John W. Aldridge papers: 1943-2007 (bulk 1950-2000)
Summary Information
Title: John W. Aldridge papers
Creator: Aldridge, John W.
Inclusive dates: 1943-2007
Bulk dates: 1950-2000
Extent: 14.4 linear feet
Abstract:
University of Michigan professor of English (1964-1991), director of the Hopwood Program (1975-1988), USIA Special Ambassador to Germany (1972-1973), and esteemed literary critic. Papers (1943-2004) include extensive personal and professional correspondence, published and unpublished manuscripts and writings, notes and lecture materials for courses taught, USIA program materials and correspondence, topical files, photographs, and audio-visual recordings.
Call number: 2009135 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Kate Donovan, May 2009

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Accession received through Patricia Aldridge in 2009 (donor no. 10178).

Access Restrictions:

The Aldridge papers are open for research except for certain records restricted by statute or university policy.

The Aldridge papers includes restricted material in the following categories:

  1. Student Records -- Box 15

Access Restrictions for University of Michigan Records

University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Records that contain personally identifiable information will be restricted in order to protect individual privacy. Certain administrative records are restricted in accordance with university policy as outlined below. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

Categories of Restricted Records

  • Student educational records : FERPA's protection of personally identifiable information in a student's education records ends at the time of a student's death and therefore is a matter of institutional policy. As a courtesy to the families of recently deceased students who were enrolled at the time of death, the University generally will not release information from their education records for five years without the consent of the deceased student's next of kin. Eighty-five (85) years after the date the records were first created, the University will presume that the student is deceased. Thereafter the student's education records will be open. Student records at the Bentley Historical Library are restricted for eighty-five (85) years, but may also be made available upon proof of the death of the student.

Restricted files are indicated in the contents list of the collection’s finding aid with a restriction note indicating the restriction type and the date of expiration.

For further information on the restriction policy and placing Freedom of Information Act requests for restricted material, consult the reference archivist at the Bentley Historical Library (bentley.ref@umich.edu) or the University of Michigan Freedom of Information Office website (https://foia.vpcomm.umich.edu/).

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Processing Information:

The John W. Aldridge Papers were received by the Bentley as 19 linear feet of records in March 2009, through Patricia Aldridge, John W. Aldridge's widow. While some of these records clearly reflected Aldridge's original organizational schema, the majority of the records lacked any indication of original order. The processor attempted to respect this original order in so far as was possible, but at the same time imposed an organizational structure onto the records.

The Correspondence series mirrors Aldridge's own organizational schema in which Aldridge maintained separate files for some correspondents, while grouping other letters together by year. The materials in series were loosely organized chronologically by twenty year periods, but were not in chronological order. Thus, in processing the correspondence, the processor adhered to the implied organizational structure and organized the letters both by year and correspondent. In some cases, as with the Norman Mailer correspondence, some letters were originally filled by name and others by decade. In cases such as these, with major literary figures or important correspondents, the processor filled the letters by correspondent name. .

The records in the Biographical Materials, Hopwood Awards Program, and Lectures and Addresses series were all combined together and the processor imposed an organizational structure upon them. The materials in the USIA/Special Ambassador, Teaching, and Writing series were roughly organized, that is, segregated from one another, but not organized at any greater level of detail. Thus, the processor organized the different components of these series into more discernible subseries and levels. The Scrapbooks and Audio-Visual Materials series reflect the original order of the files as received by the Bentley.

In preparing digital material for long-term preservation and access, the Bentley Historical Library adheres to professional best practices and standards to ensure that content will retain its authenticity and integrity. For more information on procedures for the ingest and processing of digital materials, please see Bentley Historical Library Digital Processing Note. Access to digital material may be provided either as a direct link to an individual file or as a downloadable package of files bundled in a zip file.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, John W. Aldridge papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


History

John (Jack) Watson Aldridge was an esteemed literary critic and professor of English at the University of Michigan (1964-1991). As a critic, Aldridge devoted himself to what he called "the ideal of creative independence and free critical dissent which has come down to us in the central tradition of American thought and letters," (Current Biography, 1958) and throughout his career he commented upon and critiqued many of the twentieth century's most important writers, including Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, Ralph Ellison, John Horne Burns, Malcolm Cowley, Arthur Miller, Gore Vidal, Wright Morris, Saul Bellow, William Styron, Philip Roth, and Truman Capote, many of whom he also counted as his friends.

John W. Aldridge was born on September 26, 1922 in Sioux City, Iowa to Walther Copher and Nell Madge (Watson) Aldridge. Aldridge spent his early years in Iowa, until the age of twelve, when the family moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Aldridge attend the University of Chattanooga (now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) from 1940 to 1943, and studied English during the summer of 1942 at Middlebury College's School of English at Bread Loaf in Vermont, prior to enlisting in the Army and serving in World War II as an infantry rifleman and information specialist (July 1943- August 1945). Following his military service, during which he earned a Bronze Star and five battle stars for Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe, and the Ardennes, Aldridge enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley in 1946. At Berkeley, Aldridge worked as the editor of the school's Occident literary magazine, and earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1947.

