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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the John Stewart Carter Papers 1922-1976

© 2012 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Carter, John Stewart. Papers

Dates:

1922-1976

Size:

5.5 linear feet (11 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

John Stewart Carter (1911-1965) was an Oak Park-born professor and author. The collection contains correspondence, notes, manuscripts, typescripts, grant applications, and acclaim surrounding Carter's award winning novel, Full Fathom Five, with the bulk of the material dating between 1960 and 1965. The papers primarily document Carter's career as an author, however there are documents relating to his educational, personal and professorial life.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Carter, John Stewart. Papers, Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Biographical Note

John Stewart Carter, (b. March 26, 1912, d. October, 1965), was born and lived most of his life in Oak Park, Illinois. Carter was an author who published two short stories, several poems and a successful novel titled Full Fathom Five. When Carter was a boy the Hemingway family were neighbors and his father was a colleague of Dr. Hemingway. Influenced by the life of Ernest Hemingway, both John Stewart Carter and his brother Albert Howard Carter aspired to become authors. John Stewart Carter was a poet, author and a professor of English at Chicago Teachers College.

Carter achieved his Bachelor's Degree from the years 1927-1931 at Northwestern University, where he studied English and wrote several pieces for the student literary publication, A Miscellany. Carter also studied English at Harvard University from 1931-1932. He then came back to Chicago to work on his Masters Degree and Ph.D., both in English, from 1935 to 1941at the University of Chicago. Carter studied James Shirley and wrote a critical edition of his seventeenth century play, The Traitor.

While completing his studies at the University of Chicago, Carter worked at the Chicago YMCA College as a night reference librarian. In the last year of his research, he was hired at Chicago's Teachers College. He worked at the Teachers College as a professor of English until his death in 1965. During World War II, he served a five-year tour of duty in the Navy as a lieutenant and resumed his position at Chicago's Teachers College upon his return.

Carter was married to a woman named Marie and they had two daughters named Elizabeth and Ann. In 1956, Carter applied for and received a Ford Foundation Grant to research and write a critical work about Edgar Allen Poe. The family followed Carter to Iran in 1961 and 1962 where he was a Fulbright Professor of American Literature at the University of Tehran.

Carter wrote short many stories during his educational career and in the 1950's and 1960's he began to write poetry as well. Carter's only novel, Full Fathom Five, was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1964. The novel is about an upper class Chicago family and is told through the perspective of the youngest member of the clan. It is comprised of three parts, the first two of which were published first as short stories in The Kenyon Review under the titles "The Keyhole Eye" and "To a Tenor Dying Old" in the autumn of 1962 and 1963 respectively.

Full Fathom Five was well received and critically acclaimed. Carter received a literary fellowship from Houghton Mifflin for the publication. Carter died only a year after the publication of his first novel in October 1965 after struggling with his health and an eye condition for much of his life. After Carter's death, a selection of his poetry was published titled, Poems: An Handful with Quietness.

Scope Note

The John Stewart Carter Papers are organized into four series: Series I: Personal; Series II: Correspondence; Series III: Writings; and Series IV: Literary Note Cards. The collection contains news clippings, correspondence, notes, manuscripts and typescripts of published and unpublished literary works, and copies of published works dating between 1922 and 1965, with the bulk of the material dating between 1960 and 1965. The papers primarily document Carter's writing career.

Series I, Personal, contains material related to Carter's education, including early writings done during Carter's time at Northwestern University all titled "College Assignments" and arranged alphabetically with each works given title. Biographical information, grant information and papers relating to his work life as a professor at Chicago's Teacher College and University of Tehran are also included.

Series II, Correspondence, contains incoming mail, arranged chronologically under each subseries. The series is broken into four subseries; Publisher Correspondence, Personal Correspondence, Miscellaneous Correspondence and Professional Correspondence. Subseries 1, Publisher Correspondence is arranged chronologically, with publishers of his major works (Kenyon Review and Atlantic Monthly) set aside from that chronology. Subseries 2, Personal Correspondence, contains chronologically ordered letters, with some of Carter's more prolific correspondents including his brother Albert Howard Carter and Ray Johnson, an artist, kept at together at the end of the subseries. There is also one folder containing outgoing mail sent by Carter to various recipients, most of whom are family. Subseries 3, Miscellaneous Correspondence, contains mail sent after Carter's death, correspondence with translators and archival repository requests for Carter's papers. Subseries 4, Professional Correspondence, contains mail relating to his tenure at Chicago Teachers College and drafts of poetry sent to other authors and poets for comment.

