San Diego de Alcalá : holograph manuscripts and typescripts, 1975 - 1976 (MSS 365)

Extent: 0.2 Linear feet (1 half archives box)

This small collection contains handwritten and typed manuscripts from Stephen Fredman's translation and adaptation of the play San Diego de Alcalá, by the prolific Spanish baroque playwright and poet Lope de Vega (1562-1635). The little-known play's American premiere, about the patron saint of Mission San Diego, was part of UC San Diego's contribution to the bicentennial activities of Fronteras 1976 (a trans-border study group), in addition to a symposium (October - 1976) on the Spanish colonization of California. It includes a small amount of correspondence regarding the project.

Stephen Albert Fredman (1948- ) is a poet, author, teacher and scholar of twentieth-century American poetry and poetics. He is professor and chairman (2003-) of Notre Dame University's College of Arts and Letters' English Department. The son of lawyer and civic activist, Milton "Mickey" Fredman, and artist, Faiya Rose Fredman, Fredman grew up in San Diego and was educated in California.

At the time of the translation project (1975-1976), Fredman had a BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (Valencia), and was finishing up his masters degree at California State University, Sonoma (1976). He was later awarded his PhD from Stanford University (1980) for a thesis on American prose poetry. His research and teaching interests have included the use of performance in postmodern arts, the West Coast aesthetic, and the impact of collage on twentieth-century arts. He has been awarded NEH, ACLS, and Lily fellowships.

Fredman is the author of numerous essays and books including: Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & his Circle, with Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna, (2005); A Concise Companion to Twentieth-Century American Poetry, editor, (2005); A Menorah for Athena: Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish Dilemmas of Objectivist Poetry (2001); The Grounding of American Poetry: Charles Olson and the Emersonian Tradition (1993), and Poet's Prose: The Crisis in American Verse (1983, 1990).

This small collection contains scholar Stephen Fredman's handwritten and typed translation notebooks and manuscripts of a play, San Diego de Alcalá, by the Spanish baroque playwright and poet, Lope de Vega (1562-1635). The play, under the direction of Peter Klein (UC San Diego Dramatic Arts), was performed twice at UC San Diego, as well as at various missions, and in Los Angeles.

The collection is arranged in two series: 1) MANUSCRIPTS, and 2) CORRESPONDENCE.

Container List


Scope and Content of Series

SERIES 1) MANUSCRIPTS: Two bound notebooks and multiple typescripts of Fredman's translation of Vega's three-act play. Included are handwritten annotations regarding possible staging ideas, finances, translation issues, lists of Spanish word definitions, contact information, and notes on other Vega translations. The files are arranged chronologically.

Box 1 Folder 1
San Diego de Alcalá, 1975 - 1976

Includes a 7 1/4 x 9 3/4" bound notebook annotated, "begun April 25, 1975 - Yosemite National Park." The notebook contains a handwrittten synopsis and various translations, lists of definitions, and other revision notes.

Box 1 Folder 2
San Diego de Alcalá, 1975 - 1976

Includes an 8 1/2 x 11" college-ruled notebook with handwritten drafts of the play with annotated revision comments.

Box 1 Folder 3
San Diego de Alcalá, 1975 - 1976

Includes multiple typescript manuscripts with handwritten annotations for revisions.


Scope and Content of Series

SERIES 2) CORRESPONDENCE: Fifteen letters, mostly carbon copies of Fredman's correspondence to Arthur Wagner, chairman of the UC San Diego Drama Department, regarding the translation project. Fredman wrote regarding his translation schedule, delivery of a synopsis and drafts, financial and travel reimbursement arrangements, inquiries on a possible book publication of the play, and his attendance at the performance. Also included is correspondence with UCSD comparative literature professor Claudio Guillen, a native Spainard, who initially proposed the San Diego de Alcalá project; Lucy Killea, executive director of Fronteras 1976 (San Diego-based bicentennial trans-border study group), and UC Santa Cruz literature professor and Spanish "Golden Age" scholar, Joseph Silverman (1924-1989). Silverman wrote Fredman with some cursory remarks on Fredman's translation and also participated in the UC San Diego symposium. Arranged in chronological order.

Box 1 Folder 4
San Diego de Alcalá, 1975 - 1976

Correspondence, in chronological order, regarding the translation project, the bulk of which are carbon copies of Fredman's correspondence to Arthur Wagner, chairman of the UCSD Drama Department, regarding the project.