Prior to coming to the University of Michigan, Aldridge was a lecturer and later assistant professor at the University of Vermont (1948-1950, 1954-1955), a lecturer for the Christian Gauss Seminars in Criticism at Princeton University (1953-1955), and a visiting professor at Sarah Lawrence College (1956-1957), Queens College of the City of New York (1957), and New York University (1958). Aldridge also served as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Munich (1958-1959) and the University of Copenhagen (1962-1963), and as critic-in-residence and visiting professor at Hollins College (1959-1962).

Aldridge came to the University of Michigan in 1964 as a visiting associate professor of English language and literature, and was promoted to professor in 1965. Aldridge was well-known at Michigan for his lectures on the contemporary novel, and his students heralded his teaching abilities. In addition to guiding the scholarship of scores of graduate and undergraduate students, Aldridge also served as the chair of the editorial board of the Michigan Quarterly Review (1978-1992), and director of the Hopwood Program at the University of Michigan and chair of the Hopwood Writing Awards Committee (1975-1988).

In addition to traditional academic appointments, Aldridge also served as a Special Ambassador for American Studies at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany (1972-1973), as a book commentator and reviewer for "The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour" on public television, and as a book critic for the New York Herald Tribune Book Week (1965-1966) and the Saturday Review (1970-1979). Aldridge was also the recipient of a Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship for the 1976-1977 academic year.

Aldridge was an active writer and critic throughout his career, publishing numerous essays and book reviews in a wide range of publications, including Harper's Magazine, Saturday Review, New York Times Book Review, Partisan Review, Nation, Playboy, Commentary, The Sewanee Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The American Scholar, Chronicles, Esquire, Chicago Tribune Book World, New Republic, New York Herald Tribune Book Week, and Life. Aldridge was also a co-founder, with author Vance Bourjaily, in 1951 of Discovery magazine, an influential literary magazine published by Pocket Books.

In addition to writing regular essays and book reviews, Aldridge was the author of numerous works of literary criticism, a novel The Party at Cranton, and a sociological study of youth culture, In the Country of the Young. Aldridge considered his literary criticism of contemporary writers his most important work, however, telling Contemporary Authors (Gale, 2002), "I am, and have always wanted to be, a critic of the literature of my own time. With the exception of my novel, The Party at Cranton, and an informal sociological study , In the Country of the Young, my books have all been studies of current literature, primarily American fiction. I have never considered criticism in any sense a minor or inferior literary form, and one of my ambitions has been to write criticism in such a way that it can be seen to have the qualities of style, structure, and dramatic development which are normally associated with fiction." Aldridge placed such primacy on his critical works that he devoted a substantial portion of his unpublished autobiography, Against the Current, to discussions of the intellectual bases of his criticism and the sometimes laudatory, sometimes negative, reception it received.

Aldridge's first book of criticism After the Lost Generation (1951), was one of the first critical treatment of major post-war writers such as Norman Mailer, John Horne Burns, Truman Capote, Gore Vidal, and others, and earned Aldridge high acclaim in the literary world and established his reputation as one of the foremost literary critics of his generation. When After the Lost Generation was reprinted in 1985, Norman Mailer wrote in the "Introduction," that "Aldridge was the nearest guideline to absolute truth that the working novelist had in my young days. I wonder if there was ever a critic who understood any better the roots of the problems that beset the novelists of his own generation." Aldridge's literary criticism incited strong reactions amongst those in the literary world, with Gore Vidal including him in a list of "literary gangsters." Aldridge, however, relished the impassioned responses to his work, saying, "I suppose I have had what is called a 'controversial' career. All my books have provoked argument and discussion. And, I am pleased that this should be so, for I function best in an atmosphere of controversy and would very probably die if I were ever read with indifference." (World Authors, 1950-1970, 1975)

During the long course of his career Aldridge contributed introductions, forewords, and essays to numerous works, in addition to serving as an editor for Critiques and Essays on Modern Fiction (1952) and Selected Stories of P.G. Wodehouse (1958). Aldridge was also the author of nine books: After the Lost Generation (1951), In Search of Heresy: American Literature in an Age of Conformity (1956), The Party at Cranton (1960), Time to Murder and Create (1966), In the Country of the Young (1970), The Devil in the Fire (1972), The American Novel and the Way We Live Now (1983), Talents and Technicians (1992), and Classics and Contemporaries (1992).

