Draft of Marianne Hauser's autobiography


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Draft of Marianne Hauser's autobiography
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Hauser, Marianne
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Folder: Autobiography- Rough Draft and "Discarded Pages of Last Draft" Sent from New York. 1987


Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States of America -- New York

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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Full Text

I've never been tempted to write the traditional auto biographic

novel.Maybe I wouldn't know how to. The outer framework of a

so-called reality would quickly vanish if I were to coax it into

romance. Fiction means self exposure from the inside out.

I'm speaking for mys&f. No two writers rink from the same well,
for which I
unless they write for the market, a skills oxmmankumxmlspamEi
hopelessly lack motivation,
H j modaxa^ Bxdaaxhita php au&^ndaneas

SI My life? But change that to lives.I've had more than one.

Not that I am hinting at metampsychosis. I've been t9 involved in

the moment to puzzle over an existence after death.perhaps

instead of multiple lives I should speak of repetitive shaos -

S the order of chaos: an archetypaal source for all fiction.


At my age, close to 80 the human c ndition resembles more

and more a theaT f thf p rdoes and

political insanity. On-my passport; iud after old war II,g

I wae-bo~ in France. xB xd xRwm mlmmzmmbrm mbmfarxWmiDtlaxqi xa x

But on my birth ce ificatg 'issued before world War, I w

While la ntcB tors, omn like myself in Alsace-Lorraine prior
to / /-z ^ r -
Iha~iam the Franc-.prussian War (1870/71 ) w'- pr~ech. I could

go on beck into atT darker ages. Our province left of, th
beti-een Qwj powers,
Rhine has been a continual battleground ampammmolima

Wars have maimed and decimated our population, have beemna----

mjor -themo for our folk-lore and haqe sustained thepdxlt-I~a-

mistrust U da o ri.rrn b--re*tat. A popular verse

may illustrate oCr grumpy dipo.sltion:

Hans in his mosquito hole
has everything he wants
and what he has he doesn't want
and what he wanys he doesn't have
HOns in his mosquito hole

I've translated from the Alsatian patois, an odd mixture of
Swiss-German gutturality and Faench idioms. The "hole", I guess,
which breeds an oversized species
refers to the saip swam* parts of the Rhine basin, thSugh some

regional scholars insist that here, too, we are dealing with an

allegory of war.j


Time lost contracts the start of world war I into an
image. I am holding a/toy pig the size of my hand. I'm stroking

the pmha velvet as I peer through the wrought iron work of our

balcony, down at a noisy crowd. I hear a voice (mother's?):

He (the Kaiser?) has dragged us into it (la guerre?). The scene,

the sounds, are afterthoughts. Only the soft toy pig in my hand

remains a constant,

or images evolve as the war g s underway. p stern

pnted underground passe -Aurtiv y ig or ap
a r-i .pped..d&wn, by sp ke helm ed men-,
pro ideA ma ~ne gruesome sp et Alsace s as a half naike
ravage ide liy chained to a cli on the l-e#4b _k

S Dora Shortly before the eenfo e war, Sh
we are very oee, DamnaEte and I .Wkheanaha dies meningitis,

an epi~.lic brought on by the war -r war death become

twerauma. ,^


Other images evolve as the wa gets underway nd posters

provide me with kin information, why is Alsave shown as a

half-naked bride? 4~A big black bow atop her head is askance.
^4(/ ,S 4S J^^g-^-^j^S0^^^. t 'Jla ac^rs ^

That spike-helme russian, who leers from behind a Iree,has

kidnapped her and chained her to a rock, ready to plunge amm

his bayonet into her bosom

Across the poster the cry for REVANCHE curls like a

crimson rope. Mediocre art work. But great propaganda, aaps

mother. ShC i--of-French blood, but wea born and raised in Berlin.

