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Christopher Middleton:

A Preliminary Inventory of an Addition to His Papers in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Middleton, Christopher, 1926-
Title: Christopher Middleton Papers (Addition)
Dates: 1962-2003
Extent: 40 boxes, 6 galley folders (16.8 linear feet)
Abstract: This acquisition of papers from Christopher Middleton, poet, translator, and essayist, is a substantial addition to his materials previously received and cataloged at the Ransom Center. The papers include his original poetry and prose works, translations, essays, correspondence, and published writings.
Language: English
Access:

Open for research




Acquisition:

Purchase, 2003 (Reg. no. 15159)

Processed by:

Isabel Morales and Liz Murray, 2004

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center


This acquisition of papers from Christopher Middleton, poet, translator, and essayist, is a substantial addition to his materials previously received and cataloged at the Ransom Center. The papers include his original poetry and prose works, translations, essays, correspondence, and published writings. Middleton provided a detailed descriptive list for the collection, and his original order has been followed throughout, except for minor adjustments to maintain consistency. For his original writings, Middleton's order of creation follows a progression from handwritten drafts, primarily in notebooks, to typescripts and ultimately to page proofs and galleys. The material is arranged in three series: Series I. Works, 1968-2003; Series II. Correspondence, 1962-2001; and Series III. Periodical Publications.

Series I. Works contains three subseries, each arranged in chronological order: A. Original Poetry and Prose; B. Translations; and C. Essays and Reviews. Titles of works, primarily published poetry, in Subseries A. include Our Flowers & Nice Bones (1969), The Lonely Suppers of W. V. Balloon (1975), Pataxanadu, & Other Prose (1977), Carminalenia (1980), 111 Poems (1983), Serpentine (1985), Two Horse Wagon Going By (1986), Selected Writings (1989), The Balcony Tree (1992), Intimate Chronicles (1996), In the Mirror of the Eighth King (1999), Twenty Tropes for Doctor Dark (2000), The Word Pavilion and Selected Poems (2001), Crypto-Topographia: Stories of Secret Places (2002), and Of Mortal Fire: 1999-2002 (2003). In addition to handwritten notes for the majority of works in the chronological listing, there are additional notebooks that contain drafts of poems, translations, and essays. Because multiple works are represented in each notebook, an index was created to link the published work with the various notebooks. This alphabetical index is found at the end of the folder list.

The prose and poetry translations in Subseries B. contain anthologies, edited by Middleton and translated in collaboration with others, as well as his translations of others' works. Included are Modern German Poetry, 1910-1960 (1962), German Writing Today (1967), Selected Letters of Friedrich Nietzsche (1969), Christa Wolf's The Quest for Christa T (1970), Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin and Eduard Mörike (1972), Robert Walser's Selected Stories (1983), Selected Poems of Goethe (1983), Christoph Meckel's The Figure on the Boundary Line: Selected Prose (1983), Andalusian Poems (1993), and numerous works by Gert Hofmann and Lars Gustaffson (1984-2000). Essays and reviews are found in Subseries C., most especially The Pursuit of the Kingfisher (1983).

Series II. Correspondence, 1962-2001, contains two subseries, Alphabetical Files and Chronological Files. The Alphabetical Files contain letters from poets, writers, and translators, with occasional copies of Middleton's responses. Correspondents include Leonardo Alishan, Basil Bunting, Cid Corman, Michel Deguy, Babette Deutsch, James Dickey, Lawrence Durrell, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Günter Grass, Thom Gunn, Donald Hall, Michael Hamburger, Michael Harlow, John Hawkes, Ernst Jandl, Robinson Jeffers, Erwin Jereb, Ronald Johnson, August Kleinzahler, Denise Levertov, Cecil Day Lewis, Thomas Lowenstein, Gerard Malanga, Robert Marteau, Friederike Mayröcker, Mary McCarthy, W. S. Merwin, Gloria Oden, Octavio Paz, Peter Redgrove, Hans Richter, David Rokeah, Claude Royet-Journoud, Siegfried Sassoon, Thomás Segovia, Karl Shapiro, Roger Shattuck, Edison Simons, Nathaniel Tarn, Dumitru Tsepeneag, Rosmarie and Keith Waldrop, Donald Weismann, David Wevill, Tom Whalen, John Willett, and Jonathan Williams. The Chronological Files, 1962-2001, are subdivided into three subject areas: Publishers, Periodicals, and Translations and editorial material.

The periodical publications in Series III. contain writings by Middleton, especially poems, but also essays and reviews. The material is arranged in alphabetical order by serial title.


Middleton's works and other books received with the manuscripts have been transferred to the Ransom Center Library.