University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Nancy Hoyt
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

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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

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.

Nancy Hoyt

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.

Scope and Content Note

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.

Related Collections:

Mss 164 Paul Bowles collection

Mss 324 Paul Bowles letters to John Martin

Mss 323 Paul Bowles letters to William Saroyan

Mss 163 Paul Bowles papers

Mss 165 Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno papers related to Paul Bowles

Irene Herrmann Paul Bowles Music Collection

Owsley Brown Night Waltz Archive

Series List

I.   Correspondence

II.  Manuscripts

III. Journals and Printed Works

IV.  Periodicals

V.   Ephemera

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

          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/
          1979 Sep 30  PB to Gysin              TLS      1 p w/
          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
     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
          1984 Mar 28  PB to Stettner           TLS      1 p w/
               envelope.  Discusses the Léon Leal story “In the
          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
     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)
          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
          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.
          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
          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-
          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-
     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

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