Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 43
April in Paris
9th April 1981

le château de Breteuil
le château de Breteuil

April in Paris --- once again!! This is getting to be a habit. (My first visit to Paris was April 1957.) And the way it looks now, it will be May, June, July and half of August in Paris as well. Maybe, just maybe, I will manage to slip down to Cannes for the Film Festival in May. Sure would like to be there. I hate to miss a party and that is what Cannes is, one big fête! (Plus there is a good possibility that friends Sarah Mondale, Gérard Krawczyk, and Dusan Makavejev will have films in Cannes this year.)

There are, I suspect, personal "magic places". I have a number of them. Cannes during the film Festival of course, and the Edinburgh Festival, and the Frankfurt Book Fair, and La Coupole, and Chez Leni and a few other places. One restaurant in Paris is (more or less) responsible for my meeting Dominique Ferry, Annette Ryffel (who is the "Greta Garbo of our time" as far as I am concerned), Terrayne Crawford, Gérard Krawczyk, and many others. Every time I go there something positive happens. Once I sat next to an elderly fellow and when I engaged him in conversation, he turned out to be Mario Tauzin. His drawings of young people sexually exploring one another are wonderful. And when he discovered I am a longtime fan of his, he insisted I join him for a long talk and a drink elsewhere. It was great.

It's important to reach out to people. I talked to Zsuzsa Merei while sitting next to her in a metro, discovered she was from Budapest and did not know many people in Paris. Invited her to A2 for tea and we are now friends. I sat next to Judy Scorzo and Michel Akaoui in Chez Leni, said hello, and now look forward to a life-long friendship. Judy and Michel were married in the Eglise Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre the 3rd of April and then that afternoon we celebrated. At the Château de Breteuil (some 35 Kms southwest of Paris), Randy McKay and Marilyn Taylor (plus friends) served up a feast fit for a pasha... (It took almost four days to prepare.) Truly fantastic! And since I always wanted to be a pasha...

At a party where no one seemed to be taiking to one another, I said hello to Michael Parman gave him my address, and invited him to come to one of our Sunday night dinners. Now dozens of people know each other as a result and many have been affected. One example: Ali is taking care of Ghislaine's son, Sinclair, because Joan Lecoutour (who I met via Michael) asked me if I might know someone. Michael departs soon for the New World. We will all miss him. But no matter where he settles, our lives are now connected and many people will be touched.

I talked to Liz Farnworth in the Traverse Theatre bar in 1978, met her again in a pub in 1979 (during the Edinburgh Festival), and invited her to join me for dinner in an Indian Restaurant. During dinner she mentioned in passing that a nice feliow, Jim Campbell, lived next door and that he edited the "New Edinburgh Review~'. Afterwards knocked on his door, we talked, he gave me the key to his flat, and I stayed there the Festival of '79 and'80. Jim is a house-guest now, visiting me as I write these words.

A party at Claudia Honegger and Ulf Matthiesen's some years ago. A lovely red-head sat alon on the other side of the room. I approached said red-head. It was Sarah Bean. The rest is her story. (Ms Bean fans will be pleased to know she is alive and well and living in the Washington, D.C. area. She says she misses Paris and us all. I sure do miss her!)

Not too long ago, a friend, Obaid Ai Hajri, was staying in a large Paris hotel. When I attempted to call him, his line was engaged, so talked with the switchboard operator instead. Later invited Laetitia Bermejo-Castelnau for tea. It is now difficult to conceive of life without Laetitia's friendship, so thank you Obaid for talking on the telephone. It is on such thin ice we establish relationships: one minute earlier or later, he would not have been talking and Laetitia and I would not have met.

 

Comings & goings: Flanagan MacKenzie departed for the USA two weeks ago and already we all greatly miss her... Tea last week in La Coupole with Kyle. Larry Durrell sat near us. He and I chatted briefly... Henk Smitshoek visited A2 last week. His joyful energy always a delight.... Elahé and Bijan have sold their home in Cannes and are moving to Paris...

Thanks to Victoria Rivière, attented the Issey Miyake défilé the 4th of April and pleased to report it was breathtaking! Tears of joy filled the eyes! Also got to see Constance Knitter, looking lovely and just back from the Phillipines, and Florentine Pabst, who flot oniy looked her usual beautiful self but also reports she is the mother of two sons, and Ku & Agathe, who both looked great!... Moncef Sassi in Paris visiting. (He posted me a large box of dates from Tunisia which arrived after him.)... Max Scherr, who founded and edited the first underground newspaper of the 60's, the "Berkeley Barb", was in Paris last week. Alas he spent most of his tiine in the American Hospital... Xaviera Hollander telephoned from Amsterdam that she intends to come to Paris next week and "wants me to organize a party"...

 

portrait of Suzanne Brøgger
Suzanne Brøgger
a great writer, a dear friend, + a good buddy!

Once upon a time I said in one of my newsletters that Handshake Editions would produce a book in homage to John Lennon. Old friend and associate, Miles, sent me his book: John Lennonin His Own Words (Omnibus Press). He has done the job for me. No need for Handshake to do one now. His tribute to John is superb! Thanks, Miles! A beautiful book...

Handshake's first birthday the lst of March. At an A2 dinner, Barbara Steinkeller cooked fish and Flan made a chocolate cake and everyone had a great time. I ended the evening with a beautiful lady and we hugged and kissed all night long! Kali Women and Caballeros, a collection of poems and songs, by Elaine J. Cohen - the first book to be published by Handshake in its second year. And Elaine was over from London for its birth. Béatrice Jehl has translated Sarah Bean's Rags and Jewels into French and is busy translating More Romance. Marie-Geneviève Vandersande is translating Everything Is! into French. Hopefully all three will be published by summer as well as a new English-language edition of Everything Is! If I can raise 20,000 francs I would like to estabhish Handshake Editions as a "real" publishing venture. (With Martin Lehberger, Dominiqua Ferry, and Marie-Geneviève Vandersande we plan te launch a postal "bookshop", but this is a bit premature to discuss here and now.)

A trip to Amsterdam, a few weeks ago. Long over-due. Managed to spend a great deal of time with Videoheads (Jack Moore, Måns, Sekar, Peter, Roxi) at their fantastic open-to-the-public studio, "The Bank" (Haarlemmerstraat 118). Dined two nights with old friend, Bill Levy, (Once with beautiful Helen Klitsia and another evening with Jack and Matthew Wilson.) Met Eddie Woods and his associate, Henk, at INS AND OUTS BOOKSHOP.. Had lunch with Jaco Groot and Tan Donkers at Ludwig Monsanto's Coffee House. (And managed a quick hello with Simon Vinkenoog.) As always spent a lot of time with Jan Meng in the Athenaeum Bookshop - surely one of the best in Europe! Drinks one afternoon with Bert Bakker and his merry crew (Harko, Paul, Boy and Simone) and met a number of his writers as well as Bert's lovely wife, Yteke. And on the train to Paris, briefly shared a compartment with lovely Caria Sparrebaan! Ah Amsterdam!

With a triple standard Sony Betamax here at A2, I seem to be watching a lot of movies these days. Recently invited my Monday night class over to see "Ninotchka" - which just happens te be one of my favorite films. But I still manage to go out to the cinema, especially if any friend is involved. Gérard Krawczyk invited me to see his excellent "The Subtle Concept" with friend, Allan Wenger, playing the lead. Two dear friends - Isabelle Weingarten and Benjamin Baltimore - are in the movie "Photo-Roman". Both are lovely! (Pat Booth in Paris to do a book about photographers and we discussed our mutual friend, Norma Monceau, who is in Australia making yet another movie. And Norma has a birthday soon too!)

News front the Women's Prisons of France: Jill Diamond, well and happy, has almost completed three years inside and is beginning to think it might end one day. I saw her briefly in a documentary film made for TV (just last night) by Katia Koupp. I make a Betamax copy. She looked great!... Good and bad news front Perpignan. The two ladies there had their trial at last and Sharon got two years and poor Maggie Deane get five. So Maggie will be moving to Rennes to join Jill. Sharon has been moved to Toulouse. I received a letter from her yesterday and she was not in good spirits. When will we stop locking up beautiful people for victimless crimes? As you all know by now, I don't smoke, drink, or use illegal drugs, not because they are illegal, but because I don't enjoy them. What we put into our own bodies is no one else's business. Five years for hashish is madness. Oh me, no more room. And I wanted to say so much more. Hamida and Colin Gravois have co-produced Hana, a lovely lady...

Love & hugs from Jim

 

 
Jim Haynes
9th April 1981

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

 

 

 

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