Legman Autobiography [was Texas phrases (If ifs and buts...]

neil neil at TYPOG.CO.UK
Wed Dec 6 09:06:08 UTC 2006

This from my friend in Santo Rosa, Patrick Kearney (author of the
bibliography of the British Library's Private Case):

I saw the whole MS of "Peregrine Penis" in the possession
of  Jay Landesman in London. c, 1982. A bloody great thing
it was too, about two feet thick. Jay was toting it around the
Frankfurt Book Fair and elsewhere on behalf of Gershon, to
try and get somebody interested in publishing it.

Later, when PCs became more generally available, I
keyboarded the whole of volume 1 and half of vol. 2 for
Gershon. Others -- including Jay Gertzman -- handled
other volumes. Whether the whole MS was thus typed
I am uncertain.  I do believe, however, that a copy of the
whole MS (in one form another) was wisely sent by Judith
to the Library of Congress for copyright protection.

As for its publication, I have no information. I believe that
there have been some nibbles, but they have all been
from buggers more interested in the juicy bits -- i.e. the
chapters about American clandestine erotica, Gershon's
affair with Anais Nin, &c. &c. The material I typed up all
dealt with Gershon's childhood in Scranton, PA, and very
interesting it is, too. A brilliant and evocative account of
Jewish working-class life in 1920s America.

--Neil Crawford

> From: Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Reply-To: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Date: Tue, 5 Dec 2006 07:54:39 -0500
> Subject: Re: Texas phrases (If ifs and buts were candy and nuts...merry
> Christmas)
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Fred Shapiro <fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Texas phrases (If ifs and buts were candy and nuts...merry
>               Christmas)
> On Fri, 1 Dec 2006, George Thompson wrote:
>> By the way -- a number of year ago, there was discussion here of a
>> manuscript autobiography that Legman had left.  Does anyone know of a
>> plan to publish it?  If I recall, Fred Shapiro at the time was in
>> correspondence with Legman's widow.
> When I talked with Judith Legman, she had intentions of completing some of
> her husband's work, such as his long-awaited study on ballads, but my
> impression is that these intentions probably will not be fulfilled.  Even
> less likely than the ballads book being finished is the autobiography,
> which by all accounts is a huge, sprawling manuscript.
> Fred Shapiro
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
> Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS
>    Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press
> Yale Law School                             ISBN 0300107986
> e-mail: fred.shapiro at yale.edu               http://quotationdictionary.com
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