University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Noël Riley Fitch:

An Inventory of her Papers at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Fitch, Noël Riley, 1937-
Title: Noël Riley Fitch Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1930-2001,
Abstract: The collection contains Fitch's research, from inception to culmination, for the 1993 publication of the biography, Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin. Materials in the collection document the book's research and publication process, and include correspondence, interviews, notes, publisher's proof and manuscript fragments, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, legal documents, creative works, and other items.
Extent: 15 boxes, 1 oversize box (7.56 linear feet)
Repository: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Noël Riley Fitch (1937-) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and educated at Northwest Nazarene College (B.A., 1959) and Washington State University (M.A., 1965 and Ph.D., 1969). She was professor of literature (1971-1987) and chair of the Department of Literature and Modern Languages (1982 -1985) at Point Loma College. She lectures at the University of Southern California (since 1986) and the American University of Paris (since 1987).

As a scholar of American expatriate intellectuals living in Paris in the first half of this century, Fitch cast a new perspective on Paris literary life with her first biography, Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation, 1983. Anatole Broyard of the New York Times called it "probably the best and most complete history of that period." Her 1990 Walks in Hemingway's Paris: A Guide to Paris for the Literary Traveler is a compendium of locations where the American author and his friends lived, ate, and socialized in Paris.

Fitch continued her investigation of the literary life in Paris with her 1993 biography of another prominent Paris personality, Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin. Anaïs Nin (1903-1977) authored more than a dozen books of fiction and erotica over the course of her life. She was a cult figure of the feminist movement who, as a liberated woman, broke the confines of American Victorianism. Although Nin published her diaries over the years, literary critics believe that they present a constructed, stylized image of the woman. Fitch analyzed the novelist's/diarist's own writings to create an in-depth examination of Nin who was as well known for her literary work as for her numerous and unconventional love affairs. For example, Nin's illicit relationship with Henry Miller and his wife, June, was explored in the 1990 Hollywood feature film, Henry and June. Fitch sought to present an honest portrait of the author that reveals the psychological abuse that Nin suffered as a child and may have led to her lifelong insecurities.

Fitch also wrote Literary Cafes of Paris (1989), and contributed to Faith and Imagination: Essays on Evangelicals and Literature (editor with Richard W. Etulain, 1985), and In Transition: A Paris Anthology (introduction, 1990). In addition, she has contributed chapters to the Dictionary of Literary Biography (Volume 4: Americans in Paris, 1920-1939, 1980); James Joyce: The Augmented Ninth (1988); Lesbian Texts and Contexts: Radical Revisions (1990); and A Living of Words: American Women in Print Culture (n.d.). Her most recent biography, Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child, was published in 1997.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, interviews, notes, publisher's proof and manuscript fragments, newspaper and magazine clippings, photographs, legal documents, creative works, and other materials document from inception to culmination Fitch's research for the 1993 publication of her biography, Anaïs: The Erotic Life of Anaïs Nin. The material is organized in two series: Series I. Research, and Series II. Publication Process.

Series I. is divided into two subseries: A. Sources of Information, and B. Chapters and General Notes. Present are correspondence and interviews with over 160 people who either knew or were associated with Nin. The folders remain in their alphabetical order and key personalities include Kay Boyle, John Cage, Judy Chicago, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Erica Jong, Timothy Leary, Joaquin Nin-Culmell, Studs Terkel, and Gore Vidal. Of note are 21 interviews (1990-1993) with Rupert Pole, Nin's friend and lover for over forty years (1947-1977) and the executor of her estate. In some cases, the biographer collected obituaries and journal articles about the correspondents that provide insight into their relationship with Nin. Also included are creative works such as poetry by Daisy Aldan, essays by the erotica scholar Gershon Legman, and a dissertation on Nin by Wendy Dubow who subsequently edited Conversations with Anaïs Nin (1994). Fitch's handwritten notes disclose her thought process in composing the biography and manuscript fragments (1990-1992) submitted to contributors for fact checking substantiate the published text.

