Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 209
February 5, 1992

One year ago I produced a three page newsletter (No.179) that attempts to review 1990 and to state some plans for 1991. One year later and another blank computer screen.

What happened in 1991? Good things and some not so good. I thought I had sold my second atelier to Jessica John's papa, Ben John, and then for various reasons, it did not happen. It's too bad. The sale would have cleared all my debts and have enabled me to do things I wanted to do. The atelier is back on the market. If any of you know someone who would like to purchase it, please have them contact me. Of course I would like to keep it but I just cannot afford to keep it. It must be sold unless a miracle occurs in the next month or so...

I did not attend the Cannes Film Festival last May because our film, "DIETRICH SONGS", not completed. I did not wish to be in Cannes without the film in the festival. Martin Scorsese, Francoise Sagan, and others have expressed their support. We still need $300,000 to complete the editing, create the titles and produce two 35mm prints. With only non-commercial rights from the eight copyright holders, we cannot raise this money from normal film sources. We can only screen the film at festivals. Cannes looms and it is unclear if there will be money and time to complete the film.

Last June I attended the Lahti International Writers' Conference. Up to the last minute I kept changing my mind: to go or not to go. And then I decided to go and it was as wonderful as ever. Lahti takes place every other year, so no gathering this June. Nevertheless I plan to fly to Helsinki this Spring and take the boat over to Tallinn in Estonia and down to Riga and Vilnius.

August and another Edinburgh International Festival. Barbara and Scott Griffith again my hosts. Edinburgh does take place every August! The best festival in the world. My annual fix! It is 100% joy to stay three weeks with B & S and to share their upstairs with the lovely Sophie Coutou, to rush about, day and night, to the theatre, to see films in Film House, to meet friends. Many wonderful meetings. I arranged for Cynthia Payne and Xaviera Hollander to speak one evening in Herzmark's beautifully restored drawing room and they talked of their experiences in the front lines of the sex wars. Ulla Larsen up for the festival. Her wonderful spirit and positive energy always a joy. Introduced Leo Serban, a friend from Bucuresti, to the Festival and to Edinburgh. He loved it of course. The last year for my old theatre, the Traverse, to remain in the Grassmarket, next year the Traverse will have a new home. I'll miss going to the Grassmarket, but everything changes, and we all have to move with these changes. The Film House and the Demarco Gallery continue to be my primary watering holes. The Book Fair in Charlotte Square stimulating. Old friends Jim Campbell, Jenny Brown, Tim Winton, David Lodge and new ones Amos Oz, Ben Okri, Nick Rankin, Milorad Pavic all at the Book Fair. You'll find me in Edinburgh again this coming August.

One night in London with Tim, Joe and Dorota Chrisp. Also visit Ulla and stay with Sally Belfrage. Jesper flashes through London on his way from Stockholm to Manhattan. A delightful afternoon with Paul Getty discussing the future of Betamax and our film collections. Lots of giggles and gossip with Ernie Eban, Dan Topolski, and Jim Campbell.

In Paris in September and my atelier re-painted thanks to Roman Pec, Jack Moore and Roman's assistants. (Roman is re-wiring Corine's atelier as these words are being written.) Back to London for the Oz Party. Home to welcome Dora Puszta. Rush to Warsaw the end of September to assist Pawel Brodowski get the two People to People books printed.(Thank you, Joe Francis!) Via a series of happy accidents, meet Cicilia Kemezys and we have delightful days (and nights) in Warsaw and travel to Lithuania together for more adventures. In Vilnius meet dozens of wonderful individuals (Lolita Varanavishene, Gitana Januskauskaite, Arune Tornau, Elona Bundzaite,Daiva Vilkelyte, Algis Savickas & his lovely wife, Almantas Samalavicius & his mother & father) and in Kaunas (Regina Skinderyte and Nomeda Repsyte).

October and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Brigitte and Erich Bernhard host Carsten Hansen and me. Carsten, Martin Lehberger, and I together at the Book Fair and at various parties in the evening. One great party given my "La Lettre Internationale" where I am in top form and introduce hundreds to each other. Old pal, Monica Rosenkranz, comes with us. As does Russell Epprecht. See Alex Stefanovic, Elisabeth & Jaco Groot, Robert McCrum, Marion & Arthur Boyars, Stephanie Wolfe Murray, Claudia Honegger & Ulf Matthiesen and so many other friends. Dine one evening with Liisa and Pablo Steffa and we talk about dozens of mutual friends. The Book Fair is another very special event. Sad this year because the printer in Warsaw did not have POLAND and ROMANIA ready to show.

Autumn and classes at the university. Hundreds of visitors, the weekly Sunday dinners, and busy with Handshake Editions and Scrapbook Films. Handshake will publish a tribute to Henry Miller, a tribute to Maurice Girodias, a collection of poetry by Ted Joans, a personal memoir of Manuel Puig by Italo Manza, and the extraordinary autobiography of the Swiss Miss, Susi Wyss. (Janice Knight has read Susi's manuscript and finds it "extremely educational".) Handshake will cooperate with Canongate in Edinburgh and Zephyr in Boston to bring out four more books in the People to People travel series (Hungary, Czecho-Slovakia, Baltic Republics, and Bulgaria). POLAND and ROMANIA will be published this month in Britain and the USA, so ask your local bookshop to be sure and order copies. Joe Francis is helping me with Handshake. Jack and I busy with Scrapbook.

Yesterday delivered Kyle Roderick to Charles de Gaulle and her flight to LA and to her husband, the sculptor Brett Goldstone, and to their twin boys. Her brief two week visit was over far too quickly. Kyle was here to interview Gilles Jacob, the director of the Cannes Film Festival, for the American film magazine, "Premiere". My Warsaw hosts, Barbara Hoff and Robert Kulesza, are here for a two week visit. I'm off to London next week to participate in a Channel 4 TV programme about "marriage and affairs" and to help with the launch of POLAND and ROMANIA. Later this month will travel to Prague and Budapest for research and meetings. I'm still sending packages to Eastern Europe. Your active help greatly appreciated. (Carmen Tribler, who entered my life thanks to Michael and Mona Shea, often brings superb packages of shoes and clothes for me to send Eastward.)

I still volunteer some time and energy to help Odile Helier and her wonderful Village Voice Bookshop, the best English-language bookshop in Paris and maybe even Europe. If you do not know the bookshop, visit it the time you are in the Latin Quarter. (6 rue Princesse)

Enough. Best wishes to you all for '92! Jim


Jim Haynes
February 1992

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




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