Her Hugue ot ancestors well-heeled Calvinists

m nca tholi- rution i rr settlejin- r-fftort in
mill ionaire
prussia more than a century before; however, her/father, an odd

ball, to put it charitably, delighP to pose as anexile. e= a

man iti. The original family name Fouqubre has long
since simplified to Fouquert o ickert imay adopt any

spelling At will. Om vacation in France, he plays the prussian

eemsantIn Berlin, he plays the Frenchman deplace. When mother

came to lsace as a young bride, the patrial seesaw must have

hit her like a dejh vue,

My grandfather's type poseur, acteur manqud pops up

throughout my writings in mamnm~magx man in endless disguise,

perhaps because of mother's endless tales about her childhood

how he throws an inherited fortune ma out the window, literally:

tossing gold coins into the street for the poor kidst to pick

up; or celebrating his wife's birthday by hiring the royal

ballet to perform at his house.A megalomaniac, obvitsly. nadB to
indifference &o money A
me his ixdiffemxrnammoxmmmy or total disdain for it has an
element of the heroic,mAnd his sudden Ifimamndalxm bankruptcy

fitting the mold. Yet his family is unprepared for the financial

dmam collapse which goes to show what a good actor he proved go

the initu rend.When his fortune has vanished, hi estate gone

under the hammer down to the last gtld rThte"d hp--, he switches

roles from Midas to tramp, gadding about in ragged old togs, and

leaving his wife and children ini hopeless indigence, with my

mother whoasm barely 15, the chief victim.

From riches to rags.But the reaim plot is tooo brutally real

to 4it yesterday's dime novel or today's soap. HrI~mmfm His wife ,
his little daughi
a fragile,-3-egent lady, attempts suicide. It's up to ~i
mAAtt his wife
to help support ii and the two youngest of four brother 09er t,

the Little princess has become the Little Matchgirl Eo quot

mother She has to take whatever job is offered her, always at
the lowest pay -- in sweatshops, eateries, in the factories of the ne,

Industrial Age. And worst, she'll have to stand up against

the male ethics of the 19th, century which-cfgards an underage
no ecle-t-an i
working girl Inyadnydult female worker, aa a s a potential

whore. Sml wonder that ilm 4-the child,,Aevery male be s a
threeas.ad a potential rapist,


Her narrow lips tensen as I or my sister slyly co~ the conversation

toward sex, already sure of her reaction: Intercourse is soley meant

or reproduction. gf eakeinnocent surfrse. But behind her back

we bifn giggle, who does she think she's kidding?

Bhltt she was dead serious. It took me years to comprehend the

reason for her&denial ysh identified us with her former ,threatened

self. Throughout her adolescence, men had symbolized aggression.

For her, it wasn't a matter of morality, but of survival.

Onmi$8gmW!? Hr.e / Q7 dC ^
Bmmm -h tha-th very pknte- nanp .gy.atins her views om
sex and women s rightsmmemm far ahead of her time. Exper .eqp and-Mn --

Rousseau, Havelock Ellis, Marx Hoe-~ -a laP t. g i"mpn 4- .

In her twenties, she joins in the atests against the i famous tial

of Oscar Wilde. She gets to reaa ola via the Dreyfus affair.
At that time she has already become a/dress designer for a paris

department store. pj1-s- A- -
She and father /
shecmemmcfaihemr meet at a vermissage where her portrait is
on exhibition. A life-sized canvas, academically proficient and /

incredibly ideiized. Mother's work-scarred hands amm hay -tu_ 4

a smooth, flawless white. She has been t.raiaaad into a languid,

swan-necked meaiaj lady in chiaroscuro. yet something intangible

about the face reflects mother.r e2t a -


I remember the picture well. It was the mobt intrusive presence

in our house, moving wherever we moved, the false realism of her

likeness constituting, perhaps the one fixed element of my childhood

and early youth.


