Scope and arrangement
The Robert Stone papers date from 1950 to 2012, and consist of notes, typescript drafts, galleys, and proof pages for all of Stone's novels. Also present are shorter pieces and excerpts from the novels in draft, galley, and published form; reviews and publicity material; and general correspondence.
Typescript drafts of Stone's novels comprise the bulk of the papers and reflect his method of composition. Later drafts, galleys, and proofs document the books' progress up to the point of publication. Most of the correspondence are letters received by Stone and document his career as a novelist.
The Robert Stone papers are arranged in three series:
This series consists of files from all ten of Stone's published novels, as well as his memoir, unpublished short stories, essays, and journalistic pieces. The novels are arranged alphabetically by title, and contain typescript drafts, most of which are revised, corrected, and annotated in Stone's hand. There is a mixture of complete drafts, partial drafts, rewrites, and fragments. An attempt was made to arrange the drafts and fragments in the sequence of composition. These drafts remain in the groupings (which often consist of an unsorted mingling of several stages of composition) in which they were received unless definite connections between groups could be made, or there was good reason to believe that unmingling a draft would not distort evidence of Stone's method of composition. This method is already obscured by Stone's use of a word processor to write his last three novels and apparent habit of separately revising several printouts of a manuscript in the same stage. Notes, outlines, and separate annotations were kept with the draft with which they belong whenever this association could be made. (Some of the longer additions were written on the back of typescript pages within a draft or draft fragment.) Otherwise they precede the drafts of the corresponding novel.
The drafts of each novel are followed by pre-publication material, such as copy-edited typescripts, galleys, and page proofs; and, in some cases, related material such as magazine excerpts in draft, galley, or printed form, printed reviews, and publicity material. Of special note are typescript drafts of Stone's screenplays for Who'll Stop the Rain and WUSA, which were adapted from his novels Dog Soldiers and A Hall of Mirrors.
The other writings are made up of notes, holograph and typescript drafts, and printed forms of published and unpublished short stories, essays, journalistic pieces, and Stone's memoir, Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties. The published articles are arranged alphabetically by publication name, and include drafts, notes, and revisions, as well as some correspondence with editors. The spiral notebooks in this series also contain brief random notes for some of Stone's novels and unrealized projects, see especially the notebook containing the holograph draft of "Alas That They Should Fall Apart" (see Box 21, f.2), an unpublished short story, which also contains some notes for Dog Soldiers and outlines for "Literature of Alienation", a class Stone taught at Amherst.
Although the bulk of the correspondence is comprised of letters received by Stone, there is a group of outgoing correspondence written by Stone. Most of these letters were sent to Stone's wife Janice in the 1960s and 1970s while he was living in California to work on Hall of Mirrors.
The letters received by Stone are arranged alphabetically by sender or subject matter; many date from around the publication dates of Stone's novels, and are predominately from Stone's agent Candida Donadio, and the publisher of his first two novels Houghton Mifflin. Also present are several fan letters, offers from universities to teach writing, as well as letters regarding movie deals and the various grants and awards Stone received, such as the Guggenheim Fellowship.
Also included is a binder of incoming letters that date between 1964 and 1978, which predominantly consists of mail from fellow writers. These letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent's last name, and contain notes from Jeremy Brooks, Max Crawford, and L.J. Davis, as well as Timothy Leary associate and bookseller, Michael Horowitz.