Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 695

Year End Report
10 December 2008

2008 : Another year of life on Earth. It just keeps getting better and better. I cannot believe it sometimes. Life has treated me extremely well. I have had it all: wonderful lovers, loyal and dear friends, amazing adventures, vast travels, good health and lots of fun. I started life in Louisiana, teens in Venezuela, boarding school in Atlanta, university in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, military service in San Antonia, a very creative period in Edinburgh, wild exciting swinging London, erotic exploration in Amsterdam, and a wonderful forty years in Paris. A free ticket to travel around the world: Bombay, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, L.A., Houston, New York, London and Paris. Five travel books enabled me to spend a lot of time in Eastern Europe and Russia. I have attended festivals and conferences in Edinburgh, Helsinki, Warsaw, Budapest, Florence, Calcutta, Havana, Zurich. I married a beautiful and sensitive woman and she and I co-produced a wonderful son. Viveka is now married to a Swedish sculptor and they co-produced a lovely daughter. Our son, Jesper, is a photographer who lives in New York City in the autumn and Spring, winters in Toyko and Bangkok, and summers in Stockholm and Paris. Am I not one lucky fella?

Atelier A2 : Almost 40 years now in this incredible sculptor's studio. If it could eventually be owned by a Foundation that would see it would always be home for poets, writers, composers, etc a long time into the future. Of course I would like to continue to be here, hosting dinners for people from all corners of the world. If would be wonderful if dinners could continue here for decades to come.

Emile-the-Rat: It looks like a decision will be made in my long-running case against the Rat-Lawyer sometime in the Spring of 2009. Disbarred in America and France, let's hope that justice will prevail.

Kolkata Film Festival : I have just returned from my third Calcutta Film Festival. And I have been asked to continue to serve as a Consultant to the Festival and to plan to be with them again next November. It was a wonderful experience. I can highly recommend it.

Health: I had an operation this past June. Two lumps were removed from my throat. They were non-cancerous. The Cochen Hospital treated me like a visiting Prince. The price was right as well. The tax-payers of France picked up the bill. Thank you, fellow tax-payers.

Jesper: My son and I just talked. He is spending the winter as usual in Bangkok, staying with Yvan & Guk Cohen. I made my first trip to Bangkok, also staying with Guk & Yvan. Birds fly South in the winter. Jesper is a very smart lad.

House Guests : At the moment, two lovely ladies are staying in the atelier. But one, Kelly Miller, is off next week to New York City and Seattle. The other, Amanda Morrow, will make a flying trip to London, but will be back to celebrate the New Year in Paris. Recently, Kaja Cencelj stayed a few weeks, but has returned to her home in Ljubljana. She says she is coming again soon. There are lots of visitors coming to Paris in the next few weeks.

New Year's Eve Party : For the third year in a row, I am co-hosting with Lionel Bloom a party in his Swan Bar. If you would like to attend, please let me know because we are limiting it to 60 individuals. Champagne will flow.

National Public Radio : Recently I was asked to write a short essay (500 words or less) for NPR with the title "This I Believe". I dashed off something and they said they liked it. Now we await the next step.

Trips : Briefly was in Amsterdam early in the year to be filmed and interviewed for a TV programme for Arte about "the sexual revolution". This year there were two trips to Edinburgh (Thank you, Ruth Holloway & Martin Burke) one in June for the Film Festival and one in August for the Book and Theatre Festivals (52 times). In May, thanks to old friend, Nevenka Koprivsek, I participated in a Conference in Ljubljana. I attended the Prague Writers' Festival for the third time (Thank you Vlasta Brtniková & Michael March). I also attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for the 41st time (Thank you, Brigitte & Erich Bernhard). I made my first trip to Bangkok, in November, (Thank you Guk & Yvan Cohen) and my 5th trip to India (Thank you, Nilanjan Chatterjee). I visited friends in London on my way to Edinburgh. (Thank you, Ernie Eban). Plans to visit Odessa, Lotz, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, etc did not materialize. But maybe in 2009…

Trips (cont'd): In 2009 I would like to repeat all the trips I made in 2008 plus a few more. I have been asked to be on the Jury of a Film Festival in Slovakia. I still wish to visit Kiev and Odessa. Maybe sail into Odessa from Istanbul.

Arte TV : Yvonne Debeaumarché, assisted by Juliette Armanet, made a documentary about the sexual revolution, the newspaper, SUCK, and our West Dream Film Festival. I was briefly famous in my local super market.

Sunday Dinners : They continue. Great cooks equals great meals; great guests combined with great meals means fabulous parties. When the atelier is sold, they will continue as "movable feasts", wandering from The Swan Bar to various restaurants I like.

A2 Gallery : There were only three shows in 2008: Photographic "Icons" by Chuck Rapoport, "watercolors" by Claudia Hutchins and "photographs" by Philippe Gérardin. I still would like to have a show from Susi Weiss, John Calder and Mischa Richter.

The Hotel Project : It didn't happen for various reasons. Is it still on the burner? Well, yes and no. The economic upheaval certainly doesn't help. There was one building that Antonia liked. And there is one hotel we both like. Alas, it is not for sale.

Autobiography : The newsletters, now numbered almost 700 and dated from the late 60s, are a form of on-going autobiography. Also Howard Aster's festschrift, In Praise of Joy, certainly covers a great deal of material. But I need to be motivated to produce volume II of Thanks for Coming! Like a publisher's large advance for example.

Obama : Well he did it and the world let out a sigh of relief. Still the expectation level is so high, there will be disappointments. I voted for the second time in my life in a presidential election. The first time I lost (Kerry) and the second time (Obama) was more or less a wasted vote because I had to vote in Louisiana (a red state) and I "lost" again. Maybe I should move to Florida or Ohio where my vote would mean something.

We are near the bottom of the second page where I am to stop/wrap this thing up/ say something profound/ all of the above. I had my 75th birthday in November in Calcutta. One feels the Grim Reaper is about to knock on the door anyday now. Yet I feel still young, still excited by life, still ready for love, adventure, projects, friends new and old. Send me your news. Better still bring me your news. I will have another bed in any new place acquired. You are always welcome. May 2009 bring you much joy. And may the world stop fighting…


Jim Haynes
December 2008

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




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