Jim Haynes newsletters

Newsletter No. 73
9 November 1984

The Frankfurt Book Fair
The Warsaw Jazz Jamboree
"Paris Exiles"

On the 30th of October, High Noon, outside Le Palette, rue de Seine, while waiting for Sveeva Vigeveno and her beautiful daughter, Allana Lesaux, to join me for lunch, I begin making a few notes for a new newsletter. Sveeva arrives and tells me that Bulle Ogier's daughter, Pascale, is dead, a heart attack. And she is only in her early 20's. Oh no...

Allana arrives and we talk about dance. And I tell her about Cathy Sroufe's classes.(It is rumoured that Cathy and Yves will marry in early December. Oh well it could not happen to two nicer people!) Then Sveeva and I go to see Rajak Ohanian's superb photographic exhibition. It is so full of life it brings tears to my eyes. Thanks, Rajak!

But I cannot seem to get away from death. Bill Levy writes me from Amsterdam to give me bad news. Laurie Langenbach is dead. Only 37 years young. Laurie wrote for "SUCK", for Hello, I Love You!, and published a number of novels. And my oldest Telelangue student, Jacques Cerf, tells me his father died suddenly. Out of the blue. What can one say to Death? Alas, not very much, because no matter what one says, it doesn't make any difference. Death strikes and Life goes on. I only met Pascale once or twice, I have not seen Laurie in years, and I have never met Jacques' father. I can only say I am sorry.
Tomorrow I will be 51 years young! I feel great - not a day over 27. I love life. Every second has been great. Yes, there have been a few minutes of pain, here and there. Every time a beautiful woman refuses to go to bed with me for example. But this only lasts a few seconds. And I continue to live life to the fullest and to thumb my nose at all pain and difficulty. There is a silly saying "That good Americans when they die will go to Paris" - well I am very much alive and am beginning my 16th year teaching at the University of Paris VIII and about my 12th year here at Atelier A2. This is Heaven! Hooray!

I took the night train from the Gare de l'Est to Frankfurt the 2nd of October. I usually ride with Fershid Bharucha but someone hit his car one morning on his way to his office. So it was a romantic train trip this time. Martin Lehberger and I stayed in Brigitte Behnke & Erich Bernhard's apartment (they were in Italy on holiday.) As always a great people event. I love the Book Fair. Last year I stayed most of the time at the Faber & Faber Stand - because my autobiography was on display - but this year I was back with dear pal, John Calder. Jenny Brown, who directs the Edinburgh Book Festival, also helped John. It was another good reason to be based at John's (i.e. Jenny is wonderful!).This year I acted as an agent on several occasions. That is to say, I attempted to bring together people in order to help both parties. Martin and I passed a lot of our evenings at the Café Laume which Rowohlt Verlag took over again this year. (I am able to repay some of the hospitality to Inge Krahn because she and her friend Wolfgang are visiting Paris this week.) One of the high points was a dinner with John Flattau, Ralph Gibson, and Arne Lewis. Alex Stefanovic joins us. Then Unn Palm and her associate, Susanne, enter the Indian Restaurant and we insist they join us as well. A crazy delightful evening. I met a young school girl from Köln, fell in love with her, and stupidly did not take her address. I spent a lot of time with Carole & Lyle Stuart at their Stand. Lyle gave me one of their tote bags which I use every week when I go to the University. And I stupidly did not go to dinner one evening with Robert McCrum and Jaco & Elisabeth Groot. (Robert is largely responsible for my autobiography being published by Faber & Faber. I understand that his new novel has me in it, but I have not seen the book yet. And Jaco & Elisabeth are coming to Paris the end of Nov, so I hope we can dine together this time.) What else is there to report? Well, Alexandra Stefanovic is as beautiful as ever. I renewed an old friendship with Elliott Landy and met his lady friend, lovely Leslie Wines. I saw Jan Meng (who directs the Athenaeum Bookshop in Amsterdam); Sonny Mehta and Hilary Davies - both on the run; Charles Skilton, Pete Sinclair, Gillian Brandt, Sheila Colvin, and oh so many more wonderful people...

"Paris Exiles" is a new literary magazine that is being published from Budapest. No, from Paris of course! (Speaking of Budapest, I want to go there soon!) John Strand and Randall Koral are the co-editors and young Jim Haynes is Associate Publisher (whatever the hell that means... It means I wish to help the project get off the ground.) Cindy Koral is helping. At the moment we are looking for advertisers for the first issue that is scheduled for early December. All help appreciated. First issue is looking good, with several Handshake authors to be included. A Sarah Bean story for one. Anyone who would like to order the first issue can do so via yours truly.

Paula calls in the middle of typing this newsletter, so I must include her… OK, dear one?

