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Kay Boyle and Joseph Franckenstein correspondence

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

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Kay Boyle and Joseph Franckenstein correspondence, 1940-1963 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Kay Boyle and Joseph Franckenstein correspondence, 1940-1963Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 184

Primary Creator: Boyle, Kay, (1902-1992)

Other Creators: Franckenstein, Joseph.

Extent: 26.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged chronologically.

Subjects: Anti-Nazi movement., Austria., Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992, Breuer, Bessie, b. 1893, Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968., Flandeau, Grace., Franckenstein, Joseph., Leiper, Maria., McCarthyism., McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967., McCullers, Reeves, 1913-1953., Morris, Edita, 1902-, Morris, Ira., Neo-Nazism., Reynolds, Mary, 1891-1950., World War, 1939-1945

Forms of Material: Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Correspondence, Correspondence., Franckenstein, Joseph. - Correspondence

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Kay Boyle and Joseph Franckenstein Collection was donated by Boyle in 1981 and consists primarily of their correspondence from the time Boyle met Franckenstein, when he tutored her children at her home with Laurence Vail in Megeve, France, until his death in 1963.  It is supplemented with correspondence from friends, family, and business associates, as well as photographs and news clippings. The nature of the correspondence is both personal and historically informing, beginning at the end of 1940 when Boyle learns of Franckenstein's experiences in an Austrian internment camp, his escape, and his run from the Nazis.  Their relationship built as they discussed his experiences, which Boyle was using in a novel she was working on.  The novel became Avalanche, published in 1944.  Other correspondence contains information about Boyle's activities including her work habits, her social life, as well as her family relationship.  It reveals how she researched her stories, where she found inspiration, and whom she looked to for opinions on and information for her writing.  Her friendships with Carson & Reeves McCullers, Grace Flandeau, Bessie Breuer, Mary Reynolds and Marcel Duchamp, Maria Leiper, Ira & Edita Morris are also chronicled with correspondence from them (as well as many others) in the collection.

 

This correspondence also reveals her tireless efforts on behalf of Franckenstein to get him accepted into the Armed Services--specifically the skit troops and later into the OSS based in London.  It poignantly points out the feelings she and he suffered after his capture as a spy and escape (for the second time) from the Nazis. The remaining letters, after they began a life together, spans mainly trips and time apart, ending with the declining health of Franckenstein as he traveled to Iran to work for the government in the State Department, Boyle's trip to Iran, the discovery of Franckenstein's cancer, his treatment in Germany, and his death in 1963.

Biographical Note

Kay Boyle was born in 1902 and was a member of the American expatriate movement of the 1920s and 1930s.  As a young woman Boyle studied architecture at the Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati.  Boyle's first contribution to a national publication was a letter to the editor, which appeared in Harriet Monroe's Poetry: A Magazine of Verse in 1921.

Sometime in 1925 Boyle became involved in This Quarter, a literary review, which published her work in the first three issues.  Her first published pieces had been poems in Poetry, Broom, Forum, and Contact. In 1929 the Crosbys' Black Sun Press published Boyle's first book, titled Short Stories, in a limited edition of 185 copies.

In the late 1930's Boyle befriended several of the period's most notable writers, including James Joyce and Gertrude Stein, as well as Robert McAlmon.  In addition to lending advice as a fellow artist, McAlmon helped her to leave Duncan Colony and provided financial assistance when funds were low.  Although they never produced a collaborative work during his lifetime, Boyle revisited McAlmon's 1938 autobiography after his death, adding chapters that gave her perspective on the events he described.  The result was a revised edition of Being Geniuses Together, published in 1968.  During this time Boyle met Joseph Franckenstein, an Austrian baron, mountain climber, skier, and scholar.  In 1943 Franckenstein and Boyle were married.  He became an American citizen that year, and as an OSS officer, parachuted into France to help the Resistance.  Much of Boyle's World War II writing is inspired by Franckenstein.  He and Boyle were in Germany during the occupation when Boyle turned out some of the finest postwar fiction for the New Yorker (collected in 1951 in The Smoking Mountain). He also was with her when she was accused of communist sympathies during the McCarthy era of the early fifties, and consequently lost his government job.  Though the charges were fought and ultimately dismissed, the blacklisting and the time and resources required to fight the charges exacted immeasurable harm on their personal and professional lives.  Shortly after moving to San Francisco, where Boyle had been appointed to the creative writing faculty of San Francisco State College in 1963, Franckenstein died of cancer.  They had two children. Boyle died in 1992.

