Special Collections Department
Paul Bowles Collection
1943 - 1994
Manuscript Collection Number: 486
Accessioned: Gift of Nancy Hoyt, May 2002
Extent: .6 linear ft.
Content: Correspondence, periodicals, journals, printed works, phonographs, theater program, news clippings, and ephemera.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: January 2004
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
The American composer and author Paul Frederic Bowles was born in New York City on December 30, 1910; he died in Tangiers, Morocco, November 18, 1999. Bowles was published at age seventeen, abandoned college, and in 1929 began his life of travels with a trip to Paris, where he hoped to establish himself as a poet. Back in New York in 1930, he studied composition with Aaron Copland, whom he also accompanied to Yaddo in Sarasota Springs, New York, and Paris, Berlin, and Tangier. With the support of Copland and Virgil Thomson, Bowles found work in New York writing incidental music and scores for ballet and theater. His successful career as a composer took off in the Depression with work for the Federal Theater Project (including music for Orson Welles’s Horse Eats Hat) and the Federal Music Project. Bowles became one of the preeminent composers of American theater music, producing works for William Saroyan, Tennessee Williams, and others. During the 1990s, a resurgence of interest in Bowles’s music culminated in a number of major concerts and performances in the United States and Europe. In addition, a new generation of musicians released several well-received recordings of Bowles’s compositions.
In 1938, Paul Bowles married the aspiring writer Jane Auer, who shortly achieved critical acclaim for her first novel, Two Serious Ladies (1943). Inspired by his wife’s success and her dedication to writing, Bowles began his own career as an author, eventually surpassing his already successful reputation as a composer. Since the 1940s, he produced numerous works of fiction, essays, travel writing, poems, autobiographical pieces, and other works. Among Bowles’s best-known fictional works are the novels The Sheltering Sky (1949), Let It Come Down (1952), The Spider’s House (1955); and an early short story collection, The Delicate Prey and Other Stories (1950). A 1989 reprint of The Sheltering Sky and Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1990 film version of the novel, starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich, revived international interest in Bowles, the writer.
Bowles is equally known as a prolific translator. He translated Jean-Paul Sartre’s Huis Clos, giving the play its English title “No Exit” (1946), and his translation remains the standard version for English language productions. During the 1940s, Bowles translated the poems and stories of a wide variety of European and Latin American authors. Bowles taped and transcribed from the Moghrebi tales by Mohammed Mrabet and several other Moroccan story tellers; and his translations have broadened readership of Guatemalan author Rodrigo Rey Rosa. Bowles translated several works related to North African culture and geography, and generously introduced and prefaced photographic collections, travel writing, and stories by other authors who share those interests.
Paul and Jane Bowles spent much of their married life traveling throughout the world and in the late 1940s made Tangier, Morocco, their permanent home. Major figures in the world of letters and the arts and international “society” frequently visited them there. Jane Bowles died in 1973, and Bowles continued to reside in Tangier until his death on November 18, 1999.
The San Francisco bibliophile and collector Nancy Hoyt built a comprehensive collection of the works of Jane and Paul Bowles, including variant and later editions of most titles, anthology and periodical appearances, translations, printed music, and audio recordings. Ms. Hoyt is a member and former director of the Book Club of California.
Miller, Jeffrey. Paul Bowles: A Descriptive Bibliography. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Black Sparrow Press, 1986.
Sawyer-Lauçanno, Christopher. An Invisible Spectator: A Biography of Paul Bowles. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989.
The Nancy Hoyt Paul Bowles Collection contains .6 linear feet of correspondence, periodicals, journals, printed works, phonographs, news clippings, and ephemera spanning the dates of 1943 – 1994. The archive comprises the miscellaney of Hoyt’s extensive Bowles collection and represents a cross section of Bowles’s activities as a writer, contributor, and editor for periodicals and literary journals, primarily during the 1950s- 1970s. The Nancy Hoyt collection complements the University of Delaware Library’s extensive holdings of Paul Bowles materials. This manuscripts component of Ms. Hoyt’s gift is but a small part of the larger Bowles collection that she donated to the University of Delaware Library in 2002. The books and other printed materials from her Bowles collection have been cataloged and added to Printed Collections in the Special Collections Department.
