Rare Book & Manuscript Library

John Howard Griffin papers, 1920-2004

Series XI. Scattered Shadows and The John Howard Griffin Reader

The Reader, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1968, was a 600 page cloth edition of Griffin's best work to that time; the collection sold 40,000 copies, but was never reissued in a paperback edition. The Reader included condensed versions of his two published novels--The Devil Rides Outside and Nuni; ample selections from two other published books--Land of the Hiqh Sky, a history of the staked plains region of west Texas, and Black Like Me. Three other sections completed the volume: a section of his photographic portraits, a gathering of journalistic pieces on racism, and a selection of "works-in-progress" that included two chapters from Scattered Shadows. The Reader was edited by Bradford Daniel, who also condensed the two novels and introduced each portion of the collection. The volume also contained an essay on Griffin's work by literary historian Maxwell Geismar, and several excerpts from Griffin's journals.. This series contains Griffin's correspondence with both Daniel and editors at Houghton Mifflin, and photocopies of the front matter to the book. There are no working manuscripts as everything was gathered from mostly published sources, and all selecting and editing were carried out by Daniel , who was Griffin's secretary at that time. (Copies of published reviews are included.. While The Reader was being readied for publication, Griffin was still lecturing on racism full-time, in order both to fulfill what he considered his obligation (under spiritual direction) to the civil rights struggle, and to support his wife and four children.. Besides the lecture circuit and writing magazine pieces on racism, Griffin worked on the manuscript of Scattered Shadows whenever possible.. Scattered Shadows, the autobiography of his loss of sight, decade of blindness, and eventual sight-recovery, has never been published as a book. The first 11 of 20 chapters were completed for Houghton Mifflin in 1967 and a contract was issued. However, Griffin never revised the last 9 chapters (which would have come from his ongoing journals) because the events of 1968 forced him back on the lecture circuit and also to the trouble spots of racial strife.. He never returned to the autobiography even after the explosions of 1968 had passed because; near the end of that year his friend and colleague, Thomas Merton, died of accidental electrocution in Bangkok (on December 10).. After negotiations with other publishers, Griffin and Houghton Mifflin agreed on a contract for the production of a photographic book (including Merton's photographs and drawings and Griffin's portraits of the monk and photographs of the Abbey of Gethsemani and its spacious grounds, along with texts by Griffin). The project eventually became A Hidden Wholeness: The Visual World of Thomas Merton, published by Houghton 1970. Early on in the process of making this visual book, Griffin interacted with the three members of the Merton Legacy Trust. By spring of 1969, the Trust decided to offer the "Official Biography" to Griffin. At first, he declined; later, he accepted the invitation, hoping that this new large work would support his family and allow him to withdraw from the lecture circuit and write full-time. Considering how difficult lecturing had became due to various medical set-backs and resolving any guilt he might have felt for not continuing the civil rights struggle, he leaped into the project with enthusiasm.. Griffin hoped that Scattered Shadows would be published after the Merton biography--both by Houghton-Mifflin. However, researching the biography took several more years than he had anticipated--partly because the subject was so complex and far-reaching and partly due to his own declining health--and there was never time to return to the autobiography.. The two chapters that appear in The Reader were first published in Ramparts magazine. In fact, the chapters appeared twice in that Catholic periodical--first, in 1963, when Ramparts was a quarterly with limited circulation, and then again, in 1966, when it had become a widely-read monthly. A third chapter, entitled "My Friend, Reverdy" in The Reader, first appeared in Southwest Review, the SMU literary quarterly. Various other pieces from the manuscript were published in such Catholic magazines as Jubilee and Catholic World; and an account of his recovery of sight was published in Readers Digest and in the anthology The Spirit of Man.. This series contains a photocopy of the Ramparts chapters published in that magazine, as well as 20 file folders containing typescript carbons of the first 11 chapters from the unfinished manuscript. (Also six of Griffin's original file folders with typed labels made by the author.). These various chapter drafts afford glimpses of Griffin's manner of line by line revision and section by section reorganization--especially when compared to the few chapters that were published.

