Stuart Wright Collection: Flannery O'Connor Papers, 1962-1984, undated

Manuscript Collection #1169-029

  • Descriptive Summary
     
    Title: Stuart Wright Collection: Flannery O'Connor Papers
    Creator: O'Connor, Flannery, (Mary Flannery), 1922-1964
    Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
    Language: English
    Abstract: Papers of Flannery O’Connor (1962-1984, undated) documenting the life and literary career of the noted Savannah, Georgia-born American short story writer & novelist in the Southern Gothic style, consisting of a broadside entitled Higher Education [Poem] by Mary Flannery O’Connor. Palaemon Broadside No. 16 (Palaemon Press, Ltd., undated); also mimeographed, photocopied typescripts, clippings, letters, and an audio recording of Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction, a speech given by Flannery O’Connor in 1960.
    Extent: 0.25 Cubic feet, 0.25 Cubic feet, 1 archival box, 11 items, 36 p.,
  • Description
     

    Stuart Wright Collection: Flannery O'Connor Papers (#1169-029) document the life and literary career of Flannery [Mary Flannery] O'Connor (1922-1964). It contains a variety of materials relating to her literary activities, 1962-1984, undated. The materials are arranged in original order, in 2 series, except as noted below. The collection includes a printed broadside entitled Higher Education [Poem], and mimeographed, photocopied typescripts, clippings, letter and audio recording of Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction, a speech given by Flannery O'Connor in 1960.

    Series 1: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection, consists of a broadside entitled Higher Education [Poem] by Mary Flannery O'Connor. Palaemon Broadside No. 16 (Palaemon Press, Ltd., undated). Series 1 is held in Box 1.a.

    Series 2: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection, consists of mimeographed, photocopied typescripts, clippings, letter and an audio recording of Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction, a speech given by Flannery O’Connor in 1960. Series 2 is held in Box 1.b-1.e.

  • Biographical / Historical Note
     

    Flannery O'Connor was born in Savannah, Georgia, on 25 March 1925, the only child of Edward O'Connor and Regina Cline. She attended the Georgia State College for Women. She later received a Social Sciences Degree there (1945). She also studied journalism at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop (1946), where she earned a MFA of Creative Writing (1948). O'Connor wrote several novels, and numerous short stories, and essays. Her works, often set in the rural American South, and featuring Southern characters, focused on social alienation and the relationship of individuals to God. Among her most important works are Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Short Fiction (1960) and Higher Education (1980).

    Her honors include the Rinehart-Iowa Fiction Award (1947), the O. Henry Award (1957), and the National Book Award (1972). She also became a member of the Georgia Women of Achievement (1992) and the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame (2000).

    There is a reference in the manuscripts to a letter. That letter was sent to James Goldwasser. He was a staff member of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.

    She never married or had children. She died in Milledgeville, Georgia on 3 August 1964 at the age of 39 years from Lupus Erythematosus.

    Sources:

    "Flannery O'Connor." Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flannery_O’Connor

    "Flannery O'Connor." Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/print/article/424730

    "Flannery O'Connor." Georgia Encyclopedia. http://www.georgiaenclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/flannery-oc…

    "Flannery O'Connor." Soft Schools. https://www.softschools.com/facts/authors/flannery_oconnor_facts/1757/

    "Flannery O'Connor." Papermasters. https://www.papermasters.com/flannery-oconnor.html

    "Flannery O'Connor." Open Culture. http://www.openculture.com/2013/04/listen_as_flannery_oconnor_reads_some_aspects_of_the_grotesque_in_southern_fiction_c_1960.html

    "Flannery O'Connor." University of Texas. http://www.en.utexas.edu/amlit/amlitprivate/scans/grotesque.htm

    "Flannery O'Connor." Abe Books. http://www.abebooks.com/Higher-Education-Flannery-OConnor-Palaemon-Broadside/10021313920/bd

    "Flannery O'Connor." Google User Content. https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:3w-nn3TjGEYJ:https://www.writinguniversity.org/writers/flannery-oconnor+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    "Flannery O'Connor." Richard Gilbert, WordPress. https://richardgilbert.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/flannery-oconnor-harper-lee-mostly/

    "Flannery O'Connor." Famous Authors. http://www.famousauthors.org/flannery-oconnor

    Author: Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Alyssa Coleman, 8/26/2016.

