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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 24Add to your cart.
Folder 1: 1948 January 14 - February 3Add to your cart.

ALS January 14 Wiesbaden, Ger 2 pp.

ALS January 15 Wiesbaden

ALS January 17 Wiesbaden

ALS January 19 Wiesbaden 2 pp.

ALS January 20 Wiesbaden

ALS January 23 Wiesbaden

ALS January 26 Wiesbaden 2 pp.

ALS February 1 Marburg, Ger 2 pp.

ALS February 3 Marburg 2 pp.

Folder 2: 1948 February 10 - March 11Add to your cart.

ALS February 10 Marburg 2 pp. & 2 pp. statement of anti-communism Franz Borkenau

ALS February 12 Marburg 3 pp.

ALS February 26 Marburg

ALS March 1-2 Marburg 2 pp.

ALS March 2 Marburg & newsclipping

ALS March 2 Marburg

ALS March 11 Marburg 2 pp.

Folder 3: 1948 March 14 - April 20Add to your cart.

ALS March 4 Marburg & photo, drawing

ALS March 15-16 Marburg

ALS March 17 Marburg

ALS April 7 Marburg

ALS April 12 Marburg

ALS April 16 Marburg 2 pp.

ALS April 19 Marburg & bank statement

Folder 4: 1949 July 10 - July 11Add to your cart.

ALS July 10 Paris & 2 drawings

ALS July 11 Paris

Folder 5: 1951 December 17Add to your cart.
TLS December 17 Frankfort, Ger
Folder 6: 1952 January 16 - August 25Add to your cart.

TLS January 16 Cassis, France & ALS Faith Franckenstein

TLS January 17 Cassis-Sur-Mer 2 pp. & tLS to KB from Nina

TLS January 21 Cassis 2 pp.

TLS January 24 Cassis

TLS January 25 Cassis & TLS Apple Vail to KB

ALS Faith F to KB

ALS June 27 Cassis 2 pp.

ALS June 28 Cassis 2 pp.

ALS July 1 Cassis 2 pp.

ALS July 3 Cassis 2 pp.

ALS July 9 Cassis

ALS July 15 Cassis 2 pp.

TLS July 16-17 Cassis 2 pp & drawing FF

TLS July 18 Cassis 2 pp.

TLS July 19 Cassis

ALS July 24 Cassis 2 pp.

ALS July 27 Cassis 2 pp.

ENVEL  August 20 Cassis

ALS August 25 Cassis 2 pp.

Folder 7: 1952 January 17 - August 27Add to your cart.

TLS January 17 & holograph note

TLS July Frankfort

TLS July Frankfort 2 pp.

TLS July Frankfort

TLS July Frankfort

TLS July Frankfort

TLS July Frankfort

TLS July Frankfort 2 pp.

TLS July 28 Bad Godesburg, Ger 3 pp.

TLS August 21 Bad Godesburg 2 pp.

TLS August 27 Bad Godesburg

Folder 8: 1954 June 30 - July 14Add to your cart.

ALS June 30 Darien, CT & TLS Rheminsich to JF Photo, newsclipping

ALS July 7 Darien & ALS Jay Laughlin to KB

TPC George Popper to JF

APC Linda to JF

TLS Bob to JF, photos

ALS July 8 Darien

TLS July 11 Darien 2 pp. & ALS Linda to KB

ALS 2 pp. Klara to KB

ALS Ian F to JF

TLS July 12 Darien

ALS July 13 Darien & TLS [QIG]

TLS-ALS  July 14 Darien 2 pp. & 2 pp. ALS Ian F to JF

Folder 9: 1954 July 19 - July 31Add to your cart.

ALS July 19 Darien Faith to JF

ALS July 22 Darien

ALS July 23 Darien 2 pp. Ian F to JF

ALS July 25 Darien 2 pp. & ALS Julia [Daniels] to KB

George Popper to KB

ALS July 26 Darien & TLS KB to Herbert Wolff, note

TLS July 27 Darien & ALS Ian F. to JF

ALS July 28 Darien & 2 pp. TLS Herbert A. Wolff  (copy) to KB

TLS July 31 Darien & 2 pp. ALS Patsy to KB

ALS Elizabeth Clark to KB

ALS Anita & Elise to Ian F.

Folder 10: 1954 August 1 - August 20Add to your cart.

TLS August 1 Darien & 3 pp. ALS Ruth Fields to KB

TLS Freida Kirchway to KB

TLS August 4 Darien

TLS August 8 Darien & TLS Nina Conarain to KB Newsclipping

ALS August 10 Darien ALS Faith F. to JF

ALS August 16 Darien

ALS August 20 Darien & APC Lonnie to JF

Folder 11: 1954 July 12 - July 31Add to your cart.

ALS July 12 3 pp.

ALS July 14 3 pp. & copy of TLS John Snipes

ALS July 17 2 pp.

ALS July 22

ALS July 29 5 pp.

ALS July 31

Folder 12: 1956 August 22 - August 26Add to your cart.

ALS August 22 Breadloaf, VT 2 pp.

ALS August 23 Breadloaf

ALS August 26 Breadloaf & card


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