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Louise Varèse Papers, 1910-1983
15 boxes (10 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 167

Biographer and translator. Personal and professional correspondence; photographs; writings; published and unpublished translations of reviews, manuscripts, correspondence, and printed material; research notes; and memorabilia. Material related to Edgard Varèse includes research notes, proofs, manuscripts, and reviews for the Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary; and programs and memorabilia related to his work. Notable correspondents include Edgard Varèse, Jacques Barzun, and Anais Nin.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to cite the papers for quotations or for publication beyond "fair use" must be obtained from the Sophia Smith collection. The copyright owner for the Varèse Papers is unknown. Diane Bouchard owns copyright to letters and photographs by her father, Thomas Bouchard. Copyright to materials authored by other persons may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Louise Varèse was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 20, 1890, daughter of John Lindsay McCutcheon and Mary Louise Taylor. She attended Smith College (class of 1912), leaving in the fall of 1911 to marry Allen Norton. A son, Michael, was born in 1912. She was separated from Norton in 1916, and they were divorced in 1920. In 1922 she married composer Edgard Varèse, throughout her life she translated works of French authors and poets into English, including Rimbaud, Proust, Sartre, Stendahl, and Simenon, among many others and was awarded Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France in 1969. She also wrote articles, stories, and poems. Following the death of Edgard Varèse in 1965, she published Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary, Volume I, 1893-1928 in 1972. Volume 2 was in progress when she died July 1, 1989.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Louise Varèse Papers consist of correspondence, photographs, writings, printed materials, research notes, and memorabilia. There is a large amount of correspondence, both personal and professional. It includes correspondence with her friend Maryette Charlton (1971-83), to Edgard Varèse (n.d.), from her son Michael Norton and daughter Sylvia (1930-74), regarding the death of Edgard Varèse (1965), and with various well known art and literary people including Jacques Barzun (1965-73) and Anais Nin (1963-71). There is also professional correspondence regarding music, museums, publishing, and Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary. Also contained in the papers is material related to Louise Varèse's published and unpublished translations: reviews, manuscripts, correspondence, and printed materials. There is also material related to Edgard Varèse; research notes, proofs, manuscripts for both Volume 1 and 2 of Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary, as well as reviews of Volume 1; and programs and memorabilia related to his work. Maryette Charlton collected and added much of the material related to Varèse, including two tape recordings, photographs, biographical chronologies, and memorabilia.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The Papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to cite the papers for quotations or for publication beyond "fair use" must be obtained from the Sophia Smith collection. The copyright owner for the Varèse Papers is unknown. Diane Bouchard owns copyright to letters and photographs by her father, Thomas Bouchard. Copyright to materials authored by other persons may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

The Louise Varèse Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Louise Varèse Papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1975 to 1987 by Louise Varèse and Maryette Charlton.

Processing Information

Finding aid revised by Jesse Kline, 2012.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886


Contents List


Box 1: folder 1
L.V. Notes kept by Maryette about L.V. - biographical

Box 1: folder 2
List of names with person's relation to Edgar Varèse taken from Varése, by Louise Varèse, New York, WW Norton

Box 1: folder 3


Box 1: folder 4-10

Box 1: folder 11
LV with Jeanne de Lanux and photo by Esta V.

Box 1: folder 12
Edgar Varèse

Box 1: folder 13
Allen Norton (1st husband)

Box 1: folder 14

Box 1: folder 15
Cartoon of LV by Edgard V

Box 1: folder 16
Poem "To Louise Varese" by Mungo Park(?)

Box 1: folder 17
Red Book - diary

Box 1: folder 18
Notebook [LV]

Box 1: folder 19

From Louise Varèse


Box 2: folder 1
Cavallo, Diana

Box 2: folder 2
Charlton, Mayette

Box 2: folder 3
Lieberman, Mr.