    Stuart Wright collected and compiled the Flannery O'Connor Papers. Wright was born on 30 March 1948 in Roxboro, North Carolina. He was the son of Frances Critcher Wright (1919-2010) and Wallace Lyndon Wright (1921-1965). An avid reader as a boy, Wright developed a strong interest in the American Civil War and with his father toured many of the war's battlefields searching for artifacts and studying the history of the era. At the age of 12, he won a statewide "Johnny Reb" essay contest and by the age of 15 had visited every major battlefield of the Civil War. Wright attended Roxboro High School, from which he graduated in 1966. It was during these years that he developed an interest in collecting historical books and manuscripts and began relationships with a number of local collectors and dealers.

    In the fall of 1966, Wright enrolled at Wake Forest University as a pre-med, history, German and music student. Wright earned a B.A. in German and music in 1970. As a graduate student at Wake Forest University, Wright focused his studies on Southern history and literature, his ambition being to build an authoritative Southern Studies collection for the university. He received a master's degree in Southern Studies in 1973 and a second master's degree in U.S. History in 1980. Additionally Wright holds a professional degree from England in a medically related field. It was while studying there that he became interested in Thomas Wolfe, the noted North Carolina native and novelist.

    Following his graduation from Wake Forest, Wright began to develop his collections more systematically, acquiring many first editions of Southern writers. In 1976 he began teaching at Reynolda House, a Wake Forest University affiliate dedicated to the arts and arts education. Wright taught classes in American music as well as human anatomy for art students. In 1978 Wright became Lecturer in Education at Wake Forest University. During his 10 years teaching at Wake Forest University, Wright authored numerous works of Civil War and North Carolina history, and dozens of articles, bibliographies, essays and reviews on Southern literature and the writers whose papers he collected. In addition, he developed a strong interest in the writings of the English poet Donald Davie and the Minnesota-born poet Richard Eberhart, whose works he also collected.

    At the same time, Wright also began a career as a publisher by starting Palaemon Press in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. By 1984, Palaemon Press had produced 316 titles, consisting mainly of broadsides and limited editions, of the poetry and essays of such Southern writers as A. R. Ammons, Fred Chappell, James Dickey, William Goyen, George Garrett, and Eudora Welty. He also built comprehensive collections and compiled book-length descriptive bibliographies of A.R. Ammons, Andrew Lytle, Reynolds Price, James Dickey, William Goyen, Walker Percy, Randall Jarrell, Peter Taylor, George Garrett, Richard Eberhart, and Donald Davie. As well as serving as editor of the contemporary literature section of the Bulletin of Bibliography throughout the 1980s, Wright also contributed pioneering checklists of the writings of Southern poets Henry Taylor, Charles Wright, and Robert Morgan. For Meckler Publishing he served as series editor for a number of book-length bibliographies and checklists. In recognition of these accomplishments, when he was just 32, Wright was elected to membership in New York's prestigious Grolier Club.

    All of these works are represented in the Stuart Wright Collection. In his dealings with these various authors Wright made consistent efforts to acquire personal papers, letters and documents, photographs, manuscripts, drafts, proofs, and published materials to supplement his continuing activities as a purchaser of their works. In this way, Wright acquired perhaps a majority of his overall collection. Over the years a number of biographers used Wright's collection to aid their research. For example, James A. Grimshaw, Jr. used the collection extensively for his Robert Penn Warren: A Descriptive Bibliography, 1922-1979 published by the University Press of Virginia, in 1981 and Craig S. Abbott did so as well for John Crowe Ransom: A Descriptive Bibliography, published by Whitston Publishing Company, Inc. in 1999. Joseph Blotner also used the Wright collection in researching Robert Penn Warren: A Biography, published by Random House in 1997.

    Nevertheless, from the mid- to late 1980s, Wright began to look for a permanent home for his collection, which he felt had grown too large and yet had been too little used. Unable to find a repository willing to accept the entire collection under suitable conditions, he sold a number of individual author collections to Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Emory University. It was not until 2010 that he reached agreement to house the remaining, and largest part of his collection at East Carolina University. The Stuart Wright Collection in the East Carolina Manuscript Collection of J.Y. Joyner Library includes 22 sub-collections of the papers of Southern American writers. The related Stuart Wright Book Collection holds several thousand volumes by or about many of the same writers. Many of these volumes contain annotations, inscriptions, and insertions that reveal much about the authors in the collection and their relationships with one another. In 1998 Wright moved to England, and since 2001 he has resided in the medieval market town of Ludlow, in Shropshire.

