Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 639
Annual Report and A New Web Site
December 2005

      Xmas: I do not celebrate Christmas (nor any holidays) because I feel it is important to celebrate every day of life. It is a miracle to be alive. I will never cease to be in awe or to recognize the wonder of it all. 72 years on Earth and each and every minute has been fantastic. I would like to thank all the gods except I keep wondering who created the gods. Not religious in the conventional sense nor do I belong to any organized religion. A Humanist Pantheist. Everything is holy. There are no holy sites per se because I consider the entire earth to be a holy site. I worship Life, the wonder and the madness of it all. Enough said.

      New web site: Thanks to a friend, Terry, a new web site is about to be launched into an unsuspecting world. It will cover a great deal of my life and the activities of the atelier. Check it out. Feedback solicited.

      Sunday dinners: They continue. Cathy Monnet, Antonia Hoogewerf, Mary Bartlett, Barbara Sherman have been the principal chefs this past year. There have been others including Evgenija Demnievska (who cooks a wonderful meal on her birthday, the 4th of December), Norbert Vishnesky (who cooked the 29th of May and will cook again on the 8th of January), Choi (from Korea and who a friend introduced), Jodi Poretto ( who escaped Katrina and came to Paris to cook a fabulous dinner on the 2nd of October), Galina Prokhorova (cooked a Russian feast), Soula Parassidi (prepares a Greek feast), Dominique Ferry, Jamie Bissonnette (mades a pasta, chicken and broccoli dish) & Richard Cambridge (who produced a great green salad) and even yours truly.

      The Gallery: 2005 began with a wonderful exhibition of paintings by Sabine Kölmel, followed by an exhibition of photographs by David Turner, then came paintings by Evgenija Demnievska. The current exhibition, paintings by David Szafranski, is up until the end of January 2006. Future shows to include John Flattau (photography), Peter Van Straaten (drawings), Martin Lacroix (paintings), Susi Wyss (drawings), Harry Robinson (photography) and Mischa Richter (photography).

      White Washing Fences: Howard Aster, of Mosaic Books in Toronto, has edited and published a Festschrift honoring yours truly. Over 30 friends have contributed essays, photographs and drawings. They are flattering, funny, tender and silly. If you would like to have your very own copy (and no home should be without one) do not hesitate to ask. It can be signed to you or to anyone else. The price is right. (15 euros plus postage)

      Trips: In 2005 there were trips to India in February (with Antonia Hoogewerf, Karolina Blåberg, Martin Lehberger and Alladine Lacroix), to Barcelona in March (with John Flattau and a pretty blonde friend), to Edinburgh in August (with Séamas McSwiney, Antonia Hoogewerf, Varda Ducovny, Karolina Blåberg, Stanley Cohen and hundreds of others), to Frankfurt in October (with Howard and Jeanette Aster) and to London in November (with Séamas McSwiney). Newsletters were produced to cover these events and the people encountered in each voyage. Some of these newsletters can be found on the new web site. In 2006, there will be more travel. Edinburgh Festival and Frankfurt Book Fair for sure. Maybe another sojourn to India for the Film Festival in Calcutta next Autumn. Bangkok calls because Jesper loves the city so much. And The Ukraine: Lvov, Kiev and Odessa beckon.

      Awards: Stanley Cohen and The Scone Foundation presented me with an Award the 22nd of August 2005 at the Scottish Arts Club as "a Living Archive". A superb dinner followed.

      Health: But for a bloody cold that I cannot shake off, all seems to be as it should be. I take my six pills daily. I try to take walks about the city. I see Doctor Slattery from time to time. He always reports I am fighting fit. And says I have another good fifty years in me.

      Projects: If the Traverse Theatre agrees, I will produce Bremner Duthie's musical homage to Kurt Weill next August. And if the Traverse does not co-produce us, there is every possibility that we will find another theatre to do so. It's a knock-out performance to a fantastic composer.

      Cooking for 100: The book which celebrates the Sunday dinners! Edited by the three principal chefs, Cathy Monnet, Antonia Hoogewerf and Mary Bartlett. We plan to publish in early 2006. A new title, Throwing a (Huge) Party - The Jim Haynes' Cookbook, it will focus on the menus that have been cooked here over the years. If you would like to help make this happen, send us your order for a copy (or copies) at the pre-publication price of 20 euros and a contribution toward the postal costs.

      John Calder/Jim Haynes: We did our double act in Edinburgh at the Scottish Arts Club (August 26th), again in London at John's bookshop next to the Old Vic Theatre in The Cut (the 3rd of November) and in Paris at the Village Voice Bookshop (the 29th of November). Pressure is being applied for us to do it again. Maybe here at Atelier A2.

      Handshake Editions: Two books are in the process of being published. Both books will be in constant revision. One, entitled, Tales of Love, Lust, Adventure and Other Happenings, is available now (with contributions from Benny Puigrefagut, Isabelle B, Doug Smith, Michael Joiner, Xaviera Hollander, Karen Grushka, Christopher Olsen, Charles Egan, Danielle Egan, Alladine Lacroix, Yoko Sueoka, Karolia Blåberg, Kathleen O'Hara, David Turner, Corneliu Mitrache, and Peter Cyrus) and can be ordered. We welcome others to contribute to this saga. Anything that you might like to write about that befell as a result of attending a Sunday night dinner.

