1933: Mother rushes from Texas where she and my father are living to her mother’s home in Haynesville, Louisiana for my birth, the 10th of November. Five months later we move to Shreveport where I am to live the first twelve years of my life. A quiet middle class neighborhood, 1614 Magnolia Street. A letter written to me from my mother in the early 1980s reports: “You were born at 6am at Mama’s house on an early Friday morning. Actually at 6am. To all of us a very beautiful baby. There was much excitement at that house all day for Herbert (my mother’s brother) was playing football against Byrd High, Shreveport that p.m. And Ve (my mother sister) was having a church wedding at 8 p.m. that night. After the wedding, Albert (my father’s brother) and Max (my mother’s baby brother) went O’possum hunting that nite. All in all a very exciting day… Dad went to work in Shreveport shortly after you were born and you and I stayed on with Mama until you were five months old.”
1934: Neighbor family is Greek. They have two daughters, Bessie and Mary Cocos. They teach me some naughty words in Greek. My father has a job with the Arkansas Oil and Gas Company.
1935: Listen to the radio a lot, especially at night. Favorite program: I Love a Mystery. Very scary.
1936: Play with the neighbors. Two brothers, George and Gene Newton, are good friends. Later attend L.S.U. with George. Gene becomes a football player for Tulane University.
1937: My mother has a job in a local women’s shop that is run by her cousin. I am alone a lot and this pleases me. Spend a great deal of time bird-watching. Join the John James Audubon Society. Wander the neighborhood and make friends with the neighbors and local shop-keepers. Steal a comic book from a drug store, take it home and read it. Feel ashamed and take it back to the store. Never steal again.
1938: My mother’s letter: “After you started to school (Alexandria Grammar) you joined the Cub Scouts and I was Den Mother for two years.”
1939: Mother continues: “You joined the Boy Scouts and was a darn good one. ..When you were 6 years old you didn’t get to start school as your birthday was in November so you went to stay with Mama as she was alone. Also do you recall the summer you and Pete (Neilson) and Ben (Crocker) went to Grandmother Haynes and you three started a bird sanctuary?”
1940: Attend Alexandria Grammar, a short walk from home. My favorite neighbors are John and Marion Daly. He is Irish and is an engraver with the local newspaper, The Shreveport Times. His wife, Marion, is Finnish and she spoils me with wonderful pies and cakes and tales of life in Finland. They have a son, Bill, who is older than me and a daughter, Joan, who is about my age. Joan and I play the classic games “Doctor and Nurse”, “Post Office”, “Spin the Bottle” and other games that involve exploring each other’s bodies. Marion plants a love and a curiosity for and about Finland that sparks a life-long love of that country.
1941: Remember hearing Franklin D. Roosevelt radio address to the nation that Pearl Harbor has been bombed and the United States is at war with Japan. Mother continues: “War started and you had your little soldier uniform and was ringleader in our neighborhood on Magnolia Street. Your friends were the Greek girls, Julius (Chapman) the Jewish boy and many others…” Do my best for the war efforts by collecting scrap metal. Mother and Father entertain service men in our home. The biggest air base in America, Barksdale, is just outside Shreveport. One man, Jean Dacquin, who is training with the Free French Air Force at Barksdale, is more or less adopted by my family and it is the first time for me to hear about France. My family stays in contact with him for the rest of their lives. The first time they travel to Europe, we visit Jean in the East of France.
1942: Organize the local kids and we play sexual exploration games in a small wooded area behind my house. Become “a chocoholic” by sneak-drinking Hersey’s Chocolate straight from the can. Break out in a strange rash. Later confess to my mother’s good friend and the family doctor, Dr. Margaret Akin. Also break a lot of bones.
1943: Follow the war, read The Shreveport Times newspaper, listen to the radio, read late at night under the covers with a flash light. Explore the neighborhood. Attend school. Catherine Hooper, my first girlfriend, and I are the two top students. Later Catherine is killed in a tragic car accident.
1944: Discover Dorothy Parker and Langston Hughes in my father’s library. These two poets become major influences. The Langston Hughes poem, I, Too, Sing America, creates a humanist consciousness that means I will never be a racist. Dorothy Parker’s influence is more subtle, but equally important. Edit a small private newspaper entitled The Treetop News. Circulation: one copy per issue. My father gives me some advice that I have always attempted to heed: “When you do something nice for someone, forget it immediately; when someone does something nice for you, never forget it…”
1945: The bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima brings the war to an end. My father resigns his position and accepts an offer to move to Venezuela to be an employee with the Mene Grande Oil Company.
1946: Mother continues: “In 1946 Dad went to Venezuela and you went to Hamilton Jr. High. You broke your arm, leg and back that year. You were a brave little fellow and so good to do the grocery buying and helping me. Before you and I went to join Dad you decided you wanted golf clubs so you caddied at a gold course with a steel brace on your back.” My mother and I fly from Houston to San Tomé, Venezuela. The trip takes three days via Mexico City, Guatemala City, Managua, Panama City, Baranquilla, Caracas, Barcelona, and finally San Tomé.
1947: Mother continues: “For two years, 8th and 9th grades, you were in San Tomé, Venezuela. Voted the best liked boy in the whole school. Do you remember your motor scooter? It was fun for me too as you would take me to the library at the club sitting behind you. Your English teacher (Miss Kennedy) raved about your anthology you wrote in the 9th grade. Smart, we thought you were. And still think so, even if our ideas are very different.” Best friend is Carlos Garcia. He and I explore the surrounding towns and county side via my motor scooter. Learn to dance in the local bordellos with the young prostitutes and at the country club with my mother’s friends. Drink a lot of rum and coke.
1948: My favorite teacher, Miss Kennedy, assigns the class to create an anthology of their favorite literature. I take this assignment seriously and devote a vast amount of time and energy to it. Type out the entire book. Read James Jones’ From Here to Eternity and am greatly impressed by it. Later meet him and his wife, Shirley, in Paris and he gives me his old rain coat which I wear for years (until it falls apart).
1949: Graduate from Junior High School and win a watch as the “Outstanding Student” . Elect to attend a boarding school, Georgia Military Academy in College Park, a suburb of Atlanta, because a friend from Venezuela, James Estrada, is a student there. (Later James is killed in a military jet accident.) Share a room with Louis Saladino, who is from New Orleans.
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1950: Active in the literary activities of the school, but slip out and go over the wall at every opportunity. Often caught and forced to spend free time walking around “the bull ring”. Spend all school holidays in Louisiana and Texas with aunts and uncles and cousins. Summer holidays in Venezuela with jobs with the oil company.
1951: Editor of the school yearbook and near the top of my class academically, but the lowest possible military rank.
1952: Almost am expelled from G.M.A. for breaking school rules (i.e. slipping out at night to meet local young women). But manage to graduate. Enroll in Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge in September. Become a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon social fraternity and live in the Deke House and also in the International Students House. Continue to travel to Venezuela every summer.
1953: My second year at L.S.U. – also known as the country club of the South. Attend classes, chase women, drink beer with friends. What a life! Pure joy! Go to Venezuela in the summer and have a job connected to the oil industry. Dance with the young prostitutes in the local bordellos. Deep sea fishing and swimming near Porto La Cruz.
1954: Live in a small apartment off-campus with Michael Meade Evans. Read Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and find Miller and his book a challenge and a major influence. (Read Tropic of Cancer again in Edinburgh in my 20s, again in London in my 30s and again in Paris in my 40s. Same book, different me. Each time greatly enjoy the experience.)
Jim (right) with friend Pete
1955: Spend part of the summer as a chauffeur for my father’s favorite cousin, Dayton Haynes, driving him around West Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado. (My “uncle” later sells his family home in Midland, Texas to the Bush family. Therefore it can be said that George W and I have slept in the same house. For whatever this is worth.) Enter L.S.U. that autumn with a sense of foreboding and a desire to drop out and explore options. After about a month in the university, leave with no clear plan. Uncle Sam sends me “a Greetings letter” requesting my services in the army. After taking the physical examination in New Orleans, am told to report in two weeks time to an army base in Arkansas for basic training. Walk down Canal Street, the main street in New Orleans, and see a poster declaring “Fly with the American Air Force”. An hour later I have enlisted in the U.S. Air Force (for four years) and am told to report for basic training in Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio in two weeks time. After thirteen weeks, sit in front of three men who decide one’s fate. I express an interest in learning the Russian language and am assigned to Kelly Air Force Base just down the road. There I study Russian for six hours daily. And begin a friendship with Francis Randall, from Shreveport, and Morris Sheppard, from Cleveland. Many trips to Mexico. Via my “uncle” Dayton Haynes, I am introduced to Nancy Achning and her family. They are very warm and hospitable. No longer wishing to let Kismet decide my future, I track down the unknown corporal, Sonny from Mississippi, who will decide my future. He tells me he can send me anywhere in the world. I ask for Western Europe, in the smallest possible military base, near a major city and university. He suggests Edinburgh. Also in San Antonia listen to an Edith Piaf LP for the first time. Greatly impressed and become a fan.
1956: I arrive at Kirknewton in the autumn – just after the Budapest Uprising and the Suez Canal catastrophe. Maybe World War III is at hand. Same night I arrive, I dress in civilian clothes that I had packed in my duffel bag and head for Edinburgh some fifteen to twenty minutes away. Immediately walk about the university area and fall in love with the city, a love affair that continues to today. Kirknewton is a small listening base where planes never land or take-off. Instead it attempts to learn all it can about the Soviet Union and its military plans and operations. Straight away request a meeting with the Base Commander, a Colonel Scott. Request permanent night duty (5 to midnight), permission to attend the University of Edinburgh and permission to live in a small room in Edinburgh at my expense “in order to study”. Bingo! Permission granted. My first room is in Great King Street. Later the landlady asks me to leave because I have had too many guests. An early encounter with Tamara Alferoff, a student from England, walking down Hanover Street that is to have future ramifications. Purchase a Volkswagen from savings from the summer jobs in the oil fields in Venezuela.
1957: Attend classes at the university and become involved with student life. Favorite professors: George Shepperson, who teaches American and Commonwealth History, and John Macintosh, Political Economics. Friends include Stash Pruszynski, from Warsaw, and Rod Macdonald, a Scottish-American. My first Edinburgh Festival. During a fringe production of Ugo Betti’s Corruption in the House of Justice, spot a lively young man sitting in the same row. He is with two lovely companions. Afterwards see them again walking up the Royal Mile. Stop and offer them a lift. It is Ricky Demarco, his wife, Anne, and Anne’s sister, Elisabeth. The beginning of a fifty year friendship.
1958: Meet Eva Clara Viveka Reüterskiold from Stockholm. She is in Edinburgh as an au-pair to improve her English. Live in the basement of 1, Doune Terrace and share the space with Ben Lassers and John Macnaughton – both medical students. Ben is from San Francisco and John is from Boston. Still travel to Kirknewton every afternoon, listen to the Russians and the Soviet states, drive into Edinburgh after midnight, sleep in Doune Terrace, attend classes the next morning. Party a lot with Ricky and Anne Demarco. Another Edinburgh Festival!
1959: Request permission from the Base Commander for a one-year early release from my contract with the U.S. Air Force and to my pleasant surprise, this is granted. Request permission to be de-mobbed in Scotland and permission from the British government to be allowed to stay in Edinburgh to continue my studies. Also granted. My family urges me to return to the USA and an American University. My father promises to support my studies in America, but will not help if I stay in Scotland. Drive to Spain in the Volkswagen and take the car to Majorca where I study at the University of Barcelona Summer School program. Meet Mother and Father in Barcelona and we drive to visit Jean Dacquin in Aix-les-Bains in the East of France. Then up to Edinburgh. Witness Father throw his KLM ticket from Barcelona to Edinburgh in the trash. Instinctively fish it out. Visit America in the summer and ship the Volkswagen there in order to sell it. I have decided to return to Edinburgh to continue my studies and to open a paperback bookshop to pay my cost of living. Total capital about 600 pounds. Before leaving New York, see The Three Penny Opera with Lotte Lenya. Return to Europe on the Flandre and experience the delights of France. Exit the ship in Southampton and go straight up to Edinburgh. Explore the university area and find a junk shop. Ask the proprietor if she would like to sell her shop and to our mutual surprise, she agrees to part with the shop and all the items in the shop for 300 pounds. Meet two people on a bus one morning and tell them my plans to open a bookshop. One is Jane Quigley (who is later to become a major actor in theatre, film and television using the stage name Jane Alexander) and the other is a fellow named Red Williams (who later tragically dies young). Red offers to help me. And soon after this meeting, The Paperback Bookshop is ready to open. Professor Alan Thompson cuts the ribbon. It is a perfect location and an immediate success with students, professors, and book lovers everywhere. The London publisher, John Calder, is one of the first to pay a visit. Our fifty year friendship and close association begins. The Paperback sells British and American paperbacks, literary magazines and the hip New York newspaper, The Village Voice. John Wilcock, an English journalist who was one of the founders with Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, Norman Mailer, writes a weekly column entitled “The Village Square”. I write a fan letter to John and tell him that I sell the newspaper in my bookshop. This begins a friendship which leads to a number of co-operative activities including The Traveler’s Directory which later is re-named The Hospitality Exchange.