Aldridge retired as an University of Michigan professor of English in 1991. While in retirement with emeritus status (1991-2007), Aldridge maintained an active scholarly lifestyle and continued producing articles and book reviews, as well as writing two unpublished manuscripts In the Company of Lions, a work of criticism, and Against the Current, a memoir. Married five times and the father of five sons, John W. Aldridge died February 7, 2007.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The John W. Aldridge Papers document the professional and personal life of one of the twentieth century's most distinguished literary critics, and a longtime University of Michigan professor of English. The records in this collection measure 14.4 linear feet, and date from 1943 to 2006, with the majority of the records from the period 1950 to 2000. They are primarily comprised of correspondence, lectures and addresses, teaching materials, writings and publications, research notes, clippings, program and topical files, and are arranged into nine series: Biographical Materials, Correspondence, Hopwood Awards Program, Lectures and Addresses, Scrapbooks, Teaching, USIA/Special Ambassador, Writings, and Audio-Visual Materials.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
  • Criticism -- United States.
  • American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
  • Criticism -- United States.
  • Authors, American -- 20th century.
  • World War, 1939-1945.
  • Photographs.
  • Sound recordings.
  • Videotapes.
  • University of Michigan. Department of English Language and Literature.
  • University of Michigan. Avery Hopwood and Jule Hopwood Prizes.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • Mailer, Norman.
  • Styron, William, 1925-2006.
  • Blackmur, R.P. (Richard P.), 1904-1965.
  • Buckley, William F., Jr. (William Frank), 1925-2008.
  • Cowley, Malcolm, 1898-1989.
  • Ellison, Ralph.
  • Gaddis, William, 1922-1998.
  • Heller, Joseph.
  • Mailer, Norman.
  • Miller, Arthur, 1915-2005.
  • Nin, Anaís, 1903-1977.
  • Morris, Wright, 1910-1998.
  • Styron, William, 1925-2006.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Biographical Materials 1945-2000 [series]

The Biographical Materials series, 1943-2000 (0.25 linear ft.), contains materials on the Aldridge family genealogy, Aldridge's veteran status, Aldridge's fifty-year high school reunion, and undated photographs that appear to span the period from 1943 to 1985, approximately.

Box   1  
Aldridge Genealogy
Box   1  
Aldridge, Nell
Box   1  
Class Reunion
Box   1  
Curriculum Vitae and Profile
Box   1  
Photographs (2 folders)
Box   1  
Veteran Records
 
Correspondence 1943-2006 [series]

The Correspondence series, 1943-2006 (3 linear ft.), contains correspondence both to and from John W. Aldridge over a 66 year span. The series is organized into subseries chronologically by year, as well as by correspondent. In addition to personal and business letters, this series also includes a subseries of letters of recommendation Aldridge wrote on his students and colleagues' behalf. Noteworthy materials in this series include a 53 year correspondence with Aldridge's friend Grant Genung and correspondence with four of Aldridge's wives, as well as original and photocopied letters from William J. Buckley, Jr., John Dos Passos, Ralph Ellison, William Gaddis, Donald Hall, Joseph Heller, Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Arthur Miller, Wright Morris, Anäis Nin, William Styron, Lionel Trilling, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Penn Warren, Tom Wolfe, and P.G. Wodehouse.

Researchers should note that while much of the correspondence in the John W. Aldridge Papers can be found in the correspondence series, additional correspondence is located in the Hopwood Awards Program, Lectures and Addresses, Teaching, USIA/Special Ambassador, and Writings series.

 
By Year [subseries]
Box   1  
1945
Box   1  
1947
Box   1  
1948
Box   1  
1949
Box   1  
1950
Box   1  
1951
Box   1  
1952
Box   1  
1953
Box   1  
1954
Box   1  
1955
Box   1  
1956
Box   1  
1957
Box   1  
1958
Box   1  
1959
Box   1  
1960
Box   1  
1961
Box   1  
1962 (2 folders)
Box   1  
1963 (2 folders)
Box   1  
1964
Box   1  
1965
Box   1  
1966
Box   1  
1967
Box   1  
1968
Box   2  
1969
Box   2  
1970
Box   2  
1971
Box   2  
1972
Box   2  
1973
Box   2  
1974
Box   2  
1975
Box   2  
1976
Box   2  
1977
Box   2  
1978
Box   2  
1979
Box   2  
1980
Box   2  
1981
Box   2  
1982
Box   2  
1983
Box   2  
1984
Box   2  
1985
Box   2  
1986
Box   2  
1987
Box   2  
1988
Box   2  
1990s
Box   2  
2000-2004
Box   2  
Undated
 
By Correspondent [subseries]
Box   2  
Agnew, Spiro
Box   2  
Aldridge, Alexandra
Box   2  
Aldridge, Henry
Box   2  
Aldridge, Jeremy
Box   2  
Aldridge, John W. (correspondence to Grant Genung) 1943-1953
Box   2  
Aldridge, Lanice
Box   2  
Aldridge, Leslie
Box   2  
Aldridge, Patricia
Box   2  
Aldridge, Pieter
Box   2  
Aldridge, Stephen
Box   2  
Allen, Steve
Box   2  
Blackmur, R.P. (Richard Palmer)
Box   2  
Bowles, Paul
Box   2  
Brooks, Van Wyck
Box   2  
Brossard, Chandler
Box   2  
Buckley, William F. Jr.
Box   2  
Cochran, Robert
Box   2  
Cowley, Malcolm
Box   2  
Dickey, James
Box   2  
Dos Passos, John
Box   2  
Ellison, Ralph
Box   2  
Erbe, Pamela
Box   2  
Fleming, Thomas
Box   3  
Gaddis, William
Box   3  
Gaiser, Carolyn
 
