||The papers of American novelist Don DeLillo consist of manuscripts and related
materials for most of his novels, plays, short fiction and non-fiction works,
professional and personal correspondence files, as well as a collection of published
versions of his short works. The collection is arranged in four series: I. Works,
1968-2011; II. Correspondence, 1959-2008; III. Publications, 1960-2003; and IV.
Career-Related, circa 1978-2008.
||Series I. Works makes up the bulk of the collection and is divided into two
subseries: A. Full-Length Novels and Plays, 1968-2011 and B. Short Works, 1975-2009.
The works are arranged alphabetically by title within each subseries; materials
individual works, in turn, are generally arranged in creation order. The research
clippings, note fragments, and multiple edited drafts contained in this series
provide insight into DeLillo's creative process. DeLillo often typed drafts one
paragraph per page and edited continuously until he achieved his desired results.
The series contains hundreds of pages with reworked individual paragraphs.
||Subseries A. includes notes, research materials, multiple typescript drafts, and
proofs, along with associated editorial correspondence and reviews for DeLillo's
novels and magazine excerpts. Research materials for the novels range from dozens
news clippings to pamphlets on nuclear fallout to airline emergency procedure
booklets. This subseries also includes manuscripts and related production and
performance materials for DeLillo's plays The Day
Room (1986), The Engineer of Moonlight
(1979), Valparaiso (1999), and Love-Lies-Bleeding (2006), as well as a screenplay, Game 6.
||Material associated with the novels Falling Man (2007)
and Point Omega (2011), the short story "Hammer and Sickle," and the play Love-Lies-Bleeding (2006), as well as other works,
includes folders of note fragments. These are handwritten notes on small pieces
paper that DeLillo grouped and paper-clipped together. In some instances, these
smaller groupings were clipped together into larger groupings. For preservation
purposes, the paper clips were removed and each grouping placed into a white paper
||The Short Works in Subseries B. are both fiction and non-fiction, and include short
stories, a novella, playlets, articles, and essays, as documented through notes,
drafts, proofs, and correspondence.
||While some editorial correspondence is located in the Works series, a substantial
amount of DeLillo's correspondence with his editors is found in Series II.
Correspondence. The sizeable correspondence files that make up this series are
arranged in three subseries, matching DeLillo's original filing system: A.
Alphabetical Files, B. Professional Correspondence, and C. Chronological Personal
and Fan Files. The Alphabetical Files contain large runs of correspondence from
individuals such as Tom Grimes, Tom LeClair, Frank Lentrrichia, and Gordon Lish.
There are few examples of outgoing correspondence from DeLillo in the collection,
but among the notable exceptions are exchanges between DeLillo and fellow authors
Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace concerning Underworld and the art of writing. Other prominent correspondents
include Nelson Algren, Paul Auster, Russell Banks, Ann Beattie, Harold Brodkey,
Robert Coover, Frederick Exley, Jonathan Safran Foer, Mary Karr, Norman Mailer,
Moody, and Philip Roth.
||The Professional Correspondence in Subseries B. includes letters concerning DeLillo's
published works, mainly from his editors and translators, but also from those
interested in film and theatrical adaptations of his works. There are many pieces
correspondence between DeLillo and his longtime editor Nan Graham, as well as
agent, Lois Wallace. There is an interesting selection of correspondence concerning
the translation of DeLillo's works, including jocular notes between DeLillo and
translators, as well as many lists of the precise meaning of the vernacular of
characters and prose. These lists were generally written as responses to a
translator's specific questions from the text.
||The Chronological Files in Subseries C., beginning in 1971 and continuing through
2003, consist primarily of fan mail. However, there are also many letters from
friends of DeLillo and his wife, Barbara, as well as copies of responses written
||A name index of all incoming correspondence is provided with this finding aid.
||Series III. Publications includes four boxes of periodicals which contain the
published texts of DeLillo's shorter works. These publications range from the
New Yorker to Sports
Illustrated and contain articles, essays, short stories, and playlets by
||Series IV. Career-Related contains a variety of material documenting DeLillo's career
and interests. Contents include papers from a conference held for translators
worked on Underworld; materials demonstrating DeLillo's support for Salman Rushdie;
and ephemera connected to the Jerusalem Prize that was awarded to DeLillo in 1999.
This series also includes works by others such as material associated with dance
stage adaptations of DeLillo's novel The Body Artist,
as well as copies of theses, essays, and dissertations written by scholars and
students about DeLillo's works. Also in this series are materials from the Telluride
and European film festivals at which DeLillo participated. He served on the official
Selection Jury at the 2007 European Film Festival and was Guest Director at the
Telluride Film Festival. Publicity material such as interviews, profiles, conference
proceedings, posters, and other printed material are also contained in this
||Audio and video recordings, as well as books received with the papers were
transferred to appropriate departments within the Ransom Center.
||DeLillo's own identifications of manuscripts and drafts, when available, are used
the container list descriptions and appear in single quotation marks.