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1960: The Paperback is a big success. Another trip to Spain with plans to continue to North Africa. Somehow get stuck in Seville and end up staying with the Sanchez Pizjuan family. English classes in exchange for a small room and meals. Somehow or other remember the KLM tickets I fished out of the trash in Edinburgh. Train to Barcelona. The ticket is still valid. My father and I have the same first name. Fly KLM back to Britain. The Paperback not only sells tickets for fringe productions, but I help create the first fringe catalogue. I am asked by the Edinburgh University Students Union to give the Address of Welcome to the new students arriving for the autumn academic year. Everyone seems to enjoy it and I am asked to do it every year for the next half dozen years. (Lynda Myles later tells me over dinner one night in Paris how inspiring she found my welcoming talk.) Create a theatre space in the bookshop and the First Dialogue by David Hume Concerning Natural Religion is organized by and performed by Dieter Peetz and becomes the hit of the 1960 Edinburgh Festival. Colin Hamilton and Peter Findlay also perform. (“The eighteenth century ambiance was created effectively in one corner of the bookshop, the rest of which was well filled with an audience who doubtless envied the performers their claret. But excellent coffee was provided to the entire audience afterwards. A discussion followed and when I left it was in full swing. This is probably the contribution of the Festival which owes more than any other to Edinburgh. It can be strongly recommended to anyone who enjoys a good Scottish argument.” F.C. reviewing for The Scotsman) Jane Quigley is the star of the hit play in the fringe, Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending. I am an off-stage recorded voice shouting “Rope, get rope”. Meet Scott Griffith in The Paperback. He is a young student from North Carolina studying at Edinburgh University summer school. Scott, Alan Daiches, Stash Pruszynski, Andrej Malczewski, and a fellow known as Highland Jim dig out the basement and it becomes a tapestry and pottery gallery. Breyten Breytenbach has his first exhibition of paintings in the gallery. Jane and a few friends depart for the International Youth Jamboree in Moscow. I want to join them, but cannot because of my military clearance. Decide to drive to the Book Fair in Frankfurt. This is the beginning of a long association with the city and the Book Messe.
1961: Learn in the summer that Viveka is pregnant and we get married in the Unitarian Church just before she returns to Stockholm to finish her university studies. The burning of Lady Chatterley’s Lover outside The Paperback Bookshop by a former missionary in Africa is captured on film by Alan Daiches. John Calder organizes a tour of Britain for three French writers he publishes and John asks me to arrange a literary evening for Nathalie Sarraute and Marguerite Duras. The success of this tour leads John to suggest to Lord Harewood, the then Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, to add a literary element to the Festival. Harewood agrees with one stipulation: it must not lose money. John asks me to handle the Edinburgh end of the operation and he and Sonia Orwell, George’s widow, start inviting novelists. I find local hosts to accommodate our guests to save spending money for hotels. Also make party arrangements and negotiate with the University of Edinburgh to use the McEwan Hall for the conference and the Men’s Union for the daily lunches. The Paperback produces a review from Trinity College, Dublin for the Festival directed by Max Stafford-Clark. I publish Hugh MacDiarmid’s essay on David Hume in an edition of 1000 copies.
1962: Viveka returns to Edinburgh and our son, James Jesper, is born the 20th of February in the Royal Infirmary. Our friend, David Baird delivers. We live at 63 Frederick Street and this becomes the office of the Writers’ Conference. Organize a poetry reading for Yevgeny Yevtushenko that is a big success. Viveka cooks a dinner for Yevtushenko. Among the guests are Sean Hignett, a novelist from Liverpool but who lives in Edinburgh, Cesar Lopez, a young poet from Cuba, Alan Daiches, a photographer living in Edinburgh and Serge Lentz, a journalist from Paris Match. Serge writes a big article about the dinner party. And uses a wonderful photograph by Alan Daiches. Create The Howff at 369 High Street as a second theatre venue in Edinburgh with the folk-singer, Roy Guest. One is not supposed to speak ill of the dead. But the project ends after the festival when Roy leaves town with all the money. This leads to a talk with Tom Mitchell about a building he has acquired in the Lawnmarket and I suggest to him that we create a theatre club in his building and that we rent the space for one shilling a year. And he will serve as Honorary President. (Note: Tom, an English farmer, spends a great deal of time in Edinburgh as a direct result of meeting Tamara Alferoff, this same Tamara I met when I arrived in Edinburgh in the mid-50s.) Another production in the Paperback Bookshop, Fion McCulloch’s Trial of Heretics. The first Writers’ Conference at the Edinburgh Festival with 70 novelists in attendance (including Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Norman Mailer, William Burroughs, Krushwant Singh, Angus Wilson, Mary McCarthy, Niccolo Tucci, Alex Trocchi, Hugh MacDiarmid, Alek Stefanovic) is a big success. Joan Hills asks if her husband, Mark Boyle, can have an exhibition in the Paperback Gallery. I suggest she wait and have it in the Traverse when it opens. Viveka, Jesper and I travel to the USA in order to introduce Jesper to my parents. We cross the Atlantic in a Norwegian tanker. Rough seas in the winter.
1963: The Traverse Theatre Club opens its doors in January and I miss the opening production. Visit with Jane Quigley in New York. She is now acting under the name of Jane Alexander. See her in Man is Man, an off-Broadway Bertolt Brecht production. Beg her to pack her bags and come back to Edinburgh to join us at the Traverse. But she has been offered a major role at the Charles Playhouse in Boston. (And besides British Equity would never have allowed her to perform at the Traverse.) The Traverse rapidly goes from strength to strength. John Calder, Kenneth Tynan and I co-organize the Drama Conference at the Festival with 120 people connected with the theatre in attendance. On the last day, the theme is “The future of the theatre” and a happening is organized by Charles Marowitz, Allan Kaprow, Ken Dewey, Carroll Baker and others in which a nude model, Anna Kesselaar, is quickly wheeled across the organ gallery. Outrage and scandal. The Lord Mayor of Edinburgh refuses to allow us to organize a Poetry Conference for 1964. Somehow manage to purchase a large apartment at No. 4 Great King Street and it becomes the office for The Drama Conference.
1964: For a brief period, I am both the Artistic Director and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Traverse. Manage to establish the policy that the Traverse will be the home of new writing, that we will create a school of Scottish playwrights. The Arts Council insists if they are ever to give us any funding, I must resign one position. I give up the Chairmanship and urge the members to elect Nicholas Fairbairn, a local flamboyant lawyer, to serve as Chairman. He is duly elected. And I see my position weaken immediately as a result. Create Traverse Festival Productions to produce the English-language premiere of the Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weill musical, Happy End, in the Pollock Hall during the Festival. It is the hit of the Festival and later transfers to the Royal Court Theatre in London. Jack Henry Moore, a young American from Oklahoma who is working as a Private Detective in Dublin, knocks on my door. He is a theatre director and has read about me and The Traverse in The Observer. He travels to Edinburgh to see Happy End and to ask me for a position at the Traverse. I cannot hire him because of British labour laws, but an almost 40 year friendship begins. Travel to Dublin to spent a week at the Dublin Theatre Festival and to share the city and festival with Polly Grannis and Jack Moore. Meet Lindsay Kemp who is penniless and we raise money to cover his expenses for him and his small dance company to return to England. Later he comes to Edinburgh and Jack and I produce his next half dozen productions in the Traverse (and later in the Arts Lab in London). Viveka returns to Stockholm to live and takes Jesper with her.
1965: A banner year at the Traverse and at the Paperback Bookshop. The success of Happy End produces an invitation from the official festival to produce one of the principal dramatic pieces for this year’s Festival. Make a list of twelve possible plays we could produce and all are refused. Finally ask the Festival which Shakespeare play they would like to see us do. They suggest Macbeth and we agree to produce it. We need the money. Michael Geliot directs and it features three young, attractive and nude witches. More scandal! In the Traverse itself, we launch C.P. Taylor with the World Premiere of his Happy Days Are Here Again (directed by Charles Marowitz).Also produce the first production of Oh, Gloria by Robert Shure. I am asked by Penguin Books to edit a book for them of Traverse Plays. I am also awarded the Whitbread Prize “for outstanding contributions to theatre in Britain”. Bernard Cassen, a professor in Paris, writes an article for Le Monde about the Traverse. Am invited to present a Season of Traverse productions in the Arts Theatre in London. A critical success. But not a financial one.
1966: The year begins with a brilliant production of the musical, The Fantastiks, directed by Jack Henry Moore. Even his detractors are impressed. This is followed soon after by another World Premiere of C.P Taylor’s Allergy. Next the World Premiere of Heathcote Williams’ The Local Stigmatic (suggested to me by Harold Pinter). And a friendship begins with Heathcote Williams. But my situation in Edinburgh is in difficulty largely due to a growing dislike of Jack Henry Moore and his open homosexuality. (If one were a homosexual in those days, it was required to stay in the closet. One certainly didn’t flout it.) The fact that I wish to open a sister theatre in London, so that productions can go back and forth between the two cities, is another reason the Committee is upset. In the end I painfully resign from the Traverse and move to London. The London Traverse Theatre Company (with support from Jennie Lee, the Minister of Culture, and Arnold Goodman, an important lawyer and later the Chairman of the Arts Council) is created. The other three directors are Charles Marowitz, Michael Geliot and Ralph Koltai. Manage to “rent” Sonia Orwell’s basement flat for the princely sum of serving drinks at her many cocktail parties. Sonia introduces me to Frances Bacon, Cyril Connolly, Stephen Spender and most of the social and political power of London. The London Traverse has a brilliant season with highly critical reviews for all our productions. Two productions, The Bellow Plays and Joe Orton’s Loot, transfer to West End theatres. Both plays are directed by Charles Marowitz. Loot wins the Evening Standard’s Best Play of the Year Award. Thanks to Michael White, Yoko Ono produces her first happening in our theatre. With a borrowed five hundred pounds from Victor Herbert, a friend in Paris, we (Jack Moore, Barry Miles, John Hopkins, Michael Henshaw) launch a newspaper called International Times, later shortened to I.T. I borrow the Round House in Chalk Farm from Arnold Wesker to have our I.T. launch party. Hoppy arranges for the Pink Floyd and the Soft Machine to play. This party also launches the Round House as a space for creative endeavors. Give theatre tickets to Norma Moriceau, a waitress from Sydney, and we become (and still are) dear friends. Norma becomes Fashion Editor of 19 and then returns to Australia to become a film set and costume designer. Other Australians in London include Richard Neville, who starts the hip magazine, OZ, at about the same time we launch I.T. Martin Sharp, a painter, also from Sydney who greatly contributes to OZ’s success. And of course Germaine Greer, who is outrageous and wonderful and one of the most articulate human beings I have ever encountered. Felix Dennis, who is not Australian, joins OZ and helps with the distribution. He later creates a global publishing empire and becomes amazingly rich. He uses a large percentage of his wealth in his attempt to re-forest Great Britain.
1967: Move to Long Acre in Covent Garden. Share the flat with Jack Moore and thousands of others. We have a pay phone installed and everyone comes for tea and/or to use the telephone. More and more disappointed in the Jeannetta Cochrane Theatre and the restrictions and pressures of running a theatre company in a large conventional space. I resign in order to devote myself to I.T. and to finding a warehouse in which to create an experimental space. Soon manage to acquire the perfect space – two warehouses connected to each other at 182 Drury Lane. This is the birth of the Arts Laboratory. The Lab contains a cinema in the basement designed by Jack Moore and run by David Curtis. The entrance contains a large gallery space and Biddy Peppin (David’s girlfriend) and Pamela Zoline direct the gallery activities. The theatre is in a separate (but connected) warehouse and it is designed by Jack Moore. He and I co-direct the activities there. The upstairs space in the front contains the restaurant that is run by Susan Miles. I live in the back above the storage and dressing rooms. A number of other people live in various corners of the building. We are everything we claim to be and the space is an instant success. All London comes at all hours to experience The Lab. My policy is to try to never say the word “no” and in three years of running the Lab I almost never do so. We have a number of successes including Steven Berkoff’s first production, a Kafka’s adaptation, Graziella Martinez and Toni-Lee Marshall’s late night dance production, Jack Moore/Jack Bond’s direction of the Jane Arden musical, Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven (with music by Shawn Phillips), John Lennon/Yoko Ono’s sculpture exhibition, Jack Moore’s direction of Tutte Lemkov in Kafka’s Lecture to an Academy and Moma Dimic’s The Very Long Life of Tola Manolovic.. David Bowie uses the Lab to rehearse his music. Lindsay Kemp stages many productions. So, too, The People Show. Meet Ernie Eban when he walks into the Lab and our friendship begins. Also friends with the Topolski clan. Meet Hercules Bellville. Meet Dick Gregory and a long and warm friendship begins. Later I am his European Campaign Manager when he stands for President of the United States. Meet James Baldwin. Meet the American Ambassador to Great Britain, David Bruce, and his wife, Evangeline. Meet the Cuban Ambassador, Madame Alba Griñán. Am invited to dine with Brian Epstein and The Beatles.
1968: Our newspaper, I.T., creates UFO where the Pink Floyd and The Soft Machine are the house bands. Jack creates The Human Family and begins to spend more and more time touring Europe with his bus, geodesic dome and his actors. More and more of the staff and personnel in the Lab resent scarce funds being spent on him and his activities on the continent and not on the Lab itself. Ultimately and painfully I side with Jack. This causes a major eruption and some of the staff break away to create another Arts Lab. Am invited to participate in a conference in Florence entitled, “The Problems of the Small Theatre”. Invited by Frank Burckner to bring a production to his Forum Theatre in Berlin for a festival of international theatre. Elect to produce The Party and I call a bunch of actors and musicians and tell them we are going to Berlin to have a party. It is a big success. In April, the London production of Hair uses the Arts Lab to audition actors. Drive to Paris in May with the writer, Philip Oxman. Find myself caught up in the “revolution”. Standing outside the Odeon Theatre when it is seized, I am among the first dozen inside. We drive to Geneva and continue to the South of France and discover the Cannes Film Festival has been cancelled. Meet Austryn Weinhouse, the translator of de Sade into English. On my way back to London, stop in Heidelberg and end up staying the night in the house that Albert Speer built. And he is somewhere in the house. But we do not meet. The May 13th issue of Life has an article about the Arts Lab by Horace Judson entitled Arts Laboratory: Swinging Smosgasbord. At some point, I meet Lynne Tillman at Shakespeare & Co in Paris and invite her to come to London and to assist me in the running of the Arts lab. She accepts and soon is contributing her positive energies to the Arts Lab. In December, we hire the Albert Hall to organize a fund-raiser, The Alchemical Wedding. John Lennon and Yoko Ono participate with their bag happening. An evening to remember but the management of the Albert Hall is not amused. I had promised Leonard Cohen. He didn’t come. The event is taped with one of the first Sony video cameras. Inspire and help Tony Elliot to launch Time Out in London. Party with Jay and Fran Landesman, Ronnie Laing, Christine Keeler, Mama Cass. Am invited to dine with Indira Gandhi. Meet Leonard Cohen earlier via Michael X. Leonard and I discuss starting an egg-head paperback publishing company together. Viveka and I divorce. She wants to marry someone in Sweden.