Genung, Grant (12 folders)
Box   3  
1949-1954
Box   3  
1960
Box   3  
1970
Box   3  
1971
Box   3  
1972
Box   3  
1973
Box   3  
1975
Box   3  
1976
Box   3  
1977-1978
Box   3  
1980-1989
Box   3  
1990-1994
Box   3  
2001-2002
Box   3  
Genung, Lorraine
Box   3  
Gold, Herbert
Box   3  
Hall, Donald
Box   3  
Hebel, Udo
Box   3  
Heller, Joseph
Box   3  
Horowitz, Glen
Box   3  
Kazin, Alfred
Box   3  
Knoll, Robert
Box   3  
Kostelantz, Richard
Box   3  
Kumin, Maxine
Box   3  
Leclair, Tom
Box   3  
Leigh, Colston
Box   3  
Lennon, J. Michael
Box   3  
Lucid, Robert
Box   3  
MacDonald, John D.
Box   3  
Mailer, Norman
Box   3  
Malamud, Bernard
Box   3  
Manchester, William
Box   3  
McCauley, Gerard (2 folders)
Box   3  
Miller, Arthur
Box   3  
Morris, Wright
Box   3  
Ndongo, Oumar
Box   3  
New York Times Book Review
Box   3  
Nin, Anäis
Box   3  
Panichas, George
Box   3  
Pritchett, V.S.
Box   3  
Ramsey, Paul
Box   3  
Styron, William
Box   3  
Targ, William
Box   3  
Tate, Allen
Box   3  
Tomkins, Calvin
Box   3  
Trilling, Lionel
Box   3  
Updike, John
Box   3  
Vidal, Gore
Box   3  
Vonnegut, Kurt
Box   3  
Warren, Robert Penn
Box   3  
Willingham, Calder
Box   3  
Wolfe, Tom
Box   3  
Wodehouse, P.G.
 
Letters of Recommendation [subseries]
Box   4  
Colleague Recommendations
Box   15  
Student Recommendations (4 folders)  [Student records restricted until July 01, 2089]
 
Hopwood Awards Program 1964-2000 [series]

The records in the Hopwood Awards Program series, 1964-2000 (0.25 linear ft.), document Aldridge's work with the University of Michigan's Hopwood writing program. The series contains administrative files, program materials for the fiftieth anniversary of the Hopwood Festival, and Aldridge's introductory and welcome addresses for Hopwood speakers, including Joan Didion, E.L. Doctorow, William Gaddis, Joseph Heller, Lewis Lapham, Norman Mailer, Bernard Malamud, Walker Percy, and Tom Wolfe, among others.

Box   4  
Administrative
Box   4  
Hopwood Festival/50th Anniversary
 
Hopwood Lecture (26 folders)
Box   4  
Alvarez, Al
Box   4  
Delbanco, Nicholas
Box   4  
Didion, Joan
Box   4  
Doctorow, E.L.
Box   4  
Gaddis, William
Box   4  
Garrett, George
Box   4  
Hall, Donald
Box   4  
Heller, Joseph
Box   4  
Justice, Donald
Box   4  
Lapham, Lewis
Box   4  
Kingston, Maxine Hong
Box   4  
Kizer, Carolyn
Box   4  
Kumin, Maxine
Box   4  
Kunitz, Stanley
Box   4  
Mailer, Norman
Box   4  
Malmud, Bernard
Box   4  
Merrill, James
Box   4  
Oates, Joyce Carol
Box   4  
Percy, Walker
Box   4  
Rexroth, Kenneth
Box   4  
Sharrar, Jack
Box   4  
Simon, John
Box   4  
Simpson, Eileen
Box   4  
Spender, Stephen
Box   4  
Wilbur, Richard
Box   4  
Wolfe, Tom
 
Lectures and Addresses 1951-1995 [series]

The Lectures and Addresses series, 1951-1995 (0.25 linear ft.), includes drafts and final copies of lectures, addresses, and presentations Aldridge gave at academic conferences, university functions, and memorial services. Included in this series are remarks Aldridge gave at the State University of New York at Potsdam on the work of T. Coraghessan Boyle, as well as his address and notes for a conference at the US Air Force Academy in 1986 celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Joseph Heller's Catch-22.

Box   4  
City College "The Outlook for the Future in American Fiction"
Box   4  
Columbia University "The Outlook for the Future of American Fiction"
Box   4  
Detroit Women Writers
Box   4  
"Following After the Lost Generation"
Box   4  
Gindin, James Memorial
Box   4  
Hayden, Robert Conference
Box   4  
Hillsdale College, "The Novel and the Imperial Self"
Box   4  
Modern Language Association Convention/Norman Mailer Panel
Box   4  
Potsdam Conference, "The Bountifully Talented Mr. Boyle"
Box   4  
Powers, Lyall
Box   4  
Rice, Warner
Box   4  
Squires, James Radcliffe Memorial
Box   4  
University of Michigan Alumni Association, "The American Novel"
Box   4  
University of Michigan English Department Emeriti Luncheon
Box   4  
University of Michigan, Presidents' Club Spring Weekend, "What Makes a Best Seller?"
Box   4  
University of Vermont, "Education at the University of Vermont--Four Years of What?"
Box   4  
US Air Force Academy Catch-22 Conference
 
Scrapbooks 1947-1992 [series]

The Scrapbooks series, 1947-1992 (1 linear ft.), includes seven scrapbooks assembled by Aldridge containing clippings of reviews of his published works.

