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Rough Draft

The Modernist Diaries of Emily Holmes Coleman, 1929-1937

Edited by Elizabeth Podnieks

Rough Draft: The Modernist Diaries of Emily Holmes Coleman, 1929-1937 is an edited selection, published here for the first time, of the diaries kept by American poet and novelist Coleman during her years as an expatriate in the modernist hubs of France and England. During her time abroad, Coleman developed as a surrealist writer, publishing a novel, The Shutter of Snow, and poems in little magazines like transition. She also began her life’s work, her diary, which was sustained for over four decades. This portion of the diary is set against the cultural, social, and political milieu of the early twentieth century in the throes of industrialization, commercialization, and modernization. It showcases Coleman’s often larger-than-life, intense personality as she interacted with a multitude of literary, artistic, and intellectual figures of the period like Djuna Barnes, Peggy Guggenheim, Antonia White, John Holms, George Barker, Edwin Muir, Cyril Connolly, Arthur Waley, Humphrey Jennings, Dylan Thomas, and T.S. Eliot. The book offers Coleman’s lively, raw, and often iconoclastic account of her complex social network. The personal and professional encouragements, jealousies, and ambitions of her friends unfolded within a world of limitless sexual longing, supplies of alcohol, and aesthetic discussions. The diary documents the disparate ways Coleman celebrated, just as she consistently struggled to reconcile, her multiple identities as an artistic, intellectual, maternal, sexual, and spiritual woman. Rough Draft contributes to the growing modernist canon of life writings of both female and male participants whose autobiographies, memoirs, and diaries offer diverse accounts of the period, like Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare and Company, and Robert McAlmon and Kay Boyle’s Being Geniuses Together. « less more »
University Press Copublishing Division / University of Delaware Press
Pages: 430Size: 6 1/2 x 9 3/8
978-1-61149-376-4 • Hardback • March 2012 • $100.00 • (£70.00)
978-1-61149-377-1 • eBook • March 2012 • $99.99 • (£70.00)
Elizabeth Podnieks is associate professor of English at Ryerson University

The Diary
Section one: Paris: October 30-December 17, 1929
Section two: St. Tropez: December 17, 1929-February 15, 1930
Section one: Gloucestershire: August 9-August 25, 1932
Section two: Devonshire: August 26-September 9, 1932
Section three:Gloucestershire: September 23-October 9, 1932
Section four: London: October 11-October 29, 1932
Section five: Paris: November 30-December 23, 1932
Section one: London and Devonshire: March 22-July 24, 1933
Section two: Yorkshire: June 8-July 3, 1934
Section three: London: July 5-September 1, 1934
Section one: London: January 16-March 13, 1936
Section two: London and Petersfield: March 16-May 28, 1936
Section three: London: May 29-June 12, 1936
Section four: Glyndebourne, London, and Yorkshire: June 23-July 21, 1936
Section one: London: November 14-December 31, 1936
Section two: London, Gloucestershire, and Petersfield: June 10-October 5, 1937

Editor Bio