1969: Squat the empty Bell Hotel next to the Arts Lab after all attempts to rent it from the Greater London Council fail. Shortly afterwards we are expelled by the police. Some say this is the start of the squatting movement. Last year of the Arts Lab in London. The writing is on the wall. But one of the interesting things about the Arts Lab is the number of other Lab-like places that explode all over Britain and the Continent as a result of the example the Lab’s success provided. Places like the expanded I.C.A. in London (under the direction of Michael Kustow), the Milky Way in Amsterdam (where Jack Moore is one of the founders), the Entrepôt in Paris (where Frederic Mitterand shows me around when it is an empty shell), plus hundreds of Arts Lab in Britain itself. At a Sunday afternoon tea with Bill Levy, we decide to create a sexual freedom newspaper to be called SUCK and to be based in Amsterdam. A quick telephone call to Willem de Ridder in Amsterdam and he agrees to be the paper’s graphic designer and to host the operations in his own newspaper office. Make a few more telephone calls and Germaine Greer and Heathcote Williams join the team. Accept an invitation from Professors Pierre Dommergues and Bernard Cassen to become a Visiting Professor at the newly created University of Paris 8 in the Bois de Vincennes. Teach summer school in Granna in the South of Sweden. Move to Paris and stay the first three months in Victor Herbert’s large apartment at 6 rue du Val de Grâce in the 5th arrondissement. With luck manage to move to rue Mathurin-Régnier in the 15eme. Begin teaching in the autumn in Paris. Extremely large classes. Pierre Dommergues suggests I might need an assistant. Mollie Lehberger is assigned the position and a friendship with her and her husband, Martin, begins. Thanks to a letter from Peregrine Eliot (containing a check), we are able to “roll the presses” for the first issue of SUCK. Take copies of SUCK to the Frankfurt Book Fair and sell it in the aisles. This is my second Book Messe and I am to attend every year thereafter. The SUCK editorial board decides to create The Wet Dream Film Festival to open after next year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. I am to be the Director. Bill Levy meets Susan Janssen when preparing the first issue of SUCK. (They still live together some 35 years later. They also co-produce Swaantje, a wonderful daughter.) Susan and Lynne Tillman actively contribute to the success of SUCK Begin to write newsletters that I send out to friends all over the world. (In 2005, the number of newsletters has exceeded 630.) Viveka marries Gosta Wallmark, an architect.
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1970: Cover the Cannes Film Festival for the L.A. Free Press. Make publicity for The Wet Dream Film Festival and solicit films. Am invited to continue teaching at the University of Paris and discover I enjoy teaching. (In the end I stay on the staff at the University of Paris 8 for the next 29 years until I am forced to retire at the age of 65, mainly teaching “Media Studies” and “Sexual Politics”.) Another Edinburgh Festival. Another Frankfurt Book Fair. The first Wet Dream Film Festival in Amsterdam is a big success. We don’t lose money and everyone enjoys the event. The beautiful model, Jean Shrimpton, adds beauty and glamour by attending. She and Heathcote are close friends. Develop a close relationship with my neighbor in Paris, Elahé Arouzi Ebtehaj. She is from Iran and lives across the street from me with Sitare Agaoglu, a student from Istanbul. Also becomes friends with Susi Wyss, one of the great beauties and free spirits of the time. Susi later becomes a neighbor. I have the pleasure to dine often in her apartment.
1971: More teaching, more SUCKs, another Cannes, another Edinburgh, another Book Fair, another Wet Dream, and an invitation to participate in a conference, The Doom of the Book?, in Zurich. A trip to the USA where I meet Robert Crumb in San Francisco and Henry Miller in L.A. Henry Miller asks me to contact Jens Jorgen Thorsen when I am back in Paris and to tell Jens that Henry greatly enjoyed his film, Quiet Days in Clichy. I do and Jens and I become friends. Also meet Betty Dodson in Manhattan in Fred Jordan’s Grove Press office and ask her to be a Jury Member for the 2nd Wet Dream Film Festival. She accepts and a wonderful friendship with her begins. Viveka and Gosta have a daughter, Lisa, in March. Jack Moore and the Videoheads crew move from Amsterdam to my atelier and a long relationship with UNESCO and Sony (Mr. Baba and Mr. Shoda) begins. Meet Suzanne Brogger at Cannes and talk her into writing an autobiographical story for SUCK. With Garry Davis, we produce a World Passport. I use it to travel from Switzerland to Italy and on to France. Spend some time with Germaine Greer in Italy and with The Rolling Stones in the South of France. Wet Dream Film Festival is a big success once again. Sign a contract with Grove Press for my book, Hello, I Love You!
Susi Wyss, photograph � Rights Reserved
at the Palace, Paris
1972: More of all of the above. Disastrous film project (Wet Dreams) with Max Fischer that has some positive aspects. One is a short film made by Jens Jorgen Thorsen. Travel to New York City to meet with Grove Press for my book, Hello, I Love You! Meet Jeanne Pasle-Green at a Manhattan party and invite her to co-edit Hello with me. SUCK commits hara-kiri. Many reasons. But the film project with Max certainly a factor. Cannes again where I see the first screening of W.R. – Mysteries of the Organism with Dusan Makavejev and four friends. Dusan moves from Belgrade to Paris and lives one street away from me. He and his wife, Bojana, become good friends. Another Edinburgh Festival, another Book Fair. Will Reed uses our World Passport to get out of prison in Bangkok and to travel over land to Paris. I put him up in Paris, feed him, introduce him to many people, help him financially. This later leads to a disaster. My home is a World Government Embassy that never closes as more and more people knock on my door at all hours to be issued World Passports. I am asked to produce a theatre production for the Olympics in München and pass the job to Jack Moore. But I do travel to München just before the Games begin to visit with Jack and the company. When I leave to fly to Paris, I am stopped at the airport with fifty blank World Passports in my carry-on bag and spend the next two hours lecturing to the police about World Government. In the end, issue a passport to one of the custom police and am allowed to continue on my way.
1973: Thanks to Mike and Martine Zwerin, I move to 83 rue de la Tombe Issoire. They move to the South of France and I manage to take over their rental contract from the American poet, Lloyd Frankenberg, and his wife, the painter, Lorin McIver. Henry Miller lived just up the street in Villa Seurat when he published Tropic of Cancer. Attempt to launch an audio magazine, The Cassette Gazette. John Lennon and Yoko Ono express a great interest in the project. Mick Jagger makes a financial contribution and contributes a Revox tape recorder. The first issue contains Lawrence Ferlinghetti reading one of his poems and Charles Bukowski reading one of his stories. The Bukowski contribution is a gift from his friends, Bob Head and Darlene Fife, who edit NOLA Express in New Orleans. Ferlinghetti later tells me that he started publishing Bukowski in City Lights because of The Cassette Gazette. Attend a UNESCO Conference on experimental education in Hamburg (thanks to Judith Bizot) and give a paper suggesting the creation of a Ship University. Afterwards everyone is excited about the project. Attend another UNESCO Conference on “drugs” in Paris. Become involved with a crazy airline project, “Freelandia” that ends in a mess. Not mine fortunately. Another Cannes Film Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Frankfurt Book Fair.
1974: Grove Press backs out of the Hello contract and Praeger agrees to publish. Then Praeger decides the book is too hot to handle when the Berger Supreme Court changes the censorship laws in the U.S. The French government charges the World Service Authority (and Garry Davis and yours truly) with three counts of criminal activity. The trial takes place in Mulhouse and two charges (counterfeiting and fraud) are dropped. Only charged with “confusing the public” (which is what advertising agencies do every day). We are found guilty and my relationship with the World Government movement semi-ends. Garry elects to continue and moves to Vermont. Publish one thousand copies of Hello, I love you! on a duplicating machine and everyone who visits is encouraged to collate a book.
1975: Almonde Editions is founded and 600 copies of Hello is printed. Travel to the USA with my wonderful son, Jesper. Attend a strange luncheon in Neuilly and meet Gunnel Bloomberg. This develops into a very close friendship. More university classes, Cannes, UNESCO, Sony, Edinburgh, Frankfurt. A note from Samuel Beckett to thank me for sending him a copy of Hello, I Love You! I dine from time to time with Beckett when his London publisher, John Calder, visits Paris.
1976: All of the above continues. Lenny Jensen lives in atelier and launches the A2 Cable television station for our neighbors. He also co-produces a beautiful daughter, Jessica, with Marie-Paule Etienne. Hello is translated and published in Italy by Angelo Quattrocchi. Sitting one night late in La Coupole develop an idea with Humbert Camerlo to send several Beaux-Arts marching bands around the USA to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the United States. Humbert and I organize the tour and he goes on it. I don’t. He reports it is a wonderful experience.
1977: Attempt to write a book about La Coupole to celebrate its 50th birthday. But fail to get permission from Pierre Laffon’s brother. Introduce Jack Moore to neighbor, Quentin Rouillier, and this leads to a dance production in the Paris Opera House entitled Wind, Water and Sand with Caroline Carlson and Quentin as the principal dancers. Dandelion Editions is created and it prints and publishes my little manifesto, Workers of the World, Unite and Stop Working! With luck and with a lot of help from friends (Bo Linden, Annie Gruska and Gilles Bouchez), manage to purchase my atelier. Videoheads and Jack Moore move their base of operations from my atelier to a converted bank in Amsterdam. Videoheads is invited to assist the Cannes Film Festival by videotaping the press conferences. Norma Moriceau and Lisa Brody are our camera team. Travel to the Edinburgh Festival with Lisa Brody and Baya Müller. Jill Fenner and Benny Young read excerpts from Hello, I Love You! in the Traverse bar. Maurice Hatton cajoles me into participating in his film, The Long Shot, in which I play the role of Jim Haynes. After the festival, attend a Conference on Love and Attraction in Swansea with Lisa and Baya. Stay with Sally Belfrage in London after Swansea. Two delightful weeks in Manhattan the end of September. Another Frankfurt Book Fair. In December, thanks to Yvonne Rockman, make a trip around the world. (First stop Bombay to see Pearl Padamsee and am guest of honor for a party of New Delhi theatre school graduates at Neelam and Pushpinder Chowdhry’s home, then Sydney to stay with Norma Moriceau, Melbourne next to stay with Yvonne and Irvin Rockman. Irvin is the Mayor of Melbourne.)
1978: End 1977 with a fantastic party at the Rockman’s and begin the New Year in Melbourne by making love with a beautiful Melbourne woman. Continue to Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, L.A. (where I stay with Bernie Cornfeld), Houston (where I stay with my mother and father), New York City, London and home to Paris and university classes. Workers re-published. Another Cannes. Another Edinburgh Festival and the World Premiere of Long Shot. Another Frankfurt Book Fair, Then a trip to Bavaria to be a witness for the defense in Raymond Martin’s obscenity trial over his distribution of SUCK in Germany. We win. (Raymond publishes three of my books in German-language translations.) Cathy Sroufe arrives in Paris and thanks to Colette Négrier, she stays in Atelier A2 and we begin the dinners that are to become a fixture for the next three decades Cathy also stays in Paris, marries Yves Monnet and they co-produce Charles and Arthur…
1979: Ulli Lindenmann lives in Atelier A2 and knits me a wonderful blue sweater. Meet Barbara Crighton, from Toronto, in Shakespeare and Company and she moves into Atelier A2. Cathy Sroufe and I seriously develop the Sunday Salon project and every week more and more people call to invite themselves to dine. Most of the profits are later used to send food, clothes and medicine to friends in Poland and other places in Eastern Europe. The Bank, a video access center, opens in Amsterdam under the direction of Jack Henry Moore and Videoheads. Cannes again. Edinburgh Festival again. The entire November issue of the German-language magazine, Pardon, is devoted to fullering. I begin to correspond with Jill Diamond in the Women’s Prison in Rennes. Martin Lehberger moves into atelier A2. Challenge a Time Out in London critic to a debate in the I.C.A. when he gives Workers a bad review. He accepts. Go to London and win the debate and he acknowledges/apologizes.
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1980: Handshake Editions founded the 29th of February in response to Ted Joans being invited to read at UNESCO and his needing a book of poetry to sell after the reading. His book, Duckbutter Poems, is the first of many titles published over the next twenty-five years. (Others include books by Michael Zwerin, Judith Malina, Lynne Tillman, Sarah Bean, Tom Dunker, Yianna Katsoulos, David Day, John Calder, Pablo Armando Fernandez, yours truly.) Dick Gregory flies to Paris and then to Teheran in an attempt to free the hostages held when the Embassy is seized. Dick asks me to serve as his contact in the West when he calls me every day and I call on another telephone to his wife, Lilian, in Chicago. This means that I miss my annual trip to Cannes and postpone a trip to the USA in order to assist Dick. Meet Ali Alizadehfard and Flanagan MacKenzie. Later manage to come to their assistance in Marbella when I arrange for them to meet Benny Puigrefagut. Go to the Edinburgh Festival and help Cathy Sroufe Monnet with her dance presentation in Herzmark’s Dance Centre. Henry Miller dies and I get a note from Phillippe Coupey asking what we will do about Henry. Decide to publish a Homage to Henry and Philippe’s letter is the first contribution. Organize a big press conference for Dick Gregory at Charles de Gaulle airport when he returns from Teheran. Rush back to Paris from the Edinburgh Festival to arrange this. Visit Jill Diamond in the women’s prison in Rennes on her birthday the 2nd of December and we meet for the first time. Vangelis asks me to sing and to organize a chorus to sing the title song for his next LP, See You Later. Arrange for a tall blonde Californian, Pauline Kouweonhoven, to teach him English.
