Guide to the William Saroyan Notebooks, 1932-1939

Processed by Special Collections staff.
Department of Special Collections
Green Library
Stanford University Libraries
Stanford, CA 94305-6004
Phone: (650) 725-1022
Email: speccollref@stanford.edu
URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
© 2002
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Guide to the William Saroyan Notebooks, 1932-1939

Collection number: M1022

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University Libraries

Stanford, California

Contact Information

  • Department of Special Collections
  • Green Library
  • Stanford University Libraries
  • Stanford, CA 94305-6004
  • Phone: (650) 725-1022
  • Email: speccoll@sulmail.stanford.edu
  • URL: http://www-sul.stanford.edu/depts/spc/
Processed by:
Special Collections staff
Date Completed:
circa 1998
Encoded by:
Bill O'Hanlon
© 2002 The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: William Saroyan notebooks,
Date (inclusive): 1932-1939
Collection number: M1022
Creator: Saroyan, William, 1908-1981
Extent: 1.25 linear ft.
Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
Abstract: 1568 notebook leaves documenting chiefly the apprenticeship and early success of Saroyan. The great bulk of the entries are notes on, ideas for or titles of short stories, bracketed by resolutions, observations, and, less frequently, personal data on how much money he has, or has not; debts; horse-racing notes; notes of walks or reading; personalities; radio shows, films, etc. (from dealer's description)
Language: English.

Administrative Information

Access

Collection is open for research.

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

William Saroyan Notebooks. M1022. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 1998.

Biography

Novelist, short-story writer, dramatist, and essayist, William Saroyan was born in Fresno, California in 1908. A high-school dropout, Saroyan was largely self-educated and decided at an early age to pursue a career as a writer, drawing on his experience as an Armenian-American growing up in California.
His first published works were sketches in The Overland Monthly in 1928, which inspired him to seek his fortune in New York City. In 1934 Story Magazine printed "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze." The immediate public acclaim led to publication of the collection The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze and Other Stories (1934) by Random House. He followed this success with two more short story collections in 1936, Three Times Three and Inhale and Exhale.
Transforming one of these stories into his first dramatic production, My Heart's in the Highlands (1939), Saroyan then wrote The Time of Your Life (1939-40), for which he received both New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The same year he released the story collection, My Name is Aram (1940), a Book of the Month Club selection.
In late 1941 Saroyan agreed to work for Louis B. Mayer in Hollywood. This resulted both in the Oscar-winning MGM film, The Human Comedy, (1943) as well as the popular novelized version of the original screenplay, published by Harcourt Brace simultaneously with the movie's opening.
Drafted into the army, Saroyan was stationed during part of World War II in London, where he wrote the controversial anti-war book, The Adventures of Wesley Jackson (1946). Through the 1950s he continued to produce plays, short stories, and novels. He then turned to personal memoirs to express himself, producing in succession The Bicycle Rider in Beverly Hills (1952), Here Comes, There Goes, You Know Who (1961), Not Dying (1963), and Obituaries (1980), which was nominated for the American Book Award. A final volume of reminiscence, Births (1983), was published posthumously.

Collection Scope and Content Summary

1568 notebook leaves documenting chiefly the apprenticeship and early success of Saroyan. The great bulk of the entries are notes on, ideas for or titles of short stories, bracketed by resolutions, observations, and, less frequently, personal data on how much money he has, or has not; debts; horse-racing notes; notes of walks or reading; personalities; radio shows, films, etc. (from dealer's description)

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.


Collection Contents

Box 1, Volume 1

1932 [?]

Scope and Content Note

An annotation in Saroyan's hand attached attempting to date this earliest notebook. 8 pp. have entries. Titles for possible songs: "The Majesty of the Law: a story" as a title, with a couple of other projected titles. "Matsuro Hirano jap" - a character. Saroyan is only 24.
Box 1, Volume 2

April 1933.

Scope and Content Note

71 pp have entries, including inserted leaves. Lots of notes on cartoonists; "Prayer in an Alien Room"; poetic experiments; drafts of poems.
Box 1, Volume 3

April - May 1933.

