Raymond Federman Papers
The Raymond Federman Collection includes extensive draft and proof materials toward Federman's books including Double or Nothing, Amer Eldorado, Aunt Rachel's Fur, and Shhh. Also, materials relating to his critical work on Samuel Beckett, short stories, poems, essays, extensive correspondence, unpublished works, reel-to-reel audio recordings, student dissertations and teaching materials, clippings and other ephemera, photographs, and born digital materials.
- Federman, Raymond (Collector, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Some restrictions. Please contact Curator for more details.
Conditions Governing Use
Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.
Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.
If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or email@example.com. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)
Raymond Federman (May 15, 1928 – October 6, 2009) was a French–American novelist and academic, known also for poetry, essays, translations, and criticism. He was a writer in the experimental style, one that sought to deconstruct traditional prose. This type of writing is quite prevalent in his book Double or Nothing, in which the linear narrative of the story has been broken down and restructured so as to be nearly incoherent. Words are also often arranged on pages to resemble images or to suggest repetitious themes.
Federman was born in Montrouge, France, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1947. After serving in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan from 1951 to 1954, he studied at Columbia University under the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1957. He did his graduate studies at U.C.L.A., receiving his M.A. in 1958, and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1963, with his doctoral dissertation on Samuel Beckett.
He taught in the French Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1959 to 1964, and in the French Department at The State University of New York at Buffalo from 1964 to 1973, and as a fiction writer in the English Department at SUNY-Buffalo from 1973 to 1999. He was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor in 1990, and in 1992, appointed to the Melodia E. Jones Chair of Literature, where he served until retiring in July 1999. In 2000, he was appointed as Distinguished Emeritus Professor.
Federman died of cancer at the age of 81 and in May 2010, his final new English novel, SHHH: The Story of a Childhood, was released by Starcherone Press.
Technical Access Requirements
The library cannot provide access to all born-digital materials due to lack of required hardware/software. Requests for born-digtial material may require advanced notice. Please contact Special Collections. for more details.
Method of Acquisition
Accession number 2096. Purchased from Raymond Federman, 1997
Accession number 2013.033. Purchased from Lame Duck Books, November 13, 2013
Accession number MSS2017-028. Purchase from Erica Federman, September 11, 2017
- American literature
- Audio-visual materials
- Authors, American
- Beckett, Samuel, 1906-1989 (Author)
- Book reviews
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
- Digital media
- Electronic records
- Instructional and educational works
- Literary readings
- Literature, Experimental
- Literature--Study and teaching
- Nonfiction novel
- Personal correspondence
- Proofs (Printing)
- Theatre of the Absurd
- Translating and interpreting
- Twentieth century
- Twenty-first century
- Raymond Federman Papers
- Description rules
- Language of description
- 2021 May 5: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.
Collecting Area Details
Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
St. Louis MO 63130 US