Univ. of TX acquires Spalding Gray archives.
Describing his travels in Thailand while filming a small role in â€œThe Killing Fields,â€ Spalding Gray, the actor, author and monologist, compared the experience to â€“ among other things â€“ a stay at â€œa pleasurable prison.â€ Though the experience, preserved in his indelible performance piece â€œSwimming to Cambodia,â€ found him famously concluding that he â€œknew what it was that had killed Marilyn Monroe,â€ the notebooks and journals that formed the basis of that monologue will surely be treated to a better stay at their new permanent residence at the University of Texas at Austin.
On Monday the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities library at the university, said it had acquired Grayâ€™s archives, comprising more than 40 years of work dating to the 1970s. Among the materials in the archive, the center said, are more than 90 performance notebooks and more than 100 diaries that chronicle the development of Grayâ€™s performance pieces, including â€œSwimming to Cambodia,â€ â€œItâ€™s a Slippery Slope,â€ â€œMorning, Noon and Nightâ€ and â€œMonster in a Box.â€
The center has made available samples of pages from those notebooks which were annotated by Gray. At its Web site, the center has also posted audio of Gray performing from a work-in-progress version of â€œSwimming to Cambodiaâ€ in 1983, as well as a clip from â€œLife Interrupted,â€ the monologue he was preparing when he died in 2004.
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