Jacques B. Brunius papers, 1929-1967

2617

Collection Overview

Title:
Jacques B. Brunius papers
Dates (Inclusive):
1929-1967
Creator:
Brunius, Jacques-B.
Abstract:
Jacques Henri Cottance was born in Paris on 16 September 1906. As a boy he studied at the Lyceeacute; Chaptal and the Ecole Centrale, then enrolled at the Ecole Aeronautique et d'Automobile, which he left before graduation to pursue a career in the cinema as a critic, technician, actor, and director. He began using the pseudonym Jacques-B. Brunius in the early 1940s.
Abstract:
The collection contains correspondence, 1940-1967, original works, translations and adaptations, BBC materials, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Correspondents include Robert Benayoun, Andracirc;e Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Ferry, J. J. Matthews, E. L. T. Mesens, Jean Paulhan, Simon Watson Taylor, Brunius's family members, and others.
Collection Number:
2617
Size:
11 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

Jacques Henri Cottance was born in Paris on 16 September 1906. As a boy he studied at the Lyceé Chaptal and the Ecole Centrale, then enrolled at the Ecole Aeronautique et d'Automobile, which he left before graduation to pursue a career in the cinema as a critic, technician, actor, and director.

As a young man, Cottance was introduced to film-making by the renowned director René Clair, and within a dozen years of this early apprenticeship he had worked with some of France's most distinguished directors, including Luis Buñuel, Jacques Prévert, and Jean Renoir. Films in which Cottance acted include L'age d'r (Buñuel, 1930), L'affaire est dans le sac (Pierre Prévert, 1932), and Le crime de M. Lange (Renoir, 1935.) By the early 1930s, Cottance had joined the Surrealists and would become the friend and correspondent of André Breton, Robert Desnos, Phillippe Soupault, Antonin Artaud, Yves Tanguy, and E.L.T. Mesens, among others. Cottance's own film, Violon dIngres (1939), is considered a classic of surrealist cinema. From 1926 until his death, Cottance regularly wrote articles on the cinema for French and British periodicals.

On 25 November 1932, Cottance married Colette Therèse Jeannette Halmann, with whom he had a daughter, Laure-Anne, born in 1933. By the mid 1940s, Jacques and Colette had separated; their divorce was finalized on 25 March 1948.

Cottance was called up for military service in the general mobilization of September 1939; in February 1940, he left France for London to work on propaganda films with Alberto Cavalcanti, director of the Crown Film Unit. Soon after, Cottance had joined the Section Française of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), where, under the pseudonym Jacques Borel, he wrote and acted in radio programs such as "Les français parlent aux français" destined for listeners in occupied France. At the end of 1944, as the Section Française began to disperse, Cottance, by then separated from his wife Colette (who had stayed in France during the war), decided to remain in London. Now using the pseudonym Jacques-B. Brunius, from 1943 to 1950 he lived with Mary Kesteven and continued to work for the BBC (and would do so for the next 20 years), served as general correspondent for the French literary revue Fontaine, and contributed articles on the cinema to both La Revue du Cinéma and L'Ecran français. Brunius remained active in British surrealist circles and worked closely with Belgian artist E.L.T. Mesens.

In the early 1950s Brunius made several short documentary films, including Brief City (1951), To the Rescue (1952), and The Blakes Slept Here (1953). In 1954 he published a book on French experimental film called En marge du cinéma français.

In 1951 Brunius married Cécile Chevreau, a French-British actress who also worked for the BBC. The two separated temporarily in 1954; in 1956 their son Richard was born.

As a confirmed internationalist, Brunius was committed to the ideal of making literature available across national and linguistic boundaries. During the 1950s he devoted a great deal of time to translating English literature, especially plays, into French. Of special note are his translation of John Lloyd Balderston's Berkeley Square and Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood. As a result of his high regard for Lewis Carroll, Brunius translated "Jabberwocky" into French and wrote several critical articles on Carroll's work.

In 1959 Brunius met Janet (a.k.a. Jeannette) Edwards, a young Welsh actress who would be his last companion.

During the 1960s Brunius continued to translate English works into French, most notably three plays by Harold Pinter, including Caretaker (Le Gardien), performed in Brussells in 1963, and three plays by James Saunders, including A Resounding Tinkle and Next Time Ill Sing to You. In 1960 Brunius served on the jury of the Festival of Tours. In 1964 he began a film on surrealism with long-time friend and associate Robert Benayoun. The film was never completed.

On 24 April 1967, just before the opening of the surrealist festival he had organized, Jacques-B. Brunius died of a heart attack in Exeter, England.