Scope and Content Note

126 pp have entries; many leaves torn out but reinserted; one typed leaf inserted. Draft of a story; notes on a novel HOME IS HAIASTAN, A Novel of the Human Spirit as by Sirak Goryan (set in 1898). Outlined chronologically and by themes. Elsewhere, a song, "Jericho"; poem written to Tchykovsky [sic] [see letters to Coates that Saroyan was attempting to transmute this music into a poem]. Notes on a novel HOME IN THE VALLEY; a very interesting note on his lifelong habit of drawing, but with specific reference to the early line drawings: "My line drawings disclose one fact indubitably: I am unconsciously concerned with precision, finality, harmony, and perfection; as much concerned unconsciously as consciously. I sometimes see great beauty in the drawings, and at other times I regard them as flat, monotonous, pointless: I think the difference is the result of the manner in which I go to the drawings...[and on...]." He is 25 at this time. Notes on motion pictures. WILLIAM SAROYAN / a novel by William Saroyan. "The Last Words of Christ"; "Thou Sayest" a story. Review of Arlen; negative notes on Charles Dobie play. Stein quoted from Sassoon's MEMOIRS OF AN INFANTRY OFFICER; "To the Cigarette"; Titles to 7 novels; types of poems; conversation with the newsboy; drafts of poems. "Ode to the Armenian Dead." Daily notes, as when he has chest pains ('doubtless gas"), but he was told long ago by a doctor he has a near perfect heart.
Box 1, Volume 4

May 5, 1933 ff.

Scope and Content Note

59 pp. have entries. Extended earthquake story. Drawings. On May 5 he begins writing 7 stories (5 titled here); long imagined [?] speech as by Jim Fancy recorded. Ideas drawn from an art exhibition planned for stories. Aaron Burr whom he was taught to hate. Interesting names recorded from UC graduating class. Ideas for movies, stories. Drafts of poems in rear.
Box 1, Volume 5

May 9, 1933 - June 21, 1933.

Scope and Content Note

33 pp. of entries on un-ruled paper. The better half entirely devoted to recording of stock market investments; interests. Records of an art transaction; lists of art critics and artists summarized from Samuel Kootz's book MODERN AMERICAN PAINTERS. Long note on watercolors, their importance to WS as he does them.
Box 1, Volume 6

May 22, 1933 ff.

Scope and Content Note

42 pp. have entries. To painter Claybourne Tatum's house. Drafts of poems and songs; outline of collection of brief short stories; a few entries of specific days' events. Drawings of chessmen from a book according to style of design; story of chess imagined; other stories outlined. Elaborate tables of stocks.
Box 1, Volume 7

July 1933.

Scope and Content Note

23 pp have entries. One page is torn loose. Notes on specific theatres; schools; songs he remembers (many), including "earliest"; public places; stores; churches; saloons; bakeries; Fresno streets; public events; newspapers; early friendship; the house at 2226 San Benito; "cyclamens of sleep"; Fresno Armenian folk songs. One leaf dated July 17, 1933. "Words symbolic of the time." Two full poems are present as well as ideas about others; some doodles leading toward drawings. Saroyan is obviously reconstructing the texture of his past to a purpose.
Box 1, Volume 8

September 1933.

Scope and Content Note

29 pp. have entries. On Dreiser and his own National Guard experiences at Monterey, recounting events from the year 1926, when he was exceptionally lonely, wanted a girl, but not a chippy. Acknowledging his own brilliant mind, his own normal human longings. He recalls meeting a girl in a park. His heart pounded. "It would have pounded for a colored girl - from a distance [!!] or for an old maid." But he could not summon the courage to speak to her, walked away; and when later he ran back to find her, she was gone, forever. A touchingly related "naive" anecdote of great importance to WS. "...the following night I was not quite the same young man I had been. I had, it seemed, grown terrifically Now that I look back on this trivial incident I realize that it was after that evening that I accepted ugliness in my life." Other incidents recalled. On "mafather". "Little Miss Universe" horse story.
Box 1, Volume 9

September 10, 1933, ff.

Scope and Content Note

48 pp. have entries, including two with drawings. Ink for the first time appears. He has wasted the year & will now look for work at the wholesale markets; will quit smoking. Toys, Russian writers; WS reviews his writings for the year to date, listing 35 stories. Exercises in grammar, nouns & verbs. "Inefficient Alvin" story begun here; "Fragments". He is the "eternal beginner". A week's titles: 17 listed, ending with "The Fart". On Sept 11 he goes to town, builds a dime up to a dollar it buys the purple ink pen he records the note with, plus 3 writing tablets @ 5 cents per.
Box 1, Volume 10

September 21, 1933 - October 1, 1933.

