Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Fahnestock mss., 1975-1979, consist of the correspondence and translations by Lee Fahnestock of works by French author Michael Butor, 1926- . Fahnestock was born August 3, 1928, in Newport, Rhode Island. She attended Vassar College, the Sorbonne, and received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Iowa. In addition to Butor, she has translated works by such French authors as Victor Hugo, Francis Ponge, and Jean-Paul Sartre. She served as president of the American Literary Translators Association from 1991-1993, and on May 12, 2000, she was made "Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" an honor bestowed by the French government on those who have made an outstanding contribution to the cultural life of France.

This collection includes correspondence between Butor and Fahnestock in French, relating to granting Fahnestock permission to translate his literary works into English. Other correspondence is with the editors of The Iowa Review, Mundus Artium, and The New Orleans Review, covering publication details about her Butor translations. In addition to Butor and Fahnestock, correspondents include John Biguenet, Suzanne Deybach, and Fayette Hickox. The translations present are of Butor's Fouilles, published in part as "Digs" in The New Orleans Review, May 1979 and selections from his "Meditation Explosée" translated by Fahnestock as "Exploded Meditation." Part of these selections were published in Mundus Artium in 1976 and other portions in The Iowa Review in 1978.

The final items in the collection are three transcript drafts of Fahnestock's interview with Butor "done March 25, 1977 at his home in Nice" and an introduction and postscript written by her to accompany the publication of the interview. The first draft of the interview is in French, the second in English with Butor's corrections, and the third is a draft prepared for publication in The New Orleans Review with corrections by editor John Biguenet.

An index of the correspondence is available.

Gift. 2003

Collection size: 23 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.