Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I. Works 1962-2000

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

John Crowley:

An Inventory of His Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center



Descriptive Summary

Creator Crowley, John, 1942-
Title John Crowley Papers
Dates: 1962-2000
Abstract: The Crowley papers consist entirely of drafts of his novels, short stories, and scripts for film and television.
RLIN Record # TXRC01-A1
Extent 21 boxes, plus 1 print box
Language English.
Repository: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

John Crowley, son of Dr. Joseph and Patience Crowley, was born December 1, 1941, in Presque Isle, Maine. He spent his youth in Vermont and Kentucky, attending Indiana University where in 1964 he earned a BA in English with a minor in film and photography. He has since pursued a career as a novelist and documentary writer, the latter in conjunction with his wife, Laurie Block. In 1993, he began teaching courses in Utopian fiction and fiction writing at Yale University.

Although Crowley's fiction is frequently categorized as science fiction and fantasy, Gerald Jonas more accurately places him among "writers who feel the need to reinterpret archetypical materials in light of modern experience." Crowley considers only his first three novels to be science fiction. The Deep (1975) and Beasts (1976) take place in futuristic settings, depicting science gone wrong and the individual search for identity and purpose. Engine Summer (1978) amplifies these themes with history, odd lore and arcane knowledge, and extends his work beyond the genre "into the hilly country on the borderline of literature" (Charles Nichol).

Crowley's best known novel, Little, Big (1981), weaves magical elements with a long family chronicle, encompassing all of 20th century history. Set at the intersection of the real world and Fairyland, he said of the work, "To me fairies represent the sense we all have that there's a story being told about us, that there's a larger meaning or a plot of life."Little, Big was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards and received the World Fantasy Award in 1982.

Crowley's investigation of this secret history of the world continued in the Ægypt series: Ægypt (1987), Love & Sleep (1994), and Dœmonomania (2000). Here Pierce Moffatt, a young historian, in pursuing the research of an historical novelist, initiates a spiritual quest for a new understanding of Universe by way of the Renaissance occult. Michael Dirda suggested the term "philosophical romance" might best describe these later novels, characterizing the first volume as "a strange, even recondite book, though an immensely readable one: Crowley's prose remains bright and beautiful, absolutely assured, no matter how teasing his purpose."

During this same time period Crowley won the 1990 World Fantasy Award for his novella "Great Work of Time," published in a quartet of short stories entitled Novelty (1989). A second collection, Antiquities (1993), includes seven short stories written between 1978 and 1993. He also has produced numerous book reviews, articles, and presentation papers. In 1992 Crowley received the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award in Literature.

Crowley's name is most visible through his fiction, but he also has written more than 30 documentary films, primarily for the Public Broadcasting System. Many of these have received awards and been screened at international film festivals. The Gate of Heavenly Peace (1995) contextualizes the 1989 events in Beijing that led to the occupation of Tienamen Square, and was a 1995 New York Film Festival selection. Other works receiving film festival recognition include World of Tomorrow (1984), a feature on the 1939 World's Fair in New York, America and Lewis Hine (1985), a documentary (written with Laurie Block) about the great social photographer, and America's Cup 1987: The Walter Cronkite Report (1987), which garnered a CINE Golden Eagle award in 1988. Crowley also contributed to scripts for The Restless Conscience and The Liberators, two documentary shorts which received Academy Award nominations in 1991 and 1992 respectively.

Additional information on John Crowley is available in the Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook, 1982, volume Y82.

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Scope and Contents

The John Crowley papers, ca. 1962-2000, document the creation and realization of his novels, short stories, and scripts for film and television. The collection has been arranged as a single series, Works, which is subdivided into four subseries: Diaries, Fiction, Film and Television, and Commercial Work. The Diaries subseries contains 12 journals written between 1964 and 1995, arranged chronologically. The Fiction subseries contains Crowley's manuscripts, working drafts and publication matter for seven novels and two short story collections. The Film and Television subseries contains thirty scripts including six feature filmscripts, five unrealized documentaries, and two television proposals. Eight of the documentary scripts were written in collaboration with his wife, Laurie Block. The Commercial project subseries includes advertising copy, narration for a fireworks display, and short articles from a variety of publications.

With the exception of The Deep, all novels to 2000 are represented in this collection. An earlier state of his novel Engine Summer, written 1967-8, was then titled Learning to Live With It. Ember Days is an early version of part 1 of his novel Love & Sleep, and was originally intended by his publisher to be issued as a free-standing work.

The four stories collected in Novelty (1989), "Great Work of Time,""In Blue,""The Nightingale Sings at Night," and "Novelty" are present, as are five of the seven short stories collected in Antiquities (1993): "The Green Child,""Missolonghi 1824" (published as "Satyros" in Omni magazine, 1990), "Snow,""Exogamy," and "Her Bounty to the Dead" (published as "Where Spirits Gat Them Home" in a collection called Shadows, 1978). There are two draft versions (1962 & 1967) of another story, "Holy Saturday," which was also published in Shadows.