'edla"t g L Mefo- in 4 a3rnaa.inoBi-t t Ether bought

the portrait after th ir marriage, h-at attracted hia -e-~ e mos
W i~~iCn rt's t8 couldn't abide
,was the aftisatmhf r ftsmanship He coiommia emduuam careless work

His sketchbooks -- crayons of landscapes, flowers and faces _-- mon

Lnrt authenticity and tenderness. I own the/one of *kv-many

sketchbooks which has survived two wars and related inaanitites. From

a fogged Strasbourg harbor I tinn zurn the pages to forgotten toys:
stTff MW
a sitir Japanese doll,aBA a glum bear, Thampnmim I searchtrimmqmgn
my for which I sat ,
for itae portrait mimnLmif&2~m -maybe at- wilve, in a red dress,
with my pigtails brdded so tight, my ears hurt I searchin vain,% "
rdpp mL ue-t-'T- been
.in~s ae -4 ..-....+. ...

Mrbe may-faee IB in one of the other sketchbooks, those that are lost


( d- y A ter's sbamamlim tIms etmdSt~ background ae

S"w, dramatic 1 mother's. His people are siatBTe middle class shop-

keepers and, J ,-ew at least officially, The fact that they are a mixture

of Jewish and Arab blood, the ~~m ne preferred to deny or

hush up, God or Allah Iy know why. By the end on the 19th

century, the family ts, moved across the Rhine, from a townlet

in Baden to Strasbourg where their tool store will a~ y

tsanw into a small manufacturing business.

At my.birth, my paternal grandfather haO already died. But grand-
mothermnam much alive, a solid matriarch and tireless, story teller.
Fmmxmuasam ghe dominates %JW years of Worl war I, because, save for an
mmaid can t entertain me
unforgettable uncle, she mmuidimbe counted on f ammmmm rn panyw cby-p )

SMy sstprs are in school and father has been ensl Ved- by the

S^Eaa, e. Though he is by profession a patent

attorney he hnppa n tn ave a doctor in chemi try g~m#&W"4 g b"KmdaTaf

Smtam*xthmxarxthauBmamiPa m;uar iat mat an ammunition plant

somewhere along the fluid border.

And mother? wett-P he too is away. During his absence hm she
is in { hasmkakwn full charge ofermicimEicmem office, meaning I see her even

less than before. e
or her husband
Throughout my memory, she has been working for and with mPmiakhm*m.

Their collaboration began soon after their wedding when ge opened his

practice.She had the business expertise he sorely lacked. Both

by necessity and inclination she wasa working mother.


i {A patent lawyer's world is a crazy combine of practicaliti
J6 \ and Sfmisam Sci-Fi. ( ther/l Jues Verne- p .- p- p iee)

Down-trodden inventors, on the verge, maybe, on momentous discoveries,

are pitched against industrialists hungry to buy them out. I've
used the cOfVj scenario in one of my novels (DarkDominion)

where the office ofa patent lawyer -- the heroine's lover--

expands into her fantasmagoric dream life. :iorihemmdm

Mother deals with the practical side of the show-- a growing

office staff, an international clientele. The staff adores her.
has a knack for we
Clients confide in her. She tmaImmaxpewamat what tS now called

P.R. ; a remarkable gift for striking a balance between efficiency

and patience. But at home, that balance often breaks down. at home

she might be given to t~3u-i emotional outbursts -- hysteria, they
C CL WO&e, j^ L, )^^z^. CeJ L"-
called it then; displays df irratioHal an e I think ,in

o*a4 -- __Qlf t egasie o' her eyet past,

Aovlever, I rarely see her when she make it home from work, bone

tired. I only hear her. '-=1Tf@FE, I've been Jut to bed before she



Isve-rrr- ea what her anger is all about. It certain y uldnt
concern e r-CA,
boexdimEmxmnxeomasz the help whom she treats with extfrvagan L-sienia.

If nonmxmufmrima nuriemai governess or whatever he- title, will stay ,

it's my fault, wiam I have gained the reputation of an noxious

brat, overacti ve, undernoufished ,amdm undweight. Impossible

to manage, suitce mother has rued out the rod.

