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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 16Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 1944 May 1 - May 24Add to your cart.

ALS May 1 New York & newsclippings

ALS May 2 New York

ALS May 20 New York

ALS May 21 New York

ALS May 22 New York 2 pp. & drawing CV

ALS May 23 New York 5 pp. copy TLS Wendell Hastings Miss Dorothy Collins Mr. Lee Casey Mrs. Edward C. Jones, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. James Stern Bureau of Child Hygeine

ALS May 25 New York 2 pp. & newsclippings

Folder 2: 1944 May 25 - June 6Add to your cart.

ALS May 26 New York

ALS May 27 New York 3 pp. & newsclippings

ALS May 27 New York & newsclippings

ALS May 29 New York 5 pp. & drawing

TLS June 3 New York from Office of War Info.

ALS June 5-6 New York 3 pp.

Folder 3: 1944 June 12 - June 17Add to your cart.

ALS June 12 New York 2 pp.

ALS June 13 New York 2 pp.

ALS June 13 New York 3 pp.

ALS June 13 New York 2 pp.

ALS June 13 New York 2 pp.

ALS June 15 New York

ALS June 16 New York 2 pp.

ALS June 17 New York 4pp. & ALS Kathe Vail to KB Drawings, newsclippings

Folder 4: 1944 June 19 - June 24Add to your cart.

ALS June 19 New York

ALS June 20 New York & TLS Maria Lieper newsclippings

ALS June 20 New York & check

ALS June 21 New York 2 pp. & 6 photos

ALS June 23 New York 2 pp. & newsclippings

ALS June 24 New York 2pp. & newsclipping, Monte Carlo Serial outline, 9 pp.

Folder 5: 1944 June 25 - July 24Add to your cart.

ALS June 25 New York

ALS June 25 New York 2 pp.

ALS June 26 New York 2 pp. & newsclipping

ALS June 27 New York 2 pp. & newsclipping

ALS June 28 New York 2 pp.

ALS June 30 New York & TS oath sworn by JF 1941

ALS July 3 New York & APC Whitey [Clarence E. Gilbert] to JF

TLS July 17 New York

TLS July 17 New York

TLS July 18 New York & TLS Bill & Florence

Ashbrook to KB

ALS July 18 New York

ALS July 21 New York

ALS July 22 New York 2 pp. & newsclippings

ALS July 24 New York & TL note

Folder 6: 1944 July 26 - August 13Add to your cart.

ALS July 25 New York &TLS Dick de Rochemont to KB, poem Kathe Vail

ALS July 26 New York

ALS July 30 New York

ALS July 31 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 3 New York program "At Home" vacation

ALS August 4 New York

ALS August 6 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 9 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 10 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 12 New York 3 pp.

Folder 7: 1944 August 15 - August 20Add to your cart.

ALS August 15 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 15 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 15 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 17 New York & newsclipping

ALS August 18 New York & newsclippings

ALS August 19 New York

ALS August 20 New York 2 pp. & newsclippings

Folder 8: 1944 August 21 - August 26Add to your cart.

TELE August 21 New York

ALS August 22 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 22 New York & newsclipping

TLS August 23 New York (V-Mail)

TLS August 24 New York (V-Mail)

ALS August 24 New York 2 pp.

ALS August 25 New York 2 pp. & ALS Jon Fitzgerald to KB Newsclipping

ALS August 25 New York

ALS August 26 New York 2 pp.


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