1981: My mother has a “routine operation” and dies in the hospital. Rush to Houston to be with my father. He wants to sell his home and move to Louisiana. Rent a small truck to help him move his things to Shreveport. Am hit by a car on an overpass while still in Houston and almost lose control of the truck. It would have meant a sure death. The car that hits me does not stop. I continue the drive, but am extremely shaky. Arrange for Jack Moore to marry Yoko Toda in New York City. Handshake Editions publishes Everything Is! and it also comes out in the German language. Paula Klein, from Stuttgart, knocks on my door. She ends up living in A2. Attend another Edinburgh Festival. Meet Jane Dalrymple in Edinburgh and she briefly visits afterwards. (Much later am responsible for her meeting Anselm Hollo. They marry and are still together.) Also another Frankfurt Book Fair. Rent a car and travel from Frankfurt to Berlin with Katherine Hilliard and Daniel Topolski (and stay with Inge Krahn). Continue to Poznan and Warsaw. Re-new friendship with Barbara Hoff who I first met in London in Indica Bookshop in 1967. Attend The Jazz Jamboree in Warsaw. Meet Pawel Brodowski, the Editor of Jazz Forum and a long friendship ensues. Drive to Prague with a letter to be delivered from Andrzej Blikle and Solidarnosc to Vaclay Havel. Meet Ivan Havel and am told his brother is in prison.
1982: Use the small profits from the Sunday dinners to send packages of food, clothes and medicine to friends in Poland. Handshake Editions publishes Judith Malina’s book of poetry, Poems of a Wandering Jewess. A quick trip to Louisiana to spend some time with my father. Travel to Manhattan to see Jesper, Lynne Tillman, John Flattau and Betty Dodson. Betty challenges me to a wager as to whom will publish their autobiography first. The loser has to fulfill the winner’s sexual fantasy. Drive to Cannes with Dan Topolski and Katherine Hilliard for another Film Festival. Stay once again in the Regence Hotel. Odile Hellier opens her wonderful English-language bookshop, The Village Voice, on the 14th of July. (Some 25 years later, it is still a great bookshop.) Dorota Janiszewska, from Warsaw, but studying at the University of Paris 8 moves into Atelier A2 thanks to Jessica Ben John. Gordana Malesevic moves into A2 for a year. She is from Stockholm. Another Edinburgh Festival. Stay with Barbara and Scott Griffith in their wonderful William Street Lane Mews home (and continue to stay there until they sell this house and move to the South of France in the Spring of 1992). Prepare 25 copies in two volumes of a “participatory autobiography” and take ten copies to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Thanks to Fanny Dubes, Robert McCrum, Elisabeth and Jaco Groot, Faber & Faber elect to publish it. But when I travel to London to sign the contract, Robert and Matthew Evans demand more words from me. Fanny helps make it happen. Travel to Warsaw for another Jazz Jamboree.
1983: Spend a lot of time at the Cannes Film Festival with Shuji Terayama. He and I first met in London in the Arts Lab and a close friendship evolves. Good friends in Paris, Hamida and Colin Gravois, co-produce another daughter, Kenza. Hana was born in 1981. Another Edinburgh Festival, Frankfurt Book Fair, Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. And Sunday dinners. More and more people want to attend.
1984: Faber & Faber publish my autobiography, Thanks for Coming!, in London on the 13th of February. And later they publish it in the USA as well. Faber throws a big party in London for about 300 to 400 friends. Peter Hillmore writes something in The Observer about the party and I am pictured with Pete Townshend. Generally the book receives good reviews. Attend the Cannes Film Festival in May once again for the L.A. Free Press. Debate in the Oxford Union the motion “that this house regrets the passing of the 60s” and my team wins. Ernie Eban coaches me and he and Ulla Larsen come up to Oxford to cheer me on. Handshake Editions publishes Powered Punch by Yianna Katsoulos. Another Edinburgh Festival! Another Frankfurt Book Fair and another Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. Kyle Roderick writes an article about me entitled “20/20 Haynes-Sight”.
1985: One of the first articles about the Sunday dinners is written by Margaret Austin for London’s “Cosmo”. The article produces nice visitors from Britain. It’s May, so Cannes again. Then in June am invited to the Lahti Writers’ Reunion in Finland by Juhani Seppanen. (This literary meeting becomes a fixture and I attend another seven times. Meet and become friends with Liisa & Tim Steffa, Matti Rinne & Tuula Isoniemi, Karolina Blåberg, Pentti Holappa, Esa Sariola, and so many others.) Bo Akermark writes an article about the Sunday dinners for Stockholm’s Dagens Nyheter. Make my first trip to Russia in October thanks to Carol Pratl. Fly from Paris to Leningrad with a group of friends (Ulla Larsen, Lisa Nesselson, Layne Jackson, Jean-Pierre Remonde, Lydia Caldas and my wonderful dentist, Sylvie Daniel). Meet Anna Luna in the street. Train to Moscow and Ulla insists we smuggle Anna in our compartment. Stay with Julia Watson and Martin Walker. Bribe a train conductor to take Anna back to Leningrad. Yevgeny Yevtushenko cooks dinner for Martin Walker and me in his dacha in Peredelkino.
1986: My father dies the 21st of January in a hospital in Haynesville, Louisiana and is buried next to my mother in a local cemetery. The end is very sad and disturbing. But once my mother is no longer alive, my father seemed to lose his desire to carry on. I understand this is common. Another very busy year. James Atlas writes an article about literary Paris for Vanity Fair and mentions Handshake Editions. Barry Gifford writes about Odile Hellier and the Village Voice Bookshop and my small role there. Make a trip to Eastern Europe and also go to Cannes again. Plan an unusual literary happening with Carsten Hansen for the Arhus Festival in September involving calling a dozen writers and having our conversations listened to by an audience. Dahn Ben-Amotz writes a profile of me for a paper in Israel. Another Edinburgh Festival. Favorite production is the Mario Vargas Llosa’s Kathy and the Hippopotamus, directed by Stephen Unwin at the Traverse. I meet Vargas Llosa and find him to be warm and open. My ex-atelier mate, Anna Kohler, perfoms with the Wooster Group. The Financial Times drama critic, Michael Coveney, suggests I see 5 Screams by the Tmu-Na dance theatre company from Israel. I do, greatly enjoy their performance and then help arrange for them to tour America. A strange aspect of this visit to Edinburgh is my ability to pay taxi fares with copies of my autobiography, Thanks for Coming! Ricky Demarco opens his new gallery in Blackfriars Street. Travel next to Arhus for our happening. The co-host, Lally Hoffmann, and I talk with Arnold Wesker, Mario Varas Llosa, Manuel Puig, Wolf Bierman and others… Cathy Sroufe Monnet has a son, Charles, with Yves Monnet the 24th of September. There is a big article in the L.A. Times (“The Third Wave”) about Americans in Paris. Good friend, Bernard (Willem) Holtrop, has a drawing in Liberation dealing with the L.A. Times article. Another Frankfurt Book Fair and another Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. Participate in a Conference on Alternative Lifestyles in Manhattan organized by Russ Weis.
1987: Peta Zabiego opens her restaurant, Rose Blue, and my small investment helps make it happen. Another Cannes Film Festival. The second Lahti Writers’ Reunion. John Fowler writes about Lahti in the Glasgow Herald. Fly to Warsaw from Helsinki. Another trip to Poznan and to Warsaw. Michael Gross writes about Paris fashion for the New York Times and mentions me. An article by Heike-Melba Fendel and a provocative photograph of me sitting on a large motorcycle with Heike’s beautiful bare arms and legs around me in Playboy Deutschland. Another wonderful Edinburgh Festival. See Damian Cruden superb production of Marlene: Falling in Love Again and decide to take it to Paris. Anne Marie Timoney transforms herself into Dietrich. Talk with Marlene herself on the telephone and invite her to the Premiere. She declines but asks for two tickets for friends. Also remind her that we met when she sang at an Edinburgh Festival (in 1961, I think) and I went up to her dressing room and knocked on her door and the two of us talked for about thirty minutes. Christopher Hudson writes a piece about me for the London Standard. Go to Frankfurt Book Fair. Then to another Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. Continue to Belgrade for the October Meeting and on to Budapest.
Heike & Jim 1987 Rights Reserved
1988: Invited by Lou Casimir to lecture at Bucknell University. Another Cannes Film Festival. Corine Berrevoets moves into A2 and paints the guest room. Sharon Shuteran & Peter Muckerman have a son, Eliot Paul, the 8th of June. Joyce McMillan writes a history of the Traverse Theatre that is delightful. I write an “Open Letter” to her to correct a few mistakes. Another Edinburgh Festival. Stephanie Wolfe Murray picks me up outside Filmhouse in her car, suggests we go for a drink. The results is my People to People travel series of books for Canongate. Another Frankfurt Book Fair. Another Warsaw Jazz Jamboree. Talk Jim Campbell into attending. He and I also attend the October Meeting in Belgrade. Moma Dimic invites me. His play, The Very Long Life of Tola Manolovic, was a hit in the London Arts Lab, directed by Jack Moore and performed by Tutte Lemkov. Train to Ljubljana to be with Nevenka Koprivsek. Then fly to Warsaw from Budapest and sit across the aisle from Gabor Betegh and Agnes Sandor – two students I met on the same flight one year earlier. Travel to London to attend and to help publicize Jan Kaczmarek’s Orchestra of the 8th Day concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. (In 2005 Jan wins an Oscar for his original music for the film, Finding Neverland.) On Sunday morning, the 17th of November, decide to bike to Alesia for the London newspapers. A shopping bag gets caught in the front wheel and I end of breaking both arms. Very silly. Very stupid.
1989: Trips to London, Los Angeles and Berlin. Cannes once again. My third Lahti Writers’ Reunion. Edinburgh Festival. Frankfurt Book Fair. Warsaw Jazz Jamboree and stay with Barbara Hoff. Take Corine Berrevoets to Warsaw. Serve on the Jury of the Charles Chaplin New Directors Award (with Percy Adlon, Forsyth Hardy, Janos Rosza, Susannah York and Krzysztof Zanussi) and we give the prize to an Indian, Shaji, for his film, Piravi (The Birth). The 2nd Prize goes to Ildiko Enyedi for her film, My Twentieth Century. She is from Budapest and I later meet her there via Janos Xantus. Belgrade October Meeting. Begin to develop the People to People travel series. Poland is first and the easiest to produce.
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1990: February trip to Berlin for the Film Festival, continue to Budapest for another film festival where I meet András Barabas and András Török. Prague next. Mike Zwerin writes an article for the International Herald Tribune about my People to People project. Eric Bergkraut writes an article about the Sunday dinners for a Swiss newspaper. John Flattau has an exhibition of his photographs in the Galerie Agathe Gaillard in Paris. There is an article in the London Times about Jane Alexander and yours truly. Once more manage to attend Cannes, Edinburgh, Frankfurt and Warsaw festivals. One of the great publishers of the 20th century and a dear friend, Maurice Girodias, dies while being interviewed for an Israeli radio station. David Applefield publishes the guide book, Paris Inside Out, and writes kind words about me. Jack Moore develops a film about Marlene Dietrich. I manage to get a VHS videocassette copy to Gilles Jacob thanks to Pascale Dauman. He loves the film and wants the film to open and/or to close the Cannes Film Festival. But we need to clear a lot of rights before the film can be screened.
1991: Another year of travel. Cannes in May. Fourth Lahti Writers’ Reunion in June. August in Edinburgh where I introduce Cynthia Payne to Xaviera Hollander. And organize the two of them giving a talk on sexuality together. A September trip to Arhus. Another visit to Warsaw and the Jazz Jamboree, up to Gdynia for a Polish Film Festival. Also go to Berlin and Madrid. In between all this manage to continue teaching at the University of Paris and to host Sunday dinners. Also go to Bucuresti and meet Roxana & Dima Bicleanu, Leo Serban and many others. Read friend Alan Furst’s novel, Dark Star, and am knocked out by it. A reception for Lynne Tillman and Susan Mancur is held in A2 to celebrate the publication by Serpent’s Tail of their two books. The Warsaw Voice reviews my People to People: Poland book. Dora Puszta and Monika Vig, from Budapest, visit me in Paris and interview me for the newspaper, Hungarian Orange. Monika is the Editor. Later Monika is tragically killed in an automobile accident. Born 2 Nov 1966 – died 5th Sept 1992. Dora and I become good friends. She is extremely helpful with the People to People: Hungary book. We visit each other often.
Ula Larsen, Jim Haynes,Cynthia Payne in Edinburgh, Aug.1991
Ula Larsen, Jim, Cynthia Payne
in Edinburgh, Aug.1991
Jesper visits Rio and stays with Katherine Hilliard. Joe Francis lives in the upstairs guest room. Ghazi Imraish also stays in the atelier. And Jack Moore is in the basement. Roxana and Dima Bicleanu, who were my hosts last July in Bucuresti, come and visit and help with the People to People: Romania book. I recommend Linda de Nazelle for a role in a French film entitled Border Line and she gets the part.
