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Ruby Cohn Papers (MSS028)

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Correspondence

Scholarly Essays and Lectures, Published and Unpublished, Concerning Samuel Beckett Written by Cohn

Critical Essays and Lectures, Published and Unpublished, Written on Subjects Other Than Samuel Beckett

Miscellaneous Publications and Papers



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Ruby Cohn Papers (MSS028), 1960-1994 | MSS Manuscripts

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Collection Overview

Title: Ruby Cohn Papers (MSS028), 1960-1994Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1960-1994

ID: MSS/MSS/028

Primary Creator: Cohn, Ruby

Extent: 2.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 03/00/1981

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Ruby Cohn Papers consists largely of manuscripts toward published and unpublished essays and lectures on Samuel Beckett. In addition, the collection includes correspondence and manuscripts toward published and unpublished essay and lectures on modern theater and analyses of playwrights.

Collection Historical Note

Ruby Burman Cohn (August 13, 1922 – October 18, 2011) was a theater scholar and a leading authority on playwright Samuel Beckett. Born in 1922 in Columbus, Ohio, Cohn moved with her family to New York City, where she completed high school and graduated from Hunter College. During World War II she joined the Waves, a Navy division for women, and served as a document courier. After the war she returned to Europe and competed a doctoral degree at the University of Paris. In January 1953 while a student at the Sorbonne she attended the first public performance of En Attendant Godot (Waiting for Godot), by a then obscure Irish-born dramatist, Samuel Beckett. The play and its author became the focus of the rest of her academic life. She earned a second doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis with a dissertation on Beckett which became her first book, Samuel Beckett: The Comic Gamut (1962).

Cohn wrote or edited several other books about Beckett, including Casebook on ‘Waiting for Godot’ (1967), Back to Beckett (1974), Samuel Beckett: A Collection of Criticism (1975), Just Play: Beckett’s Theater (1980) and Disjecta: Miscellaneous Writings and a Dramatic Fragment (1984), an oeuvre that established an academic reputation not just for her deep expertise but also for her lucid, unpretentious prose.

In addition to her volumes on Beckett, Cohn wrote other books about modern American and British theater and analyses of playwrights, including artistic descendants of Beckett like Edward Albee, Harold Pinter and Caryl Churchill.

Cohn joined the Language Arts faculty of San Francisco State University in 1961 and taught until her resignation during the student strike of 1968. She joined the theater faculty of the California Institute of the Arts in 1969, and moved to the University of California, Davis in 1972. Through her scholarship she became friends with Beckett, exchanging letters and visiting each other at least annually until his death in 1989.

Administrative Information

Repository: MSS 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: Gift of Ruby Cohn

Acquisition Method:

Accession number 1612, March 1981

Accession number 23901, June 1, 2006

Accession number 23902, April 1, 2007

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


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Scholarly Essays and Lectures, Published and Unpublished, Concerning Samuel Beckett Written by Cohn],
[Series 3: Critical Essays and Lectures, Published and Unpublished, Written on Subjects Other Than Samuel Beckett],
[Series 4: Miscellaneous Publications and Papers],
[All]

Series 4: Miscellaneous Publications and PapersAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 4.1: Publications by Cohn in Original and Copied FormAdd to your cart.
Item 1: "Beckett's Theater Resonance"Add to your cart.
Found in Samuel Beckett: Humanistic Perspectives. Beja, Morris, S.E. Gontarski and Pierre Astier, editors. Ohio University Press, no date.
Item 2: "Words Working Overtime: Endgame and No Man's Land"Add to your cart.
Extracted from The Yearbook of English Studies, Volume 9, 1979
Sub-Series 4.2: Odd PapersAdd to your cart.
Item 1: "Beckett Annotations"Add to your cart.
Newspaper clippings regarding Sotheby's auction of Beckett's rehearsal copy of Waiting for Godot, no date
Item 2: Iser, Wolfgang. "Samuel Beckett's Dramatische Sprache"Add to your cart.
Typescript [carbon], 17 pages
Item 3: "Lettres de Samuel Beckett a Roger Bensky"Add to your cart.
Typescript [carbon], 2 pages
Item 4: Programme for "The Beckett Foundation at the University of Reading" day seminar, 1994: December 10Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4.3: New Yorker Magazine Contained Beckett PieceAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Cohn's copy of The New Yorker's publication of Samuel Beckett's "Catastrophe (For Vaclav Havel)" translated by the author., 1983: January 10Add to your cart.
The New Yorker, Volume LVIII, Number 47, pages 26-27. Cover and rear are detached.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence],
[Series 2: Scholarly Essays and Lectures, Published and Unpublished, Concerning Samuel Beckett Written by Cohn],
[Series 3: Critical Essays and Lectures, Published and Unpublished, Written on Subjects Other Than Samuel Beckett],
[Series 4: Miscellaneous Publications and Papers],
[All]


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