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Restrictions

Access

Love & Sleep working notebook and some diaries are restricted.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition

Purchases, 1992 (R12762), 1994 (R13316), 2000 (R14699)

Processed by

Lisa Jones, 2001

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John Crowley Papers—Folder List

 

Series I. Works 1962-2000

Subseries A. Diaries
box folder
1 1 Notebook, 1964
2 Diary, 1968-69
3 Diary, 1973-75
(RESTRICTED)
4 Travel Diary, England and Ireland, 1974
5 Diary, 1975-77
(RESTRICTED)
6 Travel Diary, Key West, 1977
7 Diary, 1979
(RESTRICTED)
8 Travel diary, Mallorca, 1980
(RESTRICTED)
9 Working notebook [1981?]
10 Diary, November-December 1980, 1982-83, 1986, 1995
(RESTRICTED)
box folder
2 1 Travel diary, Europe, 1981
(RESTRICTED)
2 Diary, 1982
(RESTRICTED)
Subseries B. Fiction
3 Notes for Egypt (Ægypt), 1978
Ægypt
4 Working notebooks, 1979-83
5-8 Holograph draft
box folder
3 1-2 Holograph draft
3-4 Typescript draft sections
5-7 Corrected typescript
box folder
4 1 Corrected typescript
2-4 Second corrected typescript
5-7 Photocopy second typescript
box folder
5 1-6 Photocopy second typescript
7 Beasts, proofs
Dœmonomania
8 Holograph draft
box folder
6 1 Holograph working drafts
2-7 Holograph draft
box folder
7 1 9 diskettes
2 First printout (incomplete), 1995
3 First printout, 1997
4 Second printout, 1996
5-6 Third printout, 1997
7 Complete printout, 1998
box folder
8 1-2 Complete printout, 1998
3-5 Complete edited printout, 1999
6 Corrected final draft
box folder
9 1-4 Corrected final draft
5-6 Publisher's first pass
box folder
10 1 Publisher's first pass
2-6 Publisher's second pass
(two versions)
box folder
11 1 Publisher's third pass
2-3 Publisher's final proof
4-5 Galley proofs
Engine Summer (Learning to Live With It)
6 Holograph and typescript notes
7 Holograph and typescript, 1967-8
box folder
12 1-3 Holograph and typescript, 1967-8
4-6 Holograph and typescript notes and drafts
7 Typescript setting copy, 1962
box folder
13 1 Setting copy
2 "Exogamy," holograph short story
3 "The Green Child," holograph short story
4 "Holy Saturday," two typescript versions, 1962 and 1967
"Little, Big"
5-9 Holograph draft
box folder
14 1-7 Photocopy typescript
Corrected galley proofs
(housed in oversize Box 22.2)
Love & Sleep
box folder
15 1 Working notebook, 1987
(RESTRICTED)
Love & Sleep (Ember Days)
2 Holograph draft
3-6 Holograph draft
Love & Sleep
box folder
16 1-3 Holograph draft
4-8 Typescript drafts
box folder
17 1-2 Typescript editing draft
3-6 Typescript
7-8 Final corrected galley proofs
box folder
18 1-2 Final corrected galley proofs
3 "The Love Song of Meneleaus," typescript
4 "Missolonghi, 1824," typescript
Novelty
5 "In Blue," typescript
6 "The Nightingale Sings at Night," holograph
7 "Great Work of Time," holograph notes
8 "Great Work of Time," holograph draft
9 "Great Work of Time," typescript
box folder
19 1 "Novelty," holograph and typescript
2-4 Novelty, corrected setting copy
5 "Snow," holograph draft and typescript
6 "Souvenirs," typescript, 1967
7 "The Squire Completes His Tale," in whole issue of Pegasus, 1964
8 "Where Spirits Gat Them Home," typescript
Subseries C. Film and Television
9 America Lost and Found, typescript
10 American Gothic, typescript film treatment and novel synopsis
11 The Bermuda Triangle, typescript synopsis
12 The British Invasion, typescript documentary narration
13 Clouds, typescript documentary narration
14 Counterfeit, typed filmscript, 1986
box folder
20 1 Curtains Up, typescript documentary narration
2 The Erie War, typescript documentary draft
3 Evangeline, typescript television script
4 The Great Depression, 3 printout documentary drafts
5 Hindenburg, typescript film treatment
High Energy Physics: 6 typescripts
6 The Heart of the Matter
Who Has Seen the Wind?
What's Down There?
Search: Encounters with Science
New Eye for Kitt Peak
The Mayall Telescope
7 IBM Motivational films: " Leadership Begins With You,"
2 typescripts
8 The Liberators, 2 typescript documentary narrations
9 One By One, typescript documentary narration
10 Pearl Harbor: Surprise and Remembrance, holograph and typescript notes, documentary treatment, script
11 Ten Dollar Horse and a Forty Dollar Saddle, typed film treatment and script
12 The Tonight Show, typed stage treatment and play script
13 USS Arizona War Memorial, 4 typescript draft narrations
14 Walker Evans, typescript television proposal
15 War, corrected typescript documentary narration, 1968
16 World of Tomorrow, typescript draft documentary narration
17 ZEPS, typescript draft documentary narration
Scripts written in collaboration with with Laurie Block
box folder
21 1 America and Lewis Hine typescript documentary
2-3 American Outpost, annotated typescript drafts
4 Are We Winning the War, Mommy?, typescript documentary narration
5 Capitalism, typescript documentary
6 Communism, typescript documentary
7 God's Square Mile, holograph and typescript documentary
8 Smithsonian Institution, typescript notes, draft, film
9 1917: Revolution in Russia, holograph and typescript notes, draft, film treatment
Subseries C. Commercial Work
10 Bill Graham and the Fillmore East, typescript review, 1967
Chase Manhattan Bank projects, typescript and imprints
11 "The Credit Game Holiday Buying Guide"
11 "Happy Holidays"
12 New York Life Insurance projects, typescript
13 "Pound," film by Robert Downey, typescript review
14 "Sounds of Freedom," 3 typescript narrations
box folder
22 1 Intermountain Express, August 24, 1979
(2 copies)
2 Little, Big, corrected galley proofs
3 National Peep, July [1972?]
(2 copies)
Seymour: Program notes for New Line Cinema, 1968

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