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Guide to the Guy Davenport Papers, 1960-1990

Abstract

Author and illustrator.

Collection includes letters from Davenport to Abbot Tom Gleason (1960-1966), and to Duke University secretary Dorothy E. Roberts (1970-1990). Early letters discuss Davenport's attraction to Gleason, as well as daily life, contemporaries, and other intellectual subjects like art or literature. There are clippings regarding his his career and family, along with book reviews written by him or about his work. Also includes collected contributions to a symposium (1974) on Davenport's work printed in the serial Margins. Included are the author's short stories "A Gingham Dress," "Belinda's World Tour," and "Juno of the Veii," as well as his article "The Symbol of the Archiaic."

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Davenport, Guy.
Title
Guy Davenport papers, 1960-1990
Language of Material
English
Extent
1.0 Linear Feet, 100 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Box 1 of the collection contains a few letters from Davenport, primarily written to Dorothy E. Roberts, a secretary in Duke University's English Department. There are clippings regarding his his career and family, along with book reviews written by him or about his work. Also includes collected contributions to a symposium (1974) on Davenport's work printed in the serial Margins. Included are the author's short stories "A Gingham Dress," "Belinda's World Tour," and "Juno of the Veii," as well as his article "The Symbol of the Archiaic."

Box 2 of the collection contains letters and postcards from Davenport to Abbott (Tom) Gleason. There are 68 pieces of correspondence, with all but three from 1960-1962; others are from 1963, 1964, 1966, and one undated. Totals include 37 letters (20 ALS and 17 TLS); 30 postcards; one holiday card. The 37 letters amount to 71 pages, plus 31 postcards and a card, equals 102 "pages" of text, mostly concentrated in three years. Three letters are on airmail stationary; from the lot there are only two absent envelopes.

The correspondence discusses both parties' personal and intellectual lives. Davenport confesses his attraction for Gleason and his struggle with Gleason's lack of reciprocation. Davenport asserts, however, his ability to refrain from acting on his attraction. Many of the letters recount daily life, some in a very lyrical and detailed manner, while other letters raise general intellectual inquiry on subjects such as art, photography, quotations, etc. Discussion passes about the works and progress of Davenport's contemporaries, including prominent writers such as Ezra Pound and Samuel Beckett. Postcards and other letters document travel.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Letters, writings, and clippings, 1970-1990

Contains a few letters from Davenport, primarily written to Dorothy E. Roberts, a secretary in Duke University's English Department. There are clippings regarding his his career and family, along with book reviews written by him or about his work. Also includes collected contributions to a symposium (1974) on Davenport's work printed in the serial Margins. Included are the author's short stories "A Gingham Dress," "Belinda's World Tour," and "Juno of the Veii," as well as his article "The Symbol of the Archiaic."

Box 1
Letters to Tom Gleason, 1960-1966

Contains 68 pieces of correspondence, consisting of letters, postcards, and a card. The correspondence discusses both parties' personal and intellectual lives. Davenport confesses his attraction for Gleason and his struggle with Gleason's lack of reciprocation. Davenport asserts, however, his ability to refrain from acting on his attraction. Many of the letters recount daily life, some in a very lyrical and detailed manner, while other letters raise general intellectual inquiry on subjects such as art, photography, quotations, etc. Discussion passes about the works and progress of Davenport's contemporaries, including prominent writers such as Ezra Pound and Samuel Beckett. Postcards and other letters document travel. Materials have been arranged chronologically.

Box 2

Historical Note

Author and illustrator (Nov. 23, 1927-Jan. 4, 2005).

Chronology List

DateEvent(s)
Nov. 23, 1927Born in Anderson, South Carolina
1944-1948Studied classics and English literature at Duke University
1948Won Rhodes Scholarship to Merton College, Oxford
1950Graduated Oxford with a degree in literature
1950-1952Served in Army's 18th Airborne Corps
1955-1961Studied for PhD at Harvard University
1961-1963Taught at Haverford College
1963-1991Taught at University of Kentucky
1990Won MacArthur Fellowship
January 4, 2005Died, Lexington, Kentucky

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Guy Davenport Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Guy Davenport Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a transfer in 1992 and a purchase in 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by RL Staff, April 2012

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, April 2012

Accession(s) described in this finding aid: 2012-0037

This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered and described beyond their original condition.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.