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Collection Number: 04542

Collection Title: Laura (Riding) Jackson Papers (#4542) 1974-1989

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size About 225 items (0.5 linear feet)
Abstract Laura (Riding) Jackson, poet and critic, and member of "The Fugitives," a group of Southern poets that flourished in the 1930s. Jackson, who also worked closely with Robert Graves on several publishing ventures, was concerned, among other things, with issues of linguistic integrity. The collection consists chiefly of letters, 1982-1990, to William R. Harmon of the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Laura (Riding) Jackson. The letters are substantive, containing Jackson's comments on her life and work and including explications of specific poems and discussions about Robert Graves and other prominent authors with whom she worked. Many letters show Jackson in her struggle against critics and editors who, she believed, had misjudged the meaning and significance of her work. Also included are a few letters to Harmon from others and a small number of writings of Jackson and others, most of whom are not identified.
Creator Jackson, Laura (Riding), 1901-
Language English.
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Access Restrictions
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
Retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], Laura (Riding) Jackson Papers (#4542), Southern Historical Collection, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Received from William Harmon of Chapel Hill, N.C., in December 1989, December 1990 (Acc. 91011), December 1991 (Acc. 92005), and December 1992 (Acc. 93015).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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William Harmon Papers (#4568);

Laura Riding Jackson materials held by Cornell University (primary collection); Joint University Libraries, Nashville, Tenn. (Fugitives period); State University of New York at Buffalo; and Northwestern University.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The following is from the Laura Riding Jackson entry in Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, Volume 28 (1981). Material within quotation marks represents Jackson's comments as submitted for inclusion in the entry. The entry also includes detailed remarks on Jackson's career from other sources (these are not reproduced here.

PERSONAL: Born 16 January 1901, in New York, N.Y.; name originally Laura Reichenthal; adopted the surname "Riding," 1926; daughter of Nathaniel S. and Sarah (Edersheim) Reichenthal; married Louis Gottchalk (a professor of history), 1920 (divorced, 1925); married Schuyler Brinckerhoff Jackson (a poet, critic, and former poetry editor of Time magazine), 20 June 1941 (died, 1968). Education: Attended Cornell University, 1918-1921; further study at University of Illinois, Urbana, and University of Louisville.

CAREER: Poet, critic, and author in various fields "with progressive concern with language as the natural human truth-system." Regular member of the Fugitives, a group of Southern poets, including John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren, in the 1920s; lived abroad, 1926-1939, mainly in England and Spain; worked at "furthering sensitivity of writer-associates, poets especially, to the importance of linguistic integrity as the basis of literary integrity." Founder, with Robert Graves, and managing partner of Seizin Press, 1927-1938; founder, with Graves, and editor of Epilogue, a series of volumes in which new principles of general criticism were explored, 1935-1938. Returned to the United States, 1939; beginning in 1943, involved in citrus farming in Florida with husband, Schuyler B. Jackson, and in working with him "towards the enlargement of the knowledge of words and capability of using them in truthfully exact consciousness of their meanings--towards the initiating of a new lexicography."

AWARDS/HONORS: Nashville prize, 1924; Mark Rothko Appreciation award, 1971; Guggenheim fellowship, 1973; National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, 1979.

WRITINGS: Note that Jackson's works have been published under the names Laura Riding, Laura Riding Gottschalk, and Laura (Riding) Jackson, and Madeleine Vara. In addition to the works listed here, there were also numerous translations of works in French; and essays and journal articles on poetry and other literary forms.

Poetry:

1926 The Close Chaplet
1927 Voltaire: A Biographical Fantasy
1928 Love as Love, Death as Death
1930 Poems: A Joking Word
1930 Twenty Poems Less
1930 Though Gently
1931 Laura and Francisca
1933 The Life of the Dead
1933 The First Leaf
1933 Poet: A Lying Word
1934 Americans
1935 The Second Leaf
1938 Collected Poems (reprinted as The Poems of Laura Riding: A New Edition of the 1938 Collection, 1980)
1970 Selected Poems: In Five Set

Novels:

1936 14A
1936 Convalescent Conversations
1937 A Trojan Ending with new edition in 1984)

Editor:

1933 Everybody's Letters
1935-1937 Epilogue: A Critical Summary
1938 The World and Ourselves
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection consists chiefly of letters, 1982-1989, to William R. Harmon of the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Laura (Riding) Jackson. The letters, written from Jackson's home in Wabasso, Fla., are largely substantive, containing Jackson's comments on her life and work, including explications of specific poems and discussions about Robert Graves and other prominent authors with whom she worked. Many letters show Jackson in her struggle against critics and editors who, she believed, had misjudged the meaning and significance of her work.

Also included are a few letters to Harmon from others, particularly Jackson's friend Elizabeth Friedmann of the English Department at Jacksonville University, and a small number of writings of Jackson and others, most of whom are not identified. Some of Jackson's writings are photocopies of published articles, but others are photocopies of typed works.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1982-1989.

About 85 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters, 1982-1989, chiefly from Laura (Riding) Jackson to William Harmon. There are also a few letters to Harmon from others, including Jackson's friend Elizabeth Friedmann of the English Department at Jacksonville University and a several journal editors with whom Jackson was feuding. Many letters show Jackson in her struggle against critics and editors who she believed had largely misjudged the meaning and significance of her work.

Among the letters are:

21 December 1983 Jackson to Harmon: Jackson's response to a proposed MLA seminar on her work. Appended is a paper by Jackson, called Comments on Barbara Adams's 'Riding's Poetics: Theory and Practice.'
3 May 1984 Jackson to Harmon: Explanation of Jackson's poem Opening of Eyes.
25 June 1984 Jackson to Harmon: Copy of letter to W. W. Norton about exclusion of Jackson's work from the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry.
26 July 1985 Jackson to Harmon: Response to Joyce P. Wexler's presentation of herself as a bibliographical authority in regard to my writings.
September 1985 and after Jackson to Harmon: Discussion of Harmon's efforts to help Jackson collect, edit, and publish her early poetry.
3 October 1985 Jackson to Harmon: Letter with one-page enclosure by Jackson, called On Two Virtue Mongers: Robert Graves, Robert Frost.
14 February 1987 Jackson to Harmon: Letter with poem by Jackson enclosed. The poem, called In Response to A Manifesto Circulated by the Union of Concerned Scientists, is marked in private circulation only.
14 June 1987 Elizabeth Friedmann to Harmon: Includes revised version of In Response to A Manifesto Circulated by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Folder 1

1982-1983 #04542, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1982-1989." Folder 1

Folder 2

1984 #04542, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1982-1989." Folder 2

Folder 3

1985 #04542, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1982-1989." Folder 3

Folder 4

1986 #04542, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1982-1989." Folder 4

Folder 5

1987 #04542, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1982-1989." Folder 5

Folder 6

1988-1990 #04542, Series: "1. Correspondence, 1982-1989." Folder 6

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Other Papers, 1974-1986 and undated.

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Processing Information

Processed by Lynn Holdzkom

Completed 1990-1993

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