Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Seaver mss., 1969–1974, consist of the correspondence and documents from the files of Octavio Paz's American publisher, Richard Seaver, concerning the translation and publication of Paz's Alternating Current (translated 1973) and Conjunctions and Disjunctions (translated 1974). Octavio Paz (March 31, 1914–April 19, 1998) was born to Octavio Paz Solórzano and Josefina Lozano. He was raised in the village of Mixcoac (now a part of Mexico City). Paz was introduced to literature early in his life through the influence of his grandfather's library, filled with classic Mexican and European literature. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.

Paz and Seaver's relationship included a mix of professional respect and personal affection. They communicated—often in the same letter—in a hodgepodge of English, Spanish and, occasionally, French. Topics include translations, periodical excerpts, dust–jacket–copy, ads, reviews, rights, permissions, royalties, etc. The collection also contains copies of agreements, contracts, and accounting royalties. Additional material included helps to illustrate the intricacies of book publishing, particularly the job of translating.

Acquired: 2009

Collection size: 100 items

NOTE: Access to this collection requires advance notice. Please contact the Curator of Manuscripts for additional information.

Related manuscripts: Seaver mss. II

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.