    Author: Jonathan Dembo, 11/2/2016

  • Administrative Information
     
    Accessions Information

    27 October 2011, (Cary Addition #1), 0.01 cubic feet; 0.1 archival box; 1 item; 1 p. Papers (undated) documenting the life and literary career of Flannery O'Connor (1922-1964), the noted American novelist and short story writer, consisting of a broadside entitled Higher Education [Poem] by Mary Flannery O'Connor. Palaemon Broadside No. 16 (Palaemon Press, Ltd., undated). Vendor: Stuart Wright

    20 July 2012, (Ludlow Addition #2), 0.24 cubic feet; 0.9 archival box; 10 items; 35 p. Papers (1962-1984) documenting the life and literary career of Flannery O'Connor (1922-1964), the noted American novelist and short story writer, including mimeographed, photocopied typescripts, clippings, letter & audio recording of Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction, a speech given by Flannery O'Connor in 1960. Vendor: Stuart Wright

    Acquisition Information

    Purchased from Stuart Wright, 27 October 2011, 7/20/2012

    Access Restrictions

    No restrictions

    Copyright Notice

    Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

    Preferred Citation

    Stuart Wright Collection: Flannery O'Connor Papers (#1169-029), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

    Processing Information

    Processing, Preliminary inventory & Container List, by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Nathaniel King & Ryan Schmidtke, 3/7/2014, 11/25/2015, 3/17/2016; Final inventory by Jonathan Dembo, 3/17/2016; Finding aid by Jonathan Dembo, 3/17/2016, rev. 11/8/2016; Biographical Sketch, by Alyssa Coleman, 8/26/2016; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 01/10/2017.

Container List

  • Ludlow Addition to Stuart Wright Collection
     

    • Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction Files
       

      • Box 1
         
        Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction, by Flannery O'Connor ; Copy of speech made October 27, 1960, at Wesleyan College in Macon, George by Flannery O'Connor ; Comparison of manuscript speech with published version (ca. 1969) Mimeographed & Photocopy typescripts & Printed forms. 6 items. 24 p. ; Note : ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015
        Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction [Speech] by Flannery O'Connor, printed in Mystery and Manners : Occasional Prose (Farrar, Straus & Giroux © 1969), pp. 36-50. Photocopy clipping. 1 item. 8 p. ; Note : Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015
        Wray, Virginia, Natchitoches, LA. Letter to James Goldwasser, New York, NY (1 June 1984) TLS. 1 item. 1 p. ; Note : Regards authenticity of Stuart Wright's "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction" ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015
        Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Literature [Speech] by Flannery O'Connor, recorded at East Texas State College, Commerce, TX (16 Nov. 1962) Audio recording & Holograph note. Reel to Reel tape. 2 items. 2 p. ; Note : Stuart Wright inscribed holograph note on mailing envelope : "Hinley, This is the original reel-to-reel" ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015

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Container List

  • Ludlow Addition to Stuart Wright Collection
     

    • Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction Files
       

      • Box 1
         
        Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction, by Flannery O'Connor ; Copy of speech made October 27, 1960, at Wesleyan College in Macon, George by Flannery O'Connor ; Comparison of manuscript speech with published version (ca. 1969) Mimeographed & Photocopy typescripts & Printed forms. 6 items. 24 p. ; Note : ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015
        Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction [Speech] by Flannery O'Connor, printed in Mystery and Manners : Occasional Prose (Farrar, Straus & Giroux © 1969), pp. 36-50. Photocopy clipping. 1 item. 8 p. ; Note : Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015
        Wray, Virginia, Natchitoches, LA. Letter to James Goldwasser, New York, NY (1 June 1984) TLS. 1 item. 1 p. ; Note : Regards authenticity of Stuart Wright's "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction" ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015
        Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Literature [Speech] by Flannery O'Connor, recorded at East Texas State College, Commerce, TX (16 Nov. 1962) Audio recording & Holograph note. Reel to Reel tape. 2 items. 2 p. ; Note : Stuart Wright inscribed holograph note on mailing envelope : "Hinley, This is the original reel-to-reel" ; Source : Ludlow Addition Box #172.015


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