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Northwestern University Library
Northwestern University Library

Guide to the Eliseo Vivas (1901-1993) Papers 1922/1987

Overview of the Collection

Title:

Eliseo Vivas (1901-1993) Papers

Dates:

1922-1987

Collector:

Vivas, Eliseo

Size:

17.00

Repository:

Northwestern University Archives

Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Abstract:

The Eliseo Vivas Papers fill 17 boxes (one is half-size) and span the period 1922-1987. They are arranged in five categories: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, speech manuscripts and papers, and publications. The biographical materials include personal data, bibliographies, clippings, family materials, financial records, an interview, and note books. Of special interest are a two and one-half page biographical article by T. S. Hayes and a four page “Statement of the Major Ideas That Have Controlled My Work” prepared by Vivas (Box 1, Folder 1). Vivas held many academic positions. In 1951 Vivas came to Northwestern as John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, a chair he had until he retired in 1969. Many of the documents contained in this collection pertain to academic life, while some shed light on personal topics such as the correspondence files included here.

Biographical Information

Eliseo Vivas was born of Venezuelan parents in Pamplona, Colombia, on July 13, 1901. With the advent of the Venezuelan dictator Castro in 1908, the Vivas family went on an extended exile, first to Curacao, then Paris, and eventually to New York in 1915. Vivas received his secondary education in Curacao and New York and then entered the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute's program in engineering. While there Vivas took a course with Joseph Wood Krutch and decided to change his major to the humanities, which led him to transfer to the University of Wisconsin in 1926, on a Zona Gale Scholarship. There he earned a B.A. (1928) in philosophy and a Ph.D. (1935) also in philosophy.

In 1928 Vivas married Sarah Cohen, and the couple had a daughter, Marta Elvia, early in 1933. Sarah died in 1940 after suffering for several years from cancer. Vivas married again, late in 1941, to Dorothy Gant.

After brief stints as Venezuelan consul in Philadelphia and with the Barnes Foundation (an important exposure to modern art), Vivas entered academic life at the University of Wisconsin. He remained in Madison until 1944. For the next seven years Vivas taught at several universities, among them the University of Chicago and the Ohio State University.

In 1951 Vivas came to Northwestern as John Evans Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy, a chair he had until he retired in 1969. He then taught at Rockford College and the University of Iowa. During his career, Vivas also served as a visiting professor at several institutions.

While at Wisconsin, Vivas became deeply interested in communism, although he never joined the Communist party. However, his political and philosophical beliefs steadily moved from the left to the right, and he eventually became a staunch conservative.

His writings include many book reviews (especially from the 1920's through the 1940's), articles, and books on philosophy (primarily on aesthetics and values) and literary criticism. His major books are "The Moral and the Ethical Life" (1950); "Creation and Discovery" (1955); "D. H. Lawrence, the Failure and the Triumph of Art" (1960); "The Artistic Transaction and Essays on Theory of Literature" (1963); "Contra Marcuse" (1971); and "Two Roads to Ignorance" (1979). This last volume is autobiographical. To celebrate Vivas's seventy-fifth birthday, Henry Regnery arranged and edited a festschrift, "Viva Vivas" (1976). Hugh Curtler compiled an annotated bibliography, "Eliseo Vivas", which was published in 1982.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Corporate Name:

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Dept. of Philosophy--Faculty

Personal Name:

Vivas, Eliseo

Topical Term:

Ethics--Study and teaching--Illinois--Evanston

Philosophy--Study and teaching (Higher)--Illinois--Evanston

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Eliseo Vivas Papers are formed from two accessions: the major accession, #89-134, was donated to the University Archives on July 31, 1989, through Mr. and Mrs. Howard Schonberger and Wilfrid Zogbaum; the second accession consists of the University Archives biographical file on Vivas (#79-19).

Processing Information

William K. Beatty; August - November, 1989.

