National Library of Australia
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MS 8973 comprises personal, publishers' and general correspondence; financial papers; travel diaries; notebooks relating to Harold Stewart's works and his interest in Asian history and culture; typescripts and other papers relating to his published works A chime of windbells, Tannisho, and By the old walls of Kyoto; manuscripts and typescripts of his unpublished works Over the vermilion bridge, New phoenix wings, and Autumn landscape roll; essays and other papers. Major correspondents include the Australia Council, Carmen Blacker, Tess van Sommers d'Alpuget, Dorothy Green, Michael Heyward (author of The Ern Malley affair), Henry Horwege, Stewart's patron Heinz Karrer, Peter Kelly, the potter Milton Moon, Ruth Niland (Park), Peter Talbot Wilcox, and John Weatherhill Inc. (32 boxes).
Access conditions may apply to this collection, please refer to the collection's catalogue record for further information (http://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2625610).
Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Harold Stewart, National Library of Australia, MS 8973, [series and/or folder number]'.
The papers were bequeathed to the Library by Harold Stewart and were acquired in October 1995. The executor of the estate, Bishop Peter Hillebrand, wrote to many of Stewart's correspondents suggesting that they donate letters from Stewart to the Library. Papers acquired in this manner, while not strictly
part of the Stewart Papers, form series 16.
Harold Frederick Stewart was a poet and Oriental scholar. He was born
on 14 December 1916 and died on 7 Aug. 1995. Stewart grew up Drummoyne, NSW and
was educated at Fort Street Boys High School and the State Conservatorium of
Music. In 1936 he attended the University of Sydney but did not complete a
In 1941 he was conscripted and sent to the Directorate of Research and
Civil Affairs at the Victoria Barracks in Melbourne. In 1943 Stewart and James
McAuley perpetrated the Ern Malley hoax against Max Harris, the editor of the
modernist literary magazine
After the war Stewart lived in Melbourne and worked at the Norman Robb
bookstore. In 1950 he organised a reading group in Asian philosophy, and during
the 1950s ran courses for the Victorian Council of Adult Education on
literature, music and Asian art and worked as a broadcaster with the ABC.
While Stewart's early writings were in the European classic tradition,
his later works reflected his interest in Chinese and Japanese history and
culture. His first book of poems,
Phoenix wings was published by Angus &
Robertson in 1948. In 1956 a sequence of poems entitled
Orpheus and other poems was also published
by Angus & Robertson. This work had previously won the
Sydney Morning Herald 1949 verse
In 1959-60 Stewart was awarded the Saionji Memorial Scholarship to
study Japanese culture in Japan for one year. He visited Japan in 1961 and 1963
and in 1966 moved to Kyoto, never returning to Australia. In Kyoto he studied
under Bando Shojun, a Shin Buddhist priest and Professor of Buddhism at Otani
Daigaku (Shin Buddhist University in Kyoto). He continued to write, supported
largely by Australia Council literature grants and his patron, Heinz Karrer.
In 1987 Stewart was awarded the Fellowship of Australian Writers'
Christopher Brennan Award.
In the year before his death, Stewart completed his largest work
"Autumn landscape roll", a 5000 line poem on
a voyage to the afterlife by the Tang dynasty poet Wu Tao Tzu.
Carbon copies of letters by Harold Stewart. Correspondents include Titus Burckhardt, Stewart's sister Marion Riley, Dorothy Green, Jane Carnegie, Australia Council, Alec Bolton, Verna Sabelle, Ken Henderson, Heinz Karrer, Dr Carmen Blacker, Australian Society of Authors, Clive Faust, Bando Shojun, and Jeffrey Hunter.
The letters to his sister describe his travels in Japan, 1966-67, while others discuss dreams, Zen Buddhism, the career of Masaaki Ueshima, Chinese symbols, an article for Hemisphere, reasons for his preferences for Asian traditions in his later poetry rather than Western , Japanese society, his refusal to sanction the publication of the Ern Malley collages and poems and the publication of The exiled immortal, By the old walls of Kyoto and "New phoenix wings". Some letters also contain comments on other writers' works. There are also fragments of letters, possibly used by Stewart for articles or other writings.
The letters are arranged chronologically (2 files).
See also series 3, files 11 and 12 for correspondence with Alec Bolton and Bob Brissenden relating to publications.
Correspondence from Ken Henderson.
Correspondence relating to the publication of the first and second editions of A net of fireflies, and rejections of By the old walls of Kyoto, "Over the vermilion bridge" and "New phoenix wings".
Correspondence and carbon copies of letters by Stewart concerning the publication of By the old walls of Kyoto. Also includes some copies of letters by the Australia Council concerning subsidies for the work, the publishing agreement and some notes.
Correspondence with Dennis Haskell relating to contributions.
Includes the National Geographic Society, Penguin books, Angus & Robertson, Jonathan Cape Limited, Oxford University Press, Faber & Faber and the Independent Monthly.
Personal, family and other correspondence received by Stewart. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent for significant correspondents, and chronologically for occasional correspondents. Major correspondents include the Australia Council, Dr Carmen Blacker, Tess van Sommers d'Alpuget, Dorothy Green, Michael Heyward (author of The Ern Malley affair), Heinz Karrer, Peter Kelly, Milton Moon, Ruth Niland (Park) and Peter Talbot Wilcox.
