The John L. Brown Papers consist of 99 folders of correspondence from literary and artistic luminaries including writers Sylvia Beach, John Dos Passos, Anne Fremantle, Katherine Anne Porter, Alice B. Toklas; philosopher Jacques Maritain; photographer Brassai; poets Marianne Moore, Wallace Stevens, and Giuseppe Ungaretti, and many more. Correspondence is arranged alphabetically in one series.
John Lackey Brown was born April 29, 1914, in Ilion, New York. His father was Leslie Beecher Brown, a businessman; and his mother was Katherine Lackey. Dr. Brown was educated at Hamilton College where he received an A.B. in 1935. He then pursued graduate work in medieval studies and comparative literature at the Ecole des Chartes and at the Sorbonne in Paris from 1936 to 1938. After receiving a PhD. in 1939 from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Dr. Brown taught there as an instructor of Romance languages from 1939 to 1941. During the Second World War, Dr. Brown served as assistant chief of foreign publications in the Office of War Information (1942-43); and as a member of the staff of the Office of Strategic Services (1943-45). For some years after the war, he resided in Paris, travelling extensively throughout Western Europe as European editor for Houghton-Mifflin Company, and as a correspondent of the Sunday edition of the New York Times, as well as contributor to numerous European and American journals (1945-49). For more than ten years, from 1949 to 1962, Dr. Brown worked for the U.S. government in a number of capacities as director of the Economic Cooperation Administration, Information Division, the Marshall Plan, France; chief of regional services for the U.S. Information Service at the U.S. Embassy in Paris (1950-54); and cultural attache to the U.S. Embassy in Brussels, Belgium (1954-58), and in Rome, Italy (1958-62). From 1964-68, Dr. Brown returned to government service as counselor for cultural affairs to the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City. An extremely rich and accomplished academic career comprises the other portion of Dr. Brown's diverse professional work. From 1962 to 1963 Dr. Brown was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut. During this time he also completed a book on changing European-American intellectual relations, entitled, 'Il gigantesco teatro' (Rome: Opere Nuove, 1963). Over the years, Dr. Brown has lectured extensively on American-European literary and intellectual relations both at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and at many American universities including Harvard, Rutgers, Saint Louis University, Smith College, the University of Colorado, the University of the South, and Yale. From 1966 to 1967 he was the Barry Bingham Distinguished Professor of Humanities at the University of Louisville. Dr. Brown returned to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from 1968 to 1979 as professor of comparative literature in the graduate school. His lecture circuit has also extended to Canada (1970-71) and academic institutions around the world, including the Institute of Anglo-American Studies of the National University of Mexico (1966-68) where he was professor of American Literature and Civilization; the Institut Catholique in Paris (1969); and the University of Lisbon, where he was Senior Fulbright Professor (1979-1980). Dr. Brown's many academic works in comparative literature are published in English, French, and Italian. He has also contributed many articles to scholarly journals in his subject area. Dr. Brown's literary interests extend to poetry; his own work has been published under the following titles, 'Signs,' (Paris: Henneuse, 1956); 'Weights and Measures,' (Paris: Henneuse, 1958); 'Another Language,' (Milan: Il Pesce d'Oro, 1961); 'Numina,' (Paris: Henneuse, 1969); 'Tributes,' (Washington, D.C.: Proteus, 1980); 'Shards,' (Washington, D.C.: Proteus, 1982); 'Celebrations' (Washington, D.C.: Proteus, 1990); and 'Awakenings' (forthcoming in 1995). Dr. Brown is a member of numerous literary associations including Association internationale des etudes francaises, Association internationale des critiques litteraires, the P.E.N. Club, and the Modern Language Association of America. He is also a member of the Foreign Service Association and the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. Awards and honors presented to Dr. Brown include Decorated Commander, Chevaliers du Tastevin (Burgundy, France), 1953; grand Prix de la critique from Syndicat des critiques, 1954, for 'Panorama de la litterature contemporaine aux Etats Unis'; and Le Grand Ordre des Coteaux (Champagne), 1973. Currently, Dr. Brown is retired and resides in Washington, D.C. He continues to contribute journal articles, act as consultant and reviewer for Houghton-Mifflin Company, as well as to write poetry. His wife is Simone-Yvette L'Evesque; and his two sons are Michel-Simon and John Halit. Biographical sources include: 'Contemporary Authors' volume 49-52, p.82; and the Curriculum Vitae of John L. Brown. See also: 'Who's Who in America' and 'The Directory of American Scholars' 6th Edition, Volume III.