Box 2: folder 7
Vivier, Odile

Box 2: folder 8

Box 2: folder 9
To Louise Varèse


Box 3: folder 1
Alcaraz, Jose Antonio

Box 3: folder 2
Alcopley, Nina and Una Dora

Box 3: folder 3
Aldan, Daisy

Box 3: folder 4
Aimengaud, Marie Elizabeth

Box 3: folder 5

Box 3: folder 6
Beach, Sylvia

Box 3: folder 7
Barzun, Jacques

Box 3: folder 8
Block, David

Box 3: folder 8a
Bouchard, Diane and Thomas

Box 3: folder 9
Boulez, Pierre

Box 3: folder 10

Box 3: folder 11
Calder, Sandy

Box 3: folder 12
Cavallo, Diana

Box 3: folder 13
Charbonnier, Georges

Box 3: folder 14
Charlton, Maryette-

Box 3: folder 15-17
Claude, Albert (Nobel prize for The Cell)

Box 3: folder 18

Box 3: folder 19
Dombek, Blanche

Box 3: folder 20
Dorbon, Lucien - Fr. Dere

Box 3: folder 21
Duchamp, Marcel and Teeny

Box 3: folder 22
Duenas, Ricardo T.

Box 3: folder 23

Box 3: folder 24
Elman, Richard

Box 3: folder 25

Box 3: folder 26
Felton, James

Box 3: folder 27
Ficke, Arthur Davison

Box 3: folder 28

Box 4: folder 1
Garland-Soundings, Peter

Box 4: folder 2
Geist, Stanley

Box 4: folder 3
Gibbs, Margaret

Box 4: folder 4
Gilder, Rodman

Box 4: folder 5
Gordon, Witold

Box 4: folder 6
Green, Hannah

Box 4: folder 7
Guerard, Albert J.

Box 4: folder 8

Box 4: folder 9
Henderson, Carol

Box 4: folder 10
Hirbour-Coron, Lucie

Box 4: folder 11
Ito, Migo

Box 4: folder 12

Box 4: folder 13
olivet, H & A

Box 4: folder 14

Box 4: folder 15
Kerr, Harrison

Box 4: folder 16
Kiesler, Lillian

Box 4: folder 17
Kolb, Barbara

Box 4: folder 18
Kousseritsky, Olga - Mme. Serge Kousseitsky

Box 4: folder 19

Box 4: folder 20
Ladany, Dr. Imre

Box 4: folder 21
Lederman, Minna

Box 4: folder 22
de Lanux, Jeanne and Eyre

Box 4: folder 23
Levin, Harry

Box 4: folder 24
Lewis, Francis

Box 4: folder 25
Lucius, Florence

Box 4: folder 26

Box 4: folder 27
McMillan, Ann

Box 4: folder 28
Masters, Edgar Lee

Box 4: folder 29

Box 4: folder 30
Miscellaneous items received in correspondence

Box 4: folder 31

Box 4: folder 32
Nin, Anais

Box 4: folder 33
Norton, Michael

Box 4: folder 34
Ouellette, Fernand

Box 4: folder 35

Box 4: folder 36

Box 4: folder 37
Parks, Anna

Box 4: folder 38
Pierce, Ellen and John

Box 4: folder 39
Puccinelli, Raymond

Box 4: folder 40

Box 4: folder 41
Rathsman, Siri

Box 4: folder 42
Robert, Olga

Box 4: folder 43

Box 5: folder 1
Sanouillet, Michael

Box 5: folder 1a
Shearer, John

Box 5: folder 2

Box 5: folder 3
Tabatoni, Pierre - Ambassade de France

Box 5: folder 4
Thompson, Virgin

Box 5: folder 5
Tully, Alice

Box 5: folder 6

Box 5: folder 7
Varèse-Mulder, Claude

Box 5: folder 8
Vivier, Odile

Box 5: folder 9

Box 5: folder 10
Watts, Chi and Schuyler

Box 5: folder 11
Wergel, Henriette

Box 5: folder 12
Weinberg, Diane Cavalle

Box 5: folder 13
We Chung, Chou

Box 5: folder 14
Winslow, Kirk

Box 5: folder 15
Yates, Peter

Box 5: folder 16

Box 5: folder 17

Box 5: folder 18
To LV following death of Edgard

Telegrams / Cables

Box 6: folder 1

Box 6: folder 2

Box 6: folder 3
MacDowell Colony and American Academy of Poets

Box 6: folder 4
Composers' organizations, Will Shuster, Museum of Irish Art

Box 6: folder 5
Bank of NY, US, and French governments

Box 6: folder 6
A - C

Box 6: folder 7
D - K

Box 6: folder 8
L - M

Box 6: folder 9
N - R

Box 6: folder 10
S - V

Box 6: folder 11
W - Z

Box 6: folder 12

Box 6: folder 13
Re: Music, museums, publishing, translations, and Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary


Fowlie, Wallace

Box 7: folder 1
Grace, Julien

Box 7: folder 1
Leger, Alexis (St John Perse)

Box 7: folder 3
Michaeux, Henri

Box 7: folder 4
Poets, Miscellaneous

Box 7: folder 5
Simeon, Georges

Box 7: folder 6
Banks and USIA

Box 7: folder 7

Arts Council of Great Britain

Box 7: folder 8
Haifa, Music Museum and Library

Box 7: folder 9
Musee National D"Art Moderne

Box 7: folder 10
Museum of Modern Art

Box 7: folder 11
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Box 7: folder 12

Arts Council of Great Britain

Box 7: folder 13
Columbia University Department of Music

Box 7: folder 14
Bartok Archivuum

Box 7: folder 15
Communications industries

Box 7: folder 16
Eastman School of Music

Box 7: folder 17
Ensemble Instrumental de Musique Contemp de Paris

Box 7: folder 18
La Foundation Maeght

Box 7: folder 19
May Fest

Box 7: folder 20

Box 7: folder 21
The National Theatre

Box 7: folder 22
New York Philharmonic

Box 7: folder 23
Semaines Musicales International

Box 7: folder 24
Utah Symphony Orchestra

Box 7: folder 25
Universities - Miscellaneous

Box 7: folder 26

The Bollingen Series

Box 7: folder 26
C.F. Peters Corp.

Box 7: folder 27
City Lights Books

Box 7: folder 28
McGraw Hill Book Co.

Box 7: folder 29

Box 7: folder 30
New Directions

Box 7: folder 31
New Directions - Contracts

Box 7: folder 32
New Directions - Royalty Stets.

Box 7: folder 33
W.W. Norton & CO., LND.

Box 7: folder 34
Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary - Miscellaneous correspondence to LV

Box 7: folder 35

List of translations

Box 8: folder 1
Early notes/clippings

Box 8: folder 2
"The Blind Man" and "Buddha of the Bathroom"

Box 8: folder 3
Limerick about Varèse in Santa Fe

Box 8: folder 4
"The Little Wax Candle"

Box 8: folder 5
"Marcel Duchamp at Play"

Box 8: folder 6
"The Poetic Art of Photography"

Box 8: folder 7
"Pony House" and drawing for Edgard

Box 8: folder 8

Author, Looten, Michaux

Box 8: folder 9
With the French Author, Sokolova, Nadia

Box 8: folder 10
Miscellaneous - other manuscripts

Box 8: folder 11

Box 8: folder 12
"Marie the Virgin and the Virgins" Antibes

Box 8: folder 13
"Miserable Miracle"

Box 8: folder 14
"Slaughter of the Innocents"

Box 8: folder 15
"Together Still", Michaux

Box 8: folder 16
Translator's note to Perse's "Eloques and Other Poems"

Box 8: folder 17
For Nancy Reid program(soprano)

Box 8: folder 18

Box 8: folder 19
Translations known to exist but have not been found

Box 8: folder 20

Box 8: folder 21
Unidentified - "The Chess Game"

Box 8: folder 22
Unidentified - "Liminana" Poems

Box 8: folder 23
Unidentified - "The One All Alone"

Box 8: folder 24
Unidentified - Stories

Box 8: folder 25
Reviews of Translations

"Paris Spleen," Baudelaire

Box 8: folder 26
"Joy," George Bernanos

Box 8: folder 27
"Castle of Argol," Gracq, Julien

Box 8: folder 28
"Parenthesis," Jacques Lemarchand

Box 8: folder 29
"Le Miserable Miracle," Michaux, H.