The week before the Warsaw Jazz Jamboree both Mike Zwerin and I had bad colds. Every day one of us would call the other to check on progress. Anyway, both feeling weak, we boarded an Air France flight for the two-hour short hop to another world. We were met at the airport by Pawel Brodowski and my friends, Barbara Hoff and Robert Kulesza. Upon seeing these three, I felt immediately better. I had come to Poland, not for the concerts, but to see dear friends. That night I dined with Barbara and Robert in the Old Town and they brought me up to date. The next day I wandered about. I met Hanna Sobieraj (and she showed me photos of her two angels); Bogda Janowicz said that she was going to be in Paris and London in November. I successfully took the bus to the airport and watched the warm welcome given to Willis Conover (whose Voice of America Jazz program has been listened to by millions of appreciative Poles for over a quarter of a century). It was his 25th "Jazz Jamboree" (and my 3rd.) I talked with Mike and Pawel and they told me about the wonderful dinner I missed chez Roman Waschko. I also saw Tomasz Tluczkiewicz, President of the Polish Jazz Society, and thanked him for all that was about to unfold. Everyone departed for central Warsaw and I awaited the arrival of the flight from London. For some reason or other, I had talked Fanny Dubes and Jim Campbell to come to the festival. And to our amazement, it happens. Soon the three of us are embracing and laughing. Minutes later we head for the 7° Forum Hotel. Thanks to Marieta Brzezanska, we three have rooms. Jim and Fanny cannot believe how easy everything is. Later we go to the Aquarian Jazz Club for a reception for Willis Conover. And there we meet lots of old friends: Marta Martelinska, Anna Kulicka, Beata Krupska. Later Jim, Fanny and I taxi to the Old Town, walk about, and visit with Barbara and Robert.

Thursday the Festival begins! At 6pm attend the opening of a photo exhibition and meet W. Patrick Hinely (and his wife Beedle). He has won lst prize. Pawel gives a speech. Then walk the short distance to the Sala Kongresowa and four concerts. At midnight I go with Anna Kulicka and Jan Kaczmarek to a party given by the German Cultural Attaché, Laurids Wilscher, and his actress wife, Lee-Elisabeth Langner. It is a great party which continues until 10am the following day. I meet lots of people, but fall in love with Katarzyna Gintowtzka. Unfortunately for me she is married and her husband is at the party. Jan drops me at the Forum Hotel about 4am.

Friday is a beautiful day. After breakfast I meet Fanny and Jim in the Old Town and then we walk the shot distance to Barbara Hoff's apartment. She and Robert take us on a wild tour. I leave them at a taxi stand in the middle of I don't know where in order to keep an appointment with an old student of mine, Barbara Zarzycka. As I enter the Forum, I see Daniel Topolski with Anna Kulicka. He has just arrived from London! Daniel and I were at the Jazz Jamboree together in 1981. After a warm talk and late lunch with Barbara Zarzycka, I meet Barbara Hoff and Robert to go to a theatre performance. Alas it is cancelled, the actress is ill. We rush to Hoffland and pick up lots of presents - for me, for Corine, for Jack Moore, for Margie Clay, for Bozena Lasota, and other friends. Then again to the Sala Kongresowa for more concerts. Chat briefly with Ornette Coleman and meet a pretty lady called Urszula.

Saturday begins with a communal breakfast with all the gang. Later Daniel Topolski and I have lunch with Andrzej Blikle and his beautiful wife and delightful son. Back to the Sala Kongresowa for the Ray Charles Concert. I manage to slip two people into the concert. Jim Campbell is very excited. He compares Ray Charles to William Shakespeare! The Concert is "pure show biz". At 6pm, I walk to the Opera House and see a wonderful ballet. Afterwards I am invited to a reception, but for some reason I do not attend. Silly me. Walk over to the Sala K, listen to one number by Ray Charles, then exit. Go to another auditorium. Lots of young kids sitting on the floor reminds me of hippie-London in the 60's. Go back to the hotel. Jan Kaczmarek passes and we have a long good talk.

Sunday is my last day in Warsaw. Lots of tension in the air because of the missing Priest. After several attempts, finally talk with Malgorzata Posluszna and we agree to meet at the airport. (I fell in love with Malgorzata my last night in Warsaw in 1981 and we have been writing to each other ever since. I received a "Happy Birthday" telegram from her yesterday.) At 11:30, check out of the hotel and go to the airport with Robert K and Barbara H. Jan K comes in his car too. Jan gives me one of his records. Malgorzata is there. We hug each other. And she gives me a record (which I discover when I open it in Paris to also be a Jan Kaczmarek record!) There is an announcement: "Because of fog, our flight is delayed". We return to Barbara's apartment for tea. Robert goes to Forum Hotel to look for Jim and Fanny. I encourage Barbara to call the airport to check on my flight. They tell us to return to the airport immediately; flight is about to take off. Jan drives us four very quickly. At 7pm, Jack & Corine meet me (and Ray Charles) at Orly and we return to a Sunday night feast - cooked by Jack! It is always good to be home, but I miss my many pals in Warsaw. More soon. No more room.

 

Love & hugs from Jim in Pareeee....

 

Jim Haynes
9 November 1984

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

 

 

 

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