Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No.108
Frankfurt Book Fair - "Hopening!" Manhattan - Warsaw "Jazz Jamboree"
5 Nov 1986

This year's Book Fair - my 19th - almost didn't happen. First, there was a train strike the day I planned to depart. Secondly, there was the problem with exit visas. Both were solved when I telephoned Fershid Bharucha. He said to come to his place immediately and I could ride with him and his colleague, Thierry Souccar. (The visa "problem" I decided to ignore and it would go away.) Fershid used to scare me when he drove to Frankfurt in five hours. Needless to say, it took Thierry four hours to cover the same distance. My god I was scared. (The French & German frontier guards didn't even make us stop.) We go straight to the Book Fair. Meet Peter Owen near his stand. Also chat with Arthur and Marion Boyars. The Book Fair - like all the Festivals I attend - is an opportunity to meet old friends and to meet new ones. I'm not buying or selling anything. I have no quotas or schedules. Whatever happens is ok. I go with the flow. Pure enjoyment. Self-indulgent in the best sense of the word. Claudia Honegger, my usual hostess during the Book Fair, has arranged for me to stay with her friend, Gerlinde Meeth. Claudia and her fella, Ulf Matthiesen, were scheduled to go to Hamburg for a conference, but everything changed at the last minute when Ulf had to go into hospital. It seems a fellow hit Ulf in the eye. (Last night I telephoned Frankfurt and am pleased to report that Ulf is out of hospital and ok once again.) Anyway I telephone Gerlinde and she suggests I come to her place about 9pm. In the meantime, Fershid suggests that I ride out to Offenbach to his hotel. Later that evening meet Claudia, her wonderful son, Toby, her mum, her neighbor and my hostess, Gerlinde. Also meet Aglaia Hartig, a Paris neighbor and a fellow guest.

Meet Ed Victor on entering the Fair and he proceeds to show me his new baby photos. Walk upstairs and meet Judy Schleindl and she tells me that Carsten arrived last night and is staying with her. Some minutes later meet Laura Fountain and we talk about the entry visa requirements. Decide to walk in the Scandinavian area and hump into Hans-Willem Kuijl. He introduces me to Björn Linnell and Erland Törngren, both editors with Norstedts in Stockholm and we talk about Charles Bukowski and Betty Dodson. I give them a big tip, ie watch out for Betty Dodson. She has two big books coming. Both very important. Leave them and wander over to the German Hall. Chat with old friend, Inge Krahnof Rowohlt Verlag, and discover that Ledig himself is standing near us. He and I embrace warmly and chat a bit. He promises to call me the next time he comes to Paris. Then visit with my favorite bookseller from Bonn, Sylvia de Hollanda of Pociao's Books. Collect tickets for the big International Party scheduled for later tonight. Chat briefly with Deborah Rogers. Over to John Calder's stand, one of my bases. Later wander about the Russian and Polish area. Meet Tom Fenton. Later go to the French cocktail party and chat with a waitress. Meet Carsten and Judy. Wild party. Cornelia Osterbranck joins us. Meet Debbie Jones. Later go to the Rowohlt Café with Ruth and Robert Jungk. There we have a long talk. Bed at 2am.

Lazare Bitoun, a fellow prof at Paris VIII, passes John Calder's stand and I introduce him to John and Peter Sinclair of Journeyman Press. Soup with Carsten. Alec Stefanovic and I have our annual embrace and walk-about. Then Tanja Howarth passes to give John an invitation to a party. Later there is an opportunity to sit with Carole & Lyle Stuart. All earlier attempts not possible because they were busy. (Carole, I just received your Book Fair "Hot News" report; as always a delight! Thank you!) Then go outside. Sit next to a young woman. Her name is Dani. We have a great talk. She promises to write me. (A few days ago I received a sweet letter from her!) Pass the Weidenfeld stand and exchange smiles with Ann Getty. (No, we don't know each other, but her son, Peter, has dined in my atelier.) Claudia Honegger and I spend the evening partying. We wander from one party to another.

Gerlinde gets me up at 7:30 to have breakfast with her and her mum. Afterwards I go back to bed. Up again at9 and have a great shower, shampoo, shave. Sit quietly all morning at John Calder's stand. Someone has left a package for me containing copies of Carol Pratl's "Sphinx". Lots of people pass and visit. Carsten tells me that he and Connie had a great evening at the circus. Cari Weissner and I gossip about the 60's, NOLA EXPRESS, etc. etc. Bill Braitman and Michael Walsh, of Mosaic Press in Canada, give me a number of their books. (One called The Careerfree Life by Gillian Hemstock & Frank McEnaney, is superb!) Completely by accident (or divine guidance?) meet Lottie Da. (Margo St James wrote me to keep an eye out for her. Lottie attended the International Prostitutes Congress two days earlier in Brussels and gives me a full report. Lottie is at the Fair for the 1st time, seeking a publisher for her book on how Hollywood portrayed women in films from the earliest days to the present. I promise to help her. We go outside for fresh air and discuss our sex lives. Lottie is a great fan of rugby! Ulli Lindenmann walks up and joins us. Ulli takes me to meet an old friend of hers, Klaus Schneider. Klaus is with Penguin, their rep in Germany. A bunch of us go for an Italian feast. Later I go to several late night spots.

