This week I worked on the processing plan template for Dr.
Seymour papers trying to find the best way to organize the materials. There are
lots of letters on different subjects. I am thinking if they should they be organized by
dates, subject, name, or importance? These letters are like our present emails.
However writing letters on papers, in my opinion, has so much more value. First
it requires to write it by hand, then mail it out, (take to the post office, buy
stamps), then wait for the reply, and lastly (the most exciting part I think)
receive the reply by mail. Today we receive emails in seconds but it was not
the case. It took days, weeks, even months. After all this effort how
disappointing it must be when the reply was not as expected or rejecting. Dr.
Seymour received some replies from publishers who rejected to publish his plays
for various reasons. Still, it didn’t slow him down to write another play or
opera. He is a good example how not to get discourage. Last week I posted a picture from his childhood, here is Dr. Seymour as the professor at Southern Utah State College in Cedar City.
I am really impressed with Mr. Seymour’s papers. He wrote so much during his lifetime; not only
operas and plays but also so many letters, diaries, lectures, and educational
materials. While thinking about all his achievements I just picture him as an
adult, a serious person. I forget that once, as everyone else, he was a child.
This picture of Mr. Seymour as a child with his violin really surprised me and
made me think about his childhood. Except for this picture, there are not many
materials from his childhood in the collection, but the violin truly fits him and I have no doubt
that the practiced a lot!
I did not realize how much one might learn about a person’s life just by reading his correspondence. Indeed letters can create the whole picture of someone’s life like, for example, in the book “The Bach Reader: A life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents” by H. David.
As my second week with the John Seymour papers continue I have read so many letters from and to Mr. Seymour. Some letters are personal, some relate to work and politics, some were written to publishers, but most of them concern music subjects. Between all of the letters I found a little note to Mr. John Seymour that made me smile. Hope it will make you smile too. Have a good day everyone!
My name is Justyna and this is my first week as a CCEPS Fellow. Thank you for the warm welcome and introducing me to this new environment.
I am working on the John Laurence Seymour papers. So far I have looked into the impressed amount of his letters, plays he wrote, lectures, music scores, and educational materials. He was an American 20th century playwright and composer. His main passion, however, seems to be directing plays with students at the colleges he taught. In one of the letters he received from the Los Angeles City College it says that they couldn’t perform his play “Three Brothers.” The reason…. “lack of men…” It was 1942, and the war has hit the junior colleges male enrollment. How lucky we are today, we do not have to worry about that. Below is the picture of John Seymour as a young man.
I am looking forward to learn more about this extraordinary person.