Christopher Logue papers, 1939-1993 (bulk 1950-1993)

2378

Collection Overview

Title:
Christopher Logue papers
Dates (Inclusive):
1939-1993 (bulk 1950-1993)
Dates (Inclusive):
1950-1993
Creator:
Logue, Christopher
Abstract:
Christopher Logue is a British poet, best known for his poster-poems (poems printed on large posters), jazzetry (poems set to jazz), and free renditions of Homer's poems.
Abstract:
The collection contains manuscripts of Logue's essays, plays, poems, short stories, and screenplays; reviews of his books; newspaper clippings; poster-poems; research files; videocassettes of his film performances; and voluminous correspondence (1949-1993). Among topics he discusses are Ezra Pound, and the Hugo Claus case. Manuscripts of his works include Girls, Kings, an account of books one and two of Homer's Iliad, New numbers, Ode to the dodo, poems from 1953 to 1978, Patrocleia, Pax, book XIX of the Iliad, She sings, he sings, Songs from the lily-white boys, War music, an account of books 16 to 19 of Homer's Iliad, and Weakdream sonnets. Correspondents include Samuel Beckett, Betsy Blair, Bertolt Brecht, Hugo Claus, Liese Deniz, Nell Dunn, T.S. Eliot, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, Adrian Haggard, Michael Horovitz, Frank Kermode, Philip Larkin, Henry Miller, Laurence Olivier, Peter Orlovsky, John Osborne, George Steiner, and Shirley Thompson, among others.
Collection Number:
2378
Size:
15 Cubic feet
Location:
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the  library catalog.
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Biographical or Historical Note

Christopher Logue was born November 23, 1926, in Portsmouth, England, and educated at Portsmouth Grammar School. He had a brief army experience, which ended in his imprisonment for two years from around 1945-46 to November 1947 in Palestine (where he was stationed as Lance Corporal in the Fourth Battalion of the Black Watch) for being in "illegal possession of six Army Books 64 (identity documents and/or pay books issued to other ranks)." Rejected by several universities he applied to, for failing to pass the Mature Matriculation Test and supposed inadequacy of proper educational qualification, Logue went on the dole and decided to become a poet. He studied intensively and extensively, as reflected in his many notebooks in the collection from the late 1940s and 1950s. The exemplar of Ezra Pound, who Logue considers to be the greatest 20th-century poet writing in English and who was jailed then for charges of treason by the U.S. Government, was seminal in Logue's becoming a poet and (re) creative "translator" (his future Homer poetry). He started to cultivate literary friends and sought advice from his literary heroes such as Pound (whose replies are still in Logue's possession), Bertolt Brecht (another great influence in his creating of both politically involved and artistically superior poetry and drama and the formation of his leftist political values), and Samuel Beckett.

Dispirited by what he perceived to be the bleakness of London's literary scenes, Logue headed for the Left Bank of Paris in 1951 and stayed until 1956. He formed most of his lasting friendships during his Paris years and his correspondence from 1954-59 was very voluminous, intense and detailed. After his return he took an increasingly active part in London's cultural and political activities in the following two decades. Logue's pioneering work in jazzetry (poetry read to jazz), poster-poetry (politically direct poems printed on large posters, learned from and inspired most likely by the examples of the popular cultural movements in Mao's China from 1957, culminating in its Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s and Homer poetry (thought by many, including noted British critic George Steiner and a host of American critics, to be his greatest work in and contribution to poetry) originated from that period. Known for his dramatic and cinematic gifts in his poetry, it was only natural that Logue was equally adept in writing plays both for the stage and for the screen (movie and TV films). This same dramatic instinct coupled with an ever present comic, ironic and satirical bent and lyrical gifts gave rise to lyrics for The Establishment (London's satirical nightclub) and the stage, and a series of illustrated children's and humor books (especially the widely read and admired True Stories from "Private Eye," condensed and adapted by Logue from bizarre news stories). Naturally endowed with remarkable acting and narrating abilities, he has performed in several films mostly directed by Ken Russell, stage productions (including his own plays and poems-turned-plays from his Homer poems), and extensive poetry readings, often to large audiences from Eton to the Walls Sausage Factory, in and outside England as part of his sustained involvement in pop culture.

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Collection Overview

The collection contains manuscripts of Logue's essays, plays, poems, short stories, and screenplays; reviews of his books; newspaper clippings; poster-poems; research files; videocassettes of his film performances; and voluminous correspondence (1949-1993). The collection documents his creative, recreative and social activities such as participation in demonstrations for nuclear disarmaments, involvement in community politics, and other social and political activities. Among topics he discusses are Ezra Pound, and the Hugo Claus case. Manuscripts of his works include Girls, Kings, an account of books one and two of Homer's Iliad, New numbers, Ode to the dodo, poems from 1953 to 1978, Patrocleia, Pax, book XIX of the Iliad, She sings, he sings, Songs from the lily-white boys, War music, an account of books 16 to 19 of Homer's Iliad, and Weakdream sonnets.

Correspondents include Samuel Beckett, Betsy Blair, Bertolt Brecht, Hugo Claus, Liese Deniz, Nell Dunn, T. S. Eliot, Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, Adrian Haggard, Michael Horovitz, Frank Kermode, Philip Larkin, Henry Miller, Laurence Olivier, Peter Orlovsky, John Osborne, George Steiner, and Shirley Thompson, among others.

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Collection Arrangement

Organized into series: Acting Roles, Bio Files, Book Review, Clippings, Collections, Contract, Diaries, Drama, Essays, Fiction, Humor, Media, Miscellaneous, Notebook, Notes, Pamphlets, Poetry, Poster-poems, Posters, Radio Scripts, Screenplays, Short Stories, Sound Recording, Translations, Scrapbooks, Sketches, Correspondence

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Christopher Logue Papers, RBM 2378, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Moving Image

Personal Name(s)

  • Logue, Christopher

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Collection Inventory

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