Box   5  
1947-1952
Box   5  
1953-1956
Box   5  
1956-1959
Box   5  
1959-1961
Box   5  
1963
Box   5  
Undated (2 volumes)
 
Teaching 1948-1991 [series]

Materials in the Teaching series, 1948-1991 (2.5 linear ft.), document Aldridge's long teaching career and scholarship on the contemporary American novel. This series is divided into five subseries: administrative materials, assignments, course descriptions and syllabi, lecture/class notes, and students.

 
Administrative Materials [subseries]

The administrative materials subseries documents Aldridge's academic appointments at different institutions, and contains his curriculum vitae, teaching evaluations, and teaching-related correspondence. The assignments subseries includes copies of final exams for courses taught by Aldridge, as well as preliminary exam questions. The course descriptions and syllabi subseries has copies of the course descriptions, syllabi, and class schedules for the English courses Aldridge taught over the course of his career and documents his evolving approach to his courses on the contemporary novel. The lecture/class notes subseries is the largest in the teaching series, and contains notes, drafts, and completed lectures on a wide range of topics including modernism and postmodernism, writers between the world wars, politics and literature, and the state of the American novel, as well as lectures on individual authors.

 
Academic Appointments (7 folders)
Box   6  
Hollins College
Box   6  
New York University
Box   6  
Princeton
Box   6  
Queens College
Box   6  
University of Copenhagen
Box   6  
University of Michigan
Box   6  
University of Vermont
Box   6  
Correspondence
Box   6  
Curriculum Vitae
Box   6  
Evaluations
Box   6  
Reports
Box   6  
Research Partnership Application
Box   6  
Salary
Box   6  
University of Houston
Box   6  
United States Educational Commission for France
 
Assignments [subseries]
Box   6  
Final Exams
Box   6  
Preliminary Exam Questions
 
Course Descriptions and Syllabi [subseries]
Box   6  
English 539, "Classic Contemporary Novel"
Box   6  
Syllabi and Course Schedules
 
Lecture/Class Notes [subseries]
Box   6  
American Fiction 1920-1958
Box   6  
American Novel
Box   6  
Austen, Jane
Box   6  
Background of Modernism
Box   6  
Barth, John Simmons
Box   6  
Beat Generation
Box   6  
Beckett, Samuel
Box   6  
Burns, John Horne
Box   6  
Browning, Robert
Box   6  
Camus, Albert
Box   6  
Capote, Truman & McCullers, Carson
 
Conrad, Joseph (4 folders)
Box   6  
Chance
Box   6  
General
Box   6  
Heart of Darkness
Box   6  
Under Western Eyes
Box   6  
Conrad, Joseph & Joyce, James
Box   6  
DeLillo, Don
Box   6  
Didion, Joan
Box   6  
Dostoevsky, Fyodor
Box   6  
Eliot, T.S.
Box   6  
Ellison, Ralph
Box   6  
English 151: Introduction to English Literature
Box   6  
"Everyman"
Box   6  
Faulkner, William
Box   6  
Fitzgerald, F. Scott (2 folders)
Box   6  
Flaubert, Gustave
Box   6  
Forms of the English Novel
Box   6  
Frazer, James George, Marx, Karl and Nietzsche, Friedrich
Box   6  
Freud, Sigmund
Box   6  
Gide, André
Box   6  
Hawkes, John
 
Heller, Joseph (2 folders)
Box   6  
Catch-22
Box   6  
Something Happened
 
Hemingway, Ernest (3 folders)
Box   6  
A Farewell to Arms
Box   6  
General
Box   6  
The Sun Also Rises
Box   7  
Huxley, Aldous
 
James, Henry (5 folders)
Box   7  
The Ambassadors
Box   7  
Daisy Miller
Box   7  
Early & Middle Period
Box   7  
Portrait of a Lady
Box   7  
Turn of the Screw
 
Joyce, James (4 folders)
Box   7  
Dubliners
Box   7  
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Box   7  
Ulysses (2 folders)
Box   7  
Jung, Carl
Box   7  
Kafka, Franz
Box   7  
Kosinski, Jerzy
Box   7  
Lessing, Dorris
Box   7  
Mann, Thomas
Box   7  
March, William
Box   7  
Metaphysical Poets
Box   7  
Modernism
Box   7  
Modernism and Postmodernism
Box   7  
Nabokov, Vladimir
Box   7  
Nietzsche, Friedrich
Box   7  
Penn Warren, Robert
Box   7  
"The Phoenix"
Box   7  
Plath, Sylvia
Box   7  
Poetry
Box   7  
Politics and Literature
Box   7  
Salinger, J.D.
Box   7  
Shakespeare, William
Box   7  
Styron, William
Box   7  
Techniques of Fiction
Box   7  
Thirties
Box   7  
Tolstoy, Leo
Box   7  
Twenties
Box   7  
Vonnegut, Kurt
Box   7  
Woolf, Virginia
Box   7  
World War I and Literature
Box   7  
World War II and Literature
 
