Spanning six decades from the 1940s to 1990s, this comprehensive
collection of Ronald Sukenick, innovative writer, publisher, theorist, and
educator, contains drafts of his novels, short stories, and literary
non-fiction as well as personal and professional correspondence and material
associated with his college and teaching years.
The collection is organized in four Series: Series I. Works (52 boxes),
Series II. Correspondence, 1940s-1990s (26 boxes), Series III.
Personal/Career-Related (21 boxes), and Series IV. Works of Others (6
The first and largest series, Works, is divided into two subseries: A.
Books, and B. Other Writings. The book material in Subseries A is arranged by
title and includes Sukenick's novels
Long Talking Bad Conditions Blues,
Up. Also present are his short story
Doggy Bag and
The Death of the Novel and Other Stories,
his short fiction work,
Endless Short Story, non-fiction narrative,
Down and In, and critical work on the theory
In Form, Digressions on the Act of Fiction.
Both his Ph.D. dissertation and subsequent published work
Wallace Stevens: Musing the Obscure are also
included. Within most titles, the order follows the creative process from notes
and drafts to proofs and galleys. Several novels, particularly
Blown Away, contain drafts with title
changes as the works developed and merged over time. Subseries B includes
articles, book blurbs, book-length works, book reviews, letters to editors, a
screenplay, and short stories.
The correspondence in Series II ranges from Sukenick's boyhood camp
letters of the early 1940s to the more complex professional exchanges between
publishers and colleagues through the decades to the 1990s. Arranged in
chronological order, the predominately incoming correspondence records his
college years at Cornell and Brandeis, frequent European travels including his
Fulbright Fellowship in 1958-59, teaching at various universities (especially
the University of Colorado, Boulder), and five decades of his professional and
personal life. His seminal work with
American Book Review, Fiction Collective,
and Black Ice is reflected throughout, as is his correspondence with
publishers, agents, and colleagues.
Series III contains a combination of personal and career-related
material including address books, appointment calendars, personal documents and
memorabilia, photographs from Sukenick's childhood through the 1970s, grade
school autograph books, college writing assignments as well as his own teaching
files, correspondence and material pertaining to the Coordinating Council of
Literary Magazines, articles about him, and reviews of his works.
Sukenick's friends, colleagues, and former students often sent their
writings to him, sometimes for critical response as well as keeping him
informed of their literary progress. These works are found in Series IV. Works
of Others, arranged alphabetically by author. Included are writings of his
close friends Ray Federman, Jerome Klinkowitz, and Martin Washburn, as well as
a few pieces by his former wife Lynn Luria-Sukenick.
Books, serials, personal effects and audio/video tapes received with the
collection have been transferred to departments within the Ransom Center. The
nearly 300 journal issues contain Sukenick's published works and represent his
other literary involvements, most especially a long run of
American Book Review. Also of interest are
cassette tapes containing an oral version of
Blown Away which Sukenick produced to assure
an effective cadence. To that end, he changed the written composition as he
went along according to his "hearing" rather than
reading of the manuscript. Also included are tapes of his innovative electronic
"Endless Short Story," interviews with
literary notables for
Down and In, and a near-final version of the
film based on his novel