Post 4: What I Found at Brown (Edward Millman, Nathanael West Project)

Brown University’s John Hay Library, my second stop in my travels, proved to be an incredibly worthwhile stop. This archive houses a great deal of material on S.J. Perelman, the comic writer who was West’s brother-in-law and frequent collaborator. During this visit, I found a never-before-published manuscript of a play co-written by West and Perelman as well as an unpublished story and letter by West. I also found several works which had only been published posthumously in the 1997 Library of America Nathanael West volume (the previously mentioned materials had not been published ever.)

Here are some of my other notes from this visit:

  1. Unpublished Letter (undated, late 1936 or early 1937): Nathanael West (Signed “Nat”) to S.J. Perelman about West’s concern regarding his job security at Republic Productions. Furthermore, discussions about a screenplay West co-wrote with Sam Ornitz titled “Gangs of New York” based on a story by West.
  2. Unpublished story: “L’Affaire Beano” which was, according to Brown’s note, “unknown to West’s biographer Jay Martin”
  3. Corrected typescript of an unpublished play “Even Stephen” co-written by Nathanael West and S.J. Perelman.
  4. Several other stories that were unpublished until the Library of America Nathanael West Collection (the aforementioned materials are unpublished anywhere.

Stay tuned for Yale and my further summer work in unpacking my findings from this trip and more!

Speak Your Mind