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Philip Whalen Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Autograph notebook containing two rhymes, several addresses, proposed menu, several lines of untitled poetry, and description of a hike with Locke around Mt. Tamalpais on April 18, 1959. Also, contains impressions of San Francisco, written during a walk on February 27, 1960. 17 pages. Brief dialogue-play, written March 12, 1969, based on traditional Prometheus legend. 10 pages

Autograph notebook containing addresses, notes on behavior of teenagers, etc

Autograph notebook containing draft of untitled prose work in four sequential chapter installments, beginning “At the age of thirty I decided to learn all about love.” Relates, in first person narrative, the antics of an unnamed character in pursuit of knowledge about love. Other characters included Gordon, Irene, Andrea. Includes character’s description of certain adolescent experiences, family relations, proposals to improve the texture of life in the world. Dream (drug?) sequence involving transformation of body and perceptions. Possibly early draft of unpublished novel titled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Other prose title possibilities are: Invisible Idylls and The Diamond Noodle



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Philip Whalen Collection, 1950-1960 | MS Manuscripts

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Collection Overview

Title: Philip Whalen Collection, 1950-1960Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1950-1960

ID: MS/VMF/vmf184

Primary Creator: Whalen, Philip

Extent: 3.0 Items

Date Acquired: 02/19/1970

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of three notebooks containing addresses, manuscript notes on Prometheus, and manuscript notes for story by Whalen

Collection Historical Note

Philip Glenn Whalen (October 20, 1923 – June 26, 2002) was an American poet and Zen Buddhist.  He is often labeled as a Beat poet and generally considered one of the pioneering forces behind the San Francisco Renaissance of the mid-1950s.  His work differs from much Beat writing in its reverential treatment of the mundane, its self-deprecating humor, and its generally apolitical tone.

Born in Portland, Oregon, Whalen began writing poetry at the age of sixteen, experimenting with various traditional forms of verse and contributing to his high school’s literary magazine.  Whalen served in the US Army Air Forces during World War II and attended Reed College on the GI Bill. There, he met Gary Snyder and Lew Welch, and graduated with a BA in 1951. He read at the famous Six Gallery reading in 1955 that marked the launch of the West Coast Beats into the public eye. He appears, in barely fictionalized form, as the character "Warren Coughlin" in Jack Kerouac's The Dharma Bums, which includes an account of that reading. In Big Sur he is called "Ben Fagan.”

The year 1960 saw publication of two major Whalen works, Like I Say and Memoirs of an Interglacial Age. The 1960s saw Whalen turn toward a range of personal subject matter, resurrecting the trivial as the essential substance of daily life. Whalen spent 1966 and 1967 in Kyoto, Japan, assisted by a grant from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a job teaching English.

He moved into the San Francisco Zen Center and became a student of Zentatsu Richard Baker in 1972. The following year, he became a monk. He became head monk of Dharma Sangha, in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1984. In 1987, he received transmission from Baker, and in 1991, he returned to San Francisco to lead the Hartford Street Zen Center until forced by ill health to retire.

Administrative Information

Repository: MS Manuscripts

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Source: Purchased from Henry Wenning

Acquisition Method: Accession number 1150

Preferred Citation: Name of the Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections

Processing Information: Processed February 1970 by Holly Hall


Box and Folder Listing


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[Item 1: Autograph notebook containing two rhymes, several addresses, proposed menu, several lines of untitled poetry, and description of a hike with Locke around Mt. Tamalpais on April 18, 1959. Also, contains impressions of San Francisco, written during a walk on February 27, 1960. 17 pages. Brief dialogue-play, written March 12, 1969, based on traditional Prometheus legend. 10 pages, 1958: October 11 - 1960: February 27],
[Item 2: Autograph notebook containing addresses, notes on behavior of teenagers, etc, 1956: August 31],
[Item 3: Autograph notebook containing draft of untitled prose work in four sequential chapter installments, beginning “At the age of thirty I decided to learn all about love.” Relates, in first person narrative, the antics of an unnamed character in pursuit of knowledge about love. Other characters included Gordon, Irene, Andrea. Includes character’s description of certain adolescent experiences, family relations, proposals to improve the texture of life in the world. Dream (drug?) sequence involving transformation of body and perceptions. Possibly early draft of unpublished novel titled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Other prose title possibilities are: Invisible Idylls and The Diamond Noodle],
[All]

Item 3: Autograph notebook containing draft of untitled prose work in four sequential chapter installments, beginning “At the age of thirty I decided to learn all about love.” Relates, in first person narrative, the antics of an unnamed character in pursuit of knowledge about love. Other characters included Gordon, Irene, Andrea. Includes character’s description of certain adolescent experiences, family relations, proposals to improve the texture of life in the world. Dream (drug?) sequence involving transformation of body and perceptions. Possibly early draft of unpublished novel titled Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Other prose title possibilities are: Invisible Idylls and The Diamond NoodleAdd to your cart.
Ink, occasional lines and words revised, most in ink, some in pencil. Blue cloth covers. 7 1/4 x 9 1/8" 39 pages


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