Walt Whitman was born on this day in 1819, and amid a panoply of planned festivities, his bicentennial has renewed popular interest in Whitman’s legacy. What has Whitman left us in our twenty-first century? Whatever he has bequeathed to us culturally, what’s certain is that 200 years after his birth, his textual legacy continues to grow.
The papers of acclaimed author Rachel Cusk (b. 1967) have been acquired by the Ransom Center.
The Ransom Center acquires the papers of Rachel Cusk. Below, Cusk describes her writing process.
When I was writing my first novel I frequently dreamed that the house I was living in was on fire and that I was unable to rescue the manuscript. I took this same manuscript with me everywhere I went: the exteriorising of what was inside me, the creation of it as a physical object, was so momentous and alarming that I often felt more like its guardian than its author.
While doing research in the John Herrmann collection during her fellowship at the Ransom Center, Sara Kosiba found a manuscript of an unpublished 1925 novel. Titled Foreign Born, it tells the story of Ernst Weiman, a German immigrant living in the fictional town of Fairbanks, Michigan during World War I. [Read more…] about A novel discovery
During the modernist era, writers experimented with the language of the street in their works. Brooks Hefner’s The Word on the Streets explores how multiple writers of different genres used street slang to emphasize classism through dialect. At the Ransom Center, Hefner consulted the archives of influential detective fiction writers Dashiell Hammett and Erle Stanley Gardner to inform his book. [Read more…] about The word on the streets
In Amanda Laugesen’s new book, the novel is an object of war. In Taking Books to the World: American Publishers and the Cultural Cold War (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017), Laugesen tells the story of Franklin Publications, a publishing company created in 1952 as a joint project between American publishers and the USIA. Amid the scramble for influence during the Cold War, Franklin was tasked with disseminating books that promote American ideals throughout the developing world. [Read more…] about American publishing during the Cold War