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- Collection Description & Creator Information
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- Fong, Monique
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Monique Fong Wust Collection of Octavio Paz
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 1 box
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Box B-000772
The collection includes correspondence to and from Mexican poet and Nobel Prize Laureate Octavio Paz (1914-1998) and French translator and friend Monique Fong Wust. Other correspondents include Robert Lebel, Marie-Jo Paz, and Juan García de Oteyza. Also included are original English typescripts of Paz's essay, "The Centurions of Santiago" with corrections and additions from Paz and Fong Wust, an annotated and corrected printed copy of Paz's Apariencia desnuda. La obra de Marcel Duchamp for French translation, and various ephemera about related Paz events.
Collection Description & Creator Information
Contains correspondence with Octavio Paz and his French translator and friend Monique Fong Wust, 1961-1977. Includes 28 letters signed "Octavio Paz", then "Octavio" including 11 autograph letters, 16 typescript letters with autograph notes and 1 telegram, 43 pages (size varies), in Spanish (one letter in French, one in English). There is one carbon copy of a letter of Octavio Paz to the Cultural Program of the XIX Olympics held in Mexico, carbon of the poem "México: Olimpíada de 1968." Other correspondence to Fong Wust includes Robert Lebel, Marie-Jo Paz, and Juan García de Oteyza. Also included are original English typescripts of "The Centurions of Santiago" with corrections and additions from Paz and Fong Wust, an annotated and corrected printed copy of Paz's Apariencia desnuda. La obra de Marcel Duchamp for French translation, and various printed ephemera about related Paz events.
Organized into the following series: Series 1: Correspondence and Series 2: Manuscripts and Printed Materials.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Monique Fong Wust is a writer, translator and interpreter. She was born in Paris on November 22, 1926, to a French mother and a Chinese father.
She met André Breton at a dinner party hosted by Claude Lévi-Strauss in 1949. Breton introduced her to the Surrealists and to Mexican poet and future Nobel Prize Laureate Octavio Paz (1914-1998) who had recently relocated to Paris while working for the Mexican Embassy. The two formed a lifelong friendship and professional collaboration. In early correspondence, Paz sent her some of his poems of which Fong Wust began translating into French. Paz became a mentor to Fong Wust, introducing her to the writings of Ezra Pound, Antonio Machado, D.H. Lawrence, and many others. He also introduced her to the politics, history, and culture of Mexico.
After severing ties with the Paris Surrealist group in March 1951, Fong Wust moved to Washington, D.C. and was hired as an interpreter for the Marshall Plan. She moved to New York permanently in 1966, where she met Marcel Duchamp. Duchamp also became a lifelong friend. She recorded an oral French translation of one of Paz's essays on Duchamp ( Marcel Duchamp o el castillo de la pureza), so that Duchamp's wife could understand it. Claude Givaudan published the piece as a "livre-objet" and included it in his gallery show, "Ready-mades et éditions de et sur Marcel Duchamp," (June 8-September 30, 1967).
Paz and Fong Wust continued their collaboration for many decades. Fong Wust has translated various works of Paz's including his second essay on Marcel Duchamp, Apariencia Desnuda. La obra de Marcel Duchamp, which was published in 1976. Other notable Fong Wust translations include John Cage's Silence. She has written extensively on Duchamp and published a biography, Duchamp des oiseaux, in 2008.
Fong Wust lives in New York City.
Purchase, 2016 (AM 2016-114).
This collection was purchased (in part) with funds provided by the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS).
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Nothing was removed from the collection during the 2016 processing.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez in June 2016. Finding aid written by Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez in June 2016.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Monique Fong Wust Collection of Octavio Paz; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184