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2014.0053 [PERMISSIONS]
Date Range of Records: 1985-2014
- Greer, Professor Germaine [29 January 1939-]
The Greer Archive has been made available due to its historical and research importance. Statements which form part of the collection are not made on behalf of the University and do not represent the University's views. It contains material that some researchers might find confronting. This includes: explicit language and images that reflect either the attitudes of the era in which the material was originally published or the views of the creators of the material but may not be considered appropriate today; names, images and voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in published and unpublished printed material, audio recordings and photographs; graphic descriptions of medical conditions and treatment. This series contains correspondence concerning permissions requests and authorisations to republish or otherwise use Germaine Greer’s intellectual property. While this series is primarily a collection of business records, created by a professional writer to control and retain evidence of subsequent uses of her work, it also provides insight into the “afterlife” of Greer works, and the continuing influence and reach of her work, and of Greer herself, in both scholarly and popular environments. The physical collection consists of 25 folders contained in 2 units. Folders are arranged as they were in Greer’s record keeping system, consisting of a sequence of folders ordered by year, all titled Permissions followed by the year. The first 24 folders contain permission requests 1985 and1992, then from 1994 to 2014. Annual folders have not been located for 1986 to 1991, or 1993. A final folder (Item 2014.0053.00025) contains correspondence (2013-2014) concerning an Arabic translation of The Female Eunuch by Al-Arabah, a Syrian women’s publishing house. Greer gave permission for no fee, provided she could check the translation, which she organised by a translator attached to the University of Cambridge. Correspondence in this file refers to the existence of an earlier ‘bootleg’ translation, a copy of which is contained in the Publication series Item 2014.0056.00013. This series provides a well ordered and comprehensive set of records of requests to use Greer’s work from 1994 to 2014, and partially for years prior to 1994. Requests for permissions in 1985 and 1992 in this series relate only to The Female Eunuch and The Obstacle Race but the number of permissions requests exponentially increase in subsequent years, presumably as the body of work by Greer became greater, coming to encompass much of her oeuvre, and Greer herself as a public intellectual and commentator. It seems likely that this sequence of folders was established in the 1990s to organise the increasing number of requests received. The types of records include authorisations, fees requested and paid, or whether gratis, refusals, correspondence on later editions, foreign rights and translations, electronic publishing, intellectual property. For additional records relating to Greer’s published work, to which many of these requests relate, the researcher is referred to Series 2014.0045: Major Works, Series 2014.0052: Correspondence with Publishers, and Series 2014.0056: Publications by, with contributions by, or about Greer. Requests have been listed in detail in each folder. Information recorded includes the requestor, title or description of what is being requested, and for what purpose it will be used. Responses are documented for many requests, often just a hand written” Yes” or “No” by Greer written on the request letter, sometimes with a comment, but not all responses are recorded. Permissions were often negotiated on Greer’s behalf by her long standing literary agent, Gillon Aitken and his associates. The series includes the agency’s correspondence and copies of permissions agreements for various works. Gillon Aitken founded his agency in 1976 and chaired it, through a number of name changes, until his death in 2016, by which time it had become Aitken Alexander Associates. Correspondents from his agency are entered in the item description with the name of the agency as it appears in their letters. Requests relate to use of a broad range of Greer material, including full copies or extracts of many articles, extracts from her major works, scholarly work, including conference papers and Stump Cross Press publications, clips from radio and television appearances, speeches, quotations, photographs of Greer. The diverse uses include reproduction in many anthologies and textbooks; newsletters; duplication for student resource material, e.g. of The Collected Works of Katherine Phillips; examination papers; electronic publishing, e.g. digitisation of articles in Spare Rib magazine (1972-1993) by the British Library; theatre productions, including Changes: A reflection on Germaine Greer's works, a one woman show compiled, written and performed by Barbara Tarbuck, and requests for licences to perform Lysistrata, the translation of the Aristophanes play prepared with additional dialogue by Phil Willmott. The series includes permission requests to reproduce quotations by Greer in many contexts, such as scripts, theatre programs, articles by other writers, art works and the built environment. Greer’s sublime quote on libraries from Daddy, We Hardly Knew You, beginning, “Libraries are reservoirs of strength, grace and wit, reminders of order, calm and continuity, lakes of mental energy …" has been incorporated in the State Library of Victoria (SLV) redeveloped domed reading room, and in County Cavan Republic of Ireland Public Library. Permission was requested in 2013 to reproduce Greer quotes, “The essence of pleasure is spontaneity" or "You're only young once, but can be immature forever” on the Latitude Literary Festival “Merch” – tea-towels or tote bags, leading Greer to remark to her agent, Leah Middleton, “I don't recall saying them, but then they are hardly memorable, so I guess I may have. Hm." The series also confirms the iconic status of The Female Eunuch. Requests to reproduce extracts, quote from, or otherwise use her best-selling book appear in most years. Some examples include the BBC crime drama New Tricks in which Esther, a detective’s wife, laments she queued to get her copy in 1970 but didn’t have time to finish it as she was so busy raising children; extracts read to accompany Greer’s 2008 appearance on the music quiz program Never Mind the Buzzcocks; the book as set dressing for a film Our Lady of Victory (about 1972 American women’s basketball) and in a student film, to which Greer’s response was “…of course whoever may use the book as a visual prop in whatever film.” Closer to home, Permission was given to the University of Canberra in 1999 to incorporate the following quote from The Female Eunuch in a sculptural installation, “Security is when everything is settled, when nothing can happen to you; security is the denial of life."
2 Units (0.34m)
Collection Category: Culture and the Arts, individuals
Access Conditions: Access: Restricted
Finding Aids: Yes listed ONLINE
Online ListingGREER, Professor Germaine - Permissions 2014~0053
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