1982 (R9199, G1058, R9534)
Processed by: Delia Avila, 1996; revised by Joan Sibley, 2016 Note: This finding aid replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.
Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


The papers of the Russian-born Irish surrealist poet, translator, literary agent, and publisher George Reavey include notes and manuscript drafts for his poems, his works on Russian literature and life, and his translations of Russian literary works into English, along with extensive correspondence, personal papers, and manuscripts by others. Materials relating to Reavey's Bureau Littéraire Européen (later European Literary Bureau) and the publications of his Europa Press are also present. English, French, Italian, Polish and Russian language materials are present throughout. A small segment of this preliminary inventory replicates and replaces information previously available only in a card catalog. Please see the explanatory note at the end of this finding aid for information regarding the arrangement of the manuscripts as well as the abbreviations commonly used in descriptions.
The papers range in date from 1914 to 1976 and are arranged in four series: Works, Letters, Recipient, and Miscellaneous, followed by a separate small group of materials previously described in the card catalog.
The Works series (boxes 1-39) contains manuscripts for a number of Reavey's works, including The Colours of Memory (1955), Faust's Metamorphoses (1932), 14 Great Short Stories by Soviet Authors (1959), Modern Soviet Short Stories (1961), The New Russian Poets (1966), Nostradam (1935), and Signes d'Adieu (1935). There are also a number of Reavey's diaries, notebooks, and notes. Because Reavey was Samuel Beckett's first literary agent, there are memoirs, notes, and writings by Reavey about Beckett in this series. For a complete list of manuscript works by Reavey, see the Index of Works located at the end of this finding aid.
Letters written by Reavey are found in the Letters series (boxes 40-42), and his incoming correspondence is located in the Recipient series (boxes 43-63). Authors, writers, artists, translators, publications, publishers, and universities make up the bulk of Reavey's correspondents, which include notables such as Samuel Beckett, Brian Coffey, Denis Devlin, Stanley William Hayter, John Lehmann, Thomas MacGreevy, Marianne Moore, Boris Pasternak, Irene Rice Pereira, Dylan Thomas and others. For a complete list of correspondent names, see the Index of Letters (Reavey's outgoing) and the Index of Recipients (Reavey's incoming) located at end of this finding aid.
The Miscellaneous series (boxes 64-114) includes works and/or correspondence written by or to persons other than Reavey. Most frequently, the works represent by translations created by Reavey or others. The files often include the English translations along with original Russian texts, usually pasteup copies from print sources. Russian authors whose works predominate include Andrey Bely, Boris Pasternak, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko, but the work of more than fifty other Russian poets or writers are represented.
Samuel Beckett, Brian Coffey, Denis Devlin, Paul Éluard, Charles Henri Ford, and George Reavey are also documented in files for Reavey's Europa Press (1932-1939), which contain advertisements, order forms, book jackets, specimen pages, and some financial information. Also dating from the 1930s, Reavey's European Literary Bureau is represented by an author list and some contracts, notes, and sales information. Some manuscripts in the Miscellaneous series also bear the label or stamp of the European Literary Bureau, but are filed under the author's name. Among the authors represented by original manuscripts in this series are Denis Devlin, Georges Duhamel, Paul Éluard, Jacques Maritain, and Alexey Remizov among others.
Many personal papers in the Miscellaneous series help to illuminate Reavey's life, such as address and appointment books, biographical and bibliographical notes, contracts, divorce papers, financial records, notebooks, passports, school certificates, and teaching and other employment records. Also present are works, correspondence, and other papers of Reavey's three wives: Gwynedd Reavey (married 1937; divorced 1950), artist Irene Rice Pereira (1902-1971; married 1950, divorced 1959), and playwright Jean Bullowa Reavey (1917-1987; married 1960). The materials representing Pereira are the most extensive and help to document her career. Other relations, such as Reavey's father Daniel and his mother Sophia, are represented by correspondence and other papers.
A small group of printed invitations, programs, catalogs, and flyers in the Reavey papers represent a number of literary and other cultural events, such as art exhibitions, concerts, readings, and other cultural events, including the London International Surrealism Exhibition of 1936.
A detailed Index of items in the Miscellaneous series is included at the end of this finding aid.
The materials previously described in the card catalog include nearly 200 letters between George Reavey and Samuel Beckett from 1932-1976; letters from Beckett to Gwynedd Reavey; letters between Beckett and Jean Bullowa Reavey; a manuscript by Paul Éluard; and a letter from Edward Weeks to Reavey. The container list reproduces the card catalog descriptions of all of these materials, with box 115 containing the letters of Samuel Beckett to George Reavey. The rest of the card catalog materials were distributed into the previous four series as appropriate. The card catalog materials are also indexed in the relevant indexes contained in this finding aid.

The Ransom Center Photography Collection holds the George Reavey Literary File, consisting of 174 photographs, almost half of which are views of the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. Additional subjects include Reavey, his second wife Irene Rice Pereira, Samuel Beckett, Boris Pasternak, Dylan Thomas, and various other people.