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University of Texas at Austin

Bernard Malamud:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Malamud, Bernard1914-1986
Title: Bernard Malamud Papers
Dates: 1940-1996
Extent: 32 boxes (13.23 linear feet)
Abstract: The collection consists primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence, as well as appointment calendars, articles, audio tapes, essays, holograph notebooks and manuscripts, interviews, lectures, office files, reviews, and typescripts.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-04783
Language: English
Access: Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition: Purchase (R 14069) and Gift (G 11121), 1997
Processed by: Liz Murray, 1998

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Scope and Contents

This collection of correspondence and papers of American novelist and short story writer Bernard Malamud was received through his wife Ann de Chira Malamud, both as a purchase and a gift. The collection consists primarily of incoming and outgoing correspondence, as well as appointment calendars, articles, audio tapes, essays, holograph notebooks and manuscripts, interviews, lectures, office files, reviews, and typescripts. Much of the collection had been identified and arranged prior to receipt at the Ransom Center. Some penciled identifications appear to be in Malamud's hand, especially in the correspondence series. For the most part, original folder titles were used in the inventory as given, with bracketed information added during accessioning.
The collection is arranged in four series: I. Correspondence, 1941-1996 (18 boxes); II. Writings, 1930s-1982 (3 boxes); III. Career-Related Material, 1940-1989 (7 boxes); and IV. About Malamud, 1960s-1990, nd (2 boxes).
The Correspondence Series, spanning Malamud's teaching and writing career (1949-86), contains individual correspondent files as well as subject files for acquaintances, American writers, fan letters, and friends. The largest group of letters is from Malamud's brother Eugene, from the 1940s to 1970s. Several folders of correspondence with Malamud's literary agency Russell & Volkening, especially Diarmuid Russell, complement a larger collection of Russell & Volkening correspondence previously received at the Ransom Center. Prominent literary correspondents include John Barth, Ben Belitt, Saul Bellow, Kay Boyle, Harold Brodkey, Kenneth Burke, John Cheever, Malcolm Cowley, Ralph Ellison, Leslie Fiedler, Robert Giroux, Herbert Gold, Lillian Hellman, John Hersey, Granville Hicks, Irving Howe, Alfred Kazin, Frank Kermode, Archibald MacLeish, Norman Mailer, Howard Nemerov, Edna O'Brien, Flannery O'Connor, Joyce Carol Oates, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Rahv, Theodore Roethke, Philip Roth, C. P. Snow, Lionel Trilling, John Updike, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Penn Warren, and Eudora Welty. Correspondence after Malamud's death (1986-96) deals mainly with his estate and other literary affairs. Of note are three folders of Malamud's letters to his wife Ann, dating from 1941 to 1968. These letters were restricted until Ann's death in 2007 and were released in 2009.
Letters for some correspondents appear both in their individual folder and in subject folders. Malamud's folder titles were transferred to new folders and his original folders were retained. Original order was also maintained within folders, usually a rough chronological or alphabetical sequence. Scattered throughout the files are copies of Malamud's letters, as well as numerous holograph drafts. Most incoming letters lack envelopes.
Malamud's writings in Series II comprise holograph and typescript manuscripts as well as holograph notebooks. Early notes for three novels are present: "The Apprentice, " later called The Assistant, "The Juggler " which became Dubin's Lives, and a chapter fragment for The Tenants. Also present are typescripts of "The People, " edited by Ann Malamud which was published posthumously as The People and Uncollected Stories. Notes on other authors' works, story ideas and stories which appeared in The Erasmian, writings about his brother Eugene, and memoir drafts are included.
Series III. Career-Related Material, contains Subseries A. Appointment Calendars and Subseries B. Business and Personal Papers. The appointment calendars in Subseries A, 1968-1986, offer a full account of Malamud's meetings and whereabouts for more than twenty years. The business and personal papers in Subseries B include topics such as expenses, house ownership, income, stock inventories, literary executors, disposition of the Malamud library, medical information, professional events and associations, honors, awards, honorary degrees, and travel.
The last series, Series IV. About Malamud, contains articles, essays, interviews, and reviews about Malamud's work as well as bio-bibliographical information, condolence letters, and special events in tribute to Malamud. Audio tapes are present in cassette and reel-to-reel format including interviews, readings, talks, and tributes such as discussion of A New Life, Corvallis, Oregon, 1961; short story reading at Farleigh Dickinson University, 1978; Poetry Center reading, April 1985; interview with Townsend Ludington, England; and PEN/Malamud Award Reading and Ceremony, 1993 and 1994.
In all, the collection is in good condition although Malamud used a highly-acidic paper for much of his correspondence copies.

Separated Material

A few serial publications received with the papers were transferred to the Ransom Center Library.
Three numbered etchings by Karl Schrag, "Cloud, Rain and Sea," "Nightmist and Rising Moon," and "Summer House," were transferred to the Ransom Center Art Collection.
Sound recording were transferred to the Center's Sound Recording Collection.

Bernard Malamud Papers--Folder List