1992: The magazine for the Independent on Sunday publishes a three page rave review of the People to People: Poland book. The Montreal Gazette writes warmly of the People to People: Poland book. The Sydney Morning Herald has an article about the Sunday dinners. My legal problems with Emile Gouiran get more complicated and I curse the day I ever walked into his office. Travel to Budapest, Bratislava and Prague in April. Learn while staying with Eva Kacerova in Prague that Marlene Dietrich has died. Rush to Paris and down to Cannes and call Gilles Jacob, the Director of the Festival. Tell him I am in Cannes with a videocassette of Jack Moore’s tribute to Dietrich. He says he will call me back within 24 hours. He does and says that it is too late to arrange a screening. I rent a videocassette machine and a monitor and arrange with the Majestic Café to screen the film at midnight, using their space and electricity. About 200 people stand outside in the softly falling rain to watch and to cheer the film. Bill Russell writes in The Herald that he saw the best film of the Festival standing in the rain at midnight outside the Majestic Café. Introduce Bill Bryden when he gives a talk in the Village Voice. Travel to the Baltic Republics. Am awarded a prize in London by Nicholas Albery and the Institute for Social Inventions for the People to People guides. (Nicholas is later killed in a stupid car accident.) Edinburgh Festival in August. Another Frankfurt Book Messe. October trip to Prague with John Flattau and Arne Lewis. Zephyr Press in Boston announces the first four People to People titles.
1993: In February, travel to the Baltic Republics and on to Russia. Am profiled in The Moscow Times. The Managing Editor is a friend, Meg Bortin. The Polish Institute in London organizes an event for the People to People: Poland book. Stephanie Wolfe Murray and her Publicity Director, Jamie Byng, attend. In April 1993 travel to Russia again. My little manifesto, Workers of the World, Unite and Stop Working!, is translated into Russian by Yuri Golitsinski and published in Saint Petersburg thanks to the New York poet and friend, Marco Polo. Meet Alex Kan in St. Petersburg and he interviews me for a Russian magazine about the People to People series. Attend the Congress, Erotica 93, in Bologna, Italy. Travel to Amsterdam to see Bill and Susan Levy and to visit The Bank. Cannes again in May. My essay. “On Being Lazy” is translated and published by Leo Serban in Bucuresti. Fifth Lahti Writers’ Reunion and travel to St. Petersburg. Attend a poetry reading to celebrate Yevgeny Yevtushenko’s 60th birthday. He reads before 5,000 fans. Afterwards we dine in a private room in the Astoria Hotel with the Mayor (Sobcheck) and his Assistant. I talk briefly with the Assistant and little do I realize that I am talking with a future Czar of Russia, Putin himself. He is laconic, asks if I speak German and apologizes for his “bad English”. Moscow afterwards. Edinburgh Festival in August. A September trip to Vilinus, Moscow, St. Petersburg, and back to Vilinus. Organize a photographic exhibition in St. Petersburg for John Flattau. October another Frankfurt Book Fair and organize a party in the Künstlerkeller. Travel to London in October. Publish a Mary Guggenheim novel, Love in the Minimalist Mode, in Handshake Editions. Print it in Vilnius thanks to help from Almantas Samalavicius.
Jim on the catwalk for Comme des Garcons in February 1993
Jim on the catwalk for Comme des Garçons in February 1993
1994: A February trip to Berlin, Prague and Budapest. Help publicize Bob Kingdom’s one-man performance, The Truman Capote Talk Show. John Flattau finds and faxes me an article in the New York Post about the New York District Attorney looking for Emile Gouiran. Lyle Stuart writes in his Hot News about my introducing him to Samuel Beckett in the Boulevard Raspail. I am asked by the London production of Hair to write a programme note. My dear friend in London, Sally Belfrage, tragically dies far too young. April trip to Berlin, Warsaw, and Vilnius. April trip to London. Write a letter of support to Professor Ma in Seoul. Create a Handshake Editions catalogue. Apply for a Guggenheim grant. It is refused. Edinburgh Festival in August. Stay with Stephanie Wolfe Murray. Twelve city tour in the USA to promote the People to People series. Stay in Chicago with Samantha Stenzel and she and Frank Sherman arrange for me to meet Studs Turkel and to be interviewed by him. It is a second time. The first time was in London in 1968. My hostess in San Francisco is the beautiful Swede, Lotte Jonsson. Stay with Kyle Roderick and Brett Goldstone in L.A. Another Frankfurt Book Fair and host another Kunstlerkeller party. Trip to Athens to organize a photographic exhibition for John Flattau.. Travel to Spain to spend New Year’s Eve with Victoria and Benny Puigrefagut.
1995: Travel to Morocco to surprise Laura Corsiglia and Ted Joans. Stay with them another week in Rabat and other cities. February trip to Warsaw and stay with Barbara Hoff. A trip to the South of France to visit Barbara and Scott Griffith in their new home. Guggenheim Foundation letter again says “no”. Am interviewed by Ruth Bonapace and it’s published in the United Airlines in-flight magazine. Organize an exhibition for John Flattau in Budapest and we travel there. Sixth Lahti Writers’ Reunion. Continue to St. Petersburg. Anne Hoenig visits and she and I travel to London. Catherine O’Sullivan gives me an affidavit about Emile Gouiran that she later retracts. Edinburgh Festival in August. Stay for the first time in Martin Burke’s superb apartment at 84 Great King Street. (And Martin lets me stay every year afterwards.) Stephanie Wolfe Murray and I host a superb party. Frankfurt Book Fair and another Kunstlerkeller party. A December trip East to Warsaw.
1996: Travel with Kyle Roderick Goldstone to Milano (and stay with Sasha Stefanovic & Claudio Innocenti) and on to Athens. Kyle is researching a biography of Gregory Corso. I warn her about Gregory and tell her that it could end badly. And it does. Gregory withdraws his support. John Calder publishes a sweet article about me in the Magazine Litteraire in Paris. There is an article about the People to People series in a Zagreb literary magazine. Someone takes a wonderful photograph of Laura Corsiglia, Ted Joans, Kyle Roderick and yours truly in the Café La Roquette in Paris. Trip to Warsaw for an exhibition of John Flattau’s photographs at old friend, Stash Pruszyski’s restaurant. I am asked by Galya Ackerman to find a first class accommodation for the President of Lithuania, Vytantas Landsbergis, for his visit to Paris and to organize a cocktail party for him. Stanley Cohen agrees to host the cocktail party. Invite Galya Uchayk and her friend, Leni Miasnikova, to Paris. And they have a great time! The jazz singer, Katia Lubinsky, is a house guest and we become close friends. Another Edinburgh Festival and another festival party co-hosted by Stephanie Wolfe Murray and yours truly. Frankfurt Book Fair and Kunstlerkeller party. Ennio Marchetto performs in Paris and I assist with the PR and attend almost every night and push hundreds of friends to attend. Amanda Hootan writes a profile of me for The Scotsman magazine that cuts me up in little pieces and spits me out. Not nice. I travel to Havana with John Flattau. And attend the Havana Film Festival.
1997: Marion Winik writes a wonderful article that is published in the American Air Lines in-flight magazine about the Sunday dinners. Katia sings at Blue Note in Paris. Emile Gouiran writes me one of his awful letters. Decide to write a one-sentence book entitled Women’s Liberation: A Definition and it will contain this one sentence on every page in a different language. Plus a footnote of a few sentences dealing with the verb, “to assert”. (The sentence: Women’s Liberation is the recognition by both women and men of the need and the right of each and every woman to assert herself.). Book never finished. Trip to Athens for John Flattau’s exhibition. Wonderful time with Alexandros Lykourezos, Alicia Coriolano, Renos Mandis and John Zervos. Travel to Luxor in March with Linder Allen, Jack Moore, Meg Bortin to explore the possibilities of creating a production company that would develop a theatre. Handshake Editions publishes David Day’s collection of poetry entitled Just Say “No” to Family Values. Seventh Lahti Writers’ Reunion and afterwards continue to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Travel to Madrid in July and stay with Menchu Gutierrez. Another Edinburgh Festival and festival party. Another Frankfurt Book Fair and Kunstlerkeller party. Write an article for Howard Aster on John Calder that is published in a Festschrift honoring John. Lisa Nesselson writes a poem, Emile the Rat, for my birthday. Yun Wu visits from China (and St. Petersburg) and I take her to Hamida & Colin Gravois’ Xmas party.
1998: Trip to Istanbul with John Flattau. I stay in Muge and Semih Sokmen’s publishing house (Metis Publications) in Beyoglu, in the center of Istanbul. Sean Hignett visits Atelier A2 and writes an article for The Telegraph. Travel to London to participate in The Free Speech Wars Conference. Assist Howard Astor in the preparation of a Festschrift for John Calder. Linder Allen organizes a benefit auction to help raise money for my legal fees in my fight with Emile-the-Rat. Bob Gross is the auctioneer. Learn that ESSEC has Emile-the-Rat teaching Business Ethics in their Law School. He is soon fired when the school realizes his past. Harry Robinson takes some wonderful photographs of the Sunday dinners. Another Edinburgh Festival and another festival party co-hosted by Stephanie Wolfe Murray and me. Trip to New York City and meet with the District Attorney and we discuss Emile Gouiran. They say they still want him for his past activities in America. Another Frankfurt Book Fair and Kunstlerkeller party. Take Katia Lubinsky to Amsterdam and stay with Xaviera Hollander. Paula Klein, Dorota Chrisp and John Flattau send an open letter to many of my friends seeking financial support to help me pay my legal bills and the letter raises over $30,000. The French Bar Association disbarment of Emile Gouiran happens!
1999: John Lloyd writes an article for the Financial Times about me and my problems with Emile Gouiran. Get a threat fax signed “a friend” that comes from Emile-the Rat’s fax machine. Attend the London Book Fair with Howard Aster. An April trip to Athens.. Eighth Lahti Writers’ Reunion. Plan to create a Paris Arts Club like the original Traverse Theatre Club. Frankfurt Book Fair and Kunstlerkelle party. Article in the Dublin Irish Independent by Jonathan Bowman about the Sunday dinners. (He later falls down stairs in his home and is tragically killed.) The American center in Paris and its sale is a scandal that is waiting to explode. I ask the American center Foundation for help in creating a Paris Arts Club in the rue Nevers, but am refused all assistance. Write a Letter to the Editor to the International Herald Tribune in November attacking the concept of “art”, but letter is not published.
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2000: Begin to find members and funds to purchase the rue de Nevers space. It is an almost perfect location and space. Get a letter and affidavit from Donna Gouiran about her ex-husband, Emile-the-Rat, and Catherine O’Sullivan. Try to make a deal with the Michelin Corporation to use/acquire a small museum they own near UNESCO. No success. An article in the Italian magazine, Panorama, about the Sunday dinners. Write an article for Caledonia Magazine entitled Three Days in My Life. Continue to raise money to purchase the rue de Nevers space. Sabine & Rainer Kölmel call from München to say they will help. And they do! Make another trip to Havana in April for John Flattau’s photographic exhibition that I co-organize with Pablo Armando Fernandez, a poet and dear friend since our first meeting in 1961. I fly from Paris and John flies from New York. Joan Bakewell makes a television documentary about the people who changed Britain in the 60s and comes to Paris to interview me. Later Terry O’Neill photographs Tariq Ali, Neal Ascherson, Margaret Drabble, Ned Sherrin, Jonathan Miller, Ruth & Richard Rogers, Alan Sillitoe, Joan Bakewell, Beryl Bainbridge and yours truly for The Sunday Times magazine colour supplement. Attend the last night’s performance of Gay Marshall’s musical, If I Were Me, in a small theatre in Paris and offer to help her get it produced in the Edinburgh Festival. It becomes one of the hits of the Festival in the Assembly Rooms. Edinburgh Festival is once again sensational and Martin Burke is not only my host again, but he co-hosts a party with Stephanie Wolfe Murray and me. Another Frankfurt Book Fair and another Künstlerkeller party. Malcolm Brown writes a superb article about the Sunday dinner parties for the KLM in-flight magazine, but the editor cannot use the piece because of some sexual references. The film-maker, Jens Jorgen Thorsen, dies and I write an obituary about him for the London Independent. Organize a big New Year’s Eve party in the rue de Nevers space. There is a large colour photograph of David Turner and yours truly in a magazine called Living in France. We look like Robert Redford (David) and Clark Gable (me). Judith Wardle writes an excellent article that goes with the photo. (Maybe she took the photo as well.)
2001: Travel to Glasgow in February to produce my happening in the Tramway. Brief visit with Ruth Holloway and Martin Burke in Edinburgh on my way home to Paris. Write an essay about the beginnings of the Traverse for their web site. David Langford writes an article about his friendship with Martin Lehberger and the Sunday dinners. Go to Scotland again in August for another Edinburgh Festival. A heart attack while watching the press screening of Le Fabuleux Destin d’ Amélie Poulaine. End up in the Western General Hospital. One telephone call to Sheila Colvin and the word immediately spreads all over Edinburgh, to Paris, to London, to New York City, to L.A. and elsewhere. Telephone calls, visitors and flowers begin to arrive. Beautiful flowers from Mary Shields, Bill Burdet-Coutts and all at the Assembly Rooms. Also flowers from Larkin McLean and her mum and dad. What a time, place and way to end one’s life. But with excellent treatment I recover. Thank you, Dr. Denvir. Am allowed (reluctantly) to check myself out just in time to attend a lecture by Gore Vidal at the Book Festival. Simon Pia writes a gossip item about this for the Scotsman. Keith Bruce and The Herald honor me with a Little Devil. Martin Burke is a perfect host once again. Return to Paris via London and a few days with Ernie Eban. The World Trade center disaster unfolds. Another disaster follows when my almost 40-year friendship with Jack Henry Moore begins to come unstuck. (Not the time and place to analyze here.) Acquire a doctor in Paris. Meg Bortin’s suggestion. Frank Slattery is from Dublin, did his internship in Paris, fell in love with the city and is still here twenty something years later. He prescribes 6 pills daily. I am allowed to travel to Frankfurt in October for another Book Fair and another Kunstlerkeller party.