"Writers of the Two World Wars" (2 folders)
Box   7  
General
Box   7  
Summation
 
Students [subseries]
Box   7  
Graduate Students
 
Topical Files 1967-2003 [series]

The Topical Files series, 1967-2003 (0.25 linear ft.), includes a variety of materials that Aldridge segregated into separate files within his personal papers. Subjects in the topical files series include Leslie (Felker) Aldridge (Aldridge's third wife), Eileen Bender, Alan Cheuse, the Norman Mailer Society, Charles Keller Watson, and the National Humanities institute.

Box   7  
Aldridge (Felker), Leslie
Box   7  
Bender, Eileen
Box   7  
Cheuse, Alan
Box   7  
National Humanities Institute
Box   7  
Norman Mailer Society
Box   7  
Watson, Charles Keller
 
USIA/ Special Ambassador 1971-1974 [series]

The USIA/Special Ambassador series, 1971-1974 (0.25 linear ft.), contains records documenting Aldridge's 1972-1973 appointment by the United States Information Agency (USIA) as a Special Ambassador for American Studies to the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany. The series includes correspondence relating to the appointment and Aldridge's cultural mission, information on the German-American Writers Conference he organized, program materials, and lectures Aldridge gave in thirteen European cities.

Box   8  
Correspondence (2 folders)
Box   8  
1972
Box   8  
1973
Box   8  
German-American Writers Conference
 
Lectures (11 folders)
Box   8  
Berlin
Box   8  
Barcelona/Madrid
Box   8  
Brussels
Box   8  
Dusseldorf
Box   8  
Hamburg/Luneberg
Box   8  
Helsinki
Box   8  
London
Box   8  
Marburg
Box   8  
Paris
Box   8  
Regensburg
Box   8  
Stuttgart
Box   8  
Program Materials
 
Writings 1943-2007 [series]

The materials in the Writings series, 1943-2007 (5.25 linear ft.), document Aldridge's scholarly and creative work over a 64 year period. The series is organized into three subseries; publications, projects, and unpublished writings.

 
Publications [subseries]

The publications subseries is further divided into files devoted to administrative materials (such as contracts and permissions), books Discovery magazine, essays, and reviews. The publications subseries includes correspondence, notes, drafts, manuscripts for Aldridge's books After the Lost Generation, The American Novel and the Way We Live Now, Classics and Contemporaries, The Devil in the Fire, In the Country of the Young, In Search of Heresy, The Party at Cranton, Selected Stories by P.G. Wodehouse, Talents and Technicians, and Time to Murder and Create. This subseries also includes drafts, manuscripts, and correspondence relating to Aldridge's published book reviews and essays, including some of those for which he garnered significant literary attention, including "Afterthoughts on the Twenties and The Sun Also Rises," "Catch-22 Twenty-Five Years Later," and "New American Assembly Line Fiction."

 
Administrative Materials
Box   8  
Contracts
Box   8  
Dust Jackets
Box   8  
Reprints and Permissions
Box   8  
Articles (Magazine Pieces and Reviews)
 
Books
 
After the Lost Generation
Box   8  
Correspondence
Box   8  
Manuscript (2 folders)
Box   8  
Promotions
 
The American Novel and the Way We Live Now
Box   8  
Correspondence
Box   8  
Manuscript (2 folders)
Box   8  
Notes
Box   8  
Publication
Box   8  
Promotion
Box   8  
Reviews
 
Classics & Contemporaries
Box   8  
Publication
Box   8  
Promotion
 
The Devil in the Fire
Box   8  
Promotions
Box   9  
Manuscript (5 folders)
 
In the Country of the Young
Box   9  
British Edition
Box   9  
Correspondence (2 folders)
Box   9  
Drafts and Notes (9 folders)
Box   10  
Manuscript (3 folders)
Box   10  
Promotions
 
In Search of Heresy
Box   10  
Correspondence
Box   10  
Revised Edition Notes and Drafts
Box   10  
Manuscript
 
The Party at Cranton
Box   10  
Correspondence (2 folders)
Box   10  
Manuscript
Box   10  
Promotions
 
Selected Stories by P.G. Wodehouse
Box   10  
Correspondence
Box   10  
Notes
 
Talents & Technicians: Literary Chic and the New Assembly Line
Box   10  
Correspondence
Box   10  
Manuscript (2 folders)
Box   10  
Publication
Box   10  
Reviews
 
Time to Murder and Create
Box   10  
Manuscript (2 folders)
 
