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Perloff (Marjorie) Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Marjorie Perloff papers
    creator: Perloff, Marjorie
    Identifier/Call Number: M1504
    Physical Description: 19 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): circa 1965-2005
    Abstract: Literary manuscripts, correspondence with writers, artists, fellow critics, and publishers, published essays and reviews, editorial and university administration files, and electronic discs.
    Physical Description: no content


    Collection is open for research; materials must be requested at least 24 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

    Marjorie Perloff papers, M1504. Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Marjorie Perloff, 2005. Accession 2005-097

    Biography / Administrative History

    Marjorie Perloff is one of the foremost American critics of contemporary poetry. Her work has been especially concerned with explicating the writing of experimental and avant-garde poets and relating it to the major currents of modernist and, especially, postmodernist activity in the arts, including the visual arts and cultural theory. She took her first degree at Barnard College, New York, followed by an M.A. and Ph.D. (in 1965) at CUA (Catholic University of America) in Washington DC. CUA also provided her first teaching post (as assistant and then associate professor) from 1966 to 1971. She moved to the University of Maryland as full professor in 1971, remaining there five years before moving to California in 1976. She has been a professor at Californian universities since 1976, with ten years at the University of Southern California, till 1986, and since then at Stanford University, becoming Sadie Dernham Patek Professor of Humanities in 1990. Her immense energies and enthusiasm as a writer and teacher have been devoted to creating a public for the work of writers whom many others have wanted to dismiss as too difficult, obscure, or marginal. Her own writing is always anything but that; as Frank Kermode has said, Marjorie Perloff is fun to read. She has never been a critic who wraps her insights in a daunting verbal carapace which only the truly intrepid can penetrate. She writes to explain, and always communicates her insights through vivid juxtapositions, formulations, and examples.
    From The Encyclopedia of Literary Critics and Criticism, Edited by Chris Murray. (Fitzroy Dearborn, 1999)

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Marjorie Perloff papers are divided into twelve series, respecting the original arrangement and box inventory provided by the donor. Series 1: Correspondence from Individuals, contains letter and notes from over seventy correspondees, including Robert Creeley, Barbara Guest, Ann Lauterbach, Robert Lowell, and Robert Pinsky. Nearly one third of the collection is held in Series Two: Article Files, primarily material relating to published articles, and to a lesser extent, papers delivered at conferences or lectures. Reviews and Offprints, Series 3, contains copies of articles where either Perloff's worked is reviewed, or Perloff is the reviewer. Several folders at the end of the series hold the contents of scrapbooks specific to some of Perloff's earlier works: "The Poetic Art of Robert Lowell"; "Frank O'Hara: Poet Among Painters"; and "The Poetics of Indeterminacy: Rimbaud to Cage." Invitations to Give Papers and Conference Materials are found in Series 4, and, in Series 5: Early Works, a ts of Perloff's Master's Thesis, and editorial, correspondence, and publicity files for her works on Yeats, Lowell, and O'Hara are housed here. Series 6 and 7 contain material from several of Perloff's more recent works, listed by title respectively: The Futurist Moment/21st Century Modernism; Radical Wittengenstein's Ladder/Radical Artifice; and Series 8: Poetry/Genre/Cage similarly holds material from her various editorial projects, collections of essays, and shorter works, including John Cage: Composed in America, Postmodern Genres, Poetry On and Off the Page, Dance of the Intellect, and Poetic License. Other Editorial Files not included in the previous series are found in Series 9, and Miscellaneous files regarding awards and honors, and a review of Erica Jong are located in Series 10. Series 11 contains material concerning Perloff's various university appointments and administrative matters. The final Series: Foundations/Centers/Fellowships Applications, Advising, and Consults, holds correspondence, applications, and other material regarding Perloff's involvement with various granting agencies and institutions as both a potential recipient and consultant.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Modernism (Literature)
    Critics -- United States
    Art and literature -- United States -- History -- 20th century
    American poetry- -20th century- -History and criticism
    Literature, Modern -- History and criticism
    Arts, Modern- -20th century
    Perloff, Marjorie