      The second book is entitled Women's Liberation: A Definition and it is a one-sentence book plus a four sentence footnote. We would like to publish it in as many languages as possible. (One language per page.) If you would like to translate it into your language, let me know. The one sentence text is: "Women's Liberation is the recognition by both women and men of the need and the right of each and every woman to assert herself." The footnote is an elaboration of the verb, to assert.

      Visitors and house guests: As usual 2005 brought lots of visitors and house guests, far too many for me to list here and now. A friend and Olga Kovshanova have been staying here most of the year. Both have been extremely helpful in the atelier and they both will continue to live here in 2006. Visitors include: Martin Walker, Ernie Eban, Alek Stefanovic, Sasha Stefanovic Innocenti, James Ragan (who left me two books of his poetry, Lusions and Womb-Weary), Isaac Flattau, Lucia Sconosciuto, Angelo Quattrochi and his beautiful daughter, Silva, Jesper Haynes, Lucia Bobacheva, Alexander Krylov & Anna Sinitsyna, Martin Belk, Angela Bartie & Tommy Callan, Kevin Lescroart (who painted the toilet and bathroom), Natasha Perova, Allison Hunt, Misha Aster & Soula Parassidis, Marion Winik (with her clans), Harry Robinson, Jodi Poretto, The Cluj fellows ( Sevan Székely, Paul Vekony, & Radu Ariesan) and Dafina & Nicolas Gasparin.

      Friends in the News: Alan Furst's new book, The Foreign Correspondent, will be published by Random House the 5th of June. He is also coming to Paris in March. Cara Black's Murder in Montmartre will be published in March and she will be in Paris to give a reading at Shakespeare & Co the 20th . Michael Shea's new book is called The Freedom Years and its launch date is early March. It is published by John Wiley under their Capstone imprint. Larkin McLean has a new CD out entitled X-Rated Musical (and you can check it out at LarkinMcLean.com). I am now reading Marion Winik's collection of essays, Above Us Only Sky, and it is terrific. Doug Kennedy read recently from his new novel, State of Union, which I look forward to reading. Earl Kemp has a Homage to Maurice Girodias on his web site. I have always wanted to publish a homage to Maurice who I consider one of the most important publishers of the 20th century. Now I don't have to do it. Thanks, Earl. Maria Rankov continues to look after the affairs of Goran Bregovic and she has invited me to attend his production of Karmen the 27th of December in Paris. (The last time I attended a Bregovic concert was in Cluj in Romania in April 2003 and it was one of the best concerts I have ever attended in my life. I would love to help get Karmen into the Assembly Rooms next Festival.) Hazel Rowley's new biography, Tête-â-Tête: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, published recently in the USA. Hazel will present the book, a story of a relationship, in the Village Voice Bookshop the 12th of January 2006. Karen Moller's new book, Technicolor Dreamin' - The 1960s Rainbow and Beyond is coming out in Canada in February 2006. Jennifer Paull's new book, Cathy Berberian and Music's Muses will be published in London in April. Charles Marowitz posted me his new book, How to Stage a Play, Make a Fortune, Win a Tony, and become a Theatrical Icon. Corneliu Mitrache's novel, La Traversée du Styx, is available now in France from most good bookshops. I had the pleasure to witness Steve Krief defend his Ph.D, L'humour et la representation dans l'oeuvre de Lenny Bruce, in early December. Lenny Bruce lives!

      Theatre: Two wonderful productions this year. One in my home. An Act of Will, written and performed by Michael McEvoy, completely destroyed the myth of Shakespeare. The plays were all written by Christopher Marlowe. If you wish to see An Act of Will in London, Michael will be performing it at John Calder's bookshop on Thursday, the 19th of January. On the 1st of October I saw a wonderful production of Mabou Mines Dollhouse that completely knocked me out. Maude Mitchell, who played Nora, is fantastic. Directed by Lee Breuer, they are currently making a world tour. Try to see them. They, too, should be in the Edinburgh Festival…

      Legal Situation: Still not settled. I curse the day I walked into Emile-the-Rat's office and asked him to help me with a few legal problems. He made everything 100 times worse. Thank you, Will Reed.

      Last words: I try to keep the End of the Year Report to two pages. I know that I have left out a lot of information and people. It is inevitable that it should be thus. Nevertheless I hope that you all have had a good 2005 and that 2006 will be even better for you and for everyone on our dear old Planet Earth. I hope that our paths cross somewhere in the coming days, weeks, months. I hope that your health stays superb. I hope that you have lots of love in your life. Let's hope that sanity prevails and we stop killing each other. Let's accept each other's right to live a long and happy life on this over-crowded Space Ship called Earth. I look forward to getting your news, getting feedback on the new web site and to breaking bread with you and to exchanging hugs and kisses. Over to you now.

Jim Haynes
December 2005

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




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