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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.


Box and Folder Listing


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Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 1941 December 14 - December 19Add to your cart.

TLS December 14 Nyack 2 pp.

TLS December 15 Nyack 3 pp.

TLS-ALS  December 17  Nyack 4 pp. & TLS Grace Flandeau

TLS December 17

TLS December 17 Nyack 3 pp. & telegram

TLS-ALS December 18 Nyack

ALS December 19 Nyack & TLS Rene Wormser to KB

Folder 2: 1941 December 20 - December 30/31Add to your cart.

TLS December 20 Nyack 3 pp.

TLS December 21 New York

TLS December 22 Nyack 2 pp. & 2 pp. ALS Bessie Breuer, Newsclippings

TLS December 23 Nyack 3 pp.

TELE December 23 Nyack

TLS December 23 Nyack 2 pp. & 2 pp. TLS to NY Times, 3 pp. typed

poem by Bobby Vail, Newsclippings

TLS December 24 Nyack 4 pp.

ENVEL  December 26  Nyack

TLS December 29 Nyack 2 pp.

TLS December 29 Nyack

TLS December 30/31  Nyack 2 pp. & TLS Bessie Breuer to KB

Folder 3: undated, 1941Add to your cart.
Folder 4: 1941 February 5 - March 3Add to your cart.

ALS February 5 Megeve 3 pp.

ALS February 10 Megeve

ALS February 15 Megeve

ALS February 16 Megeve

ALS February 19 Megeve 2 pp.

ALS February 25 Megeve 2 pp.

ALS February 26-27 Megeve

ALS March 3 Megeve

Folder 5: 1941 May 2 - July 13Add to your cart.

TLS May 2 On Board the Winnipeg

TLS May 2 Marseille-Gare

ALS May 6 Marseille-Gare

TLS May 12 Casablanca & ALS George Popper

TLS May 29 Trinidad

ALS June 12 Miami, FL 2 pp.

ALS June 15 Miami, FL 3 pp.

ALS June 21 Miami, FL

ALS June 26 Miami, FL To KEB (KB's mother)

ALS June 27 Miami, FL

ALS June 29-July 1 Miami, FL 2 pp.

ALS July 3 Miami, FL

ALS July 9-11 Miami, FL 2 pp.

ALS July 11 Miami, FL

ALS July 13 Miami, FL 3 pp.

Folder 6: 1941 October 4 - November 17Add to your cart.

TLS October 4 Elsinore, CA to JF from D.H. Karczag

ALS November 5 Chicago, IL

ALS November 7 Salt Lake City, UT

ALS November 10 Elsinore

ALS November 11 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS November 12-13  Elsinore

ALS November 15 a.m.  Elsinore

ALS November 15 p.m.  Elsinore

ALS November 16 Elsinore

ALS November 16 Elsinore

ALS November 17 Elsinore

Folder 7: 1941 November 18 - November 30Add to your cart.

ALS November 18 Elsinore

ALS November 19-20  Elsinore 3 pp.

ALS November 21 Elsinore

ALS November 22 Elsinore

ALS November 23 Elsinore

ALS November 24 Elsinore

ALS November 25 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS November 25 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS November 26 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS November 27 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS November 28 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS November 30 Elsinore 3 pp.

Folder 8: 1941 December 1 - December 10Add to your cart.

ALS December 1 Elsinore

ALS December 2 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 3 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 4 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 4 to JF from US Dept. of Justice

Immigration & Naturalization Service

ALS December 5 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 6-7 Elsinore

ALS December 8 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 9 Elsinore 3 pp.

ALS December 10 Elsinore 2 pp.

Folder 9: 1941 December 11-12  - December 2Add to your cart.

ALS December 11-12  Elsinore 2 pp.

TELE December 13 Elsinore

ALS December 13-14  Alberhill, CA

ALS December 14 Los Angeles

ALS December 15 Alberhill

ALS December 16 Elsinore

ALS December 17 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 18 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 19 Elsinore

ALS December 20 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 22 Elsinore

ALS December 22 Elsinore

ALS December 23 Elsinore

Folder 10: 1941 December 24 - December 31Add to your cart.

ALS December 24 Elsinore

ALS December 24 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 27 Elsinore

ALS December 29 Elsinore

ALS December 29 Elsinore

ALS December 30 Elsinore 2 pp.

ALS December 31 Elsinore 4 pp.


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