Collection ID: LMC 2492
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Collection context


Zarifopol-Johnston, Ilinca, 1952-2005 and Johnston, Kenneth
The Zarifopol-Johnston mss., 1988-2008, consists of translator Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston's research and writings on the Romanian philosopher E. M. Cioran.
4 Boxes (4 standard)
Materials are in English, French, and Romanian.
Preferred citation:

[Item], Zarifopol-Johnston mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Ilinca Zarifopol-Johnston (1952-2005) was a Romanian émigré and associate professor of comparative literature at Indiana University. An expert on the twentieth-century Romanian philosopher and essayist E. M. Cioran, Zarifopol-Johnston translated his On the Heights of Despair and Tears and Saints from the French to English.

The collection relates primarily to her unfinished critical biography of Cioran as well as her unfinished memoir about her childhood in Romania, which were completed posthumously by her husband Kenneth Johnston under the title Searching for Cioran.

Scope and Content:

I. Primary Source Research contains photocopies of Cioran's diaries, manuscripts, and correspondence, written primarily in French with some Romanian. Cioran's diaries are arranged chronologically from 1962-1970. His correspondence is arranged by recipient.

II. Secondary Source Research contains photocopies of scholarly articles and full-length books as well as articles, reviews, and interviews clipped from newspapers and magazines. The photocopies are arranged to reflect roughly the organization of Zarifopol-Johnston's biography of Cioran. The newspaper clippings are organized into three categories: before Cioran's death in 1995, obituaries from 1995, and after Cioran's death in 1995. Materials are a mix of French, Romanian, and English.

Zarifopol-Johnston's correspondence with Cioran and his partner Simone Boué is arranged chronologically in Series III. Correspondence and Publishing. The series also contains Zarifopol-Johnston's correspondence with her publishers, arranged chronologically from 1988-1998; book proposals; and reviews of her translations.

The bulk of Series IV. Writings is related to Zarifopol-Johnston's unfinished critical biography of Cioran. It includes notes, chronologies, and chapter drafts with extensive revisions. It also includes her husband Kenneth Johnston's notes on how to finish the project, particularly to fill in the missing section on Cioran's time in Germany. The series also includes notes and drafts of Zarifopol-Johnston's unfinished memoir of her childhood in Romania.

V. Personal consists of one folder with a few letters from Kenneth to Ilinca as well as photographs and a Romanian Bible. VI. Audio-Visual consists of 4 cassette tapes of Zarifopol-Johnston interviewing Emil Cioran's brother, Aurel (Relu) Cioran, in 1997. The interview is in Romanian.

Acquisition information:
Gift: 2006 and 2008

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Primary Source Research, II. Secondary Source Research, III. Correspondence and Publishing, IV. Writings, V. Personal, and VI. Audio-Visual.

Physical location:
Lilly - Stacks



This collection is open for research.

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[Item], Zarifopol-Johnston mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452