Stephen Enniss, Director of the Harry Ransom Center said the “acquisition represents a rare opportunity to share the work of a living, internationally-acclaimed author whose works are of strong interest to readers everywhere.”
McEwan said of the value of the archive, “The writer tends to forget rapidly the routes he or she discarded along the way. Sometimes the path towards a finished novel takes surprising twists. It’s rarely an even development. For example, my novel Atonement started out as a science fiction story set two or three centuries into future.”
McEwan continued, “I was recently awarded the (Oxford) Bodleian medal. After accepting it, I was shown some of the items in their extensive historical archives. It was deeply moving, to hold in my hand a notebook of the 17-year-old Jane Austen. And then, to turn the pages of Kafka’s first draft of Metamorphosis. An archive takes you right to the heart of the literary creation; it makes for an emotional connection that anyone who loves literature will understand. The experience is almost sensual. Beyond that, of course, critical and biographical work on writers is completely dependent on the resources of a world-class archive collection like the Ransom Centre.”
Browse Relevant Books:
Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, author Nate Pedersen
Rare Finds are a special feature from Biblio and the wonderful writers at Fine Books & Collections. Visit their site to see more about the rare book trade.