Jennie Skerl Paul Bowles collection
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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
American Beat scholar Jennie Skerl served as the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at West Chester University. She is also a founding board member and former President of the Beat Studies Association (founded December 2004). She met Paul Bowles in May 1985 when she visited his home in Tangier, Morocco, where he hosted "open-house" style social gatherings each evening. Skerl's publications includeWilliam S Burroughs (1985), William S. Burroughs at the Front: Critical Reception, 1959-1989 (co-editor, 1991), A Tawdry Place of Salvation: The Art of Jane Bowles (1997), and Reconstructing the Beats (2004).
"Jennie Skerl." European Beat Studies Network. http://ebsn.eu/members/jennie-skerl/ (accessed February 19, 2013). Additional biographical material derived from the collection.
The Jennie Skerl Paul Bowles collection contains correspondence from Paul Bowles to American Beat scholar Jennie Skerl, as well as additional correspondence, notes, and transcripts of interviews about Bowles's life, work, and Tangier literary circle.
The collection contains eight letters and two postcards from Bowles to Skerl. The early letters indicate that Skerl had planned and completed a trip to Tangier during which she met Bowles and spent several evenings at his home, where she watched him entertain guests and informally interviewed him. The collection includes Skerl's notes of her recollections of these visits, which she had been required to compose after leaving Bowles's home, as he had declined to give formal interviews.
Also present in the collection is correspondence between Skerl and other individuals regarding Bowles and the Tangier literary circle. Correspondents include Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bowles biographer Gena Dagel Caponi, Ned Rorem, and Gore Vidal.
Copies of transcripts of interviews conducted by Caponi in preparation forPaul Bowles: Romantic Savage (1994) are also included; the interviews were conducted between 1984 and 1987 with individuals who had known Paul and Jane Bowles personally: Aaron Copeland (1900-1990); Virgil Thomson (1896-1989); David Diamond (1915-2005); Maurice Grosser (1903-1986); and Oliver Smith (1918-1994). The collection also contains two items related to Jane Bowles: a playbill for a 1993 production of Jane Bowles' In the Summer House and the playbill insert which features several reminiscences about Jane Bowles by fellow artists and writers including Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs.
- Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)
Gift of Jennie Skerl, December 2011, and May, 2014.
Processed and encoded by Elyse Brown, February 2013. Updated by Dustin Frohlich, August 2016.
- Skerl, Jennie
- Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999--Correspondence
- Caponi-Tabery, Gena--Correspondence
- Ferlinghetti, Lawrence--Correspondence
- Rorem, Ned, 1923- --Correspondence
- Skerl, Jennie--Correspondence
- Vidal, Gore, 1925-2012--Correspondence
- Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999
- Caponi-Tabery, Gena
- Ferlinghetti, Lawrence
- Rorem, Ned, 1923-
- Vidal, Gore, 1925-2012
- Bowles, Jane, 1917-1973
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2013 February 19
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, http://library.udel.edu/spec/askspec/
Eight letters and two postcards; many of the letters include the original airmail envelope. The letters concerned Skerl's trip to Tangier, questions for Bowles about his work, and Bowles's reactions to Skerl's work.Physical Description
Typed notes written by Skerl, recording her recollections after her visits to Bowles's apartment in Tangier. Bowles hosted social gatherings at his home each evening on an "open house" basis.Physical Description
Date from Ferlinghetti's mailed City Lights envelope; he wrote his reply on Skerl's letter she had sent to him.
Copies of transcripts of interviews conducted by Bowles's biographer, Gena Dagel Caponi (Tabery), with individuals who knew Paul and Jane Bowles.
Playbill for performance at Lincoln Center Theater at the Vivian Beaumont in July 1993. Includes insert featuring remarks about Jane Bowles by several friends and contemporaries.