2002: Attend the Prague Writers’ Conference in April with John Calder. Thank you, Vlasta Brtnikova and Michael March. Meet the wonderful Ivana Bozdechova., who teaches at Charles University. Also meet Elmore Leonard and his wife, Christine. This leads to a meeting with Gregg Sutter and Amy Alkon. Mischa Richter borrows my atelier for a fashion shoot for the magazine, I-D, in London. Four extremely beautiful blonde models interrupt my life for two days. They are wonderful! Alex Ninian writes an article about the Sunday dinners for the Chicago Tribune. Another Edinburgh Festival in August. In September, the atelier becomes a gallery and the first exhibition features the paintings of James Mitchell. James King has the next exhibition, followed by Audren Thorez’s “Chubby Ladies”. The Frankfurt Book Fair in October and host another party in the Kunstlerkeller. Thanks to Natasha Perova, three of my books are back in print again: Everything Is!, Workers of the World Unite, and Stop Working! and Round the World in 33 Days. Trip to Manhattan in November to stay with my son and with John Flattau. John and I fly to Guadalajara to attend the Book Fair with Howard Aster. Cuba is the Guest of Honor. Howard and I have co-published, Parables, a Spanish/English bi-lingual edition of Pablo Armando Fernandez’s poetry. Pablo also attends the Book Fair and we manage to spend a lot of time together. Back in Paris, fly to Edinburgh in December for the 40th Anniversary birthday party of the Traverse Theatre.
2003: In the A2 gallery, host an exhibition of paintings by a neighbor, Trish Nickell. Next Harold Chapman’s “The Beat Hotel” photographs, followed by Ewa Rudling’s photographic portraits. Then paintings by Antonio. In April travel to Timosoara and Cluj to attend a Goran Bregovic concert, thanks to Maria Rankov, and it is one of the best concerts I have ever attended. The death of old friend Ted Joans in Vancouver. John Calder writes a moving obituary for The Guardian that I frame and keep in the atelier. Sylvie Beach Whitman organizes a week long Writers’ Conference to celebrate Shakespeare & Co and she invites James Emanuel, Jake Lamar and yours truly to celebrate Ted Joans’ life and poetry. We do and it is a very moving tribute. Go to the Edinburgh Festival and manage to talk Varda and Ami Ducovny into coming as well. They have a great time. Sad to report but Ami dies when they are back in Paris. Another Frankfurt Messe and another Künstlerkeller party. Ride there with Howard Aster and he begins to discuss the possibility of editing and publishing a Festschrift honoring yours truly. John Flattau and I fulfill our promise to Susi Wyss when we take her to Prague in November.
2004: The twins, Slobodan and Vladimir Peskirevic, have their paintings in the A2 gallery, followed by Jesper’s photographs of attractive young women in urban situations in Tokyo, Bangkok, Stockholm, etc. Next exhibitions : Robbie Conal’s political caricatures followed by Antonia Hoogewerf’s Indian photographs. Am invited to be photographed by William Klein and it is published in Max in France. Travel to Milano to stay with Alek Stefanovic and to be with John Flattau, Joanna Przybyla and Sasa and Claudio Innocenti, An article in the Financial Times about my reading tastes. Edinburgh Festival again. Spend a lot of time with Joan Bakewell. Julia Watson writes an article about yours truly. Adrian Leeds writes a piece about the Sunday dinners. Spend some time with Cara Black in Paris and tell her I love her murder mysteries all set in Paris. John Morrison interviews me about the Edinburgh Festival. Frankfurt Book Fair and Kunstlerkeller party in October. Mary Bartlett, Cathy Monnet, Antonia Hoogewerf and I decide to co-edit a cook book with the possible title, Cooking for 100 – Dinner in Paris with Jim. Take a leaflet to Frankfurt and distribute to many publishers. Howard Aster makes a leaflet about the Jim Haynes Festschrift which he displays at the Book Fair. Organize 65 friends to see the Cole Porter film, De-Lovely, in a small Paris cinema. Carol and Lyle Stewart tell me not to miss the film. Also Lisa Nesselson. Everyone loves the film! Viveka and Gosta visit me in Paris. She is as beautiful and wonderful as ever.
2005: Sabine K�lmel’s paintings cover the walls of the A2 gallery at the start of the year. David Turner’s photographs of the many people he encountered on his trips to Japan, Istanbul, Egypt, etc is next. Travel to India in February with Antonia Hoogewerf. Dolly Thakore hosts a party in Mumbai for Antonia and yours truly. We travel next to Calcutta and are joined by Karolina Bl�berg and Martin Lehberger. Stay in the Fairlawn Hotel and meet old friend, Sanjeev Prakash. Also meet Shashi Kapoor. Next travel by train to New Delhi. Dine with Neelima and Pramod Mathur. Neelima introduces me to Gandhi’s grandson, Ramchandra, and to her own son, Varun, and daughter, Reeti. Alladine Lacroix flies in from Paris. In March I go to Barcelona with John Flattau. Back in Paris, am sent two copies of the school text book where my essay, “We are not on earth to suffer” is published by Belin. Kids in France who study English might learn other things as well. Raise some money for a film, Harry Robinson, Colin Gravois and I each invest 500 euros. Dine with John Calder (on the 30th of April) and with Antonia Hoogewerf and Karolina Bl�berg. John suggests at that dinner I might write a year by year synopsis of my life for the Festschrift. Then on the 2nd of May, Howard Aster calls from Toronto to say that he plans to send the Festschrift to the printers the end of May in order to have it ready in August for the Edinburgh Festival. I mention John Calder’s suggestion. Howard thinks it is a great idea and a great addition to the book. Now some weeks later, I hope everyone thinks it’s a great idea.
The second half of 2005 rolled along with lots of visitors coming to stay in my atelier from all over the planet. And the Sunday dinners continued. In August I left my atelier filled with Marion Winik and her clan and flew direct to Edinburgh, skipping my annual visit to London. Once again, Martin Burke and Ruth Holloway, were my gracious hosts. Edinburgh was its usual magnificent self with great weather, lots of exciting theatre in the Fringe plus superb literary events in the Book Festival. Plus outstanding films in the Film Festival. This year there was an invasion of friends from Paris: Antonia Hoogewerf, Varda Ducovny, S�amas McSwiney, Stanley Cohen, Karolina Bl�berg plus other friends from London and elsewhere. Attended the Film Festival opening film, Wah-Wah, with Una McLean and afterwards we partied for hours. Also attended the Book Festival opening party as well as many events in the Book Festival. Joan Bakewell invited Sheila Colvin, John Calder and myself to the Krasny Dinner where both John and I said a few words about the amazing Anton Krasny. Alan Daiches invited me to a dinner. I failed to get the message and thus missed it. Later learn when I am home in Paris that Alan tragically died falling down some stairs in his home. Beware of killer stairs! The Grid Iron Theatre Company presented The Devil’s Larder and not only critically well received, it won a Festival Fringe First Award as well. I am proud to say that I am a Patron of the company. The Scone Foundation “enshrined” me as a Living Archive and afterwards we celebrated with a banquet in the Scottish Arts Club. Thank you, Stanley! And thank you, Monroe Price of Stanhope Centre. Stephanie Wolfe Murray drove Stanley and me down to Skateraw to see Ricky Demarco’s amazing collection of archives housed by a gentleman farmer, Johnny Watson. Afterwards we three explored Dunbar and the home of John Muir. On another occasion, thanks to David Black, there is a talk in the Scottish Arts Club with John Calder, Sheila Colvin and myself talking about the early days of the Traverse. Afterwards Stanley Cohen hosted a dinner for about forty people in Gilmerton House, just south of Edinburgh. Jodi Poretto stayed in Paris after Katrina hit New Orleans and cooked a Sunday dinner based on recipes from Antoine’s. On the 8th of October, Michael McEvoy performed his own play about William Shakespeare entitled An Act of Will. It completely destroys one’s belief that Shakespeare himself wrote the plays attributed to him. Now I know they were all written by Christopher Marlowe. Also in October another Frankfurt Book Fair. Ride there with Jeanette and Howard Aster. Howard’s Festschrift honoring yours truly a feature of his Stand. The more than thirty friends who contributed essays, photographs and drawings made it a flattering, funny, tender, silly and delightful homage. I blush when I think about it. The Book Fair is its usual madness. Host a party in the K�nstlerkeller once again. Erich and Brigitte Bernhard’s hospitality always make Frankfurt a delight. There is also an article about the Book Messe written by young Jim Haynes for publishing news that comes out during the Book Fair. In November over to London to perform at John Calder’s Bookshop. Dine with Emma Hope and her brother, Tom, plus S�amas McSwiney. Give an interview to Malcolm Hart about Bill Levy and the creation of SUCK and the Wet Dream Film Festival. Malcolm’s documentary film about Bill captures his sardonic sense of humour. Tim and Dorota Chrisp are my hosts in London. A lot of time spent with Ernie Eban and Dan Topolski. John Calder and I repeat our double act in Odile Hellier’s Village Voice Bookshop on the 29th of November. About 30 of us dine afterwards in Aux Trois Canettes. Cathy Monnet and Mary Bartlett direct a vast kitchen staff of volunteers and produce two large turkeys plus all the trimmings for our annual Thanksgiving Feast.
December begins with a big feast on the 4th of December when Evvgenija Demnievska cooks a big Yugoslav dinner for sixty people. It is also her birthday. Cathy Monnet cooks Fish Chowder on the 18th of December for 72. Barbara Sherman cooks two large turkeys for the 25th dinner. The year ends with an invitation from old friend, Ennio Marchetto, to see his last performance of the year at a theatre in Montmartre on the 31st. Ennio also gives me about thirty tickets to give to friends. Everyone loves the performance! He is a World Treasure! About six of us go to the Zimmer in Chatelet to end the year with a quiet dinner�
2006: The year begins with Antonia Hoogewerf cooking a smoked salmon and ham dinner on the 1st of January. Thus far, 2006 is much like past years: Sunday dinners, visitors from abroad, lots of evenings out at the theatre, cinema, and restaurants. Now, thanks to Terry, I have a new web site. This produces amazing feedback from friends and from friends I have not met yet. It also means that more and more people wish to attend the Sunday dinners. David Szafranski’s ten paintings start the year off well. Lyle Stuart sends me his essay, “The Meaning of Life”. Phyllis Roome has a play-reading here of her new play, Most Women. Phyllis also cooks a delicious Sunday night dinner. Next show in the A2 gallery: Martin Lacroix. Organize a dinner for Toni Bentley after her reading in the Village Voice Bookshop for her book, The Surrender. Organize a dinner for Suketu Mehta after his reading in the Village Voice Bookshop of his book, Bombay—Maximum City. And organize a dinner for John Morrison after his reading from his book, Anthony Blair—Captain of School, here at Atelier A2. Sylvia Libedinsky’s exhibition of drawings and prints is next exhibition, followed by John Flattau’s photographs. (I have organized exhibitions for old friend, John Flattau, in a dozen or more cities. And we always traveled to these cities and managed to have a great time.) Another Edinburgh Festival. Hear Al Gore speak at the Book Festival. We are not able to exchange words because I have promised to give an award at the Tap Water event. Julia Pecheur’s interview of yours truly appears in the September issue of Paris Times. Barbara Kuchta publishes a long article about the Sunday night dinners in the Polish magazineSukces. Another Frankfurt Book Messe and another K�nstlerkeller party. In November attend the Calcutta Film Festival with Antonia Hoogewerf, S�amas McSwiney and Stanley Cohen. Stay in The Bengal Club and find it and the film festival superb. The Director, Nilanjan Chatterjee, asks me to become “a scout” for next year’s Festival. The next exhibition in the A2 gallery is Richard E. Allen and his excellent black & white photographs. Visitors to A2 have included Don Todd, Stephanie Wolfe Murray, Angela Bartie, Jesper Haynes, Yvan Cohen, Harry Robinson, Julia Watson, Elizabeth Sheinkman and Jamie Byng. Sunday dinner cooks have included Mary Bartlett, Barbara Sherman, Antonia Hoogewerf, and Galina Prokhorova. Co-host a year end party with Lionel Bloom in his Swan Bar in Blvd Montparnasse. Fun was had by all�
2007: Konstantinos (Kostas) Papacharalampous arrives in January to live in Atelier A2 thanks to his uncle, Yorgos Tsemberopoulos. Kostas is a sous-chef at the restaurant, atelier, as well as here at our Sunday night dinners. Three friends are tragically not with us any more: Ryszard Kapuscinski, Jo Durden-Smith and Spyros Vergos. Olga Kovshanova moves out of A2 after some eighteen months. Other house guests include David Lucas, Beatriz Belfrage, Yuyutsu Sharma (who also cooked a Sunday night feast) and Neelima & Pramod Mathur. Michael McEvoy performs his play, Not in My Name, about Niccolo Machiavelli in the atelier. And we have a big feast afterwards in a Lebanese restaurant next door. Exhibitions in A2 gallery: Antonia Hoogewerf’s photographs of “Two Indian Sojourns”, Ksenia Nova’s photographs, “I had a dream that I was happy”, and Amsterdamer, Peter van Straaten’s erotic drawings. Participate in a Harold Pinter Conference in Lyon and perform a short Pinter play with Geoffrey Bateman. Long interview with Michal Prochazka published in the Czech newspaper, Právo. Read the novel, “The Yacoubian Building”, see the film, love the book and the film and arrange for Antonia Hoogewerf to meet the author, Alaa Al Aswany when she travels to Cairo. (He will attend the Edinburgh Book Festival in August and I plan to meet him then.) I have arranged for the film to be screened at the Calcutta Film Festival this November. There is an article about the Sunday night dinners published in The Seattle Times by Carol Pucci which produces a large flow of guests from the Seattle area. Lots of dinners in the Terminus Nord restaurant with John Calder, Sheila Colvin, Karolina Blåberg, Antonia Hoogewerf and others.
When she travels to Cairo. Alaa Al Aswary attends the Edinburgh Book Festival and we meet. Arrange for the film of his novel (the most expensive film ever made in Egypt) to be screened at the Calcutta Film Festival. There is an article in the Seattle Times by Carol Pucci about the Sunday dinners that produces lots of guests from the Pacific North West. Once more participate in the Prague Writers’ Festival (June), the Edinburgh Festival (June), the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurt/Main) and the Calcutta Film Festival (November). Mary Bartlett pushes for the publication of the book, Throw a Great Party, about the Sunday night dinner edited by Mary, Antonia Hoogewerf and Cathy Monnet. Lots of dinners in the Terminus Nord restaurant with John Calder, Sheila Colvin, Antonia Hoogewerf, Karolina Bl�berg and others. End the year by co-hosting a New Year’s Eve party with Lionel Bloom in his Swan Bar.
