Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Wahl, François, 1925-2014
François Wahl Collection on Severo Sarduy
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
circa 1939-2013
20 boxes and 8.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-5; 17-19; B-000809; B-000810; B-000811; B-000812; B-000813; B-000814; B-000815; B-000816; B-000817; B-000818; B-000819; B-001081


The collection contains edited typescripts and copies of Cuban writer Severo Sarduy's poems, essays, and translations, along with writings about Sarduy, interviews, notes, clippings, photographs, and other printed materials. Correspondence includes a group of postcards sent to Severo Sarduy and his partner François Wahl in the 1960s and 1970s from various European and Latin American writers and philosophers, including Roland Barthes, Alain Badiou, Reinaldo Arenas, Octavio Paz, and Jacques Lacan, and additional correspondence of French editor and structuralist François Wahl.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of a group of essays, poems, and translations by Cuban writer Severo Sarduy (1937-1993), along with interviews and writings about Sarduy and correspondence to Sarduy and his partner, the French editor François Wahl (1925-2014). Sarduy was a was a major Cuban poet, author, playwright, painter, and critic of Cuban literature and art. Born in the Cuban city of Camagüey, Sarduy lived in Paris from 1960 until his death in 1993, where he connected with a group of prominent French intellectuals, including François Wahl and Roland Barthes through their collaboration on the journal Tel Quel. The materials in this collection were collected by François Wahl, Sarduy's long-time partner and collaborator.

The collection contains edited typescripts and copies of Sarduy's writings in Spanish and French, including essays, poems, interviews, and translations, along with notes, clippings, sound recordings, photographs, photographic slides, and other miscellaneous printed material. Also present are 374 postcards sent to Sarduy and Wahl in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as additional correspondence of Wahl, primarily regarding Sarduy and his legacy. Wahl's correspondence also comprises some press clippings, photographs, and correspondence regarding his own work. Correspondents include Alain Badiou, Jacques Lacan, Roland Barthes, Tzvetan Todorov, Octavio Paz, Manuel Puig, Elie Wiesel, and others.

Collection Creator Biography:

Wahl, François, 1925-2014

François Wahl (1925-2014) was a French editor and structuralist. From 1957 until 1990, Wahl was an editor at Éditions du Seuil, a French publishing house based in Paris, where he edited the work of Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricoeur, Roland Barthes, Philippe Sollers, Alain Badiou, Jean-Claude Milner, and Italo Calvino, among others. Trained as a philosopher, Wahl was also involved with the publication of Tel Quel, an influential journal exploring critical theory and semiotics, on which he collaborated with Roland Barthes and Severo Sarduy. François Wahl and Severo Sarduy were partners until the latter's death in 1993.

Collection History


Sarduy's writings (AM 2014-68) and a group of condolence letters (AM 2014-84) were gifts of François Wahl in 2014 . Postcards were purchased from the Wahl family in 2015 (AM 2015-56).

This collection was purchased (in part) with funds provided by the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS).


Nothing was removed during 2015 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in April 2015, with assistance from Fiona Bell '18. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in April 2015. Additional materials were added by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez in November 2016 and September 2017.

Audiovisual materials from this collection were digitized in 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Audiovisual Materials (Reading Room Access Only): Digital access copies are accessible on a computer in RBSC's reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

François Wahl Collection on Severo Sarduy; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-5; 17-19; B-000809; B-000810; B-000811; B-000812; B-000813; B-000814; B-000815; B-000816; B-000817; B-000818; B-000819; B-001081