Series III, Writings, consists of four subseries; the first is dedicated to Carter's poetry which he largely wrote after 1950. Carter had an organizational system in which the poems were arranged alphabetically with multiple drafts and many also included submission lists. This order and arrangement has been maintained in the subseries. The second subseries contains: typescripts, manuscripts, publication information, original artwork, fan letters and acclaim surrounding the publication of Full Fathom Five. The third subseries contains: typescripts, manuscripts, publication information and original artwork related to the publication of the short stories "The Keyhole Eye" and "To a Tenor Dying Old." The fourth subseries contains unpublished short stories as well as notes, manuscripts and typescripts of Carter's work on Edgar Allen Poe and James Shirley.

Series IV contains literary note cards of versification and personal notes.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Personal

Subseries 1: Biographical

Box 1   Folder 1

Biographical articles, 1965-1966

Box 1   Folder 2

Articles mentioning John Stewart Carter, 1963-1967

Box 1   Folder 3

Saved event programs and publications, 1964-1976

Box 1   Folder 4

Ephemera, Undated

Box 1   Folder 5

Photographs, Circa 1950

Subseries 2: Education

Box 1   Folder 6

Undergraduate Notes and Ephemera, 1931-1932

Box 1   Folder 7

Northwestern University, MS: A Miscellany, literary student publication, 1929-1930

Box 1   Folder 8

College Assignments, Plays and Prose, 1929-1932

Box 1   Folder 9

College Era, Untitled Plays, Notes and Prose, 1929-1932

Box 1   Folder 10

College Assignments, "An Affair of No Importance," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 11

College Assignments, "Beatrice Hastings," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 12

College Assignments, "The Comedy of Humors and the Comic Spirit," 1932

Box 1   Folder 13

College Assignments, "Dearly Beloved," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 14

College Assignments, "Escape," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 15

College Assignments, "The Incurable Romantics," 1929

Box 1   Folder 16

College Assignments, "The Little Kingdom," 1930

Box 1   Folder 17

College Assignments, "Pleasures of the Restoration," 1929

Box 1   Folder 18

College Assignments, "Quelue Chose Distinguee," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 19

College Assignments, "This Road that Awaits Me," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 20

College Assignments, "The Shibboleth of Lizzie French," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 21

College Assignments, "The Silver Princess," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 22

College Assignments, "Wedding March," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 23

College Assignments, "The Woods of Arcady," circa 1930

Box 1   Folder 24

College Era Writings and Drawings, circa 1930's

Subseries 3: Work Life

Box 1   Folder 25

Syllabi and Reading Lists, 1960-1963

Box 1   Folder 26

Evaluation of American Studies Program in Tehran, 1961-1962

Box 1   Folder 27

Fulbright in Tehran, 1959-1962

Box 1   Folder 28

Teachers College Faculty Documents, 1961-1962

Box 1   Folder 29

Literary Critiques, circa 1930's

Box 1   Folder 30

Literary Critiques, circa 1950's

Box 1   Folder 31

Ford Foundation Grant, 1954

Box 1   Folder 32

Authors organizations, 1958

Series II: Correspondence

Subseries 1: Publisher Correspondence

Box 2   Folder 1

General Publisher Correspondence, 1930-1939

Box 2   Folder 2

General Publisher Correspondence, 1950-1959

Box 2   Folder 3

General Publisher Correspondence, 1960-1969

Box 2   Folder 4

Kenyon Review, Editor Robie Macauley, 1963-1965

Box 2   Folder 5

Alfred A. Knopf and the Atlantic Monthly (Publishers of The Keyhole Eye), 1963-1964