Scope and Content Note

77 pp. have entries in purple ink. He has 4 cents to his name. Several story drafts (short). Herein appears on p. (15): "The Daring Young Man On The Flying Trapeze" (Two Dreams) (Sleep)....(II) (Wakefulness)." - 14 pp. continuous prose. On Friday Sept 22 he records "typed out a story (Daring Young Man...) which I think is pretty fair and much better than most stories of its kind: hunger and death unsentimentally. I am planning to send It to 'Story', edited by Whit Burnett; the note is already written; all I need is a few envelopes and stamps." Contents of EUROPEAN CAR VAN is outlined in this notebook, as if he had gotten it from the library, could not afford a copy, this was his way of remembering. On his cousin Vahan. On Sept. 25 he writes "Myself Upon the Earth" which would appear in DARING YOUNG MAN. He now is walking to the public library & recording from newspapers and periodicals names to be used in his work. Cigarettes are good for one thing only: precision. Expects mail from Sanora Babb. He dreams "moving pictures" recorded here.
Box 1, Volume 11

September 26, 1933. "The Theatre."

Scope and Content Note

37 pp. have entries. Chiefly a 36 part prose sequence, often surrealist or experimental, or as WS would say, "eccentric". Purple ink.
Box 1, Volume 12

September 27, 1933.

Scope and Content Note

"No 2" in a sequence, presumably following the Sept 26 notebook. 47 pp. have entries, including a 33 section experimental prose sequence, followed by a similar 10 section piece. He is up to 2l7 pp on "Trapeze Over the Universe"; sends 3 stories to O'Brien.
Box 1, Volume 13

September 29, 1933 - October 8, 1933.

Scope and Content Note

Entries on 42 pp. In the rear, very explicit technical notes on countries, the product of his visits to the public library as recorded in the immediately previous diary: Persia, Paraguay, Poland, Peru, Roumania, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Spain, Turkey, Venezuela. l3 pp. experimental prose begin this notebook. Daily notes. He is working at the market. Has typed 165 pp. so far. Strings of story ideas.
Box 1, Volume 14

November 13, 1933 - Dec 28, 1933.

Scope and Content Note

77 pp. have entries. A new program of writing begins based on a favorable letter from Edward J. O'Brien. He will write a book of short stories about Armenians. Three days later he has submitted 3 such stories to O. Henry editor. Then he outlines HOME IN THE VALLEY, a novel of Armenians in the San Joaquin valley. Each day sees another story completed, virtually. With notes for more sprinkled throughout. 11 titles listed, after about a week in this notebook, along with an introduction for "Sirak Goryan." He loses 74 cents gambling, a lot of money for him. Self-analysis and interesting biographical notes intrude. He has begun to submit to Hairenik, and admits to putting in considerable effort on stories. Writing is revealed as not easy, but painstakingly arduous. But its a short story a day nonetheless, and he is re-writing as well. "getting turkey consignments for Christmas trade." "The Broken Wheel" will be reprinted by E.J. O'Brien. WS notes titles of 5 songs by Paul Robeson.. On Dec 13, 1933 Whit Burnett accepts 'The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" for Story Magazine. Saroyan receives a $15 check. Now Saroyan recalls & records 16 kids names from Class 2b, Laguna Honda School; a profusion of notes follow, including "(Tristram Shandy - not to be forgotten.)". Another string of recollected names: "Norris Ennis (has a large penis)." "Seventy Thousand Assyrians" mailed to Story. "Good tale, I think." He sees Henry his brother on occasion during these months.
Box 1, Volume 15

December 29, 1933 - January 7, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

42 pp. have entries in purple ink. Gets his shoes resoled & begins "Dear Greta Garbo" (in DARING YOUNG MAN); writes to Flores, Winters, Babb. He gives a resume of the year over several pages; work & places visited; no women intrude. Now another string of stories for the immediate future are outlined, including "Dear Papa: story: a child's letters." "I opened a can of tomatoes (large can) squeezed the juice of two lemons over it & ate with French bread, salt, pepper, very fine - must remember to repeat. I can tomatoes 13 cents; and a damn fine sort of food." Then 15 titles "not yet used." He targets editors around the country for ballyhoo: "remember the cinema - it is changing the style of life." A film spurs him to write "Sinking to His Knees" - a long notebook entry, camera conscious. "1933. Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore - a story." Then WS cleans his room "finally" - goes for another walk. Writes O.O. McIntyre.
Box 1, Volume 16

January 7, 1934 - January 22, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

