Univ. of TX acquires Spalding Gray archives.

Describing his travels in Thailand while filming a small role in “The Killing Fields,” Spalding Gray, the actor, author and monologist, compared the experience to – among other things – a stay at “a pleasurable prison.” Though the experience, preserved in his indelible performance piece “Swimming to Cambodia,” found him famously concluding that he “knew what it was that had killed Marilyn Monroe,” 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 Gray’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 Gray’s performance pieces, including “Swimming to Cambodia,” “It’s a Slippery Slope,” “Morning, Noon and Night” and “Monster in a Box.”
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 “Swimming to Cambodia” in 1983, as well as a clip from “Life Interrupted,” the monologue he was preparing when he died in 2004.
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