Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2015 Newsletter

Scholarly Publications

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*Vincent Giroud
Nicolas Nabokov: A Life in Freedom and Music

(Oxford University Press, forthcoming April 2015)

Composer and cultural official Nicolas Nabokov (1903–1978) was admired by some of the most distinguished minds of his century for his range of interests and breadth of vision. Drawing on primary sources, this biography follows Nabokov's life through his Russian childhood, exiles to Germany and France, his participation in the denazification of post-war Germany and in the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and his American academic career.

In preparing this book, Giroud consulted the Ransom Center's collections of Nicolas Nabokov and Michael Josselson. His research was supported by a 2011–2012 Woodward and Bernstein Endowment fellowship from the Ransom Center.

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*Matt Cook
Queer Domesticities: Homosexuality and Home Life in Twentieth-Century London

(Palgrave Macmillan, April 2014)

Queer Domesticities explores the ways in which queer men have made, experienced, and described their homes in relation to stereotypes and to the contexts of the places they lived through choice or force of circumstance. Resting on oral histories and unpublished diaries of relatively unknown men and on reassessments of famous and infamous figures, this book shows how gay men orientated their sense of themselves behind closed doors and apart from the more public bars, courtrooms, and protest and pride marches that have more often drawn our attention.

In preparing this book, Cook consulted the diaries of George Cecil Ives. Cook's research was supported by a 2004–2005 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Research Fellowship from the Ransom Center.

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*Roberta Rubenstein
Literary Half-Lives: Doris Lessing, Clancy Sigal, and Roman à Clef

(Palgrave Macmillan, May 2014 )

While Doris Lessing was composing The Golden Notebook during the late 1950s, she was intimately involved with writer Clancy Sigal. Their relationship influenced The Golden Notebook as well as Lessing's Play with a Tiger and Sigal's Zone of the Interior, The Secret Defector, and a number of unpublished works. Focusing on multiple literary transformations of autobiographical materials, as reflected in the oeuvres of these two writers, Rubenstein also offers compelling insights into the ethical implications of disguised autobiography and roman à clef.

In preparing this book, Rubenstein consulted the Ransom Center's collections of Clancy Sigal, Doris Lessing, and John and Joan Rodker. Rubenstein's research was supported by a 2011–2012 Fleur Cowles Endowment fellowship from the Ransom Center.

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Shaun Usher
Lists of Note

(Canongate Unbound, October 2014)

Humans have been making lists for even longer than they've been writing letters. They are the shorthand for what really matters to us, records of our memories, and reminders of the things we want to do before we die. Usher has trawled the world's archives to produce a rich visual anthology that stretches from ancient times to present day, highlighting a to-do list of Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin's list on the pros and cons of marriage, and Julia Child's list of possible titles for what would later become an American cooking bible.

In preparing this book, Usher consulted the Ransom Center's collections of David Foster Wallace, David O. Selznick, and Alfred A. Knopf Inc.

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David Moody
Ezra Pound: Poet, vol. II The Epic Years

(Oxford University Press, September 2014)

This second volume of Moody's full-scale portrait covers Ezra Pound's middle years and weaves together a narrative that illuminates the story of Pound's life, his achievement as a poet and a composer, and his one-man crusade for economic justice. The book offers new insight into his complicated personal relationships and detailed accounts of the composition of his two operas and of his original contribution to the theory of harmony. A canto-by-canto elucidation of the form and meaning of the first 71 cantos of his epic poem reveals their hitherto unperceived musical structures and their overall design.

In preparing this book, Moody consulted the Ezra Pound collection at the Ransom Center.

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Kevin Birmingham
The Most Dangerous Book

(Penguin Press, June 2014)

Convinced that James Joyce's Ulysses contained "unmitigated filth and obscenity," Sir Archibald Bodkin was determined in 1922 to burn all copies already in the United Kingdom and to ban importation of additional copies. Birmingham tells the story of how Bodkin and his American counterparts (John Sumner and Anthony Comstock) lost the battle to keep Joyce's explosive book out of readers' hands.

Birmingham consulted the Marcella Spann-Booth collection of Ezra Pound and the Morris Ernst and Carlton Lake collections at the Ransom Center.

*This author's research at the Ransom Center was funded by a fellowship. The Ransom Center is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its fellowship program in 2014–2015.

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