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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 10Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 1943 April 24 - April 29Add to your cart.

ALS April 24 Mount Vernon 2 pp.

ALS April 25 Mount Vernon & TLS Nina to KB

ALS April 25 New York 2 pp. 2 pp.

TLS Eunice Hobaert newsclippings

ALS April 27 New York & stamps

TLS George Popper to JF

ALS April 28 Mount Vernon 3 pp.

TLS Dick Simon to KB

ALS April 29 Mount Vernon 2 pp. & newsclippings

Folder 2: 1943 April 30 - May 6Add to your cart.

ALS April 30 New York 2 pp.

ALS April 30 New York 2 pp. & TLS Mary N. to KB

ALS May 2 New York 2 pp. & TLS Maria Leiper

ALS May 3 Mount Vernon 2 pp. & newsclipping

ALS May 4 Mount Vernon 2 pp.

ALS May 5 New York 2 pp. & newsclipping

ALS May 6 Mount Vernon 2 pp. & newsclipping

ALS May 6 Mount Vernon

Folder 3: 1943 May 7 - May 16Add to your cart.

ALS May 7 Mount Vernon 2 pp. & newsclipping

ALS May 8 Mount Vernon 2 pp. & newsclipping

ALS May 11 New York 2 pp.

ENVEL  May 12 Mount Vernon

ALS May 12 Mount Vernon

ALS May 12 Mount Vernon 2 pp.

TELE May 13 Mount Vernon

ALS May 14 New York & newsclippings

ALS May 15 New York & newsclippings

Folder 4: 1943 May 17 - June 1Add to your cart.

ALS-TLS  May 17 New York 3 pp. & newsclippings

ALS May 18 New York 2 pp.

ALS May 19 New York 2 pp.

ALS May 20 Mount Vernon 2 pp.

ALS May 23 Denver, CO

ALS May 24 Denver

ALS May 26 Denver

Folder 5: 1943 June 2 - June 15Add to your cart.

ALS June 2 Denver 2 pp. & telegram

Drawing, Clover Vail

Newsclippings

ALS June 3 Denver 2 pp. & newclipping

Drawing, Clover Vail

ALS June 5 Denver 2 pp.

ALS June 5 Denver 3 pp. & drawing, Clover Vail

ALS June 6 Denver 2 pp.

TLS June 12 Denver 3 pp.

TLS June 13 Denver & APC

ALS June 14 Denver

ALS June 15 Denver & TLS Margot Johnson (Ann Watkins, Inc.) to KB

Folder 6: 1943 July 8 - July 20Add to your cart.

ALS July 8 Carmel, CA

ALS July 8 Carmel

ALS July 10-11 Carmel 2 pp. & photo of Clover Vail

ALS July 12 Carmel 2 pp.

ALS July 13 Monterey, CA

ALS July 14 Carmel & newsclipping

ALS July 14-15 Carmel

ALS July 17 Carmel 2 pp.

ALS July 18 Carmel

ALS July 20 Carmel 2 pp.

Folder 7: 1943 July 26 - August 10Add to your cart.

ALS July 26-27 Carmel

ALS July 27 Carmel 2 pp.

ALS July 29 AM Carmel

ALS July 29 AM Carmel 2 pp.

ALS July 30 Carmel

ALS July 31 Carmel 2 pp.

ALS August 2 Monterey

ALS August 2 San Francisco & newclipping

ALS August 5 Denver

ALS August 6 Chicago & newsclipping

ALS August 10-11 New Rochelle


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