Box 2   Folder 6

New Yorker rejection letters, 1935-1939

Box 2   Folder 7

Poetry rejection letters, 1961-1964

Subseries 2: Personal Correspondence

Box 2   Folder 8

Outgoing Correspondence, 1955-1964

Box 2   Folder 9

General Personal Correspondence, 1930-1939

Box 2   Folder 10

General Personal Correspondence, 1940-1949

Box 2   Folder 11

General Personal Correspondence, 1950-1959

Box 2   Folder 12

General Personal Correspondence, 1960-1969

Box 2   Folder 13

Ray Johnson Correspondence, 1964-1965

Box 2   Folder 14

Fulmer Moody Correspondence, 1933-1935

Box 2   Folder 15

Carrie [?] Correspondence, circa 1960's

Box 2   Folder 16

Earl [?] Correspondence, 1956-1960

Box 2   Folder 17

Albert Howard Carter Correspondence, circa 1950-1960's

Box 2   Folder 18

Works by Albert Howard Carter [1 of 2], circa 1950's

Box 2   Folder 19

Works by Albert Howard Carter [2 of 2], circa 1950's

Box 2   Folder 20

Friend and Acquaintance Address List, undated

Subseries 3: Miscellaneous Correspondence

Box 3   Folder 1

Post Death Correspondence, 1965-1971

Box 3   Folder 2

Translator Correspondence, 1965

Box 3   Folder 3

Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1964

Box 3   Folder 4

Archival Repository Requests, 1965-1969

Subseries 4: Professional Correspondence

Box 3    Folder 5

General Professional Correspondence, 1939-1965

Box 3    Folder 6

Professorial Correspondence, 1961-1964

Box 3    Folder 7

Correspondence, Regarding Poetry, 1960-1964

Series III: Writings

Subseries 1: Poetry

Box 3   Folder 8

"Acrophile," 1964

Box 3   Folder 9

"Amaryllis Belladonna," circa 1960's

Box 3   Folder 10

"Antiphon," 1963-1964

Box 3   Folder 11

"Arithmetic," circa 1960's

Box 3   Folder 12

"Assorted Ornaments," 1961-1962

Box 3   Folder 13

"Backyard," 1924

Box 3   Folder 14

"Beach Weed," 1960-1964

Box 3   Folder 15

"Before the Shepherds Came," 1961-1964

Box 3   Folder 16

"Change of Bells," 1960-1964

Box 3   Folder 17

"Cherry Orchard," circa 1960's

Box 3   Folder 18

"Child Drawing," 1960-1963

Box 3   Folder 19

"Chinoiserie," 1960

Box 3   Folder 20

"Conversation," 1960-1964

Box 3   Folder 21

"Corpse Song," 1961-1963

Box 3   Folder 22

"Dawn Song," 1960-1964

Box 3   Folder 23

"Day Before the Burgeoning," 1960-1961

Box 3   Folder 24

"Dimensions," 1963-1964

Box 3   Folder 25

"Dinner Party," 1961-1964

Box 3   Folder 26

"Elegy Written in a Suburban Cemetery," circa 1950's

Box 3   Folder 27

"Elegy Written in Montparnasse," 1961-1962

Box 3   Folder 28

"Elegy Written on the Leaning Tower," 1961-1964

Box 3   Folder 29

"Epigram," 1963-1964

Box 4   Folder 1

"Firenze," 1962-1963

Box 4   Folder 2

"For T.K.M.," 1945

Box 4   Folder 3

"Four," 1963-1964

Box 4   Folder 4

"Frozen Men," 1963-1964

Box 4   Folder 5

"Grand Baroque," 1960-1963

Box 4   Folder 6

"Great Books," 1926

Box 4   Folder 7

"Grocery Store," 1922

Box 4   Folder 8

"Historic America," 1960-1964

Box 4   Folder 9

"In Holy, High Meshed," circa 1960's

Box 4   Folder 10

"Klavierstuck," 1961-1964

Box 4   Folder 11

"Landscape with Figure," 1960-1964

Box 4   Folder 12

"Last Night of Summer," circa 1950's

Box 4   Folder 13

"Madam, May I Present," 1963

Box 4   Folder 14

"March Beach," 1961-1964

Box 4   Folder 15

"March Garden," 1961-1962

Box 4   Folder 16

"Melt of Nuns," 1961-1964

Box 4   Folder 17

"A Metaphysical Inquiry," 1963

Box 4   Folder 18

"Mouse House," 1960

Box 4   Folder 19

"Mr. di Paolis and the Shades," 1960

Box 4   Folder 20

"Mr. R. Browning-Bishop Orders a Collage for Christmas," 1960-1963

Box 4   Folder 21

"Natural History," circa 1950's

Box 4   Folder 22

"Newsletter from Iran," 1962-1963

Box 4   Folder 23

"No. 6025," 1960-1961

Box 4   Folder 24

"Ode on the Intimations of Immorality," circa 1960's

Box 4   Folder 25

"Opera Comique," 1963

Box 4   Folder 26

"Poetry and the Hucksters," 1963-1964

Box 4   Folder 27

"Pompes Funebres," 1925

Box 4   Folder 28

"Psalter," 1961

Box 4   Folder 29

"Rococo," 1964

Box 4   Folder 30

"Roma," 1962-1963

Box 5   Folder 1

"Room Within a Palace," 1963-1964

Box 5   Folder 2

"Sands Street," 1961-1963

Box 5   Folder 3

"Saturday Night Song," 1961-1962

Box 5   Folder 4

"Song for Chinese Wind Chimes," circa 1950's

Box 5   Folder 5

"Sonnet for St. Valentine," 1963-1964

Box 5   Folder 6

"Sound and Sense," 1960-1964

Box 5   Folder 7

"The Tides of the Sea," circa 1960's

Box 5   Folder 8

"The Time the Ferris Wheels All Stopped," 1962-1964

Box 5   Folder 9

"Token Candles," circa 1960's

Box 5   Folder 10

"Triptych," 1960-1963

Box 5   Folder 11

"Venezia," 1963-1964

Box 5   Folder 12

"Voyager's Return," 1961-1964