33 pages have entries. Radio and music and shows and cinema & headline subjects are duly recorded - always sources of inspiration for WS. Stories that will soon be collected in THE DARING YOUNG MAN are polished off one by one. On Jan 11 he "began & abandoned story about social homosexuals from novels by Huxley, Woolf, Boyle, Hemingway, Radcliffe Hall." Writes Foley, Bath, Claire, Sokol. Song titles listed including his favorite, "This Little Piggy Went to Market." "Lost buck fifty gambling - bad day - but resolved to make it up by hard work."
Box 1, Volume 17

January 22, 1934 - Feb 17, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

40 pages have entries. Feeling rotten often this month; "must regain old vigor, or else - there will be nothing; nothing written." "I am as much a fiction as any character in any novel - I created that fiction - the fact W.S." He stops writing for almost a week; writes Naeseth, Babb, Weisberg,Winters, Mary Welles. Now he plans a rigid work schedule for a day, to get a novel going. On Feb 1st he outlines the contents of SEVENTY THOUSAND ASSYRIANS AND OTHER STORIES - with 27 titles, many but not all of which will comprise the 26 stories of THE DARING YOUNG MAN AND OTHER STORIES. Then he plots a scenario for the 4 Marx Bros. He's got $11 on Feb 2. On Feb 6 he's "Down to $2.00 wow - almost broke again." Letter from, and to, Cowley. He celebrates Franz Werfel and Brahms and Dostoyevsky as the greatest of men, in comparison with Napoleon, Mussolini & Stalin, in closing.
Box 1, Volume 18

February 17, 1934 - March 1st, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

34 pp. have entries. Biog. notes on writers important to WS open the notebook: Cocteau, Cowley, Crane, Cummings, Dos Passos, Eliot, Faulkner, FSF, Frank, Hemingway, Huxley, Joyce, MacLeish, Pound, Eliz. M. Roberts, Sassoon, Schneider, Eliz. Scott, Stein, Tate...often with sharp little details meaningful to WS, as with Hemingway: "good fighter...clear looking & thinking - avoids arguments, cliques, etc." On Feb 23 WS notes a Covici Friede contract offer with advance tendered, which he forwards to Burnett & Foley for advice. He has not read Proust. The poet Edward Davison visits WS, who impresses him; WS records much of this event. Now WS begins to record debts, ca Feb 27 he owes 8.65 (9.65). On March 1: "New Month; new program."
Box 2, Volume 1

March 1, 1934 - March 7, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

29 pp have entries. Opens with a string of visual images hastily recorded; dance material recorded, envisioned. A nine page roughly written rumination pops up - unusual. Has hair on cheek removed by electrolysis at $5/hr after winning $4 gambling
Box 2, Volume 2

March 22, 1934 - March 24, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

37 pp have entries. Themes for movie stories; stories for Cagney; Paul Mum; long newsboy story; addresses for Jo Pagano; Charleen Duval; Adrienne Claire. In the rear is an alphabetized address list of friends; literary & professional correspondents.
Box 2, Volume 3

March 29, 1934 ff.

Scope and Content Note

26 pp. have entries. 19 titles from pictures ("A Shabby Genteel Story"). Writing stories as usual & mailing them out as usual, but now songs as well.
Box 2, Volume 4

April 16, 1934 - July 28, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

45 pp. have entries. Beginning with a new program: "great labor, clean living Piety." On June 2 he's done a "rotten painting" with Japanese watercolors - unusual admission in WS. Novels, plays, stories planned & intended - titled. His own circumstances exaggerated: "11 years old / 3 to orphanage / 1 year out / 7 years in orphanage" after the title I NEVER KNEW I WAS CHINESE: story. Eight page story of Barnes the painter in pencil. Song lyrics, eg. "Steel is going down..." "The Boy with the Big Nose" begun. Twelve pp. essay on writing, "so much fun for me...but all the same..."
Box 2, Volume 5

July 1, 1934 - ff.

Scope and Content Note

47 pp. have entries. Notes on many stories, passim. Sending stories out regularly. Anti-"comradeship fiction" sentiments. Rough prose pencil reflections (again) on Werfel. "Before the year ends I must write 6 or 7 novelettes: 15 to 20 thousand words each; each an experiment in both subject and treatment." Werfel thrice again invoked, this notebook. "Gertrude Stein on radio is much like America alive and laughing splendid. I William Saroyan."
Box 2, Volume 6

August 29th, 1934 - ff.

