Alexander Trocchi Papers
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All Series Level Scope and Content Notes

Scope and Contents Note

Collection consists of correspondence, manuscripts, journals, miscellany, 1947-1971.


Alexander Trocchi edited the review Merlin (published by Alice Jane Lougee) during its brief run of seven numbers from May 1952 to Spring 1955. The magazine was printed by French printers and had for its editorial addresses two Paris bookshops, Librarie Mistral and The English Bookshop, both centers for an expatriate group of writers in the 1950s. At this time Trocchi was also contributing to Nimbus, which was also published in Paris, edited by Tristram Hull and Ivo Jarosy.

Merlin contributors included A.J. Ayer, Samuel Beckett, Ronald Bottral, Patrick Bowles, William Burford, Alfred Chester, Bernard Frechtman, W.S. Grahame, Henry Miller, and Richard Seaver. Transations of work by Jean Genet, Eugene Ionesco, Vasco Pratolini, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Italo Svevo also appeared.

In addition to the magazine, Trocchi founded a publishing house, Collection Merlin, for full-length works. The Trocchi Papers holds correspondence with Wainhouse, Bowles, and Logue concerning publishing negotiations with Maurice Girodias of Olympia Press, under whose joint imprint some Collection Merlin books appeared. In all, Collection Merlin published six books -- two books of poetry, Logue's Wand and Quadrant and James Broughton's An Almanac for Amorists, and four prose works -- Samuel Beckett's Molloy (translated by Patrick Bowles in collaboration with the author) and Watt (written in English), Austryn Wainhouse's novel Hedyphagetica, and Bernard Frechtman's translation of Jean Genet's The Thief's Journal.


Correspondence, 1958-1968, primarily relating to Project Sigma, and written from England, Scotland, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States. Trocchi's correspondents representing aspects of Sigma include Simon Vinkenoog and George Andrews, discussing Sigma in the Netherlands, arts projects, experiences with marijuana, LSD, other drugs and action by local authorities against drug users, and compilation of The Book of Grass [anthology on marijuana, published in 1967 by Peter Owen, London; Grove Press, New York].


Authors' manuscripts and typescripts, mimeo articles, some projects for inclusion in the Sigma portfolio.


Journals of poetry and prose, art criticism, essays on psychology, communication, political newsheets and pamphlets, peace newsletters, youth movement publications, university magazines, other printed and mimeoed contemporary periodicals and ephemera. Arranged by country of origin.


Enclosure: TL[x], 2 pp from Trocchi to Judith (1963: June 11).