Walter Van Tilburg Clark Letters to John Herrmann
Scope and Contents
Collection contains 13 letters written by Walter Van Tilburg Clark to Howard Herrmann from Larkspur, California and Reno, Nevada concerning work on a new literary magazine published by San Francisco State campus beginning in 1959 called Chrysalis Review, of which Herrmann was the founding editor. In addition to Chrysalis Review, the letters discuss various publications Clark was working on at that time, as well as teaching advice from Clark to Herrmann who was just beginning his career.
- Clark, Walter Van Tilburg (Creator, Person)
Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Walter Van Tilburg Clark (1909-1971) was a western author, the editor of a 3-volume work, The Journals of Alfred Doten, 1849-1903, a lecturer and a writer-in-residence at the University of Nevada, Reno, between 1962 and 1971. Best known for his first published novel, The Ox-Bow Incident, published by Random House in 1940, Clark was also know for his many short stories and novels, which earned him respect nationally.
While Clark lived in Vermont, Maine, New York, New Mexico, California and Montana at various times during his life, he moved his family to Virginia City, Nevada in 1942 where he taught at the local high school for the 1950/1951 school year. In 1952, he accepted a half-time position at the University of Nevada, Reno, but resigned in protest in 1953 over a faculty and administration dispute. In 1954 he moved away but contracted to work on a Nevada-related topic, the Alfred Doten diaries editing project and biography. He published the 3-volume work The Journals of Alfred Doten, 1849-1903, in 1973 (University of Nevada Press). From 1956-1961, Clark relocated to the San Francisco bay area and taught taught creative writing at San Francisco State. By 1968, he and his wife had moved back to Virginia City, Nevada, and he remained there until his death on November 10, 1971.
John Herrmann was born on May 17, 1931 to Roberta Louise Liberto and John Phillip Herrmann in Berkeley, California. He received his Bachelor's degree in 1960 and his Master of Arts in 1961 from San Francisco State University, and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Iowa in 1964.
Herrmann spent many years in the literary and journalism business. From 1959-1988, Herrmann served as assistant editor or editor of six magazines, including founding editor of Chrysalis Review from 1959 until it ceased publication in 1963. He also was deeply involved in education, helping to found the graduate program in creative writing for University of Montana, Missoula in 1964.
Clark and Herrmann likely met while Clark was a professor at San Francisco State University and Herrmann was studying for his Bachelor's degree. It is believed that Clark was Herrmann's advisor for the magazine. The two men remained friends after the magazine ceased publication. It is known from family memory that Clark spent at least one summer in 1966 with Herrmann and his family in Missoula, Montana.
0.1 Cubic Feet (13 items)
Language of Materials
Collection contains 13 letters written by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Nevada author and editor, to John Herrmann from Larkspur, California and Reno, Nevada, concerning work on a new literary magazine published by San Francisco State campus beginning in 1959 called Chrysalis Review, of which Herrmann was the founding editor, as well as various publications Clark was working on at the time the letters were written. Date range 1961-1967.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated by the John Herrmann Estate in September 2017.
- A Guide to Walter Van Tilburg Clark Letters to John Herrmann
- Jessica Maddox
- September 2017
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