Robert McAlmon letters to Edward Titus
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American author and publisher Robert McAlmon (1896-1956) was a central figure in the expatriate art community in France during the 1920s and 1930s. His network of authors and publishers was instrumental in the publication and distribution of many modernist classics, including William Carlos Williams'sSpring and All (1923), Ernest Hemingway's Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923) and Djuna Barnes's Ladies Almanack (1928).
Shortly after establishing himself in Greenwich Village, Robert McAlmon began working with William Carlos Williams on the short-livedContact magazine, publishing poets Ezra Pound, H. D., and Kay Boyle, among others. He married H. D.'s then-lover, Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman), before departing together for Europe. In France, he created the Contact Publishing Company, which specialized in modernist works deemed too controversial for the mainstream commercial market.
Throughout the 1920s, he continued to publish his own work, including the collection of short stories,Distinguished Air (1925). Despite a downturn in his career, he remained in Europe during the 1930s with exception of short trips to the United States and Mexico. In 1940, he was able to escape German-occupied France and return to the United States, where he worked at his brother's surgical supply company until he retired in 1951. His early years as a writer are chronicled in his autobiography, Being Geniuses Together , which was revised with additional chapters by Kay Boyle in 1968.
Cisco, Michael. "Robert McAlmon." Contemporary Authors Online (reproduced in Gale Biography In Context). http://ic.galegroup.com (accessed September 2014).Smoller, Sanford J. "McAlmon, Robert Menzies." American National Biography Online. February 2000. http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-02131.html (accessed September 2014).
Edward Titus (born 1880) owned and operated the Black Manikin Press and a rare bookstore, At the Sign of the Black Manikin, in Paris that attracted many American expatriate authors as well as distributed their works.
In 1929, he became the editor ofThis Quarter , a little magazine known for publishing innovative modernist literature, including work by Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and Kay Boyle. Under his guidance, the magazine became relatively more conservative with an emphasis on prize-winning poems.
Hoffman, Frederick John, Charles Albert Allen, and Carolyn F. Ulrich.The Little Magazine: a history and a bibliography. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1946.
American author and publisher Robert McAlmon (1896-1956) wrote ten letters to the publisher and magazine editor Edward Titus (born 1880) between 1928 and 1930, concerning several works that McAlmon hoped to distribute through Titus's bookstore.
McAlmon and Titus formed part of the network of modernist writers and publishers living and working in Paris in the 1920s and 1930s. In particular, McAlmon discussed at length the work of American author and illustrator Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), whoseLadies Almanack (1928) was central to their conversation. McAlmon also attempted to promote the work of his friend Ken Sato (1942-2004), specifically his 1928 translation of Saikaku Ihara's Quaint Stories of the Samurais and his novel The Yellow Jap Dogs . McAlmon referenced other books that he hoped to distribute, including Edwin Lanham's Sailors Don't Care (1929).
McAlmon also responded to Titus's requests to publish inThis Quarterly and offered updates about his writing process, particularly his revised and expanded edition of Distinguished Air (1925). McAlmon discussed his struggles in the publishing world and finding commercial success, and in the later letters, he described the burgeoning publishing scene in America and his plans to publish in the new little magazines, including Richard Johns's Pagany .
Box 7, F0152: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes
Purchase, April 1977.
Processed and encoded by Sean Lovitt, September 2014.
- McAlmon, Robert, 1896-1956
- McAlmon, Robert, 1896-1956--Correspondence
- Titus, Edward W., 1880- --Correspondence
- Barnes, Djuna
- Satō, Ken, 1942-
- Lanham, Edwin, 1904-1979
- Barnes, Djuna. Ladies almanack
- Titus, Edward W., 1880-
- Authors, American--20th century--Correspondence
- Literature publishing--France--Paris--History--20th century
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 September 11
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