Beekman, E.M. (1939-2008)

The E. M. Beekman collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, professional material, medical material, diaries, memorabilia, research material, financial material, legal material, photographs, and artwork.

Manuscripts in the collection include novels, prose collections, translations, essays, short stories, reviews, speeches, articles, and plays by Beekman as well as novels by others. Beekman’s novels include Homeopathy of the Absurd: The Grotesque in Paul van Ostaijen’s Creative Prose (1970); Lame Duck (1971); The Killing Jar (1976); The Verbal Empires of Simon Vestdijk and James Joyce (1983); Troubled Pleasures: Dutch Colonial Literature from the East Indies, 1600-1950 (1996); The Crippled Heart: An Introduction to the Life, Times, and Works of Willem Godschalck van Focquenbroch (1997); The Frost Hive (ca. 1997); The Kindness of Strangers (ca. 1997); A Different Magic: What a Naturalist Taught a Novelist (2001); Peculiar Crystals and Other Stories and Found in Translation: The Indies as Liberal Education . Also included is The Twenty-Fifth Hour of a Dream: Selected Prose and Poetry, 1958-1961, privately produced and circulated by Beekman and James P. Markson, Berkeley, California, 1961. One copy of the second edition of this work has comments by Adrienne Rich on the text pages (in her hand) as well as on several separate typed pages, along with an accompanying letter from Rich to Beekman.

Translations by Beekman in the collection include Patriotism, Inc. and Other Tales by Paul van Ostaijen (1971); The Oyster and the Eagle: Selected Aphorisms and Parables of Multatuli (1974); Fugitive Dreams: An Anthology of Dutch Colonial Literature (also author of introduction and notes; 1988); The Alzheimer Affair, by Jef Geeraerts (novel); Natural Reality and Abstract Reality: An Essay in Trialogue Form, by Piet Mondrian (Braziller, 1995); Perhaps They Knew Everything, by Toon Tellegen (1995); “Way Baru,” by Beb Vuyk, published in the journal Metamorphosis (ca. 1996); The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet, by Georgius Everhardus Rumphius (also editor and author of introduction and notes; Yale University Press, 1999);Rumphius’ Orchids: Orchid Texts from “The Ambonese Herbal” (also editor and author of introduction and notes; Yale University Press, 2003); The Ambonese Herbal (volumes 1-4) with introduction by Beekman.

Other manuscripts by Beekman includes several short stories, poems, essays, reviews, speeches, and articles, as well as a play titled The Silent King, six plot abstracts for television written with Seymour Simckes, and material regarding an issue of the magazine Shantih devoted to Dutch writing (Spring/Summer 1973).

Manuscripts by other authors in the collection include an introduction by Paul van Vree (in Dutch, with an English translation by Beekman) to the work of Paul van Ostraijen, intended to accompany an anthology of van Ostaijen’s poetry compiled by Beekman. Also present are Jeanne Bornstein and Donald Waldie’s translations (into English) of eight poems by van Ostaijen, with an accompanying letter by Bornstein included, as well as translations of "Way Baru" by Beb Vuyk.

Correspondence in the collection includes a mix of personal and professional letters to and from Beekman, dating from ca. 1960 to 2002. Personal correspondence includes several letters from his family, as well as greeting cards and postcards to Beekman. Professional correspondence consists of letters regarding Beekman’s work. Several notable correspondents are present. Writers, editors and publishers of note include Georges Borchardt, Hayden Carruth, Robert Coles, Midge Decter, Renate Dorrestein,  Richard Eberhart, Blair Fuller, William Gass, David R. Godine, Granville Hicks, Aldous Huxley, Christopher Isherwood, Richard Kostelanetz, James Laughlin, Gordon Lish, Bill Merwin, Philip Rahv, Carel Schneider (CJ Springer), Harvey Swados, Helen Vendler, Paul de Vree, and Walter Muir Whitehill. Public figures include Edward Brooke, Silvio O. Conte, Wilfried van Hemelrijck, J. E. Schaap, and Baron Scheyven.

Printed material in the collection includes the published versions of Beekman’s short writings (poetry, reviews, and short stories) as well as miscellaneous essays by others, among other items.

Professional material in the collection primarily consists of items regarding Beekman’s teaching career at the University of Massachusetts. Also present are his application for a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship (1968); a translation grant proposal (1969) that became Patriotism, Inc. (see manuscripts above); various grant and fellowship applications (1971-1974); several curriculum vitae; office files, book cover drafts; tour itineraries and tickets; and daily planners (2004-2006).

Medical material includes treatment schedules, prescription schedules, medical notes, test results, health insurance copy, prescription labels, and blood sugar recordings dating 2001-2005.

Beekman’s diaries and appointment books are present for the following dates: 1916, 1918, 1921-1928, 1970, 1975, 1990, 1995-1996, 2000-2003. Also present are several medical and travel journals.

Personal memorabilia includes cards, plaques, driver’s license, calendars, university ID, and maps.

Research material mainly consists of book notes for The Ambonese Curiosity Cabinet, and The Ambonese Herbal.

Financial material includes bill, invoices, and receipts.

Legal material includes contracts and royalty statements.

Photographs in the collection include numerous images of Beekman, both prints and negatives, as well as some photos of Beekman’s family.

Other material includes several pieces of artwork by Beekman.

Notable Figures
1. Beekman, E. M., 1939-2008
Associated Subjects
1. Literary Collections Subject Guide
2. Criticism Subject Guide
3. Authors, Dutch
4. College teachers -- Massachusetts.
5. Dutch literature – 20th century
6. American literature--20th century
7. Photographs