Subseries B encompasses Fitch's other research materials and has been maintained in the creator's original arrangement by chapter. Each chapter relates chronologically to Nin's life; the book begins with her genealogical tree and family history. The chapters subsequently track her peregrinations, publications, and relationships with men. A substantial amount of notes are written on Nin's first husband, Hugh Guiler (Ian Hugo), Henry Miller, and Lawrence Durrell. Since Henry Miller was such a significant part of Nin's life, one file fully documents the 1991 Miller Centennial Celebration. Clippings and biographies of other salient members of Nin's circle such as June Miller and her analyst, Dr. Rene Allendy, are also included. Of particular interest is Fitch's investigation of desertion, abandonment, and incest issues as related to Nin's childhood. This work includes letters from Nin's analysts, Otto Rank and Martha Jaeger as well as Legman's interview. Freud's published notes on "Seduction Theory" and published articles pertaining to gender writing and women psychoanalysts round out Fitch's analysis of the heretofore-ignored areas of Nin's psyche. Fourteen files of snapshots taken by Fitch of Nin's residences in France enhance the textual research. Interspersed amongst the chapter notes is Fitch's study of Nin's published and unpublished work. Original reviews of these texts and copies of rejection letters from publishers to Nin are included. Fitch visited numerous libraries while carrying out her research. Photocopies of materials from these institutions present in this collection may not be reproduced further.

Series II. Publication Process, includes Fitch's original book proposal, proofs, copy editing notes and correspondence, publisher's files, permissions, publicity, reviews, readers' responses, and post-publication material.

Books received with the papers were transferred to the HRC library.



Open for research, except for one correspondence file

Administrative Information


Gift, 1999 and 2002 (G11541, G12152)

Processed by:

Monique Daviau and Eileen Costello, 2000; Liz Murray, 2002


Dictionary of Contemporary Authors-Volume 144. Ed. Donna Oldendorf. (Detroit: Gale Research Company, 1994)

