5 – Rewriting


Emily Holmes Coleman (1899-1974), author

Djuna Barnes (1892-1982), editor

Emily Coleman contributed articles, stories and poems to modernist magazines transition and New Review after moving to Paris in 1926, and her novel Shutter of Snow was published in 1930. Her novel “The Tygon,” which exists in seven complete drafts with extensive revisions throughout each typescript, remains unpublished. Like The Shutter of Snow, which was based on Coleman’s postpartum depression after the birth of her son, “The Tygon” also involves a birth trauma. Coleman is associated with a creative group of friends known as the Hayford Hall Circle, which included the American author Djuna Barnes. Coleman successfully championed Barnes’s novel Nightwood before T.S. Eliot, an editor who finally agreed to publish it at Faber and Faber in 1936. With mutual support, Barnes read and closely edited “The Tigon,” suggesting, among her other contributions, a title change to “The Tygon.” Coleman’s laborious journey with “Tygon” is documented in her writing log as well as in multiple drafts, rewritten over a period of thirty years.

All items from Emily Holmes Coleman papers

  1. Bound notebook containing outlines, notes, character sketches, and writing log for “The Tygon,” 1933-1936
  2. "The Tigon: Original MS," [1933]. Typescript with extensive autograph revisions, with red covers, pages 1-299 (308 leaves)
  3. “The Tigon: MS III, carbon of II with revisions, with Djuna’s corrections,” undated. Typescript (carbon) with extensive autograph revisions by Djuna Barnes,” includes added pages and rearranged pages (324 leaves)
  4. “The Tygon: MS V, revised finally to July 22, 1953 - Balcombe, Sussex,” 1953. Typescript with extensive autograph corrections, deletions, and revisions, as well as notes," pages 1-325 (322 leaves). This version includes a note about Emily Coleman’s commitment to the new title suggested by Djuna Barnes, “Under no circumstances is this title to be altered to The Tiglon or The Tigon or anything except the above, EHC, Hartford, Conn., May 11, 1949”
  5. “The Tygon: MS VII, retyping of revised version of August 1962 - with addition April 1963." Typescript, “approximately 70,000 words,” with few autograph corrections and some rearrangement of pages, pages 1-251 (250 leaves)
  6. The Tygon: MS VII,” April 1963. Clean copy of typescript (carbon), pages 1-247 (250 leaves)