Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 103
"CATHY SROUFE-MONNET HAS A SON!"
24 September 1986

It's nice to produce some "good news" in this bomb capital of Europe! Just over an hour ago, Cathy & Yves co-produced a 3 kilo blonde; he and mother are said to be in fine condition. Cathy's mum, Marguerite, brought me the good news straight from the Maternity Clinic. Only yesterday afternoon, Cathy passed demanding peanut butter. Fortunately we had a jar of the world's best. Dutch pinda kaas. We were able to satisfy this sudden craving. Less than 24 hours later, partly thanks to our peanut butter, Cathy has a son and we have a new neighbour. Hooray!

The French government has introduced visa requirements for almost everyone. This is causing a panic among most of the international community here. I am even contemplating not going to this year's Frankfurt Book Fair. I have a train reservation for next Tuesday, but today I heard that I must have an entry and exit visa. This takes hours. Jason Weiss called me this morning to cancel his planned trip to the Book Fair. I also have a trip to Manhattan scheduled in October. (Russ Weis has invited me to participate in a seminar on alternative lifestyles the weekend of 17-19th.) I had hoped to attend another "Jazz Jamboree" in Warsaw the 23rd to 26th October. Oh well we shall see what evolves out of all this. Why can't we all live in peace?

Since returning from Edinburgh, lots of crazy and delightful events here in A2. Old friend, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, had a pre-premiere screening of his film "Kindergarten", and I was invited to attend. I telephone Carol Pratl, John Strand and Edward Limonov. We all managed to enter with my one invitation. Afterwards there was a private reception and we all walked the short distance to it. On entering I meet Karin Brown (who I met thru Tineke Hegeman years ago at the Book Fair). Yevgeny is in warm spirits. We embrace and he whispers that he would like to escape to my place where we can have a good long talk. And that is exactly what unfolds. We drink wine and Polish vodka until dawn. Yevgeny very impressed with our video collection. Jack and Yevgeny exchange tales. Jack is offered a role in Yevgeny's next movie. And Corine gets a bite on her left nipple!

On Monday the 8th of September, I left Paris on the night train for Hamburg. Hendrikje ter Vehn shared a couchette compartment. After Hamburg I continued, more or less alone. (One is never really alone ever in a train which is one of the reasons I love to travel by train. Destination: Arhus, Denmark. My host and co-organizer, Carsten Hansen, greeted my arrival and we walked the short distance to his publishing house, Huset - which appropriately enough means house. There I am introduced to his associates: Kirsten Nielsen, Lillian Lang, Steffen Mossin and Mikael Witte. Planning for the world's first telephonic literary happening. And it came to pass that on the 11th of September - from 8pm to midnight- Lally Hoffman (she is a famous television news broadcaster in Denmark) and I sat on a stage and talked to writers all over the world. Fortunately or unfortunately (I am not really sur), we did not do the calling. Carsten with some help from two wonderful operators in Copenhagen did it all and when they had someone on the line, they informed us via a red light on our table. We then began our dialogue. It was very exciting for Lally and me. I think the 200-300 people sitting at tables and drinking beer also enjoyed it. Many came up to me afterwards to say so. We talked to Mario Vargas Llosa (in London), Andre Brink (in South Africa), Naval el Sadavi (in Cairo), Eric Stinus and George MacBeth (in Switzerland), Wolf Bierman (in Germany), Manuel Puig (in Rio), Brian Patten (in London), Arnold Wesker (in Stockholm), Xaviera Hollander (in Spain), Harry Mulisch (in Amsterdam), Edward Limonov (in Paris), and to end the night, to Kazuo Shiraishi (in Tokyo). It was midnight for us and dawn for her. It was sad not to reach a number of writers that I wanted to involve in the happening, but for one reason or another we were not able to reach Robert McCrum, Kathy Acker, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Barry Gifford, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Tim Leary.

 
Jim Haynes
September 1986

Atelier A-2,
83 rue de la tombe Issoire,
75014 Paris

 

 

 

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