/Luckilf/, when I'm about *, a British n y takes
aged / o o crippled 0
She's carried go an agmii Alsatian ,wv'eItam mi i# the war of l71
S*4 )'/-- C, i o-/ so she laughs at
-an as a norm she &'rrives smStt4ram@ a dru ,tam1ng5rcxmy
/ by\~henanigane She talks and talks, alwy s in .nglish,to herself
mdi 1bi1mamnes a I
or (She is distant model for tBe-btab e JI in The Talking Room).

Autumn, 1917 -- the last and eev year of the war. The

air attacks increase. so do her ni-h~Ly fits of despairo--arngeis

Is she raging against the war lords? But more likely she is ft -fs

at Dora hIt'-elate, and hWr bed alongside mine is still empty.
Shrapnel splashes imto the river Ill oadmidemghe C4'ar-

Fbr once the air raid siren isn't blasting and I wont be herded d

Almn into the cold cellar,. "a, -

Yes meo-termma efe!ee for coming home ate.
I don't catch the words.But I can imagine and instantly side with

my ql4s sister She is my best friend, already fourteen and tall ,
with long black jair and dark eyes and a skin like a summer tan .
fV'^i. /
I won't go to sleep till she's told me where sie sA (s

We cover up for each other. We have no secrets.

But when she areeps at last int e-~a room, she d

answer me. I dress.I hear he d onto the ed

and ntoan: my poor head... -
--,- _--- ...7 ....R


he died of menengitis an epidemic braou-nghrt oi by the war.

It took me over forty years before I was able to write of er-
ia.th, or indeed abomaik strasbourg and the war and my mother's
-.ar h ,... a,./ ...cr"
burden of irrXtional guilt: @B FOl BR t iaa Pcmftoma ibatmPPsa
Ljf 51 4^ Cclri /^ t^ e^ 3/ ,<>^ 7 tttese,
- Mt Her death ,[/ Pm i gW Qa ms.rostatoio of- BBmePmm Ie,

thanghxw~an a grief BMaib 'mxdmp too deep to admit.

alaibkmm "i -7tad bee, .-poked off to&.agrandmother-7 '

P -n ,1 .. --n-i- /.! "on w "'9-va t.. .. t" 'i f ** '"

When'mother hears us babble away, shem in En sh, she doubles
nanny's salary, provided sherli stay a y rf. She stays and imas
Airinks and acquaints me with a language xkwuam which will become part
some-, as yet
of me at naAnHRAAinimmaiIManimmea rable future.


Today we had odle soup.
// ,.



Sne 7ust have gone into a coma that night, already ding of

merfiLnitis one of the epidemics brought on by the war. bm For

everforty years I could not bring myself to write about her death,

or mothdrts irrational sense of guilt over it. Nor could I write about
*A&- k0- % all
Strabonurg mm the war ighikmajemming tramm components/of that

one feath and of a I was I as too young to concede.

I did not cry when I was told thexaxtii that she1a dUIL Instead I

went into a fit of moronic laughter, only when I finallywm wrote

the story, did I burst into a sudden flood of tears, -crying

spell as uncontrollable as had been alaughter.

Shappened to e in Texas, that state of emaes and magic,

when I fund the key to he story wh~ahwich hadn't even been on my
at the time. ere on our way to Mezico Mrd-
mind. nmmthamtibasp. MY --g

rmagh--tnmiSl when something went wrong with our old car and
for repairs Thor* And as we waited at an
we had to gtop masa in San Antonio, mS w@mEiwafi em@mPaie m
outdoor case in the sun above the numn
xaxXggf aa8iearm Y Arneson River, my memory taped

reeled backward, transporting me to the ytrasbourg of my childhood

and of war. Whatever the catalyst -- the mmuma lgamx algous green
an old
of the water, the dank smell the rippled mirror image of/ambridge

or the lazy slap of a wavelet against the embankment --I found

myself amidst the countless canals that zigzag, dark green and mainmo

narrow, through the medieval heart of the cityTkhxmemmakham hgamAifg

mammnamxaxmkmam foxmamamminuxmxmim mx

The trp was over in no t e Fred re as ow I told m

,eCity excitedly t I c i wa t the

n story- as all about. t was about a -

In no time, the timeless trip had stopped. I was back in

San i tonio. pF? jp;at-j ~to .ae Fred folding the Texas

road map when I told him the spectacular news: I had found the

clue to the long deferred story. The clue was water.

