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Paul Bowles letters to Art Gibney

Identifier: MSS 0099-F0866

Content Description

Paul Bowles wrote each of these three letters in response to letters he had received from Art Gibney.

These letters answered specific questions posed by Gibney, were all written from Tangier, Morocco, and were accompanied by stamped envelopes.

In the first letter, dated September 9, 1981, Bowles responded to questions concerning whether he was still “alive,” what he was “thinking,” and what his “world view” was. He wrote that he was always thinking the same thing: “which words will best express the thoughts, and how ought they to be arranged?”

The second letter, which Bowles wrote on December 23, 1981, responded to a question regarding employment for teachers of English as a second language in Morocco. Bowles mentioned the American School and the American Language Center and was generally encouraging; though he noted that he had no connections with either institution. He also commented on what he termed "moral fiber" in writing.

In the final letter, dated March 7, 1982, Bowles spoke of his current projects; namely, copying and rewriting songs from the 1930s and 1940s for publication and translating work by Mohammed Mrabet. He also discussed what was "shaping the contemporary literary mode" and his lack of plans to visit the United States.


  • Creation: 1981 September 9 -1982 March 7


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Paul Bowles (1910-1999)

The American composer and author Paul Frederic Bowles was born in New York City on December 30, 1910. In 1938, Paul Bowles married the aspiring writer Jane Auer. Inspired by his wife's success and her dedication to writing, Bowles began his own career as an author, eventually surpassing his already successful reputation as a composer. After the 1940s, he produced numerous works of fiction, essays, travel writing, poems, autobiographical pieces, and other works.

Miller, Jeffrey. Paul Bowles: A Descriptive Bibliography. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Black Sparrow Press, 1986.

Sawyer-Laucanno, Christopher. An Invisible Spectator: A Biography of Paul Bowles. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989.

Art Gibney

Art Gibney is the author of Skin of Earth, Stories from Nevada's Back Country. Gibney's short fiction has appeared in many literary publications including the International Quarterly, The Crescent Review, Other Voices, ZYZZYVA, and Story Quarterly.

University of Nevada Press. accessed April 2010).


3 item (3 pages)

Language of Materials



Three typed letters written and signed by Paul Bowles to Art Gibney.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, 2009.

Related Materials

This item forms part of MSS 0099 Miscellaneous Literary and Historical Manuscripts.

MSS 0163 Paul Bowles papers; MSS 0164 Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno papers related to Paul Bowles; MSS 0323 Paul Bowles letters to William Saroyan.

MSS 0324 Paul Bowles letters to John Martin

MSS 0604 Paul Bowles correspondence with John Widdicombe

MSS 0486 Nancy Hoyt Paul Bowles collection

MSS 0527 Virginia Spencer Carr papers

MSS 0099, F0857 Bowles, Paul, letters to Nathalie Blondel

MSS 0099, F0838 Bowles, Paul, letter to Pud Gadiot

Shelving Summary

Box 60, F0866: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0099 manuscript boxes.

Processing Information

Processed and encoded by Anita Wellner, April 2010. Further encoded by George Apodaca, November 2015.


Finding aid for Paul Bowles letters to Art Gibney
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2015 November 9
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

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