University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Alice Yaeger Kaplan:

An Inventory of Her Collection of Céline Survey Materials in the Manuscript Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Creator: Kaplan, Alice Yaeger, 1954-
Title: Alice Kaplan Collection of Céline Survey Materials
Dates: circa 1991-1997
Abstract: The Alice Kaplan Collection of Céline Survey Materials, circa 1991-1997, primarily comprises the responses Kaplan received to her Céline survey questionnaire, the bulk of which date between 1991-1992. Also included are Kaplan’s preliminary research materials, contact information for the authors, and some correspondence with several authors.
Extent: 1 box (.42 linear feet)
Language: English and French
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Biographical Sketch

Alice Kaplan was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1954. Kaplan received a B.A. degree in French from the University of California at Berkeley in 1975 and obtained a PhD in French at Yale University in 1981.

As of 2009, Kaplan works as a Professor of French at Yale University. She previously worked as a Professor of Romance Studies and Literature at Duke University, where she also founded and served as first director of Duke's Center for French and Francophone Studies. Kaplan became a member of the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary in 1997 and sits on the editorial board of the South Atlantic Quarterly.

Kaplan's books include Reproductions of Banality: Fascism, Literature, and French Intellectual Life (1986); French Lessons: A Memoir (1993); The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach (2000); and The Interpreter (2005). In addition, Kaplan translates French novels, including Roger Grenier’s Le Pierrot noir, Les Larmes d’Ulysse, and Partita.

In 1991, Kaplan created and distributed a survey questionnaire on French writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline to selected contemporary American novelists, poets, translators, editors, and essayists. She compiled her findings and analyses in an article entitled "The Céline Effect: A 1992 Survey of Contemporary American Writers," which was published in Modernism/modernity in 1996.

Scope and Contents

The Alice Kaplan Collection of Céline Survey Materials, circa 1991-1997, primarily comprises the responses Kaplan received to her Céline survey questionnaire, the bulk of which date between 1991-1992. Also included are Kaplan’s preliminary research materials, mailing lists, a transcript from a 1992 conference on Céline at Duke University, and a partial draft of an article written in French with Phillipe Roussin. Minimal correspondence with several authors is included as well. The materials are arranged in a single series, subdivided into returned survey questionnaires and Kaplan’s pre- and post-survey work.

The returned survey questionnaires are arranged alphabetically by author. A wide variety of responses to Kaplan’s letter and survey questionnaire are exhibited: some authors filled out and sent back the questionnaire while others opted to send letters instead of or in addition to the questionnaire. A number of authors also wrote back to say they would not be able to respond to the questionnaire. Included are responses from Saul Bellow, Charles Bernstein, Norman Oliver Brown, Lydia Davis, Raymond Federman, Gary Indiana, John Irving, Philip Levine, Joseph McElroy, Mark Mirsky, Ted Morgan, Tom Wolfe, and others. All respondents are included in the following Index of Survey Participants. The general nature of the author’s response (questionnaire, letter, or both) is indicated in the index next to the author’s name. Unopened questionnaires which did not reach their intended recipient and were returned to Kaplan are also included (folder 1.4).



Open for research

Index Terms

Céline, Louis-Ferdinand, 1894-1961

Related Material

Two other collections at the Ransom Center contain Céline manuscripts and related materials: The Milton Hindus Collection of Louis-Ferdinand Céline and The Carlton Lake Collection of French Manuscripts.

Administrative Information


Gift, 2008 (G12582)

Processed by:

Jesse Cordes Selbin, 2008


“Alice Kaplan.” Rusoff Literary Agency,, (accessed 1 October 2008).

“Alice Kaplan.” Wikipedia,, (accessed 1 October 2008).

Kaplan, Alice. “The Céline Effect: A 1992 Survey of Contemporary American Writers.” Modernism/modernity 3.1 (1996): 117-136.

Container List

Series I. Céline Survey Materials,1991-1997

Box Folder
1 Returned survey questionnaires
1 A-H
2 I-P
3 Q-Z
4 Unopened questionnaires
Pre- and post-survey work
5 Contact cards
6 Contact list; photocopied form letters
7 Miscellaneous correspondence
8 Research material
9 Survey results; partial article draft

Index of Survey Participants

  • Anonymous (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Barth, John, 1930- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Bellow, Saul (letter) --1.1
  • Bernstein, Charles, 1950- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Blaise, Clark (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999 (letter) --1.1
  • Brown, Norman Oliver, 1913-2002 (letter) --1.1
  • Brown, Rebecca, 1956- (questionnaire, letter) --1.1
  • Burnshaw, Stanley, 1906-2005 (letter) --1.1
  • Cary, Lorene (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Codrescu, Andrei, 1946- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Coles, Robert (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Davis, Lydia, 1947- (letter) --1.1, 1.7
  • Dove, Rita (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Ehrenreich, Barbara (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Eshleman, Clayton (letter) --1.1
  • Federman, Raymond (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Ford, Richard, 1944- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Friedman, Bruce Jay, 1930- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Fuchs, Daniel, 1909-1993 (letter) --1.1
  • Galassi, Jonathan (letter) --1.1
  • Gass, William H., 1924- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Gens, Jacqueline, on behalf of Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997 (letter) --1.1
  • Glassgold, Peter, 1939- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Gornick, Vivian (letter) --1.1
  • Grey, Lorraine L., on behalf of Erikson, Erik H. (Erik Homburger), 1902-1994- (letter) --1.1
  • Harrison, Jim, 1937- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Howard, Richard, 1929- (questionnaire) --1.1
  • Indiana, Gary (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Irving, John, 1942- (questionnaire, letter) --1.2
  • [J_____, F_____] (letter) --1.7
  • Janowitz, Tama (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Kazin, Alfred, 1915-1998 (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Kincaid, Jamaica (letter) --1.2
  • Kingston, Maxine Hong (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Laughlin, James, 1914-1997 (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Leonard, Elmore, 1925- (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 (questionnaire, letter) --1.2
  • Levine, Philip, 1928- (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Lewis, R. W. B. (Richard Warrington Baldwin) (questionnaire, letter) --1.2
  • Mailer, Norman (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Maitland, Sara, 1950- (letter) --1.2
  • Marcus, Greil (questionnaire) --1.2
  • McElroy, Joseph (questionnaire, letter) --1.2
  • McInerney, Jay (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Mirsky, Mark (questionnaire, letter) --1.2
  • Morgan, Ted, 1932- (letter) --1.2
  • Neugeboren, Jay (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Ozick, Cynthia (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Palmer, Michael, 1943- (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Perelman, Bob (questionnaire, letter) --1.2
  • Piper, Adrian, 1948- (questionnaire) --1.2
  • [Pratt, Minnie Bruce] (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Price, Reynolds, 1933- (questionnaire) --1.2
  • Rule, Jane (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Salter, James (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Selby, Hubert (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Sellers, Terence (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Selzer, Richard, 1928- (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Sheppard, Joan, on behalf of Atwood, Margaret, 1939- (letter) --1.1
  • Sukenick, Ronald (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Tenney, Craig, on behalf of Salinger, J. D. (Jerome David), 1919- (letter) --1.3
  • Trillin, Calvin (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Updike, John (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Waldrop, Keith (questionnaire) --1.3
  • Walker, Alice, 1944- (letter) --1.3
  • Wolfe, Tom (letter) --1.3