Box 8: folder 30
St. John Perse

Box 8: folder 31
"Pleasures and Regrets," Proust

Box 8: folder 32
Rimbaud, Arthur

Box 8: folder 33
Sartre, Jean Paul

Box 8: folder 34
Simenon, George

Box 8: folder 35
"Lucien Leuwen," Stendhal

Box 8: folder 36
New Yorker, "Musical Events - Sound and Spaces"

Box 8: folder 37
Corrected manuscripts

Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary, Vol. 1. Part 1. Early Years

Box 9: folder 1
Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary: Entire manuscript of Vol. 1 only

Box 9: folder 2
Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary, Vol. I


Box 10: folder 1
Notes - Vol. II

Box 10: folder 2
Incomplete segment of Vol. II - Back to NY

Box 10: folder 3
Reviews - Varèse; A Looking-Glass Diary

Box 10: folder 4
Recording, exhibition, awards, medals, organizations

Transcribed tape - Varèse and Alcopley, Leonardo

Box 11: folder 1
Application for Guggenheim

Box 11: folder 2
Denyse Clairouin Award

Box 11: folder 3
D'officier Dans l'ordre Des Arts et Des Lettres

Box 11: folder 4
Organizations - P.E.N.

Box 11: folder 5
Organizations - The MacDowell Company

Box 11: folder 6
Duchamp, Marcel - Exhibition of his work - Museum of Modern Art

Box 11: folder 7

To Paris for "Hommages a Varèse"

Box 12: folder 1
For Edgard Varèse's work performed

Box 12: folder 2
For Edgard Varèse's work performed

Box 12: folder 3
Attended by Louise Varèse

Box 12: folder 4

Louise Varèse's clippings, poems etc collected by her

Box 13: folder 1
Contents list contributed to SSC compiled by Maryette Charlton

Box 13: folder 2
Miscellaneous - cutout

Box 13: folder 3
Flores, Angel - Assignment of copyright

Box 13: folder 4
Menu signed by friends

Box 13: folder 5
Negatives of photographs of LV for Claude Varèse

Box 13: folder 6
Photos of LV by Esta Varèse
1920, 1921 [or 22]

Box 13: folder 7
Edgard Varèse's monogram for LV

Box 13: folder 8
Reception - list of invites - Le Conseiller Culturel

Box 13: folder 9
Rogue II - October

Box 13: folder 10
Rogue II - December

Box 13: folder 11
Souvenir from Igor Kio Mocow Circus

Box 13: folder 12

Baudelaire, Charles, Paris Spleen, New Directions, NY (2 copies)

Bernanos, Georges, Joy, Pantheon Books, NY

Bernstein, Joseph M., ed., Baudelaire Rimbaud Verlaine - Selected Verse and Prose Poems, Citadel Press, NY

Breton, Andre, Silence is Golden, Soundings(2 copies)

Brown, Everett, Harrison, Masterworks of World Literature, Third Edition Volume II Shakespeare-Sartre, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc.

Fernandez, Ronald, Social Psychology Through Literature, John Wiley and Sons, NY

Geist, Stanley, ed., French Stories and Tales, Alfred A. Knopf, NY

Gracq, Julien, The Castle of Argol, Direction, Norfolk, CT

Gracq, Julien, The Castle of Argol, Peter Owen Limited,London

Gracq, Julien, Au Chateau d'Argol, Jose Corti, Paris

Kulik, William T. and Omans, Glen A., Faces of Authority, Scott, Foresman, and Company, Glenview, IL

Lipking, Lawrence I. and Litz, A. Walton, ed.

