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Inventory of the Thornton N. Wilder Papers
Collection 040  
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box 1 : 1

Wilder writes of taking a trip to Europe. He comments on Shakespeare's frequent use of printing as a metaphor for sexual relations and suggests "Sexual Imagery in William Shakespeare" as a title for a thesis that Gibbs is writing. Date taken from postmark. October 15, 1959

box 1 : 2

Wilder comments on sexual imagery in Shakespeare's Henry IV. November 18, 1959

box 1 : 3

Wilder complains about the heat where he is staying. Sends more examples of sexual imagery in William Shakespeare. In Twelfth Night Act II Scene IV and in King Lear Act IV Scene VI. Wilder also states that he is planning to look through Much Ado About Nothing and As You Like It. January 1, 1960

box 1 : 4

H. Lynn Sheller, Director, Fullerton Junior College, letter of recommendation for Everett Gibbs. January 11, 1960

box 1 : 5

Wilder comments on the news that Gibbs has been dismissed from his position at Fullerton College. January 19, 1960

box 1 : 6

Wilder talks about an upcoming trip to Naples. Mentions that an American company, with Helen Hayes, will be performing one of his plays in Europe. February 26, 1961

box 1 : 7

Wilder apologizes for not writing and explains that he has spent the last six months living like a hermit out in the desert. He writes that he is thinking of returning to civilization in about a year and that he is interested about how Gibbs's thesis is coming along. November 6, 1962

box 1 : 8

Writing from Douglas, Arizona, Wilder complains about having to remain there during the summer, but indicates that the novel he is writing is going well. July 9, 1963

box 1 : 9

Sends thank you for birthday congratulations. He thinks that Hemingway is an elegant writer, but dislikes him personally. Wilder has seen Hello Dolly and enjoyed it. Date taken from postmark. May 12, 1965

box 1 : 10

Wilder writes about going to his forty-fifth class reunion and a good Italian restaurant in Lenox. He gives suggestions on writing funny situations for novels. October 5, 1965

box 1 : 11

Change of address postcard for Thornton Wilder from Isabel Wilder to Everett Gibbs. November 19, 1965

box 1 : 12

Wilder gives advice on writing humor. Postcard enclosed in an envelope. Date from taken postmark. November 30, 1965

box 1 : 13

Wilder sends his thanks for a birthday present sent by Gibbs, a Buttercup yellow sweater. Talks about his novel and an inflammation in his eye. April 17, 1966

box 1 : 14

Advises Gibbs not to be silent if his feelings are hurt. Indicates that he is on the last lap of his latest novel. August 7, 1966

box 1 : 15

Wilder complains that the summer was too hot for him. Admits to glamorizing "society" in The Cabala. Encourages Gibbs to stick with teaching until he gets his doctorate. He tells Gibbs that he will soon be going abroad to Germany. October, 1966

box 1 : 16

Wilder writes (on postcard) from Switzerland. Says that the sanatorium that Mann depicted in he Magic Mountain has been turned into a hotel-"Lord be praised." January 1, 1967

box 1 : 17

Wilder writes, thanking Gibbs for the birthday present he sent. He also says that he is looking foreword to reading Gibbs's book, wonders what Gibbs wants him to comment on and states that he is becoming more and more anti-social. Date taken from postmark. April 22, 1967

box 1 : 18

Wilder writes a short note about his vacation and that Gibbs's book "sounds extraordinary." Date taken from postmark. May 10, 1967

box 1 : 19

Brief comments on Gibbs' writing. Two postcards enclosed in an envelope. 1967

box 1 : 20

Wilder comments on Gibbs' book. He feels that it is well written, but suffers from the author's "intense emotional involvement." Not publishable in the present market. May 22, 1967

box 1 : 21

Wilder responds to Gibbs' reaction to his comments on his book (Forty Days). He writes: "I feel fine about your letter." Date taken from postmark. June 5, 1967

box 1 : 22

Wilder complains about his eyesight. He admonishes Gibbs for being too sensitive about his comments on his writing. June 25, 1967

box 1 : 23

Wilder thanks Gibbs for his praise of his birthplace. Agog at learning that the close of The Dead is "a steal from Homer." Mentioned a dinner party where alcohol was not served, but the guests were offered pot. Date taken from postmark. Thursday. July 1967

box 1 : 24

Wilder tells Gibbs to resist any of his suggestions if he feels that he misunderstood things. Compliments Gibbs on catching a reference in his novel that no one else had. October 7, 1967

box 1 : 25

Wilder sends a Christmas greeting (on a postcard) and gives Gibbs his temporary address in Paris and tells him to write to him soon. December 3, 1967

box 1 : 26

Wilder complains about a TV production in recognition of his seventieth birthday and says that he'll have nothing to do with it. Tells Gibbs not to get discouraged and to take his book to a publisher. February 20, 1968

box 1 : 27

Wilder writes that he decided to open his present early because the package said "Letter Included" and he wanted to read the letter. Praises Gibbs for the work he did for a Senator and is pleased with youth's involvement in politics. Easter Monday, 1968

box 1 : 28

Wilder writes from the Canary Islands. He says that the difference between gossip and fiction is little more than a difference in tone and depth. He goes on to say that his autobiography is half written. He advises Gibbs that if he has lost confidence in story writing that he should try writing a critical study. March 24, 1969

box 1 : 29

Wilder writes Gibbs thanking him for the birthday present that he sent. He is delighted to hear that Gibbs is planning to write during the summer. Some of Wilder's war buddies will be dropping by to visit him and that he'll have to drop everything. Year taken from postmark. April 17, 1969

box 1 : 30

Empty envelope. May 12, 1969

box 1 : 31

Wilder writes to Gibbs thanking him for his birthday greetings and for the news of Gibbs' book, 40 Days and 40 Nights. He hopes Gibbs enjoyed the movie "Alice's Restaurant" despite its sad message. Year taken from postmark. April 17, 1970

box 1 : 32

Wilder notes the melancholy tone of Gibbs' last letter and tells him that he has spent too much time on his previous book and needs to move on to other projects. September 28 or 29, 1970

box 1 : 33

Wilder sends a Christmas greeting to Gibbs. He tells Gibbs that he is happy that he has some appreciative classes and that it is good he is working on a new book. December 17, 1970

box 1 : 34

Wilder considers reading fiction as the best way to prompt ideas. He writes that "the Bridge" was partly derived from reading Fabre on insects. Recommends the movies "My Night with Maude" and "Claire's Knee." Written on a postcard. April 17, 1971

box 1 : 35

Warns Gibbs to not become brooding and self-centered. Written on postcard. December 19, 1972

box 1 : 36

Wilder informs Gibbs that he finished his novel a few days earlier. He also tells Gibbs that he can use his name as a reference any time he wants. He mentions that he won't be able to go abroad this year but he will be going to Martha's Vineyard and all his mail will be forwarded to him. Written on a postcard. April 19, 1973

box 1 : 37

Wilder comments about Gibbs's upcoming move to Alaska. Warns him that loneliness might make him depressed, but tells him the people there are fine folk and will accept him after a year or so. He also asks that Gibbs keep a journal. June 4, 1973

box 1 : 38

Wilder complains about a slipped disk and going to the hospital. He is happy to hear that Gibbs is getting adjusted and that he hopes that Gibbs like the book he is sending. Written on a postcard; date taken from postmark. September 11, 1973

box 1 : 39

Wilder writes about the completion of his latest book and about being hospitalized with a slipped disk. He advises Gibbs on survival techniques in his new location. September 24, 1973