JIM HAYNES

 

This I believe

Every week for the past 30 years, I've hosted a Sunday dinner in my home in Paris. People, including total strangers, call or e-mail to book a spot. I hold the salon in my atelier, which used to be a sculpture studio. The first 50 or 60 people who call may come, and twice that many when the weather is nice and we can overflow into the garden.
Every Sunday a different friend prepares a feast. Last week it was a philosophy student from Lisbon, and next week a dear friend from London will cook.

People from all corners of the world come to break bread together, to meet, to talk, connect and often become friends. All ages, nationalities, races, professions gather here, and since there is no organized seating, the opportunity for mingling couldn't be better. I love the randomness.
I believe in introducing people to people.
I have a good memory, so each week I make a point to remember everyone's name on the guest list and where they're from and what they do, so I can introduce them to each other, effortlessly. If I had my way, I would introduce everyone in the whole world to each other.
People are most important in my life. Many travelers go to see things like the Tower of London, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and so on. I travel to see friends, even - or especially - those I've never met.
In the late '80s, I edited a series of guidebooks to nine Eastern European countries and Russia. There were no sights to see, no shops or museum to visit; instead, each book contained about 1,000 short biographies of people who would be willing to welcome travelers in their cities. Hundreds of friendships evolved from these encounters, including marriages and babies.
This same can be said for my Sunday salon. At a recent dinner, a 6-year-old girl from Bosnia spent the entire evening glued to an 8-year-old boy from Estonia. Their parents were surprised, and pleased, by this immediate friendship.
There is always a collection of people from all over the globe. Most of them speak English, at least as a second language. Recently a dinner featured a typical mix: a Dutch political cartoonist, a beautiful painter from Norway, a truck driver from Arizona, a bookseller from Atlanta, a newspaper editor from Sydney, students from all over, and traveling retirees.
I have long believed that it is unnecessary to understand others, individuals or nationalities; one must, at the very least, simply tolerate others. Tolerance can lead to respect and, finally, to love. No one can ever really understand anyone else, but you can love them or at least accept them.
Like Tom Paine, I am a world citizen. All human history is mine. My roots cover the earth. I believe we should know each other. After all, our lives are all connected.
OK, now come and dine!

Listen to Jim on NPR!

Introducing Jim Haynes:

"Begin life in Louisiana, pass early teens in Venezuela, three years in a boarding school in Atlanta, attend university in Louisiana (L.S.U. and Tulane), do military obligation and in 1956 settle in Scotland.
Attend the University of Edinburgh, start The Paperback Bookshop & Gallery (1959), The Howff (1961), a folk-song club, the Traverse Theatre (1963), co-organize The Writers' Conference (1962) with John Calder and Sonia Orwell, the Drama Conference (1963) with John Calder and Ken Tynan and participate in the creation of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Move to 'swinging London' in 1966 and there co-create the London Traverse Theatre Company with Charles Marowitz, Michael Geliot, and Ralph Koltai. Co-launch the newspaper "I.T." (with Barry Miles, John Hopkins, Jack Moore, and Michael Henshaw), the Arts Lab mixed-media space (with Jack Moore, David Curtis, Biddy Peppin, Pamela Zoline and others). Producer by now of over 250 theatre shows I am awarded The Whitbread Prize in 1966.>>

Jim's life in the Theatre

My first theatrical experience was a T.S. Eliot play (I think The Cocktail Party) in Shreveport, Louisiana way back in the 40s. I was knocked out.
In the 1950s, I managed to see South Pacific, Porgy and Bess and other Broadway shows.
In 1956, when I moved to Edinburgh, my theatre-going activities increased. Thanks to Edinburgh's Gateway Theatre, the Lyceum Theatre, touring productions at the King's Theatre (another production of South Pacific and John Osborne's Look Back in Anger) and every August the Edinburgh Festival. Glasgow, an hour away, had the Citizens Theatre. Plus many trips to London's West End. On a brief trip to New York City in 1959, thanks to Fifi Sigg, managed to catch the off-Broadway production of The Three Penny Opera with Lotte Lenya.
In the 1957 Edinburgh Festival, after attending Ugo Betti's Corruption in the House of Justice, I stopped my Volkswagen in the Royal Mile and asked three people, who I had noticed earlier sitting near me in the theatre, if they would like a ride... >>

Social networking with Jim

Jim Haynes

Plans

How to make the gods laugh: tell them your plans! Nevertheless I hope the future includes my continuing to live here in my Paris atelier, travelling to see friends, writing newsletters and books, hosting friends, organizing the Sunday dinners, and enjoying every minute of life. For me, happiness is an intellectual concept, and I decided years ago to be happy. In spite of (and because of) everything, I love life. It has been good to me, and I hope that I have been good to it.

