M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives

Business, Literary, and Miscellany Collection

Partial Finding Aid for the
Irina Kunina Aleksander Papers, 1938-1978


For reference queries contact Grenander Department Reference staff

Inventory List Completed by
Mary Y. Osielski
August 21, 2008

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: 1.25 cubic feet

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were purchased from Irina Aleksander by the University Libraries in 1978.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


Biographical Sketch

Scope and content note


Irina Kunina Aleksander Papers
Biographical Sketch

Irina Aleksander, born in St. Petersburg, Russia (née Irina Ephimovna Kunina), was the author of plays, film scenarios, poetry, novels and short stories, and children’s stories. She received her education in her native city and in Zagreb, Yugoslavia, where she studied law. She began writing at age seven, appeared in print at age sixteen, and participated in many literary movements in Russia. Works include her play, Pushkin; novels, Douglas Tweed; Only Facts, Sir; Bosnian Symphony; The Running Tide; and a collection of short stories, The Red Fez. Her husband, Bozidar, was a distinguished Zagreb lawyer and member of one of the richest between-the-wars Croatian families. The Aleksanders were associates of the intelligentsia. They travelled and lived in a number of countries including Russia, Yugoslavia, Germany, Poland, France, the United States, and Switzerland. They shared a wide range of intellectual interests including literature, the arts, philosophy and history.

Irina Kunina Aleksander Papers
Scope and content note

The collection consists of correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, and miscellaneous materials which reflect the Aleksanders’ association with a number of literary notables such as Anaïs Nin, Miroslav Krleža, Marijan and Zora Matković, Léon Pierre-Quint, Claude Aveline, and Evgenii Zamiatin.  The Zamiatin materials include a corrected Russian typescript of his novel, We, published in 1924; letters and postcards in Russian to Irina Aleksander, 1928–37; and typescripts of his stories, plays, film outlines, notes, and essays. Zamiatin left Russia to live and write in exile in France.

Irina Aleksander Papers
Box and Folder List

Box 1

Blue 3-ring binder with 38 items of correspondence, two typed items, folder of clippings, two copies of the offprint, "Moskau Leningrad", one copy of an offprint.

Typescript of "MH" (carbon) [142] leaves

Plaid two-ring binder with 18 plastic holders containing typescripts of manuscripts.

Contents (in Russian (LC transliteration) unless otherwise indicated)

1. Epitafii (2 p.)
2. Iz zapisei Tarkviniia Priska (2 p.)
3. Bich Bozhii (75 p.)
4. Bich Bozhii / 1-i variant (11 p.)
5. Le Fleau de Dieu : synopsis du film par Eug. Zamiatine [in French] (9 p.) 6. Atilla (50 p.)
7. {Untitled. Text begins: Ikh bylo semnadtsat' : burgund, gerul, vestgot, kalendonets ...}
(Apparently typewritten notes on Atilla, with a brief explanation of marginal
notes from Irina Alexander) (29 p.)
8. Der Floh : ein Spiel in vier Akten, von Jewgenij Zamjatin [Expose, in German] (7 p.)
9. Rozhdenie Ivana : p'esa v 7-mi kartinakh [outline of acts] (4 p.)
10. Bog (2 p.)
11. Lev (4 p.)
12. Aprel' (7 p.)
13. Sovetskie deti (3 p.)
14. Lettres russes [in French] (3 p.)
15. Moskva-Peterburg (9 p.)
16. Anatol' Frans : nekrolog (1 p.)
17. O literature, revoliutsii i entropii (6 p.)
18. Rasskaz o samom glavnom (25 p.)

Box 2

1. Notebook (1943-77)of photographs and miscellaneous items relating to Anaïs Nin and correspondence between Irina Aleksander-Kunina and Anaïs Nin. Includes a 29-page typescript with corrections entitled, “Marginalia to Anaïs Nin’s Diaries” by Irina Aleksander-Kunina.
2. Notebook (1938-58) containing correspondence, photographs, and miscellaneous items related to Léon Pierre-Quint (pseudonym of Léopold Léon Steindecker), Jean-Pierre Selz (nephew of Steindecker), and Gina Lombroso-Ferrero. Includes a 10-page memorial to Lombroso, “Crónica”, by Mme. Aleksander.
3. Notebook (1939-68)of correspondence between Mme. Aleksander and Claude Aveline, also with Pierre Vorms.
4. Notebook (1944-78) of correspondence with numerous friends such as Leo Gershoy, John Hersey, Howard Fast, William Shirer, John Scott, Maurice Sandoz, Peter Viereck, and Bernard Guerney.
5. Notebook (1937-68) of correspondence with numerous friends such as Rastko Petrovi, Mitzi and Ervin Šinko, Vojin Jelic, Marijan and Zora Matkovic, and J. Prout.
6. Notebook (1938-78) of correspondence, photographs and miscellaneous materials relating to Miroslav Krleža and Marko Ristic.

Box 3

1. Typescript of poems by Rikki Jaipal.
2. Folder of signed woodcuts.
3. Record album – Anaïs Nin, “Let Me Read You My Own Stories as the Storytellers of Old.”
4. Record album in Russian.
5. Portfolio – poem “Cook” by Roy Fisher, with an original print by Ronald King.
6. Chart of Russian characters.
7. Naša Borba: 12 linorezov by Nikolaj Pirnat, 1944.
8. Domovi. Jece. Gozdovi. Na pragu svobode jeseni 1944.
9. Kroz Narodno-Oslobodilacku Borbu: 16 linoreza by Branka Kovacevica, 1944.
10. Branko Kovacevic: 22 Marzo – Aprile 1971. Exhibition catalog.
11. Iz Mape U: nedovršena mapa linoreza by Marijan Detoni, 1941-1942.
12. Mi Pamtimo: 16 listova iz mape by Vanja Radaus. (1 is missing)
13. Three Sisters – Anton Chekhov. Poster.

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Last updated August 21, 2008