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The bulk of these papers, often referred to as the Yourcenar Bequest Papers, were received in the repository between 1987-1996 after Madame Yourcenar's death on December 17, 1987.The papers also reflect the life and work of MY's companion, Grace Frick.
In his memoirs Gräffer describes the predicament of the early years of his marriage: "That way one child after the other appeared and from that time on I always had to fight against worries and hardship, because everything I undertook failed; every speculation, however safely it had been calculated and however unlikely it was that it would not result in a small advantage for me, was undone by unthinkable obstacles and fatalities." "If I had become a hatter", Gräffer writes in his memoirs, "people certainly would have been born without heads for the only reason of having fate still turning against me." In early 1814 the livelihood of Anton and Franziska Gräffer was based on giving private lessons in French, drawing and playing the guitar.Anton Gräffer refers to his work as guitar teacher as follows: "I on my part took refuge with my instrument, although at that time it already started to go out of fashion and only Maestro Giuliani still preserved its popularity.Thus we spent the first years of our marriage giving lessons." In 1815, in the house of Joseph Hardtmuth, Gräffer made the acquaintance of the publisher Peter Cappi who brought him into contact with the art dealer and publisher Domenico Artaria, who hired Gräffer as accountant and appraiser.When the turn came to Giuliani, Gelinek said to him: "You can nik verse maken; miserabile you speak German." Giuliani, who was a very highly educated man, was a little annoyed by this reproach, because Gelinek had spent almost his entire life in Vienna, but his German was no better than Giuliani's.Out of revenge he therefore imitated on the table the gestures of a very agitated pianist and sang with a serious and loud voice: Gelinek became inflamed with rage, cursed at the laughing circle and insulted both those who wanted to appease him and primarily Giuliani; took his hat and stick and noisily rushed out of the door and away.There are no restrictions to physical access to most of this material. Additional Yourcenar materials are housed elsewhere. Her own library of books is still held at her home, Petite Plaisance (Northeast Harbor, Maine), as are most of her postcards,scrapbooks and photographs.
Item (337) L'Oeuvre au noir is quite fragile and requires approval from curator for access. The earlier accumulation of Marguerite Yourcenar's Papers is also housed at Houghton and has a separate finding aid, cataloged under b MS Fr 372. Manuscripts of L'Oeuvre au noir and Théâtre I are at the Bowdoin College Library, Special Collections.
Quantity: 52 linear feet (144 boxes and 53 volumes)Language of materials: Materials in French and English.
Abstract: Additional papers of Marguerite Yourcenar (1903-1987), the French author, as well as papers of her companion, Grace Frick.
For additional manuscripts cataloged outside these two major groupings, and for a complete listing of printed books by Marguerite Yourcenar held by the Houghton Library, consult Harvard's on-line catalog, HOLLIS. See also the archives of the firm Gallimard in Paris.
Nineteen boxes of ephemeral materials are cataloged by the Houghton Printed Books Department as: Marguerite Yourcenar ephemeral material, under shelf numbers *FC9. Correspondence with Marguerite Yourcenar can also be found at the Woodlawn Museum in Ellsworth, Maine in the Hancock Country Trustees of Public Reservations (HCTPR) Archives, in Series 4, Box 3, sub-series B on the Black House Committee issues dating from 1929-1969.
This group of Marguerite Yourcenar papers received heavy use in the Houghton Reading Room prior to being fully cataloged, and consequently the final arrangement does not necessarily reflect the original order.