Noël Riley Fitch Papers--Folder List

I. Research

A. Sources of Information
Box Folder
1 1 Admiral, Virginia
2 Alberti, Frank
3 Aldan, Daisy
4 Arenander, Britt
5 Asselineau, Roger
6 Auer, Tom (Bloomsbury Review)
7 Bachardy, Don
8 Bair, Deirdre
9 Balakian, Anna and Nona
10 Barer, Marshall
11 Barron, Beatrice "Bebe"
12 Bay, Andre and Commengé, Beatrice
13 Belmont, Georges
14 Bond, Nancy
15 Boulic, Jean-Yves
16 Bowers, Fabion
17 Boyle, Kay
18 Brandon, Dolores
19 Broughton, James
20 Burford, William
21 Cage, John
22 Calkins, Walter
23 Callard, David
24 Centing, Richard
25 Chicago, Judy
26 Claire, William F.
27 Clemons, Walter
28 Cleyet, Georges
Box Folder
2 1 Cole, Lucretia
2 Conover, Anne
3 Cooney, Blanche
4 Crafts, Rita
5 Crosby, Polly
6 Dass, Ram
7 Dearborn, Mary [RESTRICTED]
8 DeBrier, Samson
9 Diehl, Digby
10 Dobo, Frank
11 Druks, Renata
12 Dubow, Wendy
13 Duxler, Margot
14 Edel, Leon
15 Eeckaut, Genevieve
16 Ehrlichman, Lester
17 Eisner, Betty
18 Epstein, Eugene
19 Evans, Oliver
20 Fanchette, Jean
21 Fass, Ekbert
22 Ferlinghetti, Lawrence
23 Ferrone, John
24 Fowlie, Wallace
25 Franklin, Benjamin
26 Freedman, Erika
Box Folder
3 1 Gascoyne, David
2 Gavronsky, Serge
3 Geber, Nils-Hugo
4 Geismar, Anne
5 Gertz, Elmer
6 Gold, Herbert
7 Gotham Book Mart (Andreas Brown)
8 Gottesman, Ron; Miller Obscenity Trial
9 Haas, Robert Bartlett
10 Haller, Robert (Anthology Film Archives)
11 Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
12 Hargraves, Michael
13 Harms, Valerie
14 Harrington, Curtis
15 Hauser, Marianne
16 Herlihy, James Leo
17 Herron, Paul
18 Highwater, Jamake
19 Hinz, Evelyn J.
20 Hipskind, Judith
21 Hirschman, J.A.
22 Howard, Joyce
23 Jackson, Roger
24 Jaglom, Henry
25 Jason, Phillip R.
26 Jay, Karla
27 Jong, Erica
Box Folder
4 1 Kaufman, Philip
2 Kluver, Billy
3 Kiesler, Lillian
4 Knapp, Bettina
5 KPFK--tapes
6 Kraft, Barbara
7 Kramer, Mildred
8 Lake, Carlton
9 Larson, Chris
10 Larson, Constance
11 Laughlin, James
12 Leary, Timothy
13 Lee, Jennifer
14 Legman, Gershon
15 Leite, Nancy
16 Leiberman, James
17 Lerman, Leo
18 MacNiven, Ian
19 MacNiven/Durrell Conference
20 McKnight, Eline
21 Malina, Judith
22 Marks, Elaine
23 Martin, Jay
24 Mathiesen, Paul
25 Mathieu, Bertrand
Box Folder
5 1 Mellquist, Jerome
2 Merchant, Hoshang
3 Merrill, James
4 Metzger, Deena
5 Miller, Barbara, Tony and Valentine
6 Moos, Einar
7 Motley, John
8 Neal, Michael
9 Nin-Culmell, Joaquin
10 Norman, Dorothy
11 Norse, Harold
12 Nurenberg, Phil
13 Orend, Karl
14 Owen, Peter
15 Peacher, Georgiana
16 Pearson, John and Liz
17 Pole, Rupert
18 Porter, Bern
19 Porter, Darwin
20 Premice, Josephine
21 Princay, Marika
22 Quinn, Ann
23 Rainer, Tristine
24 Raphael, Maryanne
25 Rebois, Marguerite
26 Rentschler, James
27 Roditi, Edouard
28 Rosenthal, Raymond
29 Ring, Frances
30 Roberts, Tracy
31 Ryan, Betty (Gordon)
Box Folder
6 1 Sapp, Barbara Ann
2 Scheiner, Clifford
3 Schneider, Duane
4 Scholar, Nancy
5 Schweitzer, Leah
6 Sears, Cynthia
7 Sherman, Jean and Charlotte Hyde
8 Silbert, Layle
9 Snyder, Robert
10 Spencer, Sharon
11 Standish, Craig P
12 Stenberg, Kay
13 Stuhlmann, Gunther
14 Tali, Farid
15 Terkel, Studs
16 Vidal, Gore
17 Vogel, Amos
18 Watt, W.C.
19 Walker, Karen
20 Walter, Eugene
21 Walters, Ernie
22 Wood, Beatrice
23 Young, Marguerite
24 Young, Noel
25 Zaller, Robert
26 Zinnes, Harriet
27-28 General correspondence
B. Chapters and General Notes
Box Folder
7 1 Introduction
2 Family tree
3 Family history
Chapter 1
Box Folder
7 4 Notes
5 Religion
6 Barcelona, Spain; Nin Family
7 Desertion and abandonment
