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Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series I. Works, ca. 1941-1968

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Harry Roskolenko:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Papers in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center



Creator: Roskolenko, Harry, 1907-1980
Title: Harry Roskolenko Papers
Dates: ca. 1941-1968
Abstract: This collection of works of American writer and poet Harry Roskolenko includes typescripts of poetry, autobiographies, two novels, a "screen story," and a dramatic verse play.
Extent: 2 boxes (.84 linear feet)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Scope and Contents

This collection of works of American writer and poet Harry Roskolenko includes typescripts of poetry, autobiographies, two novels, a "screen story," and a dramatic verse play. Reflecting his writing and publishing in both the United States and Australia, the collection spans 1941 to 1968 and is arranged alphabetically in a single Works series.

Poetry comprises the largest segment of works with over 850 poems in various stages of revision, written from approximately 1941 to 1957. There are drafts of published and unpublished poems, as well as photocopies of published poems from the 1950s. A typescript for the collection of poems, The Blood Tree (1950), is accompanied by Roskolenko's letter to editor Robert Glauber stating that this “much revised manuscript” contains thirteen new poems--"the Paris Poems"--while "I have taken out about ten poems."

Manuscripts for two of Roskolenko's three published autobiographies are present, When I Was Last on Cherry Street (1965), and The Terrorized: 1945-1950 (1968). The folder that housed the miscellaneous pieces of the Cherry Street autobiography reads, “Great reviews but not great sales.” This work, like others, chronicled his early years on New York City's Lower East Side.

The collection contains both galleys and revised typescripts of the novel Black Is a Man, about racism, published in 1953; and Lan-Lan, his novel about Cambodia between 1925 and 1931, published by New American Library in 1962.

Also present are an original screen story, "Command Performance," and a dramatic verse play about T. S. Eliot titled "Journey of the Five (Of Whom Three Were One)." The typescript of "Journey of the Five" is heavily revised and includes a note on the title page that states, “Read at Oxford. T. S. Eliot was present...."

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Restrictions

Access:

Open for research

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Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Purchase, 1969 (Reg. no. 5063)

Processed by:

Caitlin Murray, 2006

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Container List

 

Series I. Works, ca. 1941-1968

Box
1 Black Is a Man (1953), novel
Typescript, temporary title "'Nigger' Jimmy (a modern folk-fable)"
1 Carbon copy with minor revisions
2 Top copy, revised
3 Galley inserts
4 "Command Performance," 1952, typescript, uncorrected, original screen story by Harry Roskolenko and Alexander Klein
5 "Journey of the Five (Of Whom Three Were One)," 1949, typescript with revisions, dramatic verse play
Lan-Lan (1962), novel
6-7 Typescript with revisions, includes publishing information and Signet Books Press release
* Galleys (*removed to galley files)
Poetry, ca. 1941-1957, typescripts
8 "The Blood Tree," 1950, poetry collection
9 "Poems submitted, published and unpublished, 1941-...; various versions...1943-1951, published widely"
Box Folder
2 1 "Poems in draft form, written from 3/10/42 to date, in the army"; includes poems written for "Satyr and the City"
2 Poems, most published in magazines, and in A Second Summary (Melbourne, 1944) and Notes from a Journey: Poems (Melbourne, 1947); includes lists of poems throughout
3-4 "Various poems published widely; photocopies of poems published" through 1957
5-6 The Terrorized: 1945-1950 (1968), autobiography, typescript with revisions
7 When I Was Last on Cherry Street (1965), autobiography, typescript with revisions; includes publisher's letter to Roskolenko

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