Discovery Magazine
Box   10  
Editorial Letter
 
Essays
Box   10  
"Afterthoughts on the Twenties and The Sun Also Rises" (2 folders)
Box   10  
"American Fiction Then and Now"
Box   10  
"American Literature as a Reflection of American Culture"
Box   10  
"Catch-22: Critical Reception and Literary Impact"
Box   10  
"Catch-22 Twenty-Five Years Later"
Box   10  
"Communication"
Box   10  
"Cormac McCarthy's Bizarre Genius"
Box   10  
"Fact as Fiction; Fiction as Fact"
Box   10  
"Fiction In Search of a Subject"
 
"Hostages to Fortune" (2 folders)
Box   10  
Correspondence
Box   10  
Manuscript
Box   10  
"Improving on Alison Lurie"
Box   10  
"In Memory of William Faulkner"
Box   10  
"Introduction to The End of My Life"
Box   10  
"Introduction to The Grandmothers"
Box   10  
"Introduction to Hamilton Basso's The View from Pompey's Head"
Box   10  
"Introduction to John Horne Burns' The Gallery"
Box   10  
"The Irrelevance of Outrage in Recent Southern Fiction"
Box   11  
"Little Magazines"
Box   11  
"Malcolm Cowley at Eighty"
Box   11  
"Miller and Mailer"
Box   11  
"New American Assembly Line Fiction"
Box   11  
"The New Generation of Writers," Correspondence
Box   11  
"No One in Charge"
Box   11  
"Note: The New Generation of Writers"
Box   11  
"On Norman Mailer"
Box   11  
"The Place of Values in Contemporary American Fiction"
Box   11  
"Proposal for a National Student Organization"
Box   11  
"Speaking of Books"
Box   11  
Untitled Essays
Box   11  
"War and Contemporary Literature"
Box   11  
"William Styron's Holocaust Chic"
Box   11  
"World War II and the Contemporary American Novel"
Box   11  
"Wright Morris"
Box   11  
"Wright Morris Country"
 
Reviews
Box   11  
Alley Jaggers by Paul West
Box   11  
An American Dream by Norman Mailer
Box   11  
American Fictions 1940/1980 by Frederick R. Karl
Box   11  
Bluebeard by Kurt Vonnegut
Box   11  
The Brigadier and the Gold Widow by John Cheever
Box   11  
Celine: A Biography by Patrick McCarthy
Box   11  
Closing Time: The Sequel to Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Box   11  
Cold Spring Harbor by Richard Yates
Box   11  
The Collected Essays, Journalism, and Letters of George Orwell edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus
Box   11  
The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter by Katherine Anne Porter
Box   11  
The Dangerous Summer by Ernest Hemingway
Box   11  
Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut
Box   11  
The Death of William Posters by Alan Sillitoe
Box   11  
The Devil's Stocking by Nelson Algren and Sam Holman by James T. Farrell
Box   11  
The Diaries of Evelyn Waugh by Michael Davie
Box   11  
The End of Intelligent Writing by Richard Kostelanetz
Box   11  
Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters Edited by Carlos Baker
Box   11  
Exile's Return by Malcolm Cowley
Box   11  
Genius and Lust by Norman Mailer
Box   11  
Great Tom by T.S. Matthews
Box   11  
Harlot's Ghost, Norman Mailer
Box   11  
Hellman and Hammett by Joan Mellen
Box   11  
Henry James: The Master by Leon Edel
Box   11  
Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
Box   11  
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
Box   11  
Instant Chronicles and A Mania for Sentences by D.J. Enright
Box   11  
The Intricate Music by Thomas Kiernan
Box   11  
James Gould Cozzens by Matthew J. Bruccoli
Box   11  
JR by William Gaddis
Box   11  
Kalki by Gore Vidal
Box   11  
The Late John Marquand by J.B. Lippincott
Box   11  
Making It by Norman Podhoretz
Box   11  
The Man Who Knew Kennedy by Vance Bourjaily
Box   11  
My Life As A Man by Philip Roth
Box   11  
Of the Farm by John Updike
Box   11  
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Box   11  
Principles and Persuasions by Anthony West
Box   11  
The Ragman's Daughter and Other Stories by Alan Sillitoe
Box   11  
The Saddest Story by Arthur Mizener
Box   11  
The Schatten Affair by Frederic Morton
Box   11  
Seduction and Betrayal by Elisabeth Hardwick
Box   11  
Selected Letters of William Faulkner edited by Joseph Blotner
Box   11  
A Sinking Island: The Modern English Writers by Hugh Kenner
Box   11  
The Sixties by Edmund Wilson
Box   11  
Something Happened by Joseph Heller
 
Reviews (cont.)
Box   11  
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Box   11  
Stephen Crane Edited by Robert Wooster Stallman
Box   11  
Success Stories by Russell Banks
Box   11  
The Tidewater Tales by John Barth Putnam
Box   11  
Tough Guys Don't Dance by Norman Mailer
Box   11  
The Twenties By Edmund Wilson
Box   11  
The Unwritten War by Daniel Aaron
Box   11  
Vulnerable People by Josephine Hendin
Box   11  
Whistle by James Jones
Box   11  
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Box   11  
Why Are We in Vietnam? by Norman Mailer
Box   11  
William Faulkner: American Writer by Frederick R. Karl
 
Projects [subseries]

The projects subseries includes a range of written materials on a variety of projects in which Aldridge participated either as an author, interviewer, reviewer, or advisor. Records in this subseries include notes and transcripts of an interview between Aldridge and Norman Mailer (related note: the audiotape of this interview is in the audio-visual series in box 14), Aldridge's work as a reviewer for the "MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour," his work for the Michigan Quarterly Review, and his notes as a member of the advisory board for the WETA television program "William Kennedy's Albany," and his notes for a biography of George Orwell.