2008: Another great year. Meet Amanda Morrow in Karel Beer comedy Club and discover she needs a place to stay. Tell her she is welcome to my apartment below the living room, she accepts, moves in and has been a wonderful roommate some ten months now. The Sunday dinners continue week after week and people continue to arrive from all corners of the world. Amanda evens cooks! The A2 gallery features exhibitions by Chuck Rapoport (photographs of 60s icons), Claudia Hutchins (water colours), Philippe G�rardin (photographs of Sunday dinners), and Oleg Micheyev (photographs of amazing women). Two small lumps are removed from my throat in March. A successful operation! Yvonne Debeaumarch�, assisted by Juliette Armanet, makes a film about the “sexual revolution”, Suck, Europe’s First Sexpaper and The Wet Dream Film Festival. She films and interviews me in Paris and then we travel to Amsterdam for more filming. Bill and Susan Levy, Willem de Ridder and yours truly are filmed in various locations where events took place in 1970 and 1971. The film is broadcast on Arte and I am a celebrity for a few weeks in my local super market. Participae once again in June in the Prague Writers’ Festival (and once again write a daily blog). Fly to Ljubljana to attend a conference organized by old friend, Nevenka Koprivsek. Meet a Journalist, Patricija Malicev, who writes a profile of me in the main local newspaper Also meet Kaja Cencelj , who comes to Paris and stays a while in the upstairs guest room. Everyone loves her and we are all sad when she departs for Ljubljana. Attend the Edinburgh Festival (in August) once again. Stay again with Ruth Holloway and Martin Burke in Great King Street. It as fantastic as ever. Ponder to go to the Frankfurt Book Fair or not. And of course do go. Stay with Brigitte and Erick Bernhard. And it is as superb as ever. But do not host a party this year. Nor do I drive there with Howard Aster. The train time is now less than four hours. In November fly to Bangkok with Antonia Hoogewerf and we stay with Guk and Yvan Cohen. It is my first trip to Thailand and it as wonderful as Jesper has been telling me for years. Continue on the Calcutta for the Kolkata Film Festival and once again Antonia and I stay in The Bengal Club, where we have stayed the past three years. Nilanjan asks me to continue to serve as a Consultant, so I plan to be there again next November. The festival is wonderful. Martin Lehberger also attends and we share parties every night. Antonia and I fly to Delhi and share a wonderful dinner with Sanjeev Prakash and his friends. The year ends by co-hosting another New Year’s Eve party with Lionel Bloom in his Swan Bar. Antonia Hoogewerf cooks a feast and sixty people start 2009 off in an appropriate fashion.
2009: The year began with a National Public Radio broadcast in their series “This I Believe” and the response is incredible. One thousand email messages within an hour of the broadcast. (And nearly 90,000 visitors on my web site over the past year.) E-mail messages and telephone calls from all over the USA and Canada. Even from Hong Kong and Chili.
The A2 gallery featured photographers all year: Oleg Micheyev’s impressive women, Mischa Richter’s four delightful blondes, Michael Kellner’s portraits taken during a party at John Calder’s home in Montreuil, and Silver Simphor’s coverage of the After Eight shoot.
Jesper journeyed from Bangkok with Yvan Cohen to visit his father and then traveled to Switzerland to snowboard. The Sunday dinners continued all year and were more crowded than ever. Cooks included Mary Bartlett, Antonia Hoogewerf, Cathy Monnet, Galina Prokhorova, and many guest chefs. Jacqui Thau flew from Portland, Oregon to cook. Jorge Pagliarine, from Brazil, but lives in Paris, as joined the team of chefs. The press three-some from the Edinburgh Book Festival (Frances Sutton, Claudia Monteiro, and Peg Hughes) flew down from Scotland to not only provide a great Sunday dinner, but to produce a lot of joy as well.
Lots of travel in 2009 as always: In April, invited to participate in a film festival in Moravia (thank you, Michal Prochazka), stayed a few days in Prague with Steven Gove. In May, journeyed to Warsaw and stayed a few nights with old friend, Stash Pruszynski, dined with Robert Kulesza and Barbara Hoff. Made my first journey to Lodz, thanks to Joanna Podolska, who gave me a tour of this incredible city. We visited the rightly famous Polish Film School where we attended a private screening of Andrej Wajda’s new film, Tatarak, with the master himself joining us for questions afterwards. Then flew to Vilnius, Lithuania to attend a European Meeting of Cultural Journals (thanks to Almantas Samalavicius).
I had intended to go to the Edinburgh Film Festival in June, but at the last minute was unable to leave Paris. I did make it to the Edinburgh Festival in August, stayed again with Ruth Holloway and Martin Burke in their Great King Street palace. It was three exciting weeks, filled with lots of great theatre, literary events, plus dinners and encounters with friends.
In October, thanks to Jason Berry and his team at J.Walter Thompson, a film was shot of a “Sunday dinner” (in a studio in the North of Paris) for a tv commercial for the chocolate mint, After Eight. Search for After Eight on the Internet to see the 40 second commercial and to also see a four minute interview with me. Brilliantly directed by Joanna Bailey, produced by Helen Hadfield and under the watchful eyes of Denise Connell and Alexandra Domdelinger, the entire project was a delight.
Many Sunday dinner guests were extras in the film. Everyone enjoyed it. Rushed after the filming to London and stayed the night with Tim and Dorota Chrisp. Continued to Glasgow to participate in a conference on the 60s at the Street Level Photoworks, thanks to an invitation from the Director, Malcolm Dickson. Stayed with Martin Belk, who publishes the superb magazine, One, and with Jonathan Pryce. Discovered what a wonderful city Glasgow is! Dined in an Indian restaurant (Sakhin) with Martin, Jonathan, Angela Bartie and Andrew Perchard. Dined another night in a Russian restaurant (Cossachok) with Malcolm Dickson and the other panel participants (John Cavanagh, Barry Miles, and Jenny Fabian). Also managed to have a coffee with Anne Marie Timoney. She played Marlene Dietrich in a production that I saw in Edinburgh in the festival of 1987 and which I brought to Paris and which remains one of my favorite productions ever. Our panel discussed the 60s in Scotland and England.
This conference conflicted with the Frankfurt Book Fair, so missed Frankfurt for the first time since 1969.
In November, I flew to Bangkok and stayed with Guk and Yvan Cohen. Was also able to spend some time with my dear son, Jesper, and to meet his lovely friend, Takae Ooka. They were both busy preparing for Jesper’s big photographic exhibition in the Hotel Lydmar in Stockholm (the 12th of November). Before departing Bangkok, we organized a surprise party for Guk (which was a surprise!). On the 8th of November, once again in Calcutta to participate in the Kolkata Film Festival. Again stayed in the Bengal Club with Antonia Hoogewerf. Séamas McSwiney also attended the festival and then stayed in India to attend Bumpy and Sushmita Sarmah’s wedding. Antonia and I co-hosted a closing party (with lots of help from Dhruba Nandi). Back to Bangkok and managed to spend more time with Jesper (who was back from a successful exhibition in Stockholm) and with Takae, Guk, Nym, Jenny. (Yvan was still in Europe.) Just when I planned to stop flying, the flight to Paris was as smooth as silk.
While I was in Calcutta, the commercial for After Eight was released in the UK and Ireland. Bob Kingdom sent me the first email message on the 10th of November declaring he had seen the commercial and “it was cool”.
While in Asia, lots of friends in Paris took care of two Sunday dinners: Mary Bartlett, Paul Allman, Yara Tomer, Cecily Niumeitolu, Galina Prokhorova. and Martin Lehberger.
The year ends with Antonia Hoogewerf cooking a feast. We all headed for Lionel Bloom’s Swan Bar to celebrate the ending of 2009 and the beginning of 2010. Let’s all hope it is even better… For me, it just keeps getting better!
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2010: Another year of life that continues to be full of adventures, love and really very little pain. The After Eight television commercial continued to be broadcast in the United Kingdom and Ireland. This has produced an endless stream of guests at the Sunday dinners. Two articles, both by Susan Johnson, in the Sydney Morning Herald and in the Melbourne Age, have meant that every Sunday dinner has always a few Aussies. With mixed feelings, I allowed France 24 TV channel to film a Sunday dinner and the results have been broadcast in English and French. Again producing guests.
Mostly this year I have stayed in Paris, hosting friends and Sunday dinners, reading and writing, and going out to see films and theatre performances. I did travel, as I have done every year, to the Edinburgh Festival. My hosts were Ruth Holloway and Martin Burke once again. I traveled up by train via London (where I stayed with Daniel Topolski and Tim & Dorota Chrisp). In London, Ernie Eban and I co-hosted a delightful Indian take-away dinner. The festival was its usual delightful madness. Then in late September I travelled by ship from Belgium to Scotland, then by car with Claudia Monteiro to Wigtown, Scotland’s book town in the far South West. Claudia and I co-hosted a “Sunday night salon” during the Wigtown Book Festival. Absolutely delightful. During the Edinburgh Festival, I hosted a dinner in the Scottish Arts Club. Also fun.
Two friends died in September: Mike Zwerin and Susan Miles. Mike’s farewell ceremony took place in Père Lachaise cemetery. Sue’s was in London. I journeyed to London for Sue’s, saw many friends from my years in London, and stayed with a dear pal, Lindsey Bareham.
Once again October found me in Frankfurt for the Book Fair. Stayed with Brigitte and Erich Bernhard. Also staying were Tania and Carsten Hansen. The Book Fair was, as always, pure madness and pure joy. A mad trip to St. Pons in the South of France followed to have lunch with Sabine & Rainer Kolmel and with Barbara & Scott Griffith.
Streams of visitors continue to arrive from all corners of the world. From New York: John Flattau, my sweet son, Jesper, Barbara and Michael Gross; from Toronto: Chantal Tremblay, Jeanette & Howard Aster; from Seattle: Jeffrey Maness; from London: Dorota Chrisp, Ernie Eban, and Natalie Shkola; from Glasgow: Angela Bartie, Martin Belt, Jonathan Pryce; from Prague: Steve Gove, Michal Prochazka, Vlasta & Michael March; from Sydney: Susie Parker.
I love living here in my atelier in Paris and hope that I will be here for many more years to welcome you all. Sheila Colvin and John Calder and I dine often at the Terminus Nord and in Montreuil.
2011: Another wonderful year of life on Earth. A delightful woman from Santa Barbara, Kristi McIntosh, has been living here this year. A great chef and a dear person. A constant source of joy. The atelier is looking better and better. Natalia Shkola has helped me have a general clean-up of my two upstairs rooms. Many visitors as always. Steve Gove popped over from Prague. Cara Black made one of her regular trips from San Francisco to research a new mystery novel to be set in the 14th arrondissement. Many dinners here with friends and in restaurants. Often in the Terminus Nord with John Calder and Sheila Colvin.
To London in March to celebrate Jay Landesman’s life in his favorite haunt, the Groucho Club. Stayed with Lindsey Bareham and with Dorota Chrisp. I traveled to New York City in May and John Flattau again my host. Visited with my son, Jesper, and his now wife, Takae Ooka. I attended a fund-raising event in the Museum of Natural History with dear friend, Jane Alexander who later journeyed to Paris to be in a film with Michael Caine. My 55th Edinburgh Festival in August and a heart attack on arrival in the Waverley Station. I then spent a week in the Royal Infirmary. Claudia Monteiro collected me and delivered me to Ruth and Martin Burke’s apartment. I stayed another 10 days in Edinburgh. Steve Gove interviewed me for a programme he helped produce for Czech TV. The Herald gave me a 2nd Herald Little. Thank you Keith Bruce and Neil Cooper. As always I received a warm welcome at the Traverse (thank you, Sarah Dee) and the Assembly (thank you, Bill Burdett-Coutts). I attended a Camille O’Sullivan concert, thanks to Camille and Morag Neil. Later, in Paris, they invited me to another concert with many singers. Camille was Varda’s favourite and mine. My annual intimate dinner with Joan Bakewell.
In October, I flew to New York City to attend my son’s wedding and ended up in New York University Hospital. Jesper came to visit with the lovely Takae just after the wedding along with his mother, Viveka, step-father, Gosta, and with Katherine Hilliard.
The University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh College of Art are co-sponsoring a competition to create a statue on the spot of my old bookshop, The Paperback. It is scheduled to be up in August 2012. By then it will be fifty years since John Calder, Sonia Orwell and yours truly created the Writers’ Conference in Edinburgh. In 2013, it will be fifty years since the Traverse was created.
The Sunday dinners continue. Many people have cooked here including Mary Bartlett, Antonia Hoogewerf, Cathy Monnet, Galina Prokhorova, Michael Boone and Kristi McIntosh. As always media attention on the dinners continues with articles in various media. Exhibitions in the A2 Gallery included John Calder’s Shapes, Andrew Radkowsky’s drawings, Martin Lehberger’s and lately Jonathan Pryce’s photographs.