The collection is organized according to genre and grouped into five series. Series I. Correspondence comprises collected samples of the incoming and outgoing correspondence of Paul Bowles, including outgoing correspondence of Jane Bowles. Included are letters from Bowles to British-Canadian author Brion Gysin and the American publisher-editor Daniel Halpern; a group of letters between Bowles and Arthur and Glee Knight concerning Bowles’s contribution to the Knights’ The Beat Book (1974); and several letters to little magazine publisher Irving Stettner (Stroker), five of which are from Mohammed Mrabet, as transcribed by Bowles. The Jane Bowles correspondence includes a letter written to William Saroyan and a banking document, both in Jane Bowles’s hand.
Series II. Manuscripts includes a typescript photocopy of Bowles’s translation of Léon Leal’s story “In the Oasis” and the original typescript for Bowles’s story “Pastor Dowe at Tacaté” (1949), which appeared in Mademoiselle prior to the publication of The Sheltering Sky.
Series III. Journals and Printed works contains published works by or about Paul Bowles. The series is organized according to the title of the publication, and includes well-known literary journals such as The American Mercury, Evergreen Review, The Paris Review, The Partisan Review, and transition, as well as several smaller journals, including Big Table and Zero
Series IV. Periodicals contains six issues of View, for which Bowles was a contributor and guest editor during the mid 1940s, and one issue of Holiday from 1953.
Series V. Ephemera comprises a 1990 exhibition poster from the University of Texas at Austin and miscellaneous news clippings (1986 – 1994 ) related to Bowles.
Mss 164 Paul Bowles collection
Mss 163 Paul Bowles papers
Irene Herrmann Paul Bowles Music Collection
Owsley Brown Night Waltz Archive
I. Correspondence II. Manuscripts III. Journals and Printed Works IV. Periodicals V. Ephemera
Box -- Folder -- Contents
Correspondence All letters are to or from PB unless otherwise indicated. Correspondence: from PB to miscellaneous correspondents 1 F1 1975 Jan 6 PB to Robert F. Allen TLS 1 p Includes bookseller’s invoice. Saturday PB to Ira Cohen TLS 1 p n.d. PB to Daniel Halpern ALS 1 p Correspondence: PB to Brion Gysin F2 Monday PB to Gysin ALS 1 p Thursday PB to Gysin ALS 1 p w/ envelope 1979 Sep 30 PB to Gysin TLS 1 p w/ envelope Correspondence: PB – Glee and Arthur Knight F3 1974 Mar 10 Glee & Arthur Knight to PB TL(c) 1 p 1974 Mar 22 PB to Glee & Arthur Knight TLS 1 p 1974 Mar 27 Glee & Arthur Knight to PB TL(c) 1 p 1974 Apr 2 PB to Glee and Arthur Knight TLS 1 p 1974 Apr 10 Glee & Arthur Knight to PB TL(c) 1 p 1975 Feb 6 Glee & Arthur Knight to PB TLS 1 p Includes bookseller’s invoice. Correspondence: Irving Stettner from PB and Mohammed Mrabet F4 1979 Oct 22 MM to Stettner TLS 1 p 1979 Nov 15 MM to Stettner TLS 1 p 1979 Dec 5 MM to Stettner TLS 2 pp Includes PB’s autograph note explaining to Stettner that he exercises “no censorship” when transcribing MM’s letters. 1981 Jan 23 MM to Stettner TLS 3 pp w/ envelope. Includes bookseller’s invoice. 1981 Feb 15 MM to Stettner TLS 2 pp Mrabet dictated these letters to PB who typed them and made some autograph corrections. Four mailing envelopes and original bookseller’s description are included. 