Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup
Search Collections

Alexander Altschuller:

Collection of J. M. Coetzee at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Altschuller, Alexander
Title: Alexander Altschuller Collection of J. M. Coetzee
Dates: 1981-2005
Extent: 2 boxes (.84 linear feet), 1 galley file (gf)
Abstract: The Alexander Altschuller Collection of J. M. Coetzee contains correspondence between Coetzee and editors at his British publisher, Secker & Warburg, and his American publisher, Viking Penguin, as well as drafts, galley proofs, setting copy, publicity photos, publishing materials, and materials used by Coetzee for public readings.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-5296
Language: English
Access:

Open for research




Acquisition:

Purchase, 2012 (2012-11-008-G)

Processed by:

Stephen Cooper, 2013

Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


The Alexander Altschuller Collection of J. M. Coetzee contains correspondence between Coetzee and editors at his British publisher, Secker & Warburg, and his American publisher, Viking Penguin, as well as drafts, galley proofs, setting copy, publicity photos, publishing materials, and materials used by Coetzee for public readings. The collection is organized in three series: I. Works and Publishing, 1981-1996, undated; II. Publishing Correspondence, 1986-2003, undated; and III. Reading Excerpts, 1986-2005, undated.

The majority of the works in Series I., represented by handwritten drafts, proof sets, and setting copy, show some emendations by Coetzee and/or a copyeditor. Some drafts contain more extensive revisions, such as the items related to his short story “A Woman Grows Older.” These materials display Coetzee’s compositional process through a progression of six drafts, all but the last of which contain heavy revisions in Coetzee’s hand. At the top of each draft in the collection, Coetzee has noted the date and often the place at which he worked on it.

The correspondence in Series II., relating to such works as Dusklands, Foe, Life and Times of Michael K, and Waiting for the Barbarians, is predominately business related and contains discussions of his work in detail, publication elements such as preliminary pages, biographical notes, and dust jacket art, as well as routine editorial queries and responses.

Series III. consists largely of photocopied and printed excerpts used by Coetzee for readings in the United States, Hong Kong, and South Africa from 1986 to 2005. All of the texts include notes indicating starting and stopping points and minor revisions, and some texts, such as for Boyhood and Waiting for the Barbarians, contain page-long handwritten introductions.

These materials were assembled by Alexander Altschuller, a Massachusetts cardiologist and collector of modern and Russian literature.


Additional Coetzee materials at the Ransom Center are located in the J. M. Coetzee Papers.