Return to Table of Contents


Collection Overview

The Jacques B. Brunius Papers include correspondence (1940-1967), original works, translations and adaptations, BBC materials, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Correspondents include Robert Benayoun, André Breton, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Ferry, J. H. Matthews, E.L.T. Mesens, Jean Paulhan, Simon Watson Taylor, Brunius's family members, and many others. Original works include manuscripts and typescripts of articles, essays, exhibition catalog texts, film reviews, radio scripts, and drawings. Translations and adaptations include works by John Lloyd Balderston, Robert Barr, Lewis John Carlino, Lewis Carroll, Christopher Fry, Henry James, Humphrey Jennings, James Joyce, Thomas Middleton, H.H. Munro (Saki), Bill Naughton, Harold Pinter, William Russo, James Saunders, N.F. Simpson, and Dylan Thomas. BBC materials include World War II intelligence extracts, radio scripts, memos, and official correspondence. Also included in the collection are contracts, book lists, and financial records for the French literary revue Fontaine, for whom Brunius served as general correspondent. The clippings from 1940-1944 relate to the war and are drawn from many different British and French newspapers, including The Manchester Guardian, The Evening Standard, The Sunday Dispatch, The Observer, The New Statesmen, France, and the Daily Telegraph & Morning Post. Included with the arts clippings are exhibition catalogs and articles drawn from British and French literary, film, and arts periodicals. The photographs in the collection are mostly undated personal snapshots and seem to date chiefly from the 1950s and 1960s. The Brunius Papers also include a 1958 broadside from the Front unique and a poster for an exhibit entitled "Anti-Procès" held in 1960 at the Galerie des Quatre Saisons in Paris.

Return to Table of Contents


Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged into seven series: BBC materials (chronologically); Clippings (chronologically); Correspondence (chronologically); Photographs (chronologically); Translations and Adaptations (alphabetically); Works (chronologically); and Miscellaneous.

Return to Table of Contents


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. The Jacque Bernard Brunius Estate is represented by:

les films de l'equinoxe 18 galerie Vero-Dodat 75001 Paris films.equinoxe@free.fr tel: 01 42 33 96 45 http://www.denise-bellon.fr/

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Jacques B. Brunius papers, RBM 2617, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

Return to Table of Contents


Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Graphic
  • Photographic

Personal Name(s)

  • Brunius, Jacques-B.

Return to Table of Contents


Collection Inventory

Click associated checkboxes to select items to request. When you have finished, click the Submit Request button.

Box

8/1

General note

wartime broadcast; letters from France re war

8/2

8/3

8/4

8/5

8/6

8/7

8/8

8/9

8/10

8/11

8/12

8/13

8/14

8/15

8/16

8/20

Return to Table of Contents


Box

9/6

9/7

9/8

9/9

9/10

9/11

9/12

9/13

9/14

9/15

9/16

General note

Includes copies of NRF from summer 1931 with essay on Dada by G. Ribemont-Dessaignes; also, French Who's Who for Nov. 1943

10/1

10/2

10/3

10/4

General note

tear sheets

10/5

10/6

10/7

10/8

10/9

10/10

10/11

11/1

11/2

11/3

11/4

11/5

11/6

11/7

11/8

11/9

11/10

11/11

11/12

11/13

11/14

11/15

11/16

11/17

Return to Table of Contents


Box

1/1

1/2

1/3

1/4

1/5

1/6

General note

Letter to Peter Watson re Aragon

1/7

1/8

1/9

General note

Denunciation of Toni del Renzio by JB, E.L.T. Mesens, and Roland Penrose; draft of letter to A. Breton

1/10

1/11

1/12

1/13

1/14

General note

Correspondence and papers re JB's divorce from Colette

1/15

General note

Correspondence and papers re JB's divorce from Colette

1/16

1/17

1/18

1/19

1/20

General note

Three letters from Dell (?) to JB

1/21

General note

Two letters from André Breton to JB

1/22

1/23

1/24

2/1

2/2

2/3

2/4

2/5

2/6

General note

Correspondence re Pastoureau affair

2/7

2/8

2/9

2/10

General note

Letter from Jean Anouih to JB

2/11

2/12

2/13

2/14

2/15

2/16

2/17

General note

re JB's film Violon d'Ingres

2/18

2/19

General note

re Moving Picture Museum

2/20

2/21

2/22

General note

fragment of letter from JB to André Breton

2/23

General note

re proposed BBC programs on French cinema

2/24

3/1

3/2

3/3

General note

Letter from Bertrand Russell to JB

3/4

3/5

3/6

3/7

3/8

3/9

General note

JB's list of names and addresses

3/10

Return to Table of Contents


Box

9/1

9/2

9/3

9/4

9/5

General note

Poster - Anti-Procès. Manifestation collective... 29 Avril au 9 Mai 1960, Galerie des Quatre Saisons, Paris; Broadside - Front Unique, N.6 Juillet 1958, Paris