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Box 9 Folder 322 Chapter One. First Draft., Mansfield, TX, [n.d.], 40 pages t.ms. (carbon, with the author's and editors ms. corrections

Box 9 Folder 323 Chapter One: Second draft, Mansfield, TX, [n.d.], 22 pages t.ms. (carbon, with ms. corrections

Box 9 Folder 324 Chapter One: Third draft, Mansfield, TX, [n.d.], 22 pages t.ms. (carbon, with ms. corrections

Box 9 Folder 325 Chapter Two:- First draft, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 15 pages t.ms. (carbon, with Griffin's handwritten revisions in ink

Box 9 Folder 326 Chapter Two: Second draft, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 18 page t.ms. (carbon, with ms. corrections

Box 9 Folder 327 Chapter Two: Final version, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 16 page t.ms. (carbon

Box 9 Folder 328 Chapter Three: First draft, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 16 pages t.ms. (carbon, with Griffin's ms. revisions

[Incomplete missing pp. 43-47

Box 9 Folder 329 Chapter Three: Second draft, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 22 pages t.ms. (carbon

Box 9 Folder 330 Chapter Three: Final draft, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 18 pages t.ms. (carbon

Box 9 Folder 331 Chapter Four: First draft , [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 38 pages t.ms. (carbon, with Griffin's ms. corrections

Box 9 Folder 332 Chapter Four: Second draft , [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 30 pages t.ms. (carbon

Box 9 Folder 333 Chapter Four: Third draft , [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 29 pages t.ms. (carbon

Box 9 Folder 333 Chapter Four: Third draft , [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 29 pages t.ms. (carbon

Box 10 Folder 334 Chapter Five: First draft , [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 24 pages t.ms. (carbon, with Griffin's ms. corrections

Box 10 Folder 335 Chapter Five: Second draft , [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 16 pages t.ms. (carbon & photocopy

Box 10 Folder 336 Chapter Six: Final draft , [Mansfield, TX], 11 October 1967, 12 pages t.ms. (carbon & photocopy

Box 10 Folder 337 Chapter Seven: Three drafts in typescript carbon, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 4 page t.ms. (carbon), 4 page t.ms. (carbon), 5 page t.ms (carbon, "10/11/67"

Box 10 Folder 338 Chapter Eight: Three drafts, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 10 page t.ms. (carbon, with Griffin's ms. corrections), 12 page t.ms. (carbon, "Superceded"), 8 page t.ms. ("Final carbon", "10/12/67"

Box 10 Folder 339 Chapter Nine: First draft & Final version, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 17 page t.ms. (carbon, with ms. corrections, "Superceded"), 22 page t.ms. (carbon

Box 10 Folder 340 & 341 Chapter Ten: First and Second drafts, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], pages t.ms. (carbon, with Griffin's ms. corrections), pages t.ms. (carbon

Box 10 Folder 342 Chapter Eleven: First draft, [Mansfield, TX], [n.d.], 28 page t.ms. (carbon, with ms. corrections

Box 10 Folder 342A Scattered Shadows Ramparts, January 1966, 13 page photocopy

Box 10 Folder 243 The John Howard Griffin Reader, Boston: Houghton Mifflin,, 1968, 7 page photocopy

Box 10 Folder 344 Houghton, Mifflin To John Howard Griffin, Boston, 30 June 1965 - 21 February 1967, 10 t.l.s. (with carbon replies and related material

[Re.The Reader

Box 10 Folder 345 Daniel, Bradford To John Howard Griffin, Fort Worth, TX, 17 Aug.1965 & 8 Sept. 1973, 2 t.l.s. (with relater carbon letter

[Re.The Reader

Box 10 Folder 346 The John Howard Griffin Reader Notes & Photographs, Boston: Houghton Mifflin,, 1968, 9 page photocopy

[Re.The Reader

Box 10 Folder 347 The John Howard Griffin Reader Reviews Wall Street Journal; Washington Star; The Dallas Morning News, 1968, 3 page photocopy

[Re.The Reader