Box 5   Folder 13

"Wisemen, Magi, Kings," 1963-1964

Box 5   Folder 14

"Worm Song," 1960

Box 5   Folder 15

"Zoo Song," 1964

Box 5   Folder 16

Untitled Wartime Poetry, 1941-1945

Box 5   Folder 17

Poem Publication Documents, 1965

Box 5   Folder 18

Poetry Publication and Copyright Documents, 1962-1966

Subseries 2: Full Fathom Five

Box 5   Folder 19

Manuscripts and Typescripts, 1963

Box 5   Folder 20

Typescript [1 of 2], 1963-1964

Box 5   Folder 21

Typescript [2 of 2], 1963-1964

Box 5   Folder 22

Edited Typescript with Notes, 1963-1964

Box 5   Folder 23

Edited Typescript, 1963-1964

Box 6   Folder 1

Original Cover Artwork, 1964-1965

Box 6   Folder 2

Reviews [1 of 2], 1965

Box 6   Folder 3

Reviews [2 of 2], 1965

Box 6   Folder 4

Copies of Reviews and Acclaim, 1964-1965

Box 6   Folder 5

Houghton-Mifflin (publisher of Full Fathom Five) Correspondence, 1963-1965

Box 6   Folder 6

Publication Documents, 1964

Box 6   Folder 7

Book Printings, 1964

Box 6   Folder 8

Publishing Acclaim, Kept News Clippings, 1965-1966

Box 6   Folder 9

Fan Letters, 1963-1968

Subseries 3: The Keyhole Eye and To a Tenor Dying Old

Box 6   Folder 10

Original Cover Artwork, 1963-1965

Box 7   Folder 1

Manuscript, To a Tenor Dying Old, circa 1960's

Box 7   Folder 2

Edited Typescript, To a Tenor Dying Old, circa 1960's

Box 7   Folder 3

Manuscripts and Typescripts, To a Tenor Dying Old, circa 1960's

Box 7   Folder 4

Typescript, To a Tenor Dying Old, circa 1960's

Box 7   Folder 5

Typescript, To a Tenor Dying Old, 1963-1964

Box 7   Folder 6

Submission List, The Keyhole Eye, 1961-1962

Box 7   Folder 7

First Draft, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 8

Typescript, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 9

Typescript, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 10

Typescript, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 11

Edited Typescript with Notes, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 12

Edited Typescript, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 13

Edited Typescript, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 14

Typescript, The Keyhole Eye, circa 1960

Box 7   Folder 15

Best American Short Stories, The Keyhole Eye, 1965

Box 7   Folder 16

The Keyhole Eye and To a Tenor Dying Old Publication Documents, 1962-1964

Subseries 4: Other Prose and Non-Fiction

Box 8   Folder 1

Poe, Critical Edition, Research, Publication and Collected Materials, 1948-1956

Box 8   Folder 2

Poe, Research Notes, 1956

Box 8   Folder 3

The Traitor, Notes and Manuscripts [1 of 3], circa 1939

Box 8   Folder 4

The Traitor, Notes and Manuscripts [2 of 3], circa 1939

Box 8   Folder 5

The Traitor, Notes and Manuscripts [3 of 3], circa 1939

Box 8   Folder 6

James Shirley, Research Notes [1 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 8   Folder 7

James Shirley, Research Notes [2 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 8   Folder 8

Shirley's The Traitor, Drafts [1 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 8   Folder 9

Shirley's The Traitor, Drafts [2 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 1

Untitled Works and Notes [1 of 5], circa 1960's

Box 9    Folder 2

Untitled Works and Notes [2 of 5], circa 1960's

Box 9    Folder 3

Untitled Works and Notes [3 of 5], circa 1960's

Box 9    Folder 4

Untitled Works and Notes [4 of 5], circa 1960's

Box 9    Folder 5

Untitled Works and Notes [5 of 5], circa 1960's

Box 9    Folder 6

Unidentified Typed Works, undated

Box 9    Folder 7

"Alan Vail" [1 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 8

"Alan Vail" [2 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 9

"Colonus," circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 10

"Farewell in Cambridge," circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 11

"Lunch," circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 12

"Midsummer Night," circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 13

"Pornography in Tennyson," circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 14

"She Drives a Dusenberg" [1 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 15

"She Drives a Dusenberg" [2 of 2], circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 16

"The Terror of the Soul" [1 of 2], circa 1960's

Box 9    Folder 17

"The Terror of the Soul" [2 of 2], circa 1960's

Box 9    Folder 18

"These are my Heartbreak," circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 19

"Waste," circa 1930's

Box 9    Folder 20

"Wedding," circa 1930's

Series VI: Literary Note Cards

Box 10

Versification, undated

Box 11

Personal Notes and Literary Critiques, undated