 

Jim Haynes
young Jimmy Haynes


The Sunday Dinners

In the early 70s launch with Cathy Sroufe (now Monnet), a Sunday salon chez moi. It takes place, rain or shine, every Sunday evening from 20h00 to 23h00 - except for two or three weeks in August. To attend, write, email or call to have your name added to the guest's list >>

Event

Isabelle Georges at the Theatre DejazetChante! a new musical review by Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink at the Theatre Déjazet.
I am organizing a group for the opening night on August 28th.
Read more>>

Music

Sinfonietta Paris Chamber Orchestra  online
Come and join the SPCO conducted by Michael Boone! New season of concerts, starting with Dvořák and Suk, on 26 & 27 Sept 2014 at the Institut Finlandais, in central Paris! Read more and book now! >>

Cook Book

Throw a Great Party, the cook book inspired by Jim's Sunday dinners, has been published.
Get your copy here!
Read more about the Cook Book!

Activities

Our kitchen-table publishing house, Handshake Editions, continues. Founded in 1980, we publish small print-runs. >>
I also write and publish newsletters, pamphlets and books. >>
The A2 Gallery hosts small exhibitions of paintings and photographs. >>
From time to time, the atelier is transformed into a performance space for theatrical and other events.

Travels

One of my favorite activities is to travel to visit friends and lovers. I also travel to further projects and to meet new friends and lovers. Favorite destinations are festivals. Over the years I have attended dozens of festivals and conferences. And I like going back to the same festival year after year. I have attended The Edinburgh International Festival every year... >>

NEWS
Jim's Newsletters
-2014 N.726 Summer 2014 report,a look on the recent past and a glimpse of the future, alive and kicking...
Chante!
a musical review by Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink backed by four great musicians. Jim is organizing a group for the opening night at the Theatre Déjazet in Paris on August 28th 2014....
Events
-April 2, 2014 Death of an old times friend, Jack Henry Moore. Jack was an amazing fellow. Born in Sulphur, Oklahoma the 19th of June 1940, some 73 years ago, he attended...
Press Room
-2014 Jim Haynes: priklausomybė nuo valgymo drauge, an article in Lithuanian by Aurimas Zdanavičius, published in Žmogus dėžė, Vilnius, March 2014...
Jim's Newsletters
-2014 N.725 Five Days in San Sebastian, a short stay in the Basque country with Jone Karres and her friends...
Paris Visite
watch the trailer of this documentary movie about Jim Haynes, directed by R.A. Rebetez, produced by Ellektra Pictures and Angela Spörri, and order your copy...
Jim's life
-2013 An early update of Jim's "life" section covering the year 2013 and quite a bit more ...
Jim's Newsletters
-2013 N.724 A Look Back on 2013, a quick recollection of a rather good year...
-2013 N.723 A quick December trip to Barcelona: a visit to see friends and The Surrender in Barcelona...
Press Room
-2013 Interview: Traverse founder Jim Haynes: an article by Neil Cooper, published in The Herald Scotland on 19 August 2013...
-2013 Sunnuntai-illallisia Pariisissa vuodesta 1978: an article in Finnish by Pihla Hintikka, published by the Helsingin Sanomat on 15 Aug. 2013...
Books and writers in my life
an exhibition:
34 books and writers that have been important to Jim Haynes...
Press Room
-2013 The French connection: an article by Deb McCoy published by Hemispheres magazine in May 2013...
Handshake edition
revisiting the catalogue of the Paris based publishing house...
If you want to order a few books, check the updated book order form!
Jim Haynes takes Henry Miller down memory lane
an article by Adam Biles in Ling Magazine, March, 2009
This I believe
listen to Jim on NPR !
Broadcast on Monday, January 12th, 2009
Sunday Dinners
an ongoing story, the facts
+ free recipes for you!

Not only a Rumor
read what they wrote about Jim

 

 


     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Haynes' Website