Box   11  
Aldridge-Garrett Interview
Box   11  
Aldridge-Mailer Interview
Box   11  
American Studies Seminar
Box   11  
Bread Loaf
Box   11  
Fulbright Program
Box   11  
Guggenheim Fellowship
Box   11  
MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour
Box   11  
Michigan Quarterly Review Editorial Board
Box   11  
Orwell Biography
Box   11  
Program in Literature and Culture in the Netherlands
Box   11  
"Reviewing of Novels," Rockefeller Foundation
Box   11  
WETA Advisory Board, "Authors' America"
 
Unpublished Writings [subseries]

The unpublished writings subseries includes notes, drafts, and manuscripts of poems, reviews, and novels, as well as for books of criticism and a memoir. While some of the materials in this series may have been published later in another form, the materials here constitute drafts and notes. Among the noteworthy materials in this series are early writings from Aldridge's military and college years, an unpublished work of criticism title In the Company of Lions that Aldridge completed in the years before his death, and his unpublished memoir, Against the Current.

Box   12  
"After Television Violence, What?"
 
Against the Current
Box   12  
Correspondence
Box   12  
Manuscript (2 folders)
Box   12  
Notes
Box   12  
"Alaska Helicopter Hunt"
Box   12  
Alpine Novel
Box   12  
"American Metropolis in Contemporary Fiction"
Box   12  
Bellow, Saul and The Adventures of Augie March
Box   12  
Cannes
Box   12  
Capote, Truman
Box   12  
Contemporary Novel Proposal
Box   12  
Contemporary Novelists Notes and Drafts
Box   12  
The Day of the Wedding Notes and Drafts
Box   12  
"Definitions on a Moral Theme"
 
Early Writings (3 folders)
Box   12  
1943-1948
Box   12  
To Sleep Against the Ground
Box   12  
Untitled
Box   12  
"England and America"
Box   12  
English Novelists Drafts
Box   12  
Fables and Fantasies
Box   12  
Fleming, Ian and James Bond
Box   12  
The Flight of the Lion
Box   12  
The Friends
Box   12  
Halloween
Box   12  
Huxley, Aldous
Box   12  
Idea for a Novel
 
In the Company of Lions
Box   12  
Correspondence
Box   12  
Drafts (7 folders)
Box   13  
Manuscript (4 folders)
Box   13  
The Laboratory
Box   13  
Lawrence, D.H., Notes
Box   13  
Mailer, Norman
Box   13  
Munich Article
Box   13  
Novel Notes
Box   13  
"Prodigy"
Box   13  
Pynchon, Thomas Notes and Drafts
Box   13  
Ravello (Italian Novel) Notes and Drafts
Box   13  
"Self Image"
Box   13  
The Temper of Place Drafts
Box   13  
Three Trains
Box   13  
Three Women
Box   13  
"A Visit with Norman Mailer"
Box   13  
Why I Left America Notes and Drafts
Box   13  
"The Writer at the Present Time"
Box   13  
Writing Notebook
Box   13  
Writing Notes and Drafts (2 folders)
 
Audio-Visual Materials 1950s-1995 [series]

The Audio-Visual series, 1950s-1995 (1 linear ft.), consists of audio and visual materials documenting Aldridge's projects. The series includes video of Aldridge's appearance at a conference on T. Coraghessan Boyle, as well as a video of the series "William Kennedy's Albany," on which Aldridge served as a consultant. There are also two audio cassettes in the series, one with Aldridge's 1979 interview with Norman Mailer, and the other titled "Jack on the Death of Cousin." Additionally, the series contains 21 reel-to-reel audiotapes circa 1950s, one of which contains audio of a dinner hosted by Aldridge and attended by Norman Mailer and William Styron.

Box   14  
Audio Cassettes (2 audiotapes)
Box   14  
"Mailer-Aldridge Tape," 1979
Box   14  
"Jack on 'The Death of Cousin' and Jack with Alexis and Michael Allen," 1969
Box   14  
Reel-to-Reel Audiotapes circa 1950s (20 audiotapes (reel-to-reel tapes))

(labels include "Burlingame," "Canby," "Cowley," "Fadiman", "Fisher," "Geismar," "Marquand," "Norman and Jack," "Styron, Mailer, etc." and "Jack on "Night Beat, April 3, 1957")

Box   14  
Soundscriber Dictation Recording Disks circa 1950s
 
Videotapes (2 videotapes (VHS (TM)))
Box   14  
"A Symposium on Contemporary American Fiction Featuring: T. Coraghessan Boyle, State University of New York College at Potsdam," 1995
Box   14  
"William Kennedy's Albany," WETA 1996