Last day of the Fair for me. Meet Andre Deutsch and we have a nice talk. Later on my way out, bump into Dorothea Grisebach of Piper Verlag and she introduces me to Christopher MacLeHose's wife. (Christopher and I used to share a flat in Edinburgh in the early 60s.) More baby photos produced. A fit finale. I rush to get the afternoon train to Paris. On the train, the conductor tells me that the Saturday afternoon train does not go to Paris. Get out at the next station and by accident (or divine act?) meet a young doctor, Fred Pieper, who is doing research in a hospital in Germany. We have tea in his apartment in a Nurses Home. I cannot remember how many young nurses live below, above and next door to him. Heaven on Earth as far as I'm concerned. (Back in Paris I posted Fred Thanks for Coming! and Workers. He posted me Dutch peanut butter. Alas no nurses yet...)

Later catch the night train from Frankfurt to Paris. Outside my couchette, I chat with a lucky fellow. (A beautiful woman had earlier been kissing him). I introduce myself. He tells me his name. It is Wolf Biermann. Lally Hoffmann and I called him from Arhus in our literary happening. What a way to meet! We exchange telephone numbers in Paris.

On Sunday the 5th of October, Ewa Rudling celebrates her 50th birthday! Stash, Corine, and I drive outside Paris to join the festivities. We also meet (and fall in love with) Ewa's niece, Maria Rudling. Maria lives in Stockholm but plans to live in Paris with her family early next year. Lucky Paris! Lucky us!

On Monday the l3th of October, cross Paris to Confluence to celebrate Jean Driard's 60th!

On the 15th, Herbert Lottman is interviewed in the Village Voice Bookshop. He talks about his new book, The Purge. The bookshop in packed. Another successful event.

On the 16th I fly to JFK. On the Air France flight, I meet an old pal, Suzanne Deal. Via Suzanne, I meet Sylvia Boissonnas and her husband. I know their daughter, Sylvina, and ask them to pass a copy of Thanks for Coming! on to her. A delightful plane trip.

Now the reason for the trip: Some time ago Kyle Roderick interviewed me. Said interview published in an American magazine, "Heavy Metal". It came to pass that a fellow called Russ Weis read the interview and liked what he read. He found a copy of Thanks for Coming!, read it, and also liked the book. He wrote me. We met in Edinburgh during the Festival and later he stayed a few days in the atelier in Paris. To make a long story a bit shorter, Russ co-organized a "HOPENING!". It was a one day event presented in The New York Society for Ethical Culture and I was one of the three invited speakers. The other two: Rat Kinkade of the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia and Paul Freundlich of Co-Op America. It was a wonderful event. The 60's spirit is alive and well and living in 321 Greenwich Street, New York City. I saw lots of old friends (Lou Zeldis, Kyle, Michael Montes), plus lots of new ones. An inspiring day! Thank you, Russ, and all those who helped you make it possible.

I also saw a lot of Jesper (and met his apartment-mates), John Flattau (John and I went on several long walks together), Betty Dodson (we had tea and a long talk), Jerry Greenberg, Lynne Tillman, Ronnie Schloss & Lenny Green, and lots more. Fly to Paris Monday night.

"One night in Paris"... and I fly the next day to Warsaw for my 5th "Jazz Jamboree" and my 6th trip. On arrival, check into the Europejski Hotel - where I stayed in '81. Rush to the Akwarium Jazz Club and visit with old pal, Marta Martelinska. She gives me a ticket for tonight's concert: B.B. King. It is superb! I stay inside from beginning to end. Later meet Pawel Brodowski and he takes me to a private party for B.B. Ring in the Forum Hotel. There meet Gordana Malesevic; she introduces me to Nils Thornasson and I manage to get both of them into the party. B.B. insists upon playing some more. The host is Janusz Kecik, the chief of the Polish branch of the International Jazz Federation. I also meet Stefan Perskiewicz at the party and we have a long talk about life in Poland today. (Corine was supposed to attend, but couldn't at the last minute, so everyone asks about her.) Again I must say I come to Warsaw for the people. They are great. The music in also wonderful, but for me it is the excuse to bring lots of fantastic people together. I see that I do not have much room left. I would like to relate lots of tales, but there in only room to say a big "thank you" to Tomasz Tluczkiewicz (Congrats re Janina!), Marek Cabanowski, Piotr Klosek, Anna Kulicka, Robert Kulesza & Barbara Hoff, Marieta Brzezanska, Krzysztof Piechowicz, Jane Dobija, Witek Michalek, Urszula Chudek, Hanna Sobieraj, Krzysztof Traficz, Lech Budrecki, Barbara Budzlanowska, Jan Kaczmarek, Malgosia Antonzewska, Jakub Wdowicki, "Arizona" Sennyey, Taïda Krzeminska (and her mum), Lukasz Blikle, Katarzyna Paczesniowska.

To be continued…

 

 

 

 

Jim Haynes
Nov 1986

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

 

 

 

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