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American Literary Studies

Review of Contemporary Fiction/
Dalkey Archive Press: 1980 - 1988

The Collection

Location: Department of Special Collections, Green Library

Size: 30 linear feet

Call number: M0507

Finding Guides: A printed version is available in the reading room of the Department of Special Collections. Electronic versions of this finding guide are also available. If you have Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 6.0 or higher, click here to connect to the XML version on the Stanford server; if not, click here for the html version on the Online Archives of California server.

Research Access and Use: Materials in the Department of Special Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the Special Collections' Reading Room in the Cecil H. Green Library. The Reading Room is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Photocopies, photographs, and microfilm can be made of some materials in the collections. For more information about the collections and access policies, please contact Special Collections by telephone at (650) 725-1022, by electronic mail at or by regular mail at the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6004.

History of The Review of Contemporary Fiction/Dalkey Archive Press: John O'Brien founded The Review of Contemporary Fiction (RCF) in 1980 and established the Dalkey Archive Press three years later. Since its inaugural Spring 1981 issue, RCF has appeared with exact regularity three times a year. Each number is devoted to one or two contemporary figures, predominantly American and British but also some European and Latin American writers as well. The contents of a typical number include original work by the writer featured, an interview with him or her, a memoir or other biographical reminiscence by literary colleagues, and several extended critical articles. The Dalkey Archive Press began as a modest adjunct to RCF, issuing reprints of books by writers featured in the journal, or associated with those writers. Then in 1986, O'Brien began issuing original works.

Content: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, typescripts, proofs and final copies, as well as interviews with contemporary writers. There is an addition to the collection that is shelved separately, accession number 1990-108. It includes 18 volumes of uncorrected galleys, 1986-1990

Scope and Organization: The collection is divided into three series.
Series I is composed of material directly related to issues of the RCF published from the Spring of 1981 to the Spring of 1988. Arranged in chronological order, issues typically begin with an interview and correspondence between John O'Brien, editor of the RCF, and the featured writer. Included are such authors as Gilbert Sorrentino, Hubert Selby, Jr., Charles Bukowski, and Harry Mathews. The interviews are followed by correspondence between O'Brien and potential contributors of the issues. Then, following the correspondence are preliminary drafts of the articles sent to O'Brien from the contributors. And finally within each issue are the typist's and text copy of the articles as they are to appear in the published edition.
Series II is composed of material from the Dalkey Archive Press. This series is divided into both correspondence and published book material. The primary texts mentioned in this series are: Beastmeat of the MacFaustus Festival Book by James Liddy, The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov and Going to Patchoque by Thomas McGonigle, Wittgenstein's Mistress and Keeper of the Ghost by David Markson, 20 Lines a Day by Harry Mathews, Where Do You Put the Horses? by Paul Metcalf, Our Share of Time by Yves Navarre, Mise-en-Scene by Claude Ollier, Pierrot Mon Ami by Raymond Queneau, and The Banks of the Sea by Kenneth Tindall.
Series III consists of the original materials that John O'Brien edited and published as Interviews with Black Writers (1973). The writers interviewed are Arna Bontemps, Cyrus Colter, William Demby, Owen Dodson, Ralph Ellison, Ernest J. Gaines, Michael Harper, Robert Hayden, Clarence Major, Julian Mayfield, Ann Petry, Ishmael Reed, Alice Walker, John Wideman, John Williams, Charles Wright, and Al Young





Last modified: July 5, 2006

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