John J. Slocum papers relating to Ezra Pound
Scope and Contents
Series I, Correspondence , is located in folders 1-15 and consists primarily of letters from Ezra Pound to Slocum, in some cases accompanied by carbon copies of Slocum's replies. The early correspondence primarily concerns Slocum's efforts to place articles and poems by Pound in various American periodicals, and folders 4-7 contain typescript carbons of four such pieces, including "In War Begin Responsibilities," "To Whose Profit Roosevelt," and "Augment of the Novel." Being Pound's informal agent in the United States was no easy task. For example, in a letter of November 4, 1940, Slocum writes, "I would like your permission to cut anti-church, anti-jooish references out of ["To Whose Profit Roosevelt"] before sending it out;" Pound replied "All right, you can cut and doctor them articles....." in December.
Other topics include the increasing difficulties of correspondence and payment methods as the war progressed; Pound's general political and economic views; James Laughlin; and Pound's visit to the United States in 1939. The earliest letter in the series concerns Pound's enthusiasm for microfilming as a publication method and his prediction of "the revolution in actual publishing."
Folders 9-10 contain letters exchanged in 1947-50 concerning Slocum's founding of the James Joyce Society. Pound disapproved, urging him to found a Confucius Society instead. When Slocum protested that there was much more interest in Joyce, who "was Occidental," Pound replied "oxidental nuts. he wuz a blinkin Byzantine" and ceased replying to Slocum.
Other correspondents include Dorothy Pound, who wrote urging Slocum to "learn at least a few facts--Cornell never did," and John Edwards. Folders 13-15 contain Third-Party Correspondence, letters mentioning Slocum addressed to James and Anne Laughlin.
Series II, Writings , is located in folders 16-17 and consists of a typescript of "Cast a Cold Eye," a talk given by Slocum on his friendship with Pound.
Restricted Fragile Papers are housed in Box 2.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
0.42 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Language of Materials
JOHN J. SLOCUM, 1914-1997
After the war, he joined the United States Information Agency and served with them until 1970, representing the agency in Germany and Egypt and traveling to Asia and South America as part of their inspection team.
Slocum assembled what was widely considered the world's leading collection of James Joyce printed and manuscript material. The collection was acquired by Yale University in 1951. In 1953 Yale University Press published A Bibliography of James Joyce by Slocum and Herbert Cahoon. Stephen Hero, a new edition of the Joyce "draft" that became Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, was published by Laughlin's New Directions press in 1963.
Slocum was the founding president of the Friends of the Folger Shakespeare Library in 1974 and a leading member of the American Numismatic Society. He also served on a Presidential Cultural Advisory Committee; and participated in an effort to reorganize the Smithsonian Institution.
John Jermain Slocum lived in Newport, Rhode Island, where he died on August 12, 1997. He was survived by his wife of many years, Eileen Gillespie Slocum, and their two daughters.
- Guide to the John J. Slocum Papers Relating to Ezra Pound
- Under Revision
- by Diane J. Ducharme
- June 2003
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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