Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Fall 2008 Newsletter

Recommended Reading: Playwright Lee Blessing

Lee Blessing

The Ransom Center holds American playwright Lee Blessing's papers, which include typescripts of his plays, teleplays, and screenplays. Blessing will be a panelist at the 2008 Flair Symposium, Creating a Usable Past: Writers, Archives, and Institutions.

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The Meadow by James Galvin

(Holt, 1992)

Solitude is not loneliness, and no book ever showed the difference better. This meditation on the history, geography, and sociology of a ranch on the Colorado-Wyoming border makes us examine our innermost landscapes—assuming we have any. Some books can make us stronger; this is one.

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The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees edited by Donald Justice

(University of Nebraska Press, 1962)

Kees was a prose writer, painter, and jazz aficionado in New York City before settling among the Beats in San Francisco. In 1955 his car was found by the Golden Gate Bridge; he was never seen again. But that's not why he's interesting. These poems are why. They're impeccable, and they question everything.

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Heaven's My Destination by Thornton Wilder

(Perennial, 2003)

Wilder's picaresque look at a Depression-era textbook salesman in the Midwest drew mixed reviews in 1935. Sigmund Freud threw it across the room. Edmund Wilson called it one of Wilder's best. Practically a one-sit read, this was deeply funny, painful and capable of an amazing level of indirection.

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Murphy by Samuel Beckett

(Grove Press, 1957)

A mid-1930s project, written in English—more accessible than his other novels. I read it as an undergraduate, and it's never left me. Hope that's a good thing. It always feels valuable to go to a great writer's early work. With luck you can glimpse that first step taken off the beaten path. How did they know to do that... right there?

Learn more about Lee Blessing's papers at the Ransom Center and the 2008 Flair Symposium

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