Separated Materials

A large number of black and white photographs were transferred to the University Archives photograph collection. Four items were transferred to the oversize file: Vivas (Rm 111A 2nd drawer Map Case 110B) elementary school diploma, City of New York, June 30, 1916; his certificate of appointment as consul of Venezuela in Philadelphia, Oct. 16, 1928, authorized by Calvin Coolidge; appointment for same authorized by Pres. Gen Juan Vicente Gomez of Venezuela; and the Charter of Pi Beta Tau, Engineering Dishonorary Society, June 1, 1951. Approximately 25 linear inches of duplicate material and 40 inches of extraneous material were discarded.

Conditions Governing Access

The Eliseo Vivas Papers are closed to research until the death of Eliseo Vivas. Prior to this time they may be used or consulted by the following members of his family: Wilfride Zogbaum, Ann Schonberger, and Howard Schonberger. For a period of two years following the death of Eliseo Vivas, access to the papers (except to the above-named persons) may be granted only with the permission of Howard Schonberger or, in the event of his death or disability, Ann Schonberger or Wilfrid Zogbaum. Following this two year period access to the papers will be unrestricted. No restrictions on access will apply at any time to published works, clippings, reprints, or like items of public record found within the papers.

Arrangement of Materials

These files are primarily alphabetically arranged, with the exception of correspondence, which is arranged chronologically.

Scope and Contents

The Eliseo Vivas Papers fill 17 boxes (one is half-size) and span the period 1922-1987. They are arranged in five categories: biographical materials, correspondence, teaching files, speech manuscripts and papers, and publications. Some of the materials are written in Spanish.

The biographical materials include personal data, bibliographies, clippings, family materials, financial records, an interview, and note books. Of special interest are a two and one-half page biographical article by T. S. Hayes and a four page “Statement of the Major Ideas That Have Controlled My Work” prepared by Vivas (Box 1, Folder 1). The bibliographies include a copy of the 22-page section from "Viva Vivas". The clippings deal mostly with Vivas's speeches but also include several likenesses in newspapers and magazines (dating from 1923). The family materials include items about his daughter, Marta Elvia Vivas Zogbaum (e.g., birth certificate, passports, and obituary), and some legal and financial items related to his father, Eliseo Vivas Perez (Box 1, Folder 2). The financial records include periodic reports of the distribution of family funds in Venezuela. The 17 page interview, published in 1950, is written in Spanish; accompanying it is a 9 page English typescript in which Vivas made addtiions and corrections. The notebooks contain a variety of material (Box 2, Folders 8-9; Box 3, Folders 1-2) ranging from the intensely personal (thoughts and personal examinings, often recorded late at night), through notes and ponderings on readings, philosophical problems, and daily life, to views on colleagues and notes for papers and books.

The correspondence, occupying slightly more than nine boxes, comprises the largest category. The general correspondence is arranged chronologically by date. There are only five folders of subject correspondence. Of special value are the many letters to and from Vivas dealing with contemporary matters in philosophy and literary criticism. Frequent correspondents include Henry Regnery, Hugh Curtler, Murray Kreiger, Angelo Bertocci, Donald Zoll, Merle Browne, Stephen Tonsor, Russell Kirk, and Mark Graubard. Of special interest are two letters from Katherine Anne Porter (April 26 and July 3, 1960, Box 4, Folder 3) which deal at some length with her writings and literary views as well as with D. H. Lawrence and Vivas's work on Lawrence. Joseph Wood Krutch is represented by a typed postcard (May 19, 1968; Box 6, Folder 4) commenting on a Vivas article. This category also contains many letters from Marta Elvia and a few to her from Vivas. Marta Elvia was a free-lance editor, feminist, and wife of the artist and sculptor, Wilfrid Zogbaum.

In the subject correspondence two folders are of some interest for the light they shed on Vivas and the correspondents. One (Box 13, Folder 3) contains materials by, to, and about Sarah Cohen Vivas; the other (Box 12, Folder 11) contains letters from Ann Henry, and a few from Vivas. They were close friends in the 1930's.

The teaching files contain many handwritten lectures and parts of lectures.

