Eloise Roach Papers
An Inventory of the Collection
Eloise Roach, translator, educator and writer was born January 18, 1893 in Duval County, Texas. Along with her siblings, Eloise was educated at home. Although she lacked a high school diploma, she was admitted for undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin in 1922 and completed a B.A. in Spanish and French in 1926. Roach taught at Louisiana State College in spring, 1928, then at Stephen F. Austin State College in Nagadoches from fall, 1928 to 1933. In 1933, she earned an M.A. in Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin. The following year, she began tenure as a French, Spanish and English instructor at Stephan F. Austin High School in Austin, Texas where she remained until her retirement in 1963. Following her retirement from public schools, she served as an assistant instructor for student teachers of French at the University of Texas at Austin, 1965-1967. In 1939, she earned a Certificat from the Sorbonne in Paris, France.
Roach is most noted for her translation of Platero Y Yo by Spanish poet and Nobel Laureate Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958). Although her work was completed and approved by Jiménez as early as 1935, it was not published until 1957, the year after Jiménez won the Nobel prize for the book. Platero and I was published by the University of Texas Press.
In 1959, Roach won a Guggenheim Fellowship to study Jiménez' works for a year at the University of Puerto Rico. While there, she translated 1200 poems and selected 300 for publication in a book entitled Juan Ramón Jiménez: Three Hundred Poems, 1903-1953. It was also published by University of Texas Press in 1962.
During the 1960s and 1970s, she was also very active in translating the works of other contemporary Spanish and Latin American writers.
Throughout her adult life, Roach wrote poetry and prose for both adults and children as well as textbooks for Spanish and French language instruction. Eloise Roach suffered several heart attacks in the seventies and finally succumbed to illness in 1979. She was still working on several projects when she died.
Creative works, correspondence, printed material, photographs and works of art on paper document the professional work of Eloise Roach as a translator, writer and educator and her personal life, 1853-1880, 1915 -[198-]. The papers are arranged in three groups: creative works (1915-1952, [ca 1956]-1978), which comprise the bulk of the collection (1957-1976), personal papers (1960-[198-], undated) and unidentified items (1853-1880, 1967, undated).
Creative works are divided into two series that represent Roach's activities as a translator, primarily of Spanish literature and as a writer of original material. Translations are grouped into works by Jiménez (1915-1952, [ca. 1956]-1973), arranged by prominence and title, and works of other authors, arranged alphabetically by name (1963-1976, undated). The first grouping within the Jiménez subseries, Platero and I, is comprised of an incomplete draft manuscript, printed material, and correspondence regarding a related videotape project on the art of translating. The second grouping, Juan Ramón Jiménez: Three Hundred Poems, 1903-1953, contains a single, incomplete draft manuscript and, along with Platero, constitutes all the published translations of Jiménez' work. The rest of the Jiménez material represents unpublished works. The largest and best documented through correspondence, a draft manuscript, original letters, poems, photographs, a financial document and printed material is Monumento de Amor, a compilation of 48 love letters written by the poet for his wife Zenobia Camprubí . The second group of translations represents poetry and prose of other writers, most of whom are Spanish or Latin American and includes Julio Garrido Malaver, René Marqués, Wilfredo Ortega and Surama Ferrer, among others. Correspondence for both poetry and prose centers around Roach's communication with publishers in an effort to bring these author's works to the United States.
Original creative works (1952, 1964-1975, undated) documents Roach's poetry (lyrics, sonnets, ballads) and prose (short stories and essays) for both adults and children as well as two Spanish language textbooks for high school instruction. The largest group within the series, adult poetry, contains 51 poems, many of which were published by the Poetry Society of Texas, Austin Chapter.
Personal items consists of correspondence, biographical material, notes, works of art on paper and greeting cards that relate more to Roach's personal life than to her professional activities. A small number of items within the correspondence and biographical material, however, provide a good overview of Roach's professional career by listing specific teaching positions, awards, publications, and organization memberships held through 1974. This group also contains a small number of photographs chiefly of Juan Ramón Jiménez and Zenobia Camprubí.
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Eloise Roach Papers (AR.Z.001). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1985/084, DO/1995/017
Donation Date: 1988 January 1
Original finding aid by Susan Rittereiser, Bridget Kane and Cynthia Barrancotto/ 1994 December. Final processing and encoding by Susan Rittereiser/ 2009 December.
Detailed Description of the Collection