Paula Morrow: Author, Editor, Librarian


From Blackmur to the Blue Cat: The Literary Life and Works of F.D. Reeve

F. D. Reeve—poet, novelist, critic, translator, educator—has for six decades been an astute observer of, commentator on, and participant in literature and life. The body of his work exists in the tension between culture and civilization, where culture is associated with intellectual, moral, and esthetic excellence, imagination, meaning, and value; civilization includes the systematic use of tools, the manipulation of the social and physical environment, and political, economic, and social custom. This dissertation traces the culture/civilization antinomy through Reeve’s work, showing its seeds in the early works, gradual evolution and complication over time, and eventual reconciliation in his mature writing. As a young poet in the 1950s he became a protege of R. P. Blackmur. He was Robert Frost’s translator and guide on a 1962 trip to meet Khrushchev in Russia and was for a time regarded as arguably the preeminent authority in the United States on all things Russian. Alert to the incongruities, contradictions, and oft-unintended humor of life, Reeve allows this sensibility to inform his poetry, most notably in the poems attributed to his putative alter ego, the quixotic Blue Cat first introduced in the eponymous collection of 1972. Reeve uses the Blue Cat’s wit as a weapon for attacking social and political absurdities, responding to a troubled civilization. Reeve is an impassioned advocate for culture as vital to civilization. The idealistic young man introduced to the New York poetry scene by Blackmur in 1959 has evolved into a clear-eyed elder statesman of the arts in the twenty-first century.

Masters Thesis

Treatment of State Documents in Libraries

One hundred twenty-five state agency, academic, public, and historical society libraries in 50 states responded to a questionnaire on their treatment of state documents. Of these, 21% integrate state documents into the main collection, 66% have them in separate collections of some kind, and 12% report mixed treatment. Cataloging, classification, other means of access, and librarian satisfaction with the various methods of treatment were examined. Almost any plan for keeping state documents is satisfactory if it is consistently applied. State documents may be separate or integrated but not dispersed. Classification schemes examined were Dewey Decimal Classification, Library of Congress Classification System, Swank, Houk, and original schemes; satisfaction was about the same for all. No formula can be set up for ideal treatment of state documents in libraries. The one unbreakable rule is: be consistent.

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