Chapter 2
Box Folder
7 8 Notes
9 Early diary writings (notes)
10 Guiler, Hugh
11 Style-books
12 New York, 1914,
photos of residence.
13 Chapter 3 notes
Chapter 4
Box Folder
7 14 Notes
15 Dance
16 Erskine, John
17 Sanchez, Eduardo
18 Titus, Edward
Chapter 5
Box Folder
8 1 Notes
2 Miller, June (Mansfield)
3 Clichy apartment
4 Frankel, Michael
5 Perles, Alfred
6 Osborn, Richard
7 Lowenfels, Walter
8 Tropic of Cancer
9 Allendy, Rene
10 Miller, Henry (in Dijon)
11 Miller, Henry (articles)
12 Miller, Henry (letters to Nin)
13 Miller, Henry (1931)
Chapter 6
Box Folder
8 14 Notes
15 Artaud, Antonin
16 "Seduction Theory"--Freud notes
17 Abortion
18 Hiler, Hilaire
19 de Vilmorin, Louise
20 Rank, Otto
21 Bradley, William and Jenny
Chapter 7
Box Folder
9 1 Notes, 1935-39
2 Villa Seurat
3 West, Rebecca
4 Moore, Gonzalo and Helba
5 Durrell, Lawrence
6 Obelisk Press/Olympia Press (notes, clips)
7 Surrealism
8 New York City, 1935
9 New York City, 1940s
10 Nin to Fanchette
11 Erotica
12 Nin to Rochelle Holt
13 Miller, Henry (letters)
14 McCord, Howard (re Fraenkel)
15 Witt-Diamant, Ruth
16 Wilson, Edmund
Chapter 8
Box Folder
9 17 Miller, Henry (in California)
18 Jaeger, Martha
19 Crosby, Caresse
20 Patchen, Kenneth
21 Rainer, Luise
22 Gemor Press
23 Duncan, Robert
24 Williams, William Carlos
25 Gotham Book Mart
Chapter 9
Box Folder
10 1 Notes
2 Deren, Maya
3 Baldwin, C.L.
4 Broyard, Anatole
5 Pole, Rupert
Chapter 10
Box Folder
10 6 Notes
7 Nin to Gore Vidal
8 After death
9 Postscript
10 Death
11 Diary publications
12 Travels/lectures
13 Periodicals
14 Notes, 1955-66
Chapter 11
Box Folder
11 1 Notes
2 Swallow, Alan
3 Whitman
4 Two Cities--Fanchette and Durrell
5 Lipton, Lawrence
6 Huxley, Aldous
8 Hugo, Ian
9 Los Angeles
10 Mexico
11 Varese, Edgar and Louise
12 Chapter 12 notes
Box Folder
11 13 Parodies
14 "Children of the Albatross"
15 "Cities of the Interiors"
16 "Collages"
17 "D.H. Lawrence"
18 "Erotica"
19 "Four-Chambered Heart"
20 "House of Incest"
21 "Ladders to Fire"
22 "Seduction of the Minotaur"
23 "The Spy in the House of Love"
24 "This Hunger"
25 "Winter of Artifice"
26 Alraune-Mandra-Rab; Hans and Johanna; Djuna
27 Early fiction
28 Munsil, Mary--dissertation
29 Miller Library Conference
30 Miller: Colossus of One
31 Quotations about/from Nin
32 Timeline
33 "Under the Sign of Pisces"
34 Ginsberg, Allen
Box Folder
12 1 "Significant Others" book by Whitney Chadwick and Isabelle de Courtivron
2 Dictionary of American Biography (NRF wrote AN's entry)
3 Child Abuse (articles)
4 Notebook titled "Abuse"
5 Henry Miller Bibliography of Primary Sources
6 Bibliography
7 Paris--Nin connections
8 Add-ons and extras
9 Gender, writing, and femininity
10 Psychoanalysis
11 University collections--Nin
12 Interviews and calls to L.A.
Box Folder
13 1 Correspondence with institutions
2 Unpursued leads
3 Dissertations on Nin
4 Periodical articles
5-12 Photographs of Nin and Paris locations
Box Folder
14 1-2 Photographs continued

II. Publication Process

Box Folder
14 3 Nin proposal
4-6 Corrected proof
7 Copy editing, David Coen, Little Brown
8-9 Little Brown correspondence
Box Folder
15 1 Little Brown publicity
2 Little Brown England
3 Simon & Schuster--Fred Hills
4 Permissions--credits
5 Photographs, permissions and credits
6 Press kit--other reviews
7 Publicity, paperback
8 Publicity photos of NRF
9-10 Responses from readers
11 Reviews and post-publication material
[matted dust jacket and scrapbook of reviews and articles, removed to oversize box 16]
12 Nin/Miller recent
16 Oversize