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Guide to the Irving Rosenthal Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Other Finding Aids

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Irving Rosenthal papers
    Dates: ca. 1950-1996
    Collection number: M1550
    Creator: Rosenthal, Irving, 1930-
    Collection Size: ca. 23 linear ft. (32 manuscript boxes, 1 half box, 7 flat boxes, 1 tube)
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Abstract: The papers document Irving Rosenthal's life from his childhood onwards, containing outgoing correspondence, doctoral dissertation materials, manuscript materials, and detailed documentation of his own novel, Sheeper. There are materials relating to his editorship of The Chicago Review and Big Table, his trip to Cuba in 1961, and his life in Tangier from 1962-1964. Also included are manuscripts by, and correspondence with, William Burroughs, Edward Dahlberg, Herbert Huncke, Allen Ginsberg, and Jack Smith. Other significant figures featured in the collection include Paul Bowles, Paul Carroll, Gregory Corso, Elsa Dorfman, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, George Harris III, Jack Kerouac, Eila Kokkinen, Robert LaVigne, Phillip Lamantia, Edward Marshall, Michael McClure, Peter Orlovsky, Ed Sanders, Philip Whalen, and John Wieners.
    Physical location: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    Collection is open for research, except half box 40, which is closed until 01/01/2014; materials must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.

    Preferred Citation

    Irving Rosenthal papers, M1550. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    This collection was purchased by Stanford University, Special Collections in December 2006. Accession 2005-126

    Biography / Administrative History

    Irving Rosenthal was born in San Francisco on October 9, 1930. He attended Pomona College and then the University of Chicago, where he did graduate work in human development.
    In the late 1950s, Rosenthal became editor of The Chicago Review and succeeded in publishing poetry by Jack Kerouac, prose by Edward Dahlberg, and the first parts of William Burroughs's Naked Lunch before the University of Chicago censored his editorial practice. After resigning from The Chicago Review, he moved to New York and started Big Table magazine with the help of a colleague. Its first issue included the entire contents of the suppressed 1959 winter edition of The Chicago Review. Although Big Table survived only briefly, its few issues strengthened Rosenthal's connection to both the Dahlberg circle and the Beats.
    Living in New York, Rosenthal developed particularly close relationships with Allen Ginsberg, Hubert Huncke, and other figures in the Beat movement. He subsequently visited Burroughs and Paul Bowles in Tangier and lived there from 1962 to1964. During this period he also began work on a novel, Sheeper, which was later published by Grove Press in 1967. Returning to New York, Rosenthal was drawn into the orbit of the experimental film maker, Jack Smith, and appeared in Flaming Creatures and No President.
    In 1967 Rosenthal moved back to San Francisco with George Harris, founder of the Cockettes, to start the Kaliflower commune, which continues to exist and where he still lives.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection contains correspondence, manuscripts, typescripts, photographs, artwork, periodicals, and ephemera. Folder numbers consist of the "box number.folder number," e.g. "1.12."


    The collection is arranged in FOUR series:
    Series I. Personal
    Series II. Correspondence
    Series III. Miscellaneous correspondence
    Series IV. Professional

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    American literature- -20th century.
    Beat generation.
    Baraka, Imamu Amiri, 1934-
    Bassin, Barry.
    Birnbaum, Peter.
    Bowles, Paul, 1910-1999.
    Bremser, Bonnie, 1939-
    Bremser, Ray.
    Brown, Geoffrey.
    Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997.
    Carroll, Paul, 1927-
    Cohen, Ira.
    Corso, Gregory.
    Dahlberg, Edward, 1900-1977.
    Dorfman, Elsa.
    Ferlinghetti, Lawrence.
    Fisher, Melvin.
    Fles, John.
    Ginsberg, Allen, 1926-1997.
    Gurin, David.
    Harris, George.
    Hasselwood, Dave.
    Heine, William.
    Huncke, Herbert.
    Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969.
    Kokkinen, Eila.
    LaVigne, Robert, 1928-
    Lamantia, Philip, 1927-2005.
    Marshall, Edward.
    McClure, Michael.
    Orlovsky, Peter, 1933-
    Podell, Albert.
    Rechy, John.
    Rogers, Carl R. (Carl Ransom), 1902-1987.
    Romagnolo, Fred.
    Rosenthal, Irving, 1930-
    Sanders, Ed.
    Sanders, Melvin.
    Schleifer, Marc.
    Skir, Leo.
    Smith, Jack, 1932-1989
    Standal, Stanley W., 1922-
    Sturz, Herbert.
    Usdansky, George, 1924-
    Whalen, Philip.
    Wieners, John, 1934-
    Zazeela, Marian.
    Kerouac, Jack, 1922-1969. Old Angel Midnight Burroughs, William S., 1914-1997. Naked lunch Huncke, Herbert. Huncke's journal Rosenthal, Irving, 1930- Sheeper; "the poet! the crooked! the extra-fingered!" Chicago review. Big table.

    Other Finding Aids

    Gregory Corso Papers, M0721
    Allen Ginsberg Papers, M0733