The speech manuscripts and papers include drafts and notes.

The publications files include small amounts of correspondence, typescripts, and notes related to several books. Of interest is a 3 page summary of a book, “A Study of the Liberal Ethos”, which Vivas apparently never carried further. Most of this category consists of drafts of, or notes for, various articles. Here also is the text of a poem, “New York”, written in 1924. Book reviews occupy eight folders. Many of the reviews are clippings or tearsheets from the original magazines or newspapers. Of interest is the section on criticism of Vivas's writings (Box 16, Folder 9; Box 17, Folders 1-9) which includes manuscript material, reprints of articles, and printouts of microfilmed theses.

INVENTORY

Biographical Materials

Box 1

Folder 1

General

1937-1980

Box 1

Folder 2

Bibliography

1948-1966

Box 1

Folder 3

Clippings

1923-1959

Box 1

Folder 4

1960-1969

Box 1

Folder 5

1970-1976

Box 1

Folder 6

Diploma

1935

Box 1

Folder 7

Family

1933-1984

Financial Records

Box 1

Folder 8

Administrator's Data

1964-1968

Box 1

Folder 9

1969-1973

Box 1

Folder 10

1974-1981

Box 1

Folder 11

Bank Accounts

1959-1971

Box 1

Folder 12

General

1941-1969

Box 2

Folder 1

1970-1986

Box 2

Folder 2

Income Tax

1974

Box 2

Folder 3

1974

Box 2

Folder 4

1974

Box 2

Folder 5

Insurance

1946-1950

Box 2

Folder 6

Interview

1950

Box 2

Folder 7

Marriage Certificate

1928, May 21

Box 2

Folder 8

Note Book

6/1942-3/18/1945

Box 2

Folder 9

7/16/1942-4/24/1943

Box 3

Folder 1

2/23/1944-4/10/1950

Box 3

Folder 2

8/26-9/1955

Box 3

Folder 3

Passport

1928; 1960

Box 3

Folder 4

Programs

1949-1969

Box 3

Folder 5

1970-1980

Box 3

Folder 6

Stock Certificate

1930

Box 3

Folder 7

Trips to Europe

1966-1967

Correspondence

General

Box 3

Folder 8

1923-1939

Box 3

Folder 9

1940

Box 3

Folder 10

1941

Box 3

Folder 11

1942

Box 4

Folder 1

1943-1949

Box 4

Folder 2

1950-1959

Box 4

Folder 3

1960

Box 4

Folder 4

1961

Box 4

Folder 5

1962

Box 4

Folder 6

1963

Box 4

Folder 7

1-4/1964

Box 4

Folder 8

5-8/1964

Box 4

Folder 9

9-12/1964

Box 4

Folder 10

1-4/1965

Box 4

Folder 11

5-8/1965

Box 5

Folder 1

9-12/1965

Box 5

Folder 2

1-2/1966

Box 5

Folder 3

3-4/1966

Box 5

Folder 4

5-6/1966

Box 5

Folder 5

7-9/1966

Box 5

Folder 6

10-12/1966

Box 5

Folder 7

1-3/1967

Box 5

Folder 8

4-6/1967

Box 5

Folder 9

7-9/1967

Box 6

Folder 1

10-12/1967

Box 6

Folder 2

1-2/1968

Box 6

Folder 3

3-4/1968

Box 6

Folder 4

5-6/1968

Box 6

Folder 5

7-9/1968

Box 6

Folder 6

10-12/1968

Box 6

Folder 7

1-2/1969

Box 6

Folder 8

3-4/1969

Box 6

Folder 9

5-6/1969

Box 6

Folder 10

7-8/1969

Box 7

Folder 1

9-10/1969

Box 7

Folder 2

11-12/1969

Box 7

Folder 3

1-2/1970

Box 7

Folder 4

3-4/1970

Box 7

Folder 5

5-6/1970

Box 7

Folder 6

7-8/1970