Modern Literary CriticismAthenum, NY, 1972

Michaux, Henri, Miserable Miracle, City Lights Book, San Francisco

Michaux, Henri, Nous Deux Encore, J. Lambert and Company, Paris

Mickiewicz, Adam, The Great Improvisation, Voyages, NY

Mills, Clark., ed., Adam Michiewicz - Selected Poems, The Noonday Press, Inc., NY(2 copies)

Perse, St. John, Collected Poems, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ

Perse, St. John, Eloges and Other Poems, W.W. Norton and Company, NY

Perse, St. John, Exile and Other Poems, Pantheon Books, NY

Proust, Marcel, Pleasures and Regrets, Crown Publishers, NY

Rimbaud, Arthur, Illuminations, New Directions, NYcopies
1947, 2

Rimbaud, Arthur, Illuminations, revised edition, New Directions, NY (2 copies)

Rimbaud, Arthur, A Season in Hell, New Directions, Norfolk, CT

Rimbaud, Arthur, A Season in Hell and The Drunken Boat, New Directions, NY

Sartre, Jean-Paul, The Chips Are Down, Lear, , NY

Scheaffer, Louis, O'Neill Son and Artist, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston

Scheaffer, Louis, O'Neill Son and Playwright, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston

Simenon, Georges, Act of Passion, Routledge and Kegan Paul, Ltd., London

Simenon, Georges, The Girl in His Past, Prentice-Hall, Inc., NY

Simenon, Georges, The Heart of a Man, Prentice-Hall, Inc., NY

Simenon, Georges, Maigret, Lognon et Les Gangsters , Presses do la Cite, Paris

Simenon, Georges, Satan's Children, Prentice-Hall, Inc., NY

Simenon, Georges, The Snow Was Black, Prentice-Hall, Inc., NY

Stendhal, The Green Huntsman, New Directions, NY

Stendhal, The Telegraph, New Directions, NY

Valery, Paul, Selected Writings, New Directions, Binghamton, NY

Varèse, Louise, Varèse, Davis-Poynter, Great Britain

Varèse, Louise, Varèse, W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., NY(2 copies)


Arts News Annual, XXVI

The Chimera, Vol. II, No. 4 (2 copies)

The Chimera, Vol. IV, No. 2 (2 copies)

Evergreen Review ed. by Allen, Donald, and Rosset, Vol. I, No. 1, Grove Press, NY

The Paris Review, Paris

The Polish Review, Vol. I, No. 2-3

Quarterly Review of Literature ed. by Paul Valery, Vol. III, New Haven (2 copies)

Retort ed. by Holley R. Cantine, Jr., Vol. II, No. 2

ADDITIONS (unprocessed)

R. KIVE; Presented 8/8/87


Allen Norton

The New Yorker (3)
May 13, 1974

Louise Varèse Birthday Celebrations

Correspondence: Louise Varèse

Certificate of Naturalization

Correspondence from Louise Varèse to Edgard Varèse, etc.

Correspondence to Louise Varèse

Correspondence to Louise Varèse

Correspondence to Louise Varèse

Correspondence from Louise Varèse to Maryette Charlton )

Correspondence to Maryette Charlton from Sylvia Gillis
1985- ?

Reviews of A Looking Glass Diary, Vol. I

Rough drafts of Louise Varèse for article "Marcel Duchamp at Play"

Two tape recordings of Louise Varèse by Maryette Charlton made on using MC's Nagra, 2/1/72

Louise Varèse "Likes"

R. KIVE; Presented 8/8/87

Posters, reviews, relating to "A Varèse Celebration"

Louise Varèse activities, relating to Edgard Varèse, concerts, et al.

Photographs of Louise Varèse by Brassai, et al (some with negatives, inter. negatives, labeled)

Photograph of Allen Norton with negatives

Maryette Charlton's Photographs + negatives, color slides


Newspaper clipping of Louise Varese's obituary

Newspaper article featuring Edgard Varese and three other composers

Advertisements for "A Varese Celebration - December 1, 1983" and "A Night of Music"
1983, n.d.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Barzun, Jacques, 1907- --Correspondence
  • Musicians--United States--Biography--Sources
  • Nin, Anaïs, 1903-1977--Correspondence
  • Translators--United States--Biography--Sources
  • Varèse, Edgard, 1883-1965
  • Varèse, Louise, 1890-
  • Women authors, American--20th century--Biography--Sources

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