1984 Mar 28 PB to Stettner TLS 1 p w/ envelope. Discusses the Léon Leal story “In the Oasis.” F4 1984 Apr 24 PB to Stettner TLS 1 p w/ envelope *See also F6 for further Stettner correspondence. Correspondence: Jane Bowles F5 n.d. JB to William Saroyan ALS 1 p Letter on stationery from the Chelsea Hotel, New York City, ca. 1940s. 1973 Aug 25 PB to William Targ TLS 1 p Together with ALS bank document in JB’s hand dated 16 Oct 1966. Bookseller’s description included. II. Manuscripts F6 “In the Oasis,” n.d. Typescript photocopy of a story by Léon Leal, translated from the Spanish by PB. 5 pp. Includes TLS, PB to Stettner, 1984 Mar 8, 1 p w/ envelope. F7 “Love’s Old Sweet Song,” 1959 Signed autograph by PB. One line music staff with song lyrics, 16 Mar 1959. F8 “Pastor Dowe at Tacaté,” 1949 Typescript manuscript with autograph corrections by PB and an editor at Mademoiselle. Date stamped on page 1 “1948 Dec 3.” 35 pp. Together with TLS, 1949 Jun 9, Margarita Smith to Herschel Brickell, 2 pp concerning PB’s story “Pastor Dowe at Tacaté,” published in Mademoiselle, February 1949. Brickell’s autograph reply is written at the head of the original correspondence, also includes original bookseller’s description. III. Journals and Printed Works Miller bibliography numbers follow each entry, when available F9 American Mercury LXXII: 330, Jun 1951 “No More Djinns.” (C592) Big Table No. 2, Summer 1959 “Burroughs in Tangier” (C632) City Lights Review No. 3, 1989 “Dust on Her Tongue,” by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated by PB. F9 Evergreen Review No. 26, Sep-Oct 1962 “The Orphan,” by Driss ben Hamid Chahadi, translated by PB. (C644) F10 Kulchur Spring 1960 “Ketama-Taza” (C634) London Magazine (3 items) 1:3, Apr 1954 “If I Should Open My Mouth” (C605) 1:6, Jul 1954 “Letter from Tangier” (C607) 7:10, Oct 1960 “Merkala Beach” (C637) Omphalos 1:1, March 1972 “Abdeslam and Amar,” by Mohammed Mrabet, translated by PB. (C679) Paris Review No. 81, Fall 1981 Paul Bowles Interview (C752) F11 The Review of Contemporary Fiction II:2, Fall 1982 Paul Bowles featured (C770) 2 F12 Partisan Review XV:3, Mar 1948 “Under the Sky” (C574) “A Picnic Cantata: for four women’s voices, two pianos and percussion” Music by Paul Bowles / Text by James Schuyler The Town Hall Theater program and text insert, 1954 (E44) Prose No. 4, Spring 1972 “From Notes Taken in Thailand” (C682) F12 Sparrow No. 37, Oct 1975 Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press “Hadidan Aharam” by Mohammed Mrabet, translated by PB. (B78) transition No. 12, March 1928 “Spire Song” poem (C44) in transition: A Paris Anthology NY: Anchor Books, 1990 “Entity” and “Delicate Song” F13 Twentieth Century Literature 32:3/4, Fall/Winter 1986 Paul Bowles Issue Zero 2:7, Spring 1956 “Notes Taken in Ceylon” (B24) IV. Periodicals F14 Holiday 13:1, Jan 1953 PB’s “The Secret Sahara.” (C595) F15 View, 1943 – 1946 (six issues) 3:1, Apr 1943 PB on modern music. Includes bookseller’s invoice and letter regarding Hoyt’s PB collection. (C194) 5:2, May 1945 Tropical Americana issue, edited by PB with his translations. Includes bookseller’s invoice. (C476- 485) 5:4, Nov 1945 PB’s translation of Francis Ponge’s “A New Introduction to the Pebble.” (C511) 5:5, Dec 1945 PB’s short story “The Scorpion” and his translation of Jean Ferry’s “She Woke Me Up so I Killed Her.” (C529- 533) F15 View, 1943 – 1946 (cont’d) 6:1, Feb 1946 PB’s translation of Germain Brice’s “Letter From France.” (C559) 7:1, Oct 1946 PB’s short story “By the Water.” (C564) V. Ephemera F16 Exhibition Poster, 1990 “A Birthday Celebration: An Exhibition of Books and Manuscripts of Paul Bowles,” University of Texas at Austin, Sep – Dec 1990. Removed to Oversized. F17 In Touch: The Letters of Paul Bowles Book party invitation, Treehorn Books, Santa Rosa, California, May 5, 1994. F18 News Clippings, 1986 – 1994 Various newspaper and magazine clippings related to Bowles.
Last modified: 07/28/11