Subject/Index Terms

Anti-Nazi movement.
Austria.
Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992
Breuer, Bessie, b. 1893
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968.
Flandeau, Grace.
Franckenstein, Joseph.
Leiper, Maria.
McCarthyism.
McCullers, Carson, 1917-1967.
McCullers, Reeves, 1913-1953.
Morris, Edita, 1902-
Morris, Ira.
Neo-Nazism.
Reynolds, Mary, 1891-1950.
World War, 1939-1945

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Preferred Citation: [Item], Kay Boyle and Joseph Franckenstein correspondence, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


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Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 1941 January 2 - February 15Add to your cart.

ALS January 2 Megeve 2 pp.

ALS January 6 Megeve 2 pp.

TLS January 21 Megeve

ALS January 23 Megeve

ALS January 26 Sallanches 3 pp. & ALS Anna to Barbara

ALS January 27 Sallanches 2 pp.

ALS January 27 Sallanches 3 pp.

ALS February 3 Sallanches

ALS February 4 Sallanches 3 pp.

TLS February 7 Megeve 2 pp.

ALS February 9 Megeve 2 pp.

ALS February 11 Megeve

ALS February 14 Gare de Marseilles

ALS February 14 Gare de Marseilles

Folder 2: 1941 February 16 - March 1Add to your cart.

TLS February 16 Bouche-du-Rhone 2 pp.

ALS February 17 Bouche-du-Rhone 2 pp.

ALS February 18 Marseilles  2 pp.

ALS February 19 Marseilles

ALS February 20 Marseilles 

ALS February 23 Vichy   2 pp.

ALS February 24 Marseilles

ALS February 26 Marseilles

ALS February 27 Lyon Gare

ALS February 27 Marseilles  3 pp.

ALS February 28 Megeve  (on fold out photos)

ALS March 1 Marseilles  2 pp.

Folder 3: 1941 March 3 - November 7Add to your cart.

ALS March 2 Lyon   2 pp.

TLS March 3 Cassis   2 pp.

ALS March 26 Marseilles  2 pp.

ALS June 14 Lisbon  

ALS June 17 Lisbon   3 pp.

ALS June 20 Lisbon   3 pp.

TLS November 5 Nyack   & TLS to JF from B. Stabler

ALS November 7 Nyack   3 pp.

Folder 4: 1941 November 8 - November 16Add to your cart.

TLS November 8 Nyack   2 pp.

TLS November 9 Nyack   2 pp. & newsclipping

TLS-ALS November 12  Nyack 2 pp. & 4 sheets blank paper

TLS November 13 Nyack 2 pp.

TLS-ALS  November 14  Nyack 2 pp.

TLS November 16 Nyack 3 pp.

Folder 5: 1941 November 17 - November 25Add to your cart.

TLS-ALS  November 17  Nyack 3 pp.

TLS November 19 Nyack & 3 pp. ALS Bessie Breuer

TLS November 20 Nyack 2 envelopes

ALS November 21

ALS November 21 Nyack 2 pp.

TLS November 24 Nyack 2 pp. & copy of ALS to George Popper

TLS November 24 Nyack 3 pp.

TLS November 25 Nyack 3 pp.

Folder 6: 1941 November 26 - November 30Add to your cart.

ALS November 26 New York 3 pp.

TLS November 27 Nyack 2 pp. & TLS to Mrs. Baker

TLS November 28 Nyack 2 pp. & TLS to KB from Hans Habe

TLS November 28 Nyack 2 pp. & ALS from Bobby Vail to JF, 2 pp.

TLS Ruth Portugal to KB

TLS to Mr. Cross

TLS November 30 Nyack & newsclippings

Folder 7: 1941 December 1 - December 5Add to your cart.

TLS December 1 Nyack 2 pp. & TLS to editor of NYT book review newsclippings

TLS December 1 Nyack

TLS December 3 Nyack 3 pp.

TLS December 4 Nyack 3 pp. & TLS Florence to KB

TLS Frances Phillips to KB

TLS Robert to KB

TLS December 5 Nyack & ALS, TLS KB to JF

TLS Hans Habe to KB

TLS KB to Hans Habe

TLS December 5 Nyack 2 pp.

Folder 8: 1941 December 7 - December 10Add to your cart.

TLS December 7 Nyack 3 pp. & TLS Robert to KB

TLS to Robert C. Brown

TLS KB to Mr. Seligmann

ALS December 7 Nyack 3 pp.

ENVEL  December 8 Nyack

ALS December 9 Nyack 3 pp.

ALS December 10 Nyack 2 pp.

TELE December 10 Nyack


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