University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department


James T. Farrell Papers

ca. 1960 - 1965

Manuscript Collection Number: 214
Accessioned: Purchase, 1969.
Extent: 48 items (.25 linear ft.).
Content: Letters, manuscripts, notes.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 1989-1991 by Kim Sebold and Tim Murray.

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Table of Contents


Biographical Note

James T. Farrell was born in Chicago on February 27, 1904. Farrell was raised in Chicago and attended the University of Chicago. A good portion of his fiction is set in Chicago and focuses on working class and intellectual characters. Farrell published more than twenty-five novels during his lifetime, as well as numerous collections of stories and works of criticism, but he is best-known for his trilogy of novels focusing on the character Studs Lonigan, and for a series of five novels centered around the character Danny O'Neill. Farrell was also active in contemporary politics and is generally associated with writers of the American left who emerged during the 1930s and 1940s. In his later years, Farrell devoted much of his writing to a cycle of novels titled A Universe of Time which he began writing in the early 1960s and which he projected to approximately thirty titles. James T. Farrell died in 1979.

Scope Note

This group of papers consists of manuscripts of critical essays by the author James T. Farrell. It includes essays on such contemporary authors as E. E. Cummings, William Faulkner, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and Thomas Wolfe. Also included are several short comments on Farrell's own writing and a short unpublished fictional fragment from the Studs Lonigan trilogy. Accompanying the collections are ten letters from James T. Farrell to Walter Goldwater, the proprietor of University Place Bookshop (New York) who originally acquired the collection from Farrell. The correspondence spans the period June 1964 - September 1965 and concerns the sale of Farrell's manuscripts to Goldwater as well as personal matters.

Related collections:

Mss 495 David Bazelon papers

Mss 368 Gene Phillips collection of James T. Farrell papers


Contents List

Folder -- Contents

F1-  Series I.  Correspondence (1964 June - 1965 September).
F2        Consists of letters from James T. Farrell to Walter Goldwater, owner of
          University Place Bookshop, New York, New York.  Correspondence primarily
          concerns the sale of Farrell's manuscripts to Goldwater; however, Farrell discusses
          personal matters as well.  Envelopes have been retained with letters.  10 items.  31
          pp.


     Series II.  Manuscripts.

F3   Brief Notes on My Fiction
     Twenty brief descriptions of individual works of fiction by James T. Farrell.  All are
     signed by Farrell.  Included is a brief explanation and envelope addressed to Walter
     Goldwater.  (1963 September). ALS, TMs, 21pp.

F4   Christmas Spirit: Radio dialogue, 1930
     Playscript written in 1930 by Farrell.  Includes a note in Farrell's hand explaining the
     origins of this piece.  [n.d.]  ANS, ts, ts [carbon], 29pp.

F5   E. E. Cummings, [n.d.]
     Critical essay on Cummings's work.  AMs., 5pp.

F6-  William Faulkner, [n.d.]  
F7   Critical essay on Faulkner.  AMs, 36 pp.

F8   William Faulkner,  [n.d.]
     Rough draft for a critical essay on Faulkner.  AMs,  19 leaves. 

F9   William Faulkner, 1962
     Short poem which Farrell has subtitled "Thoughts on the Night of the Day that William
     Faulkner died."   AMs, 3 leaves.  Inscribed by the author to Walter Goldwater.

F10  Robert Frost, [n.d.]
     Farrell's impression of Frost after their first meeting.. AMs, 5 pp., with additional cover
     sheet containing Farrell's autograph notes.

F11  Hemingway, [n.d.]
     Farrell's opinion of Hemingway, written after his death. AMs, 20 pp.

F12- Ernest Hemingway, [n.d.]
F21  Critical essay on Hemingway and his various works.  AMs, Ts, 183 pp.

     Series II.  Manuscripts (cont'd)

F22  An Impression of Senator Kennedy, [n.d.]
     Written during John F. Kennedy's 1960 presidential campaign.  Ts [carbon], with
     autograph corrections, 5 pp.

F23  Fragment from the unpublished death fantasy sequence of "Judgement Day," [n.d.]
     Unpublished fragment from the Studs Lonigan trilogy.  Inscribed by Farrell to Walter
     Goldwater.  Ts [carbon], 24 pp. 

F24  Notes on Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, [n.d.]
     Critical essay on James Joyce and his work.  AMs, 8 pp.

F25  [Untitled essay], 1963
     Describes Farrell's relation with and opinions of other writers.  Also included is a
     discussion on his own writing.  Ts, 13 pp.

F26  Ezra Pound, [n.d.]
     Farrell's short account of his visit to Pound at St. Elizabeth's Hospital.  Possibly a
     fragment.  AMs, 5 pp.

F27- Thomas Wolfe, [n.d.]
F28  Farrell's impressions of Thomas Wolfe as a writer.  AMs, 36 pp.

F29  [Unidentified Manuscripts], [n.d.]
     Small group of fragments of unidentified work by Farrell.  Ts, AMs, 4 pp.


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