Box 7

Folder 7

9-10/1970

Box 7

Folder 8

11-12/1970

Box 7

Folder 9

1-2/1971

Box 7

Folder 10

3-4/1971

Box 7

Folder 11

5-6/1971

Box 8

Folder 1

7-8/1971

Box 8

Folder 2

9-10/1971

Box 8

Folder 3

11-12/1971

Box 8

Folder 4

1-2/1972

Box 8

Folder 5

3-4/1972

Box 8

Folder 6

5-6/1972

Box 8

Folder 7

7-8/1972

Box 8

Folder 8

9-10/1972

Box 8

Folder 9

11-12/1972

Box 8

Folder 10

1-2/1973

Box 8

Folder 11

3-4/1973

Box 8

Folder 12

5-6/1973

Box 9

Folder 1

7-8/1973

Box 9

Folder 2

9-10/1973

Box 9

Folder 3

11-12/1973

Box 9

Folder 4

1-2/1974

Box 9

Folder 5

3-4/1974

Box 9

Folder 6

5-6/1974

Box 9

Folder 7

7-8/1974

Box 9

Folder 8

9-10/1974

Box 9

Folder 9

11-12/1974

Box 9

Folder 10

1-2/1975

Box 9

Folder 11

3-4/1975

Box 9

Folder 12

5-6/1975

Box 9

Folder 13

7-8/1975

Box 9

Folder 14

9-10/1975

Box 10

Folder 1

9-10/1975

Box 10

Folder 2

1-2/1976

Box 10

Folder 3

3-4/1976

Box 10

Folder 4

5-6/1976

Box 10

Folder 5

7-8/1976

Box 10

Folder 6

9-10/1976

Box 10

Folder 7

11-12/1976

Box 10

Folder 8

1-2/1977

Box 10

Folder 9

3-4/1977

Box 10

Folder 10

5-6/1977

Box 10

Folder 11

7-8/1977

Box 10

Folder 12

9-10/1977

Box 10

Folder 13

11-12/1977

Box 11

Folder 1

1-2/1978

Box 11

Folder 2

3-4/1978

Box 11

Folder 3

5-6/1978

Box 11

Folder 4

7-8/1978

Box 11

Folder 5

9-10/1978

Box 11

Folder 6

11-12/1978

Box 11

Folder 7

1-3/1979

Box 11

Folder 8

4-6/1979

Box 11

Folder 9

7-9/1979

Box 11

Folder 10

10-12/1979

Box 11

Folder 11

1-4/1980

Box 11

Folder 12

5-8/1980

Box 12

Folder 1

9-12/1980

Box 12

Folder 2

1-6/1981

Box 12

Folder 3

7-12/1981

Box 12

Folder 4

1982

Box 12

Folder 5

1983

Box 12

Folder 6

1984

Box 12

Folder 7

1985

Box 12

Folder 8

1986-1987

Box 12

Folder 9

n.d.

Subject

Box 12

Folder 10

Book Orders

1974-1978

Box 12

Folder 11

Henry, Ann

1936-1938

Box 13

Folder 1

Lovera, Marco

1968-1975

Box 13

Folder 2

Quinlan and Tyson

1951

Box 13

Folder 3

Vivas, Sarah Cohen

1938-1940

Teaching Files

Box 13

Folder 4

English 442

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 5

Art, lecture notes

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 6

Artisitc Creation

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 7

Criticism

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 8

Cultural Relativism

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 9

Ethics, syllabus

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 10

Freud, lecture notes

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 11

Goldstein, Kurt

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 12

Individualism

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 13

Jung

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 14

Mind-Body

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 15

Miscellaneous

n.d.