My legal battle continues. Nevertheless a wonderful year. In spite of various pains and trips to the hospital, I am still here. Still love life. Still plan to travel. Still plan to receive guests. Still plan to host dinners parties – both big and small. Still plan to hug and kiss as much as ever…
2012: This year was a year of slowing down. Only one major trip was to another Edinburgh Festival. John Calder and I were Guests of Honor at the Book Festival. It was to celebrate the 1st International Writers’ Conference, which I co-organized with John Calder (and late great Sonia Orwell) in 1962. I was further honored by two sculptures, created by Will Durell and David Forsyth, and unveiled the 22nd of August on the site of my bookshop and gallery in Charles Street. The sculptures were sponsored by the University of Edinburgh. As always the festival was great in every way. This year Ernie Eban traveled from Paris with me and stayed the entire festival. Hosts again Ruth Holloway and Martin Burke. Lot of friends, old and new, a major source of joy – including Antonia Hoogewerf, Susie Parker, Sheila Colvin, S�amas McSwiney and too many others to name them all. It is always good to be in Edinburgh, to spend time in my old theatre, the Traverse (which will celebrate its 50th birthday next year), to see Bill Burdett-Coutts, Mary Shields and all the Assembly gang, to hang out in Charlotte Square with Frances Sutton, Peggy Hughes, Claudia Monteiro, Ruth Wishart, Joan Bakewell, Nick Barley, to follow the Summer Hall developments (thanks to Robert McDowell, Rupert Thomson, Ricky Demarco). What a festival! And so many friends: Steve Gove, Leslie Hills, Sarah Dee, Vanessa & William Prosser, Astrid Silins, Mona Shea, Roza & David Petherick, Faith Lidell, Angela Bartie, Jamie Byng…
The hot show, as far as I am concerned, was Casablanca – the Gin Joint Cut. Thank you Morag Fullarton, Gavin Mitchell, Clare Waugh, Jimmy Chisholm and Karen Koren. I would love to produce it in Paris and New York. It would run a long time.
The Sunday dinners again a major activity in 2012. Now 35 years and no sign of slowing down. As of now, I plan to continue another 35 years.
My “roommate” for the past 18 months, Kristi McIntosh, is a jewel in every sense of the word. We are not lovers in the classic meaning of the term. Yet I do love her. She has been super. And has made some of the best salads I have ever eaten.
I miss my travels East to Poland, to Russia, the Czech Republic – and even further East to India. I am slowing down a bit. No doubt about it. The arrival of Diabetes 2 this past spring has meant that staying at home is a good idea. The French medical system has been fantastic. Surely the world’s best.
My wonderful son, Jesper, and his lovely wife, Takae, make Brooklyn their home base. Every winter they head off to Bangkok and Tokyo. They tell me that they wish to produce children. So far I am not a grandad.
Visitors to A2 have been constant for a night, a week and often for months. Among them John Flattau, Michael Vincent, Steve Gove, Dorota Chrisp, Natalia Shkola, Martin Belk, Jonathan Pryce, Martin Walker, Stash Pruszynski, Susie Parker, Ernie Eban – to name a few of the many.
Lots of dinners in restaurants: many in Fijitas (a Mexican restaurant in the rue Dauphine, often with Varda Ducovny), The Terminus Nord (with John Calder and Sheila Colvin) and in my local Japanese, Tokyo Yaki (often with Susi Wyss).
Go to the theatre and cinema and watch a lot of television. And read. Books, magazines and newspapers. Every morning I read the International Herald Tribune over coffee. I have finally subscribed to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books.
I received a lot of attention in the media again this year. Magazine articles, newspaper items, television documentaries, the Delta Air Lines in-flight magazine, interviewed in the New York Times, a short piece in Télérama, and an article in the Belgrade magazine, Novi. Oliver (“Oli”) Alexandre shot a short documentaries for Brazil TV. Vicky Baker has written an article in The Observer about my Poland: People to People book.
I love life. It’s exciting, a never-ending soap opera. But it does end. A dear friend Benny Puigrefagut, left life on the 28th of September. He is survived by his lovely wife, Victoria. All who knew Benny greatly miss him. I hope I am here for years to come. Who knows what the future holds? Stay tuned…
2013: Another year of life on Earth, my 80th so far. In the main, it has been another fun year. My nurses and doctors looked after me. I attempted to live as they requested. No air travel. Train to my 56th Edinburgh Festival and train to Barcelona.
A dinner every Sunday here in the atelier except for August when I was in Edinburgh, where I hosted a dinner in the Scottish Arts Club for the casts of the two productions I co-produced: Broadway Enchanté and The Surrender.
The Traverse theatre I launched in Edinburgh in 1963 celebrated its 50th anniversary, but I actually started productions in my bookshop, The Paperback, in 1960. A friend, Eleanor Bell, co-edited a book entitled The Scottish Sixties features the famous photograph by the late Alan Daiches of a woman burning the Penguin edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover outside my bookshop with Ben Lassers and yours truly looking-on.
As always, lots of visitors, especially on the 9th of November for my “surprise” 80th birthday celebration. This party was organized by three friends: Mary Bartlett, Cathy Monnet and Antonia Hoogewerf. People journeyed to Paris from all the corners of the world: from Sweden (Jesper’s mother, Viveka, and his father-in law, Gosta Wallmark), from Milano (Sasha & Alek Stefanovic), from New York City (Jesper & his lovely wife, Takae and old friend, John Flattau), from Tokyo (Jesper’s mother-in-law), from Sydney (Susie Parker), from London (Dorota Chrisp and Natalia Shkola), from the South of France (Barbara & Scott Griffith and Tim Chester), from the Right Bank (Alex & Paula Klein-Keiller, Karen Moller & Alain Misson, Maria Rankov, David Turner and Glenn Myrent), from the Left Bank (Lisa Nesselson and Susi Wyss, Paul Allman, and Séamas McSwiney), from Montreuil (Evgenija Demnievska – who produced an excellent wall slide show), from my basement flat, the wonderful and beautiful Kristi McIntosh and many many more. Bojana & Dusan Makavejev called from Belgrade to wish me well. Angela Bartie and Andy Perchard were recently here to celebrate Andy’s birthday.
Martin Walker has been in and out of the atelier all year on his way to and from the Périgord. The German Bookseller’s Association have celebrated the fact that Martin has sold more than one million copies of his books all set in the Périgord and featuring Bruno, his protagonist.
Cara Black, who has written 13 books all set in a different arrondissement in Paris, celebrated the publication of her recent book, Murder Below Montparnasse, which is set in Alesia, with a party here in the Atelier. The book is dedicated to Madame Peaupert, my upstairs neighbor, who was born upstairs and has lived all her life here. Cara also wrote in her acknowledgements: “Jim Haynes for sharing his kitchen, his friends and his heart”. Why, thank you, Cara dear.
I am looking forward to 2014 for many more exciting events and projects. This will include the production that was the hit on the 2011 and 2012 Edinburgh Festival, Morag Fullarton’s Casablanca- the Gin Joint Cut. We hope to open on the 16th of April in the oldest theatre in Paris, The Dejazet, so get your tickets in mid-January. And start organizing your theatre parties. It is not to be missed. To earn my eternal love, be sure and order your tickets when they go on sale.
I also will be speaking at Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, on the 14th of January. And an eye operation (with a Doctor Monnet) is set for the 15th of January. Then there is the Edinburgh Festival in August and where I hope to help produce the production of Oh La La, with Isabelle Georges and Frederik Steenbrink.
I hope to see the publication of a new Alan Furst novel in 2014. It is rumoured to be almost finished and to be set in Paris in the late 1930s.
And last, but far from least, I hope to be a grandfather in 2014. Come on, Jesper, come on Takae… And I hope to see you all somewhere in 2014.
2014: Another action-packed year. Trips to San Sebastian (two times), to London and the Edinburgh Festival and to Amsterdam to see Broadway Melodies.
My atelier was used for the setting of a scene by the Madrid-based film director, Jonas Trueba, in the film called Los exiliados romanticos. I play in a dinner scene with Isabelle Stoffel, Siefrid Monleon and others. It is to be released in 2015. (Maybe in September at the San Sebastian Film Festival.)
As usual, visitors arrived from all corners of he world, not only for the weekly Sunday dinners, but also throughout the week. Kristi McIntosh, my flatmate for the past three years, departed for California. And is greatly missed.
I joined others in celebrating the publication of Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer co-organized by the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur and Shakespeare and Company Bookshop in Paris.
Another major event of the year was the production of Morag Fullarton’s Casablanca – the Gin Joint Cut in the theatre Dejazet in Place République. I co-produced this wonderful production with Frederik Steenbrink. Plans are afoot to produce it off-Broadway this year.
My health stayed more or less stable in 2014 – thanks to the great medical care one gets in France. Plans for 2015: lots of travel. (Thank you, Nicholas Clifford, of Blue Marble for all the train reservations and tickets.)
2015: The very best thing in 2015 is the birth of Ina this past August in Brooklyn. My son, Jesper, and his wife, Takae, have a beautiful new daughter, Ina. The three of them journeyed to Paris in November for my birthday. And I have fallen madly in love with Ina (who I call Mimi).
A year of many trips from Paris, all by train. A quick trip to Liege to attend an Isabelle Georges/Frederik Steenbrink show in January. Then a sad trip to London in February to say farewell to John Hopkins. Hoppy, Miles, Jack Henry Moore and yours truly started the newspaper, I.T., back in the early 1960s. In March I traveled to Milano and stayed one night with Sasha Stefanovic and her wonderful husband, Claudio, and son, Corso. Then I continued the next day to a small town about two hours South of Rome. Cassino was the scene of a major firefight during the Second World War. Old friend, Stanley Cohen, won a stay in a large home, just outside Cassino. Steven Ullman traveled to join me there. Then the two of us returned together to Paris. I finally made it to Steve Gove’s Prague Fringe Festival in May. Séamas McSwiney and Susie Parker joined me in beautiful Prague. Next trip was to Madrid to stay with Isabelle Stoffel and Sigfrid Monleon. It was great to be with them, to see Isabelle perform and to meet a number of their friends. August always means London and the Edinburgh Festival. I stayed once again in the Hotel du Vin and managed to see a number of shows, to meet old friends and to show the beautiful Indian actress, Navjot (Nivvy) Kaur the festival. Ernie Eban also joined us. After Edinburgh, stayed a few days with Ernie in London. Then September another trip to San Sebastian. And again Séamas and Susie Parker joined me.
During the Edinburgh Festival, I hosted once again a dinner party in the Scottish Arts Club for the launch of a new edition of my book, Workers of the World, Unite and Stop Working, now re-titled To Fuller or Not. Also my pal, Varda Ducovny, launched her new book, Paris with Consequence, at the same dinner party. Martin Belk published both books.
The atelier has been filled with visitors all year long. I have become involved with Airbnb and this has produced some amazing guests. I love it. Airbnb had a big conference in Paris in November and I was a guest speaker. Then my usual friends all visited: John Flattau, Flanagan Mckenzie, Ernie Eban, Natalia Shkola, Martin Belk, Johnny Pryce, John Calder, Sheila Colvin, Steven Ullman, and so many others. Jenny Nilrungsee visited the end of December and brought me two wonderful photo albums that she had produced filled with pictures of Ina, Takae and Jesper.The Sunday dinners continue. Many chefs to thank including Antonia Hoogewerf, Cathy Monnet, Mary Bartlett, Evgenija Demnievska, Galina Prokhorova, Mary Shields, Brian Theard, Stella Manukyan, Molly Hiatt, and Patricia Sherer. Stella stayed here about five months and was a great joy.
There have been as always lots of media attention on the Sunday dinners. But perhaps one of the best has been the Barcelona-based magazine, Openhouse (Autumn-Winter 2015, No.4). The article was written by Lucy Baluteig. Openhouse is lovingly produced twice a year by AndrewTrotter and Mari Luz Vidal..
Lots of theatre again this year. It was great to see Morag Fullarton’s hit musical, Doris, Dolly and the Dressing Room Divas at the Festival. I would love to produce it off-Broadway along with her production of Casablanca – the Gin Joint Cut.
The late great Felix Dennis, a poet, publisher and dear friend, died sadly. And he left 10,000 pounds in his will for me. What a kind and sweet gesture.
And I nearly died on the 22nd of December. Perhaps I am exaggerating. While on my way to give a literary reading at Grace Teshima’s, I fell backwards down about four or five steps and damaged my lower back. No broken bones. Everyone says that I am extremely lucky. Maybe they are right. But if I am that lucky, why did I fall at all?
2016: It has been full and delightful in every way. I attended the Prague Fringe Festival in May and performed my own Getting to Know You two times. All seemed to like the performance. Then once again travelled in August to my 60th Edinburgh Festival. My new book, World Citizen at Home in Paris launched at the Book Festival. Thanks to Napier University, all audience members were given signed copies. Napier University have acquired my archives, so future PhD students will not have to travel to Austin or Berkeley. I owe a big thanks to Martin Belk and Pauline Miller Judd and Andrea Nolan of Napier University for this.
Two films were made about me in 2016. One short film, made by Ninah Spindler, is a little gem. The other film is a feature length portrait, Meeting Jim, directed by Ece Ger who is currently editing it in Istanbul. She hopes to finish it in early 2017 and to start sending it around to film festivals. Her team of four met here at a Sunday dinner. They shot it in July, August and September in three cities: Paris, London and Edinburgh.
The Sunday dinners continued in 2016 and are now in their 38th year.
The other major event in 2016 was the exhibition in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum on London in the 60s. I was an exhibit and sat in a chair for almost two weeks with a sign behind me that stated: talk to a 60s survivor. Many people did so. It was organized by Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broaches and it will continue to be in London’s V & A until the end of March. Then it is moving to Montreal. Elisa Bailey looked after me and the film crew at the V & A.
Health continues to be OK. Thanks to the great care that France provides. Plenty of guests as always. Yes, I am a ‘people-junkie’. I always enjoy having people here. I was profiled in the Paris English-language Expatriates Magazine by Keyvan Golestaneh. There was also a story about George Orwell’s typewriter and yours truly that you can find on my web site here under the title, The Strange Case of Orwell’s Typewriter by Jan Herman.
The love of my life, my wonderful grand-daughter, Ina, is walking and beginning to talk. So watch out boys! My son, Jesper, Skypes me from Brooklyn from time to time, so I can kep an eye on her development.
Next year promises much the same with the possibility of an off-Broadway production of Morag Fullarton’s Casablanca – the Gin Joint Cut. If we can raise a few more dollars, I will go over for the opening. It is not to be missed. See you all there I hope!
Jim Haynes, January 2017