Robert McAlmon papers
Scope and Contents
- 1916 - 1980
- Majority of material found within 1930 - 1952
Conditions Governing Access
Existence and Location of Copies
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Letters by Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and William Carlos Williams were purchased by the Yale Collection of American Literature from Robert McAlmon beginning in 1949.
The manuscript of Paris, 14th of July is the gift of Richard Wayand, 1956.
The letters of Ernest Hemingway to Robert McAlmon are the gift of Donald Gallup in memory of Norman Holmes Pearson, 1976.
2.93 Linear Feet (8 boxes)
Language of Materials
Robert McAlmon, 1895-1956
It was through H. D. that McAlmon met and married her lover, the shipping heiress Annie Winifred Ellerman, who published under the name "Bryher." Their 1921 marriage inspired much gossip concerning McAlmon's own sexual preferences and Bryher's financial support of him: some referred to him as "Robert McAlimony." In the following year, McAlmon moved to Paris and founded the influential Contact Editions press. Its publications included Hemingway's first book, Three Stories and Ten Poems (1923), poetry collections by William Carlos Williams, Mina Loy, and Marsden Hartley, and the first complete edition of Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans (1925). He also provided James Joyce with financial support and assisted in the revision and typing of the Penelope section of Ulysses.
McAlmon's own published works from this period include the critically praised short story collections The Hasty Bunch (1922) and Distinguished Air (1925); the experimental "plotless novel" Village (1924); and a collection of poetry, Portrait of a Generation (1926). The McAlmons divorced in 1925, and McAlmon left Paris in 1929, after closing Contact Editions. Throughout the next fifteen years, he traveled widely in the United States, Mexico and Europe, drinking heavily and publishing little. Not Alone Lost, a volume of poetry, was published by New Directions in 1937 and became its worst-selling title. His bitter memoir of Paris in the Twenties, Being Geniuses Together, appeared in Great Britain to little notice in 1938.
McAlmon returned to the United States following the occupation of France in 1940. In ill-health and out of money, he settled in Arizona, where he worked as a salesman in his brothers' surgical supply company. His tuberculosis worsened in 1951, and his sisters bought him a small house in Hot Springs, California, where he died on February 2, 1956.
- American fiction -- 20th Century
- American literature -- 20th Century
- Antheil, George, 1900-1959
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Authors, American -- France -- Paris
- Barnes, Djuna
- Bird, William, 1888-1963
- Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992
- Contact Editions
- Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965
- Expatriate authors -- France -- Paris
- Glassco, John, 1909-1981
- H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), 1886-1961
- Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943
- Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961
- Herbst, Josephine, 1892-1969
- Joyce, James, 1882-1941
- Lewis, Wyndham, 1882-1957
- Macleod, Norman, 1906-1985
- McAlmon, Robert, 1896-1956
- Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972
- Porter, Katherine Anne, 1890-1980
- Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972
- Satō, Ken
- Small presses -- France
- Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946
- Stern, James
- Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963
- Guide to the Robert McAlmon Papers
- by Diane J. Ducharme
- November 2008
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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New Haven, CT 06511
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