Scope and Content Note

l0 pp. only have entries. "WE: A Story." "We, the Living." Of Ayn Rand - her book with this title published in 1934 also. Story titles.
Box 2, Volume 7

September 9, 1934 - Oct 2, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

29 pp. have entries. Sexual rhapsody opens (unusual in WS); rather sustained, rough & quickly written in this notebook; followed immediately by a shaded music note like line drawing - first appearance in the notebooks, & typical of WS's drawings in the 1930s - given up totally after marriage. 4 pp. letter to Vanity Fair drafted over the pseudonym "Carla Goldmark". The forthcoming book, DARING YOUNG MAN (hitherto not really mentioned in the notebooks, is an imminent reality. WS plans publicity campaign. Directs advance cc. Have someone read the book in a film or on a newsreel. What to do to make the papers. More drawings, none perfected.
Box 2, Volume 8

November, 1934...including November 18, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

15 pp have entries. Of particular importance is a 5 pp. outline of DARING YOUNG MAN, analyzing each story with regard to THEME; CHARACTERS/ PLACE & TIME also notes, occasionally - a most interesting revelation of the way in which Saroyan sees his stories after the fact, and very uncommon in his notebooks.
Box 2, Volume 9

November 24, 1934 - Dec 9, 1934.

Scope and Content Note

38 pp. have entries. WS foresees a daily syndicated newspaper column. Draft of letter to Esquire in re Hemingway's article on Saroyan. "Agony at Christmas" - later in life a recurring theme. ABC-T alphabet of story titles. A-Z alphabet of story titles. On the last 3 pp. appear financial notes, more or less for the first time in the notebooks, as WS computes he has $1850.00.
Box 2, Volume 10

January 20, 1935 - Feb 11, 1935.

Scope and Content Note

58 pp. have entries. l2 pp. hastily written essay in pencil. Story notes and drafts throughout. On Feb 11 he intends to complete (by end of May) and submit a novel to Random House.
Box 2, Volume 11

March 10, 1935 -May 28, 1936.

Scope and Content Note

33 pp. have entries; $ numbers on last leaf, seemingly much larger than heretofore. 9:47 AM At the beginning of this notebook, he has cash on hand "$57.46". "On Your Way" - a play begun. 19 pieces written long ago, to be published in magazines, including "The Old Man" & "The Man with the Heart in the Highlands."
Box 2, Volume 12

1935.

Scope and Content Note

23 pp have entries, the last 4 with combination possibilities for dice. Eleven pp have longer poems: "Topa, Topa"; "Standing Ford at Ojai"; "Foreign Club: Tijauna [sic]"; "Carpenteria"; "Tiajuana".
Box 2, Volume 13

1935 "Train Texas N.Y. first visit to Europe."

Scope and Content Note

Memorandum size, 2.5" x 6" - first small notebook. 46 pp. have entries. Place suggests story: LA; Texas; desert; desolate places; a story begun; dialogue exercises. El Paso; The Wildflowers of San Antonio. C[?] Run From Trains. "Ernest Hemingway / #18 of things to see in Key West." New Orleans.
Box 2, Volume 14

February 7, 1936 - February 12, 1936.

Scope and Content Note

2l pp. have entries. Story titles; another amateur hour recorded.
Box 2, Volume 15

March 11, 1936 - April 4, 1938.

Scope and Content Note

Small size Scholastic Note Book, approx. 4" x 6". 50 pp. have entries. "What about the little people?" "Dedication / The Trouble With Tigers" - publication was many years later. Merrill Moore is ok for 50,000 sonnets. Story of a Jewish songwriter. "what stays of you in a woman you've loved, is the same as what stays of you in a city you've lived in for a while - the memory of the streets will break your heart & at the same time be meaningless & cold." "Oriental Stories".
Box 2, Volume 16

June 13, 1936 - August 13, 1936.

Scope and Content Note

Small size Memorandum Note Book, approx. 2.5" x 6". 22 pp. have entries. Song lyrics remembered. Major Bowes Amateur Hour, June 14, 1936 - participants noted rather carefully, in harmony with a later note: "People - to be remembered one at a time - & recorded - every way."
Box 2, Volume 17

February 8, 1937 ff.