Box 13

Folder 16

Naturalism, lecture notes

1943

Box 13

Folder 17

New Criticism

1949-1950

Box 14

Folder 1

Personality

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 2

Poetry

1967

Box 14

Folder 3

Poetry and Art

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 4

University of Iowa

1967-1968

Box 14

Folder 5

University of North Carolina

1965

Speech Manuscripts and Papers

Box 14

Folder 6

“The Dignity of Art”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 7

Dufrenne's Paper

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 8

(Comments on “Education and the Aesthetic Experience”)

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 9

(Freedom v. Happiness)

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 10

Albert Hofstadter's Paper, comments on,

1971, Oct

Box 14

Folder 11

“The Humanities in American Society”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 12.1

(The Individual and Conservatism)

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 12.2

“Literature and Knowledge,”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 13

(Literature and Science)

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 14

“The Moral Decision”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 15

“Poetry and Ideas”

1954

Box 14

Folder 16

Prassas, Philip

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 17

“The Problem of Culture”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 18

(Role of Philosophy in the University)

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 19

“Should the Government Subsidize the Arts” (radio)

1952, Mar. 30

Box 14

Folder 20

(Claude M. Simpson, Jr., Funeral)

1976, Apr. 8

Box 14

Folder 21

“The Unity of the Arts”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 22

“Value”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 23

“What is Man?”

n.d.

Publications

Books

Box 14

Folder 24

Contra Marcuse, correspondence

1970-1971

Box 14

Folder 25

Eliseo Vivas: An Annotated Bibliography

1982

Box 14

Folder 26

“A Study of the Liberal Ethos,” summary

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 27

Two Roads to Ignorance, fragments

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 28

Viva Vivas, miscellaneous

1976-1977

Box 14

Folder 29

Contracts

1947-1972

Box 14

Folder 30

Royalties

1963-1978

Articles

Box 14

Folder 31

“Advice for Success-To My Unborn Child”

1931, Dec.

Box 14

Folder 32

“Art, Morals, and Propaganda”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 33

“The Brothers Karamazoo”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 34

“Dostoyevsky, ‘Poet’ In Spite of Himself”

1974

Box 14

Folder 35

Miscellaneous

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 36

“Naturalism”

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 37

“New York” (Poem)

1924

Box 14

Folder 38

Notes

n.d.

Box 14

Folder 39

“On Modern Age's 25th Anniversary”

n.d.

Box 15

Folder 1

“Relativism”

n.d.

Box 15

Folder 2

“What Makes Civilization Possible?”

n.d.

Box 15

Folder 3

Book Reviews

1923-1925

Box 15

Folder 4

1926-1929

Box 15

Folder 5

1930-1935

Box 15

Folder 6

1936-1939

Box 15

Folder 7

1940-1949

Box 15

Folder 8

1950-1959

Box 15

Folder 9

1960-1969

Box 15

Folder 10

1970-1980

Reviews of Books by Vivas

Box 15

Folder 11

Artistic Transaction

1964-1966

Box 15

Folder 12

Contra Marcuse

1971-1973

Box 15

Folder 13

Creation and Discovery

1956

Box 15

Folder 14

D.H. Lawrence

1961-1962

Box 15

Folder 15

Miscellaneous

n.d.

Box 15

Folder 16

Moral Life

1951-1952

Box 15

Folder 17

Two Roads to Ignorance

1980

Box 15

Folder 18

Viva Vivas

1977

Box 15

Folder 19

Reprints

1922-1929

Box 15

Folder 20

1930-1939

Box 16

Folder 1

1940-1949

Box 16

Folder 2

1950-1953

Box 16

Folder 3

1954-1959

Box 16

Folder 4

1960-1964

Box 16

Folder 5

1965-1969

Box 16

Folder 6

1970-1974

Box 16

Folder 7

1975-1978

Box 16

Folder 8

n.d.

Criticism

Box 16

Folder 9

Bertocci, Angelo

n.d.

Box 17

Folder 1

Brown, Merle

1968

Box 17

Folder 2

Curtler, Hugh

1977; 1981

Box 17

Folder 3

1978

Box 17

Folder 4

Foster, Richard

1962

Box 17

Folder 5

Hausman, Carl

n.d.

Box 17

Folder 6

Heilman, Robert

1960

Box 17

Folder 7

Jenkins, Iredell

1956

Box 17

Folder 8

Kraus, Donald

1959

Box 17

Folder 9

Miller, William

1971