'Waer music. Fred nodded. He was a musician.


I have no faith in Freudian connections. But our dream

surgeons may get a kick out of the following recurrent dream:

After her death, I dreamed I was afoat under water, alone in the

big public pool. There was no danger in this nightly acquatic

maneuver, no fear at all, which is odd in view of my real life

terror whenever my head went under in thepool or the tub.
:Peimmerse myself 6aE'~a--
I'ud wake up briefly, ready tommnigSmaMlim r 4jRW without

drowning, and proud that my sheets bad stayed dry. For up to that

time I had wetted my bed, a nuissance beyond my control, until her

death or my dream achieved the mira C '

I named the story "Allons Enfants"/ of course I wrote it in

English, a --mm f-at I--wTE3t at mention iT1- cr

Cpet4 y asked (as was Nabokov) did I translate from my

native tongue. _!don't. Besides, I have twohative tongues

though (unlike Nabokov, l 4 ngual-wcC d rd) IlveA t my fluency

in both.






"Alloms Enfants" comes perhaps closest to actual experience,
though und4r the surface, facts merges with fiction to get at
a more complex trith.It happens by instinct. The characters take eves
and he writer follows orders. In "Allons Enfants" i't demanded-
anu/average, middle classhome. My own was too consciously aesthetic
-- hand crafted ceramics and hand bound books, first editions behind
glass and art nouveau furnishing and lamps designed by father
Such a stage set would have &fi'~ene. the playeo- -. I twe-to--
gi-ve--tem Fe typical bourgeois home, one that most resembled
grandmother s.
Indeed to me -"rws the ideal home.I'd rock in her old
rocking chair until the myriad family photos on etagbres and
walls would spin thlfu ,h my head and the wazen apples on the
tumble from thecut glass bowl.
credenza would seem to g~, IWTxIR ai4g6x"bbyW8
She 4a my aunts and school chum lived like what I ztill call-
"real" people. immeaIa mm m C

IFN4e my sister s would be in school, sh pick me up to
the audible r ef of governess n maid or whiammH d --
whoever happened to m k aft me.None was likely to stay for
lon.g,. I was overact di obedient and impossible to discipline
since mother ruled out the ro I didn, t listen, they said.
B 1tid listed to r dothr d take me on walks
Stalling me sRories whir es tkne
thr ugh the Orangerie hanmitnmgme by the hand I wouldn't
stray onto the flower beds on the fomal lawns.


Weekday mornings, grandmother wea- a-exbae to take me for a

walk,to the audible relief of whoever has beenhiel' to look after

me.N8 governess or nursemaid will stay a n They say I'm overactive

and disobedient --impossible to discipline since mother has ruled

out the rod.I donrt listen, they say.

But I'd listen to grandmother. She letsKme jump ahead of her

on the gravel paths among the formal flower beds and statues of

the Orangerie, cr-tlT that I won't stray onto the manicured

law nsmm She has that silent authority, and neednt restrain me
degrading __ _
by grabbing my wrist -- a paimfu, method adults w*i sometimes

use to keep me in check.

Uncle Ludwig doesn't have eo uhBc- e. be ue-magic,

a bidhe Since Dora io

forever, he has become my best friend.Like equaks, we march hand in

hand across A covered bridgeS, through the old city. The ancient
timbered houses are mirrored in the dazn, slow- flowing canals.
stop andA ; washer
Held/t irk-t. the washeaxwomen who'd be be kneeling on the

cobble stones along the canal, their bunched up skirts behind them

like black baloons as they'd scrub and rinse their linen in the

murky water. They*--arely use soap, soap is rationed.