Correspondents represented in the chronological run include Brenda Williamson, Dal Stivens, Geoffrey Borrack, K. & T. Brummer, Sir James Plimsoll (Ambassador to Japan and Governor of Tasmania), Patricia Pound, Jane Carnegie, James McAuley, Jeffrey Smart, Alec Hope, Dr Peter G. Moore and the Australian Embassy (Tokyo).
Some of the letters contain photographs and clippings.
Typescript diary of Stewart's voyage to, and impressions of Japan, 1961 and manuscript and typescript copies of diaries of his travels around Japan, 1966-69 (2 files + 1 vol.).
Undated notebooks containing notes and quotes relating to classical and Oriental mythology, symbolism, history, art, science, philosophy, Taoism, and other subjects. Also includes three notebooks containing haiku (2 files).
Stewart published two volumes of haiku translations: A net of fireflies and A chime of windbells. A third complete volume, "Over the vermilion bridge", was not published at the time of Stewart's death. A fourth volume was in progress.
Typescript carbon copy with ms corrections of Stewart's translations of haiku, prose essay and notes (159p.) (2 files).
Notebook and typescripts of Stewart's translations of haiku by Ho-o with an introduction and notes (4 files)
Working notebook containing haiku translations for a proposed fourth volume (1 vol.)
Published by the Eastern Buddhist Society, 1980.
Corrected typescript of Tannisho: passages deploring deviations of faith, translated by Bando Shojun and Harold Stewart (1 folder)
Sequence of 13 seasonal poems on celebrated sights of Kyoto, with 13 prose commentaries on their cultural and religious significance, published by Weatherhill, 1981.
Two corrected typescripts, a typescript copy of the index, typescripts of rejected verse and prose, and a revised and corrected copy of the book (5 files + 1 vol.).
Unpublished volume of selected poems from Phoenix wings (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1948), Orpheus and other poems (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1956) and The exiled immortal (Canberra: Brindabella Press, 1980). Stewart considered the poems in "New phoenix wings" to be the definitive versions.
The series contains corrected photocopies of published poems, a corrected copy of Orpheus and other poems, "Draft notes for advertisement for 'New phoenix wings'", and two clean typescripts of "New phoenix wings" (4 files).
See also series 16, files 27-28 for further typescripts.
Stewart wrote "Autumn landscape roll", a 5000 line epic poem on a quest for Nirvana by the Tang dynasty poet Wu Tao Tzu, over a twenty year period. The poem was completed, but not published, at the time of Stewart's death.
See also series 16, files 29-30 for further typescripts.
See also series 15, folder 1 for other poems and translations by Stewart.
Stewart lectured in art and poetry for the Victorian Council of Adult Education in the 1950s. The series contains slide notes and lecture transcripts on poetry and Asian art (1 folder)
This series primarily contains originals and copies of letters of Harold Stewart which were donated to the Library by the recipients after Stewart's death. The letters complement the general correspondence in series 3. Also included are slides, typescripts and other papers.
The papers are listed by the name of the donor, roughly in the order in which they were received.
Five letters and one card from Stewart, 1992-94 and one unopened and returned letter from Muller to Stewart, 1995
Peter Muller (Addition Feb. 1996)Stewart letters, 1957-58 and typescript of 'The descent of Manjusri' (1959
Stewart letter, 1986 and photograph of a drawing by Stuart of the view from Stewart's roof in Kyoto
Cassette tapes of an interview Stewart recorded with Michael Tipping
Note on MS folder 'Addition October 1995 and January 1996'
Compact cassette tape
Photograph of Stewart
Copy of Stewart letter, 1994 and copies of inscriptions in three books by Stewart
Stewart letters, 1977-95
Stewart letters and postcards, 1983-95
Two Stewart cards, 1992 and 1995
Over 300 Stewart letters, 1966-95
23 slides of Harold Smith, his friends, possessions and surroundings in Kyoto taken on Smith's trips to Japan, 1973-83
Copies of Stewart letters, 1974-95
Stewart letter and postcard, 1984
Typescripts of selected poems including 'Autumn nakedness' and 'The landscape from within' and other poems published in Phoenix wings (1948)
Article entitled "The Eighth Australian Employment Company" by Klaus Leowald, 1985
Copies of Stewart letters, 1966-72, 1995
Copies of Stewart letters, 1971-78
Typescripts of 'New phoenix wings including a ts of 'The exiled immortal' (see also series 10); tss of 'Autumn landscape roll' (see also series 11) and 'Uncollected poems and translations' (duplicate at series 15, folder 1)
Stewart letters, 1975-84 including typescripts of the poems 'Nocturne', 'The immortal exile' and 'Morning on the Kamo bridge'
Laser copy of Stewart's funeral service, Kyoto, and copies of two letters from Hisao Inagaki (Pure Land Buddhist scholar) to Moon, 1995 relating to Stewart's death
Stewart letters 1980-94
Stewart letters, 1972 and biographical note
Stewart letters, 1970-95
Letters to Graham Fisher, Tony Straker and Guilford Bell, 1983-94
Stewart letters, 1969-91
Stewart letters, 1994-95
Stewart letters, 1993-95
Correspondence with Ian Hunt and photographs, 1993-1995
Aerogramme from Harold Stewart to Graham Fisher, 22 May 1983