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Jennifer Romine collection of Kay Boyle


Scope and Contents

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description

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Jennifer Romine collection of Kay Boyle, 1989 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

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Collection Overview

Title: Jennifer Romine collection of Kay Boyle, 1989Add to your cart.

ID: 1/1/MSS 249

Extent: 0.25 Cubic Feet

Forms of Material: Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992 - Interviews, Video recordings

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection consists of a filmed interview with Kay Boyle conducted in September 1989 at The Redwoods Community in Mill Valley, California, for a production titled Women of the Lost Generation. The interview focuses on Boyle's literary accomplishments, with special emphasis on her participation in the Paris expatriate literary community of the 1920s and 1930s. The interview was filmed by Academy Award winning cinematographer Frances Reid and includes a separate audio track.

Collection Historical 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 Crosby's Black Sun Press published Boyle's first book, titled Short Stories, in a limited edition of 185 copies.

In the late 1930s 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. Kay Boyle died in 1992.

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.

Acquisition Source: Jennifer Romine

Acquisition Method: Purchase

Preferred Citation: [Item], Jennifer Romine Collection of Kay Boyle, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

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[Box 1],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Inventory of Letters from Lawrence Durrell to Diana Gould MenuhinAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: Letters from Durrell to GouldAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Letters from Durrell to GouldAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Leters from Durrell to GouldAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Letters from Durrell to GouldAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Letters from Durrell to Gould, 1964-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Letters from Durrell to Gould, 1971-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Correspondence: a copy of SapphoAdd to your cart.

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