Arrowsmith, William A. (1924-1992)

The William Arrowsmith collection includes subject files, professional material, manuscripts, correspondence, memorabilia, printed material, film and video, diaries and journals, notebooks, and audio material.

Arrowsmith’s subject files comprise the bulk of the material in his collection. These files cover various subjects, and consist of manuscripts, printed material, professional material, research material, correspondence, and other material.

Most of Arrowsmith’s files concern his work interpreting and translating classical Greek literature. These files cover several subjects, including works by Aeschylus, Apuleius, Aristophanes, Euripides, Petronius, Sophocles, and Thucydides; other files concern Greek tragedy in general. Several files consist of translations by other authors of Greek tragedies into English. Many files are devoted to Arrowsmith’s writings on the nature and process of translation itself. Quite a few files contain professional correspondence concerning The Complete Greek Tragedy in New Translation, a series published by Oxford University Press and edited by Arrowsmith.

Another major subject of Arrowsmith’s files is T. S. Eliot. These files include material on all of Eliot’s major poems, such as The Waste Land, as well as copies of various lectures, interviews, essays, personal papers and letters regarding Eliot from various sources. Notable correspondents in these files include Jewel Brooker, Helen Gardner, and Frank Kermode.

Other notable file subjects include figures such as Michaelangelo Antonioni (with several files of copied interviews); Christopher Marlowe; Eugenio Montale; Friedrich Nietzsche; Cesar Pavese; John Ruskin; and William Shakespeare. The series also focuses on teaching, higher education, and translation. Other subjects represented include various interviews, lectures and talks, periodicals and publications, and universities.

Professional material regarding Arrowsmith’s teaching (curriculae, session plans, letters of recommendation, syllabi, etc.) are also included among the subject files.

Manuscripts by Arrowsmith in the collection include his book Antonioni: The Poet of Images (Oxford University Press, 1995), and his essay “The Shame of the Graduate Schools” (1966). The series also contains Arrowsmith’s essays, poems, and speeches, among other writings.

Translations of Cesare Pavese by Arrowsmith include Dialogues with Leuco (with D. S. Carne-Ross; University of Michigan Press, 1969) and Hard Labor (original title Lavorare Stanca; Viking, 1977). The papers concerning Hard Labor also include several reviews and letters.

Translations of Eugenio Montale by Arrowsmith include Poetic Diary, 1972 ; L’Opera in Versi, edited by Giulio Einandi; The Storm and Other Things (original title La Bufera e Altro ; reviews and responses only; Norton, 1985); Cuttlefish Bones: 1920-1927 (original title Ossi di Seppia ; Norton, 1992); and Satura: 1962-1970 (Norton, 1998). These papers also include several reviews, letters, and related items. Also included is Montale’s Letture Montaliane in Occasione dell’80° Compleanno del Poeta (1977).

Also present in the collection is Arrowsmith’s translation of Euripides’s Alcestis (Oxford University Press, 1969). Related manuscripts include Johann August Nauck’s Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta and Euripides' Fragmenta ; and Supplement to the Allen and Italie Concordance to Euripides, edited by C. Collard (Groningen, 1971).

Other manuscripts in the collection include The Waste Land in Different Voices, edited by A. David Moody (Edward Arnold Ltd., 1974); Something Like an Autobiography, by Akira Kurosawa (Vintage, 1983); and The New World of the Gothic Fox, by Claudio Véliz (University of California Press, 1994).

Correspondence in the collection dates from 1942 to the early 1990s. Notable correspondents include Saul Bellow, W. S. Merwin, and Robert Penn Warren. There are several letters to and from publishers and various university administrators, and several letters are included among Arrowsmith’s subject files (above). The series also contains personal letters dating from 1942 to 1968.

Memorabilia in the collection includes a W.A. Certificate of Registration (1948), W.A. Selective Service Card (1950), and Arrowsmith’s student grade book (1961-1962).

Printed material in the collection includes several magazines and scholarly journals which published or reviewed Arrowsmith’s work, including American Poetry Review, Harper’s Magazine, Life, New Criterion, Southern Review, and Time, as well as several copies of the Hudson Review published during Arrowsmith’s tenure as editor (1948-1949, 1951, 1954-1956) and some newsletters and bulletins published locally by various universities. Additionally, the collection contains several newspaper clippings and magazine tearsheets, including several items from The New York Times Book Review.

Film and video in the collection primarily consists of video cassette recordings (VHS and Beta formats) of films by the directors Michaelangelo Antonioni, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa. Films by Antonioni include Cronaca di un Amore (1950); La Signora Senza Camelie (1953); Il Grido (1957); L’Avventura (1960); La Notte (1961); L’Eclisse (1962); Il Deserto Rosso (1964); Blowup (1966); Zabriskie Point (1970); Professione: Reporter (1975); Il Mistero di Oberwald (1981); and Identificazione di una Donna (1982). Films by Bergman include Fängelse ( The Devil’s Wanton, 1949); Sommarlek ( Summer Interlude, 1951); Gycklarnas Afton ( The Naked Night, 1953); Kvinnodröm ( Dreams, 1955); Sommarnattens Leende ( Smiles of a Summer Night, 1955); Det Sjunde Inseglet ( The Seventh Seal, 1957); Smultronstället ( Wild Strawberries, 1957); Nära Livet ( Brink of Life, 1958); Ansiktet ( The Magician, 1958); Jungfrukällan ( The Virgin Spring, 1960); Djävulens Öga ( The Devil’s Eye, 1960); Såsom I en Spegel ( Through a Glass Darkly, 1961); Nattvardsgästerna ( Winter Light, 1963); Tystnaden ( The Silence, 1963); The Serpent’s Egg (1977); Fanny och Alexander (1982); and Efter Repetitionen ( After the Rehearsal, 1982). Films by Kurosawa include Rashomon (1950); Shichinin no samurai ( The Seven Samurai, 1954); Kakushi toride no san akunin ( The Hidden Fortress, 1958); Sanjuro (1962); Dodes’ka-den (1970); and Kagemusha the Shadow Warrior (1980). Other films on video cassette include Tristana (1970), directed by Luis Buñuel; Ginger e Fred (1986), directed by Federico Fellini; and Der Blaue Engel (The Blue Angel, 1930), directed by Josef von Sternberg. The collection also contains ten reels of film.

Arrowsmith’s diaries include a monthly planner (1969-1970), eight appointment books (1981-1991) and ten daily planner books, as well as a journal included in the subject files. Arrowsmith’s notebooks cover various subjects, including Michaelangelo Antonioni, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Athenian democracy, T. S. Eliot, Medea, and other subjects.

Audio material in the collection consists of several cassette recordings of lectures by Arrowsmith. These include several lectures on T. S. Eliot’s poetry, as well as plays by Euripides and William Shakespeare.

Notable Figures
1. Arrowsmith, William, 1924-1992
Associated Subjects
1. Translation Subject Guide
2. Authors, American
3. College teachers -- United States.
4. Classicists -- United States.
5. Videotapes
6. Classicism -- Study and teaching -- United States.
7. Humanities – Study and teaching – United States
8. American literature--20th century
9. Motion pictures