Suddenly This Summer

HRC grabs some more real estate

Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams

Two announcements from UT's Harry Ransom Center landed in our in-box this morning detailing acquisitions both big and small – although I suppose when you're talking about authors of this stature, no acquisition counts as too small.

The first is the addition of two unpublished letters to the HRC's pre-existing Tennessee Williams collection. Both letters are written by the lauded American playwright to Pancho Rodriguez Gonzalez, who inspired the character of Stanley Kowalski in Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and was, as the HRC's press release puts it, Williams' "former intimate" (a rather coy moniker for a man who, according to Donald Spoto's 1994 biography The Kindness of Strangers , was on the losing end of a passionate and devoted affair with Williams).

Correspondence also figures in the HRC's second acquisition, although we're pretty sure these pen pals never slept together. The 77 letters from John Steinbeck to his friend and business associate Henry S. White date from October 1948 to August 1949 and track a particularly depressed period of Steinbeck's life, as he was reeling from domestic troubles and the accidental death of his best friend. (On the breakup of his second marriage, Steinbeck writes, "I'm kind of used up Henry and will be for a little while until I get ironed out inside. The scars are deeper than I thought.") The letters join the HRC's already impressive Steinbeck archive, which includes the manuscript for East of Eden and a concurrent daily journal, as well as a similar journal for The Grapes of Wrath.

You can explore the holdings in both collections via the HRC's finding aids. For Tennessee Williams, go here. For John Steinbeck, go here.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Harry Ransom Center
Full Arthur Miller Archive Lands at UT
Full Arthur Miller Archive Lands at UT
Ransom Center acquires complete papers by The Crucible author

Robert Faires, Jan. 12, 2018

Ransom Center Lands Ondaatje Archive
Ransom Center Lands Ondaatje Archive
Author of The English Patient sends papers to UT

Robert Faires, Sept. 26, 2017

More by Kimberley Jones
We Have an Issue: Check It Out
We Have an Issue: Check It Out
In this week’s issue, Music Editor Raoul Hernandez reflects on Checking In, his Q&A series chronicle musicians’ lives under COVID-19 lockdown

Jan. 22, 2021

We Have an Issue: Under Construction
We Have an Issue: Under Construction
Time to roll up the sleeves and start rebuilding our democracy

Jan. 15, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Harry Ransom Center, John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle