Papers of William Goyen (1935-1999, undated) documenting the life and literary career of the noted Trinity, Texas-born, American novelist, short story writer, poet, playwright, editor and educator at several schools, including Brown University; consisting of loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, including manuscripts, notes and clippings by or about William Goyen, D. H. Lawrence, Merriam Golden, Stephen Spender, and others; also including printed materials.
Afterwards, Goyen taught at a number of universities, including the New School of Social Research, Columbia University, Princeton University, and the University of Houston in the 1960s. He was a senior trade book editor at McGraw-Hill from 1966-1971. He then served as a visiting professor of English at Brown University, in 1973.
Goyen was the author of five novels, four short story collections, five plays, and a non-fiction book related to his conversion experience. His first novel, House of Breath (1950), received great acclaim upon publication. His later works, included novels: In a Farther Country (1955), The Fair Sister (1963), and Come the Restorer (1974); Selected Writings (1974); short story collections Ghost and Flesh (1952), The Faces of Blood Kindred (1960) and The Collected Stories (1975); non-fiction A Book of Jesus (1973); and plays The House of Breath (1956), The Diamond Rattler (1960), Christy (1964), House of Breath Black/White (1971), and Aimee (1973). He also wrote lyrics for the film Left-Handed Gun (1958) and translated from French into English The Lazy Ones by Egyptian-born French author Albert Cossery (New Directions Publishing, 1953).
He was married to the actress Doris Roberts from 1963 until his death. After leaving Brown University, Goyen moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1975, where he continued to write and where he died, of leukemia, on 30 August 1983, at age 68.
Sources: "Guide to the William Goyen Papers, 1937-1978 (MS 360)" 6.25 linear ft. Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, TX USA. http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/ricewrc/00016/rice-00016.html
"William Goyen." [Biographical Sketch] Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Goyen
"Albert Cossery." [Biographical Sketch] Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Cossery
"Doris Roberts." [Biographical Sketch] Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doris_Roberts
Author: Jonathan Dembo, rev. 11/18/2016, 4/17/2017.
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, rev. 11/2/2016
Stuart Wright Collection: William Goyen Papers (#1169-22) document the life and literary career of William [Charles William] Goyen, 1935-1999, undated. The Goyen Papers are arranged in original order in 3 series, including an initial acquisition of 1 series, Cary Addition #1, and Ludlow Addition #3. The collection consists of materials relating to William [Charles William] Goyen, D. H. [David Herbert] Lawrence, Merriam Golden, Stephen Spender, and others; it includes loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection; also Pamphlets and Reprints.
Series 1: Loose Manuscripts Transferred from Stuart Wright Book Collection consists entirely of loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection. Perhaps the most interesting material in the collection consists of poems by English author and poet, D. H. Lawrence, read by Merriam Golden at Lawrence's funeral. The poems were transferred from Lawrence's book, David. The series also includes notes and clippings related to Stephen Spender, and William Goyen removed from The Edge of Being by Stephen Spender, from The Fair Sister, by William Goyen (1963), and from Ghost and Flesh, by William Goyen (1952). The loose manuscripts are linked to the book of origin by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #38.04). Series 1 is held in Box 1.a – 1.d
Series 2: Cary Addition #1 to the Stuart Wright Collection is arranged in two sub-series including loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1969-1981; and pamphlets and reprints. Series 2 is held in Box 1.e-1.m
Series 3: Ludlow Addition #2 to the Stuart Wright Collection is arranged in a single sub-series containing loose manuscript items transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection, 1950-1999. Series 3 is held in Box 1.n -1.o
Note to Researchers: Series 1: Loose Manuscript Items Transferred from the Stuart Wright Book Collection consists of items found laid in works in the Stuart Wright Book Collection by, about, associated with, or owned by William Goyen. They include notes and bookmarks inserted by Goyen, Stuart Wright, and others; also notes, cards, correspondence, clippings, advertising, reviews, ephemera, etc. relating to his published works. The loose manuscripts are linked to the books from which they came by their Stuart Wright Book Collection Number (e.g. Stuart Wright Book Collection #40.15).
Purchased from Stuart Wright, 6/21/2010, 10/27/2011, 7/20/2012
Processing, Container List & Preliminary inventory by Jonathan Dembo, with the assistance of Saundra Pinkham, revised 11/19/2010, and Nathaniel King, revised 4/14/2016, 11/1/2016; Final inventory by Douglas Tuers, revised 1/24/2011; Finding aid by Richard Wolfe, Trisha Capansky, 11/4/2011 & 12/1/2011; revised by Jonathan Dembo, 1/23/2012, 11/1/2016; ; Stuart Wright biography revised by Jonathan Dembo, 9/17/2012, 11/18/2016; Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, 7/6/2012; Encoding revised by Jonathan Dembo, 7/18/2012, 11/18/2016
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.
William Goyen Papers, 1937-1978 (MS 360) 6.25 linear ft. Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX USA
Reid and Susan Overcash Literary Collection - A. R. Ammons Papers (#1096-001) Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC USA
Stuart Wright Collection – Madison Smartt Bell Papers (#1169-001) Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC USA
Stuart Wright Collection – Richard Ghormley Eberhart Papers (#1169-004) Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC USA
Stuart Wright Collection – Peter Hillsman Taylor Papers (#1169-013) Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC USA