Scope and Content Note

Small format Blue Bond Memorandum Book, approx. 2.5" x 6". 11 pp. have entries. Meetings with friends recorded (hitherto, quite unusual in the notebooks: Shedd, Hiler, Bufano; went to Solari's. "Drunk and hungry". Went with Hiler to Izzie's-but Kate not there...got home around six a.m. "Notes for the Play: My Heart's in the Highlands:" - 2pp. A most atypical "flick" prose poem appears -previously nary a swear-word found In the notebooks, a little rhapsody possibly on the occasion of a whore.
Box 2, Volume 18

April 18, 1937 - July 1st - 1938.

Scope and Content Note

39 pp. have entries. Books of stories outlined by title, and arranged; 21 stories complete, individual yet interrelated. WS muses over form. Blurb for himself in pencil. 14 section work by story (stories) laid out. Back to a story a day program, with directions to self on composition. On June 30, 1938 & the next day, 3 pp. of notes on the horses at Hollywood Park. The American Joke book imagined. Two pages of Armenian names written out. More story titles.
Box 2, Volume 19

February 1st, 1938 - February 20, 1938 ff.

Scope and Content Note

29 pp. have entries. Musings over form, content. A song drafted, "You are so perfect..." Feb. 20 sees yet another new program: No gambling, little drinking, exercise, writing every day, pay all debts ("little by little"); write a play; be organized, "dignity, inner, outer". WS takes inventory: Health is ok, finances "better than ever". Love life "mournful (yeahman)". Writing: "talent undiminished". Tries 3 times to draft a letter "Dear Jane...."
Box 3, Volume 1

March 18, 1938 - March 23, 1938.

Scope and Content Note

Small format, Scholastic Note Book, approx. 2.5" x 6". 13 pp. have entries. He ploys a beautiful play about "innocent kids, 16 or so, or 17, very much in love. Then to "Several Ways of Dying: a book of 20 stories, each ending in death - actual too -." Japanese family notes. Helen Wills "white wonder" fantasy.
Box 3, Volume 2

June 25, 1938 - July 20, 1938.

Scope and Content Note

7 pp. have entries, including 1 inserted sheet of pencil notes. Horse racing notes. A new Program set out on July 20, 1938 - the familiar dicta: "work every day...no gambling of any kind...no liquor...smoke only while writing...no chasing...some exercise every day...pay off debts as soon as possible...abandon trips to NY & Dublin...abandon recent contacts; make new ones." He outlines debts of $173.00 and additional debts of $98.00. The most is $100. to B. Gerstle. Also $50.00 to Bufano and $225.00 to A. Bender on next leaf.
Box 3, Volume 3

March 1939.

Scope and Content Note

Small format Memorandum notebook, approx. 2.5" x 6". 23 pp. have entries. Addresses in publishing world; friends, acquaintances: Pollinger, Hairenek, Bezzerides, Hiler, Fante, John Garfield, Covarrubias, Jo Pagano, Sanora Babb.
Box 3, Volume 4

March 27, 1939.

Scope and Content Note

Approx. 5.5" x 7". l2 pp. have entries. Train trip from Tucson to Nogales. Play & radio program imagined. Herb Caen; Notes on people, images from trip (skimpy). "The colored Porter who for 22 years tried to read a time table - never succeeded...he had heard about a man who wanted to better himself." In Guadalahara he visited (looked at) orphanage, brewery, Univ (?). red light district (?), flowering trees.
Box 3, Volume 5

April 1, 1939 - Beacon Writing Tablet, unruled. Three pp of Mexican notes. Nogales. Where the women were was a "miserable place". "too much trouble to get it all down. will have to remember."

Scope and Content Note

Approx. 5.5" x 7". l2 pp. have entries. Train trip from Tucson to Nogales. Play & radio program imagined. Herb Caen; Notes on people, images from trip (skimpy). "The colored Porter who for 22 years tried to read a time table - never succeeded...he had heard about a man who wanted to better himself." In Guadalahara he visited (looked at) orphanage, brewery, Univ (?). red light district (?), flowering trees.
Box 3, Volume 6

November 30, 1939 - December 2, 1939.

Scope and Content Note

Blue Horse #500 Note Book. "Fall 1939 / Coming Home from N.Y. by car." 34 leaves, all loose, have skimpy pencil notes. Single line entries of titles for stories to be written; e.g. "You too Can Be A Dope"; Work to Do: "Prepare Love's Song...work on A Native American". Thanksgiving day in Odessa, Texas. Later... "Come on a my house, my louse.. I'm gonna give you candy / Armen Song." WS would write a best selling hit song with this title later.