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Paul Merchant Papers

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Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Merchant, Paul

Paul Merchant is a poet, editor, and translator. He edited Modern Poetry In Translation 4 (1968), which included the first selection of Ritsos published in England. He is also the translator of Eleni Vakalo's Genealogy (1971). He taught for many years at Warwick University before becoming William Stafford Archivist at Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon. His collection of poems Bone from a Stag's Heart was a 1988 British Poetry Book Society Recommendation. His fourth collection of poems, Some Business of Affinity (2006), was a finalist for an Oregon Book Award. His recent translations from Yannis Ritsos are Monochords (Trask House Press 2007), and Twelve Poems about Cavafy (Tavern Books, 2010). (Entry from Oregon Poetic Voices http://oregonpoeticvoices.org/poet/77/).

Consists of Vakalo's autograph and typescript manuscripts of "Geneaologia" in Greek; Merchant's typescript drafts of the English translation with annotations; correspondence: Helene Vakalo to Paul Merchant (1967-1978); Vakalo with William Moelwyn Merchant (1971-1972) concerning the Rougemount Press edition "Genealogy"; Merchant's correspondence with Giannēs Ritsos, Kimon Friar, and Peter Dent, as well as some editorial correspondence; typescript of the talk "The Importance of Translation from Greek"; related materials regarding the honorary doctorate Ritsos awarded from the University of Birmingham in 1978, together with a single-poem memento of the occasion inscribed to Merchand by Ritsos and a photo with Ritsos; an offprint inscribed by Ritsos including manuscript alterations on pages 11 and 16 (1966); two books inscribed to Merchand by Vakalo and a few photographs of Helene and George Vakalo, slides and photo negatives; one recording of Ritsos reading and two recordings of the BBC Radio 3 Program. There are also two notebooks/diaries from Merchant's time in Athens, Greece from 1966-1967.

Gift of Paul Merchant in July 2019 (AM 2020-10).

This collection was processed by Kalliopi Balatsouka in August 2019. Finding aid written by Kalliopi Balatsouka in November 2019.

No materials were removed from the collection during 2019 processing.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
This collection was processed by Kalliopi Balatsouka in August 2019. Finding aid written by Kalliopi Balatsouka in November 2019.
Finding Aid Date
2019
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to Special Collections Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright."

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

This file group consists of correspondence from poets, writers, editors and publishers, including Helenē Vakalo, Giannēs Ritsos, Kimon Friar and Peter Dent.

Arrangement

This file group has been arranged alphabetically by last name of correspondent and thematically.

Dent, Peter, 1977.
Friar, Kimon, 1972-1977.
Scope and Contents

Consists of TSL from Friar.

Hughes, Olwyn, 1967-1969. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Consists of letters from Olwyn Hughes and Daniel Weissbort concerning the poems published in Modern Poetry in Translation translated from Greek into English by Merchand. There is also a copy of MPT 4 (1968).

Physical Description

1 folder

Merchant, W. Moelwyn, 1971-1972.
Scope and Contents

Consists of correspondence between Helenē Vakalo and William Moelwyn Merchant, Paul Merchant's father, concerning the Rougemont Press edition of Geneaology

.

Ritsos, Giannēs, 1972 December 30.
Scope and Contents

Consists of an ALS by Ritsos and a copy of The Receiving End of the series Penguin English Project Stage Two including Ritsos' poem " Alone With his Work" translated from the Greek by Paul Merchand, 1973.

Vakalo, Helenē , 1967-1978.
Scope and Contents

Includes autograph signed letters from Helenē Vakalo to Paul Merchant. There is also one letter from Merchand to Vakalo.

Miscellaneous, 1979-2011.
Scope and Contents

Consists of one email printout from Miltos Frangopoulos and letters from the publishers, John Stathatos (Oxus Press) and W.S. Merwin. Paul Merchant's handwritten note found in the file states: "Note from W.S. Marwin after a dinner with him and Dorothy Stafford (William Stafford's widow), when we talked about his friends, Stafford and Ted Hughes, and about Ritsos, whom he admired."

Merchant, Paul. Geneaologia, 1977.
Scope and Contents

Consists of the first fragment of Geneaologia, an autograph manuscript and a typescript draft by Helenē Vakalo in Greek; typescripts of the English translation with penciled annotations by Merchant; and Vakalo's Introduction in the 1977 edition, with Merchant's translation.

Merchant, Paul. Yannis Ritsos: Respectful Comparison, 1970-2006. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Includes a typescript of an essay on Ritsos' poem Respectful comparison written for the Kedros festschrift Aphierōma ston Giannē Ritso (1981) with the Greek translation as published there; typescript of a talk "The Importance of Translation from Greek"; and an annotated typescript of the presentation on BBC Radio 3 in 1970, Ted Hughes reading the Ritsos poems. There is also a copy of 91st Meridian, Winter 2006 and a letter from Ninetta (Aikaterinē ) Makrynikola regarding the poem Respectful comparison.

Physical Description

1 folder

Ritsos, Giannēs. 12 poiēmata gia ton Kavaphē. Ekdoseis Kedros , 1963. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Consists of the first printing of the book (1963) inscribed to Paul Merchand by Ritsos in 1966 including two extensive revisions of the text in Ritsos's hand on pages 11 and 16.

Physical Description

1 folder

Reviews, 1971-1978. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Consists of clippings of reviews about the Genealogy and a xerox copy of a typescript with a partial (unpublished) translation of Vakalo's book About the World by Paul Merchant. Included also two books of Helenē Vakalo: Tou kosmou and Genealogia (copy no. 347) both inscribed to Merchant by Vakalo.

Physical Description

1 folder

Honorary Degree, University of Birmingham, 1978. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Consists of literature regarding the honorary degree Ritsos was awarded from Birmingham in 1978 including a photograph of the poet and a celebratory chapbook Respectful Comparison inscribed to Merchand by Ritsos, translated and printed by Merchant.

Physical Description

1 folder

Photographs and Photographic Negatives, 1974. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Consists of black-and-white and color photographs of Helenē and Giōrgos Vakalo, two slides of Helenē's portrait and negatives.

Physical Description

1 folder

Audio Tapes, circa 1967-1969.
Scope and Contents

Consists of 1 recording of Ritsos reading "Twelve Poems for cavafy" (in Greek) and 2 recordings of the BBC Radio 3 program, with Ted Hughes reading Paul Merchant's translations from Ritsos.

Printed Material, 1968-1982. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Includes reviews by Paul Merchant.

Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest