Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 61

10 December, 1983

 

Who's afraid of '84? Not me, my dears!

We are only days away from 1984. "Big Brother" may be watching you (and me), but let him. My life is an open book. Isn't yours? There is nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of. This newsletter's first draft begins in a metro speeding underneath Paris. The car is packed with people. Two street musicians are singing "The Sounds of Silence". We stop at Varennes and there is Rodin's "The Thinker". I pull out a franc and my action seems to encourage the beautiful woman next to me. They leave us at Champs-Élysées-Clémenceau and now a real silence descends on us. I have a class at the university at 11pm, it will end at 1pm and I am home again by 5:30 and the weekend begins. Thanks you, tax-payers of France. Your kindness is greatly appreciated. I like to think that your money is well spent, that I do not inflict damage upon your children.

Sean Freeman: photo  Anna Kohler: model

The photo above is of a dear friend, Anna Köhler. She used to live here in A2. (And she used to cut my hair.) Now she is an actress in off-off Broadway productions and from all reports reaching Paris, she is doing well. Hooray!!

Speaking of metros, some time ago I said "hello" to a young woman sitting opposite me. We became friends. Her name: Zsuzsa Merei. Now another delightful woman comes to Paris from Budapest, and thanks to Zsuzsa, Jutka Dobo and I are friends. Sometimes life is so easy, so simple. I really must visit them in Budapest one of these days. I understand it is a beautiful city.

I had a "surprise" birthday party - thanks to Cathy Sroufe and Will Reed. And I also enjoyed Thanksgiving "left-overs" at Cathy's. Not only is she one of the sweetest ladies in Paris, she is also one of the best cooks in town. I feel very sad because the words I wrote in my autobiography about Cathy (and about so many others) had to be cut. I hope to publish another volume and have many more stories and friends included. Also many names were somehow not included in the dedication. Lisa Markuson and Barbara Steinkeller for two...

The 13th of February approaches. Thanks for Coming! will be published that day. Don't forget to have your favorite bookshop stock copies. I think there will be a party in London on the 15th, but no details yet. Greg Hunt is directing the P.R. for the book. I think a signing session is being fixed for the Traverse Theatre, so it looks like a few days in Edinburgh in February.

Atelier A2 is full of superb people. The more of less resident team includes : Martin Lehberger, Dorota Janiszewska, Paula Klein, Heather Downs, Sarah Haggar and young Jim Haynes. (Sadly Ree Craig departed recently for the USA.) Paula has been ill in clinic, but gets better everyday. She is looking for a maid's room in this neighborhood. (Maybe Paula will spend this Christmas in (censored by Paula!!!) if plans materialize.) Heather and Sarah hosted a wild party for their Jacques Lecoq classmates several nights ago. Now we wait to see if they will be allowed to continue in the school. Heather goes to Glasgow and Sarah to Wales for the holidays. The rest of us expect the usual "invasion". (Ulli Lindenmann called to say that she and Peter planned to be here over Christmas.) Witek Michalek, from Warsaw, is staying here now for a few days before he departs for Africa. And Roy Walford paused here on his way to Tunis. (I hope he will meet Moncef Sassi.) Others that recently passed include Jack Bond, Vilgot Sjöman (The Cinémathèque is presenting a homage to him this month and I plan to see as many of his films as possible.), Don Loeb (from Seattle), Scott Griffith and Barbara Cruickshank (from Edinburgh), and oh so many more great individuals. There is not room to list them all. My dear friend Rajak Ohanian has just returned from Chicago where he stayed with Flanagan MacKenzie. Flan plans to be in Europe in February. So many good things will happen in February.

Six beautiful, sensitive, intelligent and wonderful women, from left to right, Malgorzata Posluszna (who lives in Warsaw), Jutka Dobo, Paula Klein, Amanda Tolon (who lives in Barcelona) and Jane Dalrymple (who lives in Baltimore with an old friend of mine, Anselm Hollo). I introduced them to each other last Aug. and Jill Diamond (who now lives in Manhattan). Now please send me your photos.

"Passion" celebrated its second birthday recently with another crazy party. Unfortunately I was not able to stay until the wee hours. The latest issue has several articles about American expatriates by John Strand (who writes regularly in "Passion" about theatre). I will reproduce one paragraph below.

 

"There's no American writers' community today in Paris," says Jim Haynes, expatriate American author. Haynes runs his tiny Handshake Editions publishing firm from his spacious atelier in the depths of the 14th arrondissement. He holds a regular salon there for artists and friends, some of whom are described in his autobiography, Thanks for Coming!, just published by Faber and Faber. "A lot of poets and writers pass through here," he says, "but the next day they might be in Stockholm or Berlin or wherever. Everyone moves around today. The world has changed from the time of Stein and Hemingway, there are no little ghettoes of literary people anymore."

Congratulations Robert Sarner, Michael Budman, John Strand, and all at "Passion".
I am called away from the typewriter to talk to someone on the telephone and it is Zefyr (or Octavia Zefyrlino as she is now known). She is in Paris and on her way here. She has been living in Colorado for some years. Another great lady!!!
We are still sending packages to Poland. Ten were sent recently and all arrived OK. (I just received a package of comics, etc from Ron Turner in San Francisco. Thanks, Ron!) Any help with our package-sending to Poland appreciated...
As always the bottom of the page approaches and there are more things to report than space, but I will soldier on and see what can be included. Lots of friends have birthdays today: Jack Bond, Shuji Terayama alas (now with his ancestors), Lennie Jensen (he and Marie-Paule have a new home!), Laura Long Cavestani, Antj Postma (who plans a trip to Tokyo soon), Bertie Sperber, Georg Troller, Gordon Dietzmann, and Dorothy Lamour. Tomorrow, the 11th of December: my papa, Annette Ryffel, and Christina Onassis. (I don't know Ms Onassis or Ms Lamour.)...Plans for '84 include getting out of debt (HO HO, Don't believe it!), a lot of travel (to London, Edinburgh, Cannes, USA, Frankfurt, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and so many more places... Oh me, there I go, back into debt again. And to see ALL OF YOU EITHER HERE IN PARIS OR ON YOUR TURF. Zefyr just walked into the atelier and she looks great!!!! OK, I will stop this and go for a walk with this beautiful woman/child. I know that in five minutes I will think of a better end: but may you all have joy, love, lots of hugs and kisses in '84 and on into the future weeks, months, years.

LIFE IS A GAS!!!!!

Love,
Jim

 

 

Jim Haynes
10 December, 1983

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

 

 

 

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