Food is rationed. Since I'm the youngest the shortages hurt me the

most. I'm underweight and often sick. I'm always hungry, When our

maid buys some beef on the black market, it turns out to be crawling

with maggots. Still she serves it up as boeuf h la mode. No one at ita

table waith will touch it, except myself. I devour my portion,

maggots and all. Uncle Ludwig, though a dedicated vegetarian,

approves. Clearly, I'm starved for meat. NIaggots too are meat, he

says. Eva retches I gloat. For once my stomach isn't empty.


Father was home on a brief furlough, but I didn't recognize
him, maybe b because he had grown a b eard. However, the

following morning, mother, too, looked like a stranger to me.

Were these people really my parents? More likely I was a foundlyg

the gypsies had P-~ o at our door,I revealed my new

identity to Uncle Ludwig whe-, e' my disappointment merely shrugged,

ill of us may be f Adi -, hesaid a statement which confused,
made me a giftmm&
me totally until my twelth birthday when he gaxrxmnmamemwn tmmumrmi
t 4 ) I t &4 C e c / o e A L I O -. -1
which &d a profound iffolece-, B6m-mai f. ti y 7 -O
e o' 4'v Z'- with
Stwo volumes on Kasper Hauser, cmanuaaing excerpts
from letters, police documents etc rekakdiKg mmBaitam to the

e of that early 19th century foundling,
/<),O g
49 44-L, A15

i' 6f ^I ^'! t- f

The enigma of his origin and murder absorbed me to the exclusion

of home work and games. I made him the hero of a puppet play

for which Eva, an art student then, created the puppets.He remained

my ghostly double when I was already a writer, convinced that

one day he would be a novel.I may have been in my early forties

when I started and discarded various attempts. And I forgot at

what age I at last found tl- voice for mammal im prince Ishmael.
Well over ten years ork went into th final version,
SmWElaaxStmt~em~ifRm mfX hmnmHx6o i imi$W mgT The number
of rejections before the book was published are astronomic,
only due to mmamifB Perry Kndwlton't faith
and itmimsxiamsxaymX matkIainm albhmemamcgFp
into the smog of Americats
did pmonxarmparEurope's child not fade sra~xmamfmwimma~h mIdtmrxaX

hlmiiriamyI literary horizon.
ma still was a long way from the first draft, when I

happened to be introduced to Vidal at a party.-A cousin of Kasper
resulting in a momentary, eerie
Hauser? he asked to my shock ,xgimingmnmm..fI xaxmymamm mthemaxmsm

feeling that he may have seconds sight as my uncle claimed

to posess after he had consumed a quantity of Gewuerz Tramiener.

x4kmm RW ims specre has brushed past neo-at rnamaramg
o k..,.t poet
other occasion most recently in,,Vte shpe of/Lee Vassel,
from Jamaica ,
an African-American a 77 B friat whose brilliance and nervous
remarkable uncle, e
energy conjure up 2 9adip e &I ePrJ eFt*,aF" ,
amateur musician
AreamB.mm t a mathematician amd mireagpMmM nMaimmaMMsm ,
MimhWi rin his ma ta ts cam
Jiaxmam x 2nkaaxm xmtmxaxpaMtm

Twelve ws my best age. My uncle's eagentricities and wisdom

Sre opening my mind to the worldThough he wa- a professor of

math and science -- two courses I regularly flunke- in school--

he wp also a musician, and above all a prodigious reader and

bibliophile.Thanks to his generous presents books ranging from

fiction ( Gogoll) to African folklore and polar expeditions, I

wtwsassembling an omiigenous library. I didn't read BafkuryiziRgxn all
nmiif the books. But there they stood in readiness --'am ambalgae

of endless possibilities and pride,
It never entered my head thit I Obuld oeomme a writer.

My supreme ambition was to become an explorer and see the world.


far away countries.
I'd had an itch for ibnmml at anmmihmearlier age, Whe aldt ta
a ,* be, my pvamp
would ask inane question