12/

Return to Table of Contents


Box

General note

translation by JB

5/2

General note

translation by JB

5/3

General note

translation by JB

5/4

General note

translation by JB

5/5

General note

TV script translation by JB

5/6

General note

mimeograph (in English)

5/7

General note

typescript of a novel with mss annotations

5/8

General note

translation by Simon Watson Taylor

5/9

General note

French typescript w/fragment of Simon Watson Taylor's translation into English

5/10

General note

filmscript translation by JB

5/11

General note

English mimeograph with French typescript, translation by JB

5/12

General note

mss

5/13

5/14

5/15

5/16

General note

translation by JB

6/1

General note

adaptation of "The Great Dictator" by JB

6/2

General note

mimeograph of French typescript

6/3

General note

typescript of French translation by JB

6/4

General note

typscript in English

6/5

6/6

General note

mimeograph of French translation by JB

6/7

General note

translation by JB

6/8

General note

adaptation by Hugh Leonard translation by JB

6/9

General note

mimeograph of English typescript

6/10

General note

mimeograph of English typescript

6/11

General note

mimeograph of English typescript and French tr.anslation (mss) by JB

6/12

General note

on Osbert Sitwell

6/13

General note

mimeograph of English translation by W.S. Merwin

6/14

General note

mimeograph of English typescript and French adaptation by JB (mss and typescript)

6/15

General note

English tsypescriptand French translation (mss) by JB

6/16

General note

typescript in English

6/17

General note

translation by JB (mss, typescript, etc.)

6/18

General note

English typescript (mimeograph) and drafts of French translation by JB

7/1

General note

translation by JB

7/2

General note

translation by JB

7/3

General note

translation by JB

7/4

General note

film synopsis; typescript with mss annotations

7/5

General note

translation by JB; French and English scripts

7/6

General note

translation by JB; French script

7/7

General note

film découpage

7/8

General note

scripts

7/9

General note

with texts of Prévert's poems (English and French)

7/10

General note

translation by JB

7/11

General note

English script

7/12

General note

French translation by JB

7/13

General note

French and English scripts; translation by JB

7/14

General note

French typescript

7/15

General note

mss

7/16

General note

mss

7/17

General note

BBC script

7/18

General note

French typescript

7/19

General note

script

7/20

General note

working drafts of French translation by JB

7/21

General note

French typescript

7/22

General note

tear sheets

7/23

General note

radio script

7/24

7/25

Return to Table of Contents


Box

General note

typescript

3/11

General note

manuscript (5 p.)

3/12

3/13

3/14

3/15

General note

manuscript (2 p.)

3/16

General note

mimeograph (8 p.)

3/17

General note

mimeograph (25 p.)

3/18

General note

manuscript (2 p.)

3/19

General note

manuscript (1 p.)

3/20

3/21

General note

manuscript (1 p.)

3/22

General note

translation of 2 min. exhibition film

3/23

General note

manuscript

3/24

3/25

General note

typescript and mimeograph

3/26

General note

notes on JB's film (2 p. manuscript)

3/28

3/29

General note

typescript with mss revisions (4 p.)

3/30

3/31

3/32

3/33

General note

clippings

3/34

3/35

3/36

General note

French mss (24 p.) and English typescript (14 p.)

3/37

3/38

3/39

General note

published text and mimeograph (1 p.)

3/40

General note

mss drafts, typescripts, mimeographs

3/41

General note

album includes "Danger de Mort" and "Sans Dieu ni Diable" typescripts w/mss revisions

3/42

4/1

4/3

General note

typescript

4/4

General note

typescript

4/5

General note

typescript

4/6

4/7

General note

mss and typescript carbon

4/8

General note

mss and typescript carbon

4/9

General note

typescript carbon

4/10

4/11

General note

film review fragment (mss)

4/12

General note

in Ici Londres

4/13

General note

mss, typescript carbons

4/14

4/15

4/16

4/17

4/18

General note

film scripts

4/19

General note

film scripts

4/20

General note

mss

4/21

General note

mss

4/22

4/23

4/24

4/25

General note

radio script

4/26

General note

on Prévert et al.

4/27

General note

on Apollinaire

4/28

General note

typescript carbon

4/29

4/30

General note

controversy with A.G. Lehmann

4/31

General note

scripts, correspondence, etc.

4/32

General note

mentions Art-Anti-Art

4/33

4/34

General note

with adaptation by JB of Ionesco

4/35

4/36

General note

typescript

4/37

4/38

General note

exhibition catalog and mss fragment

4/39

General note

16 scripts

4/40

General note

mss and typescript

4/41

General note

diary from 6-28 August 1964

4/42

General note

typescript

4/43

4/44

4/45

4/46

General note

1 p. mss

4/47

Return to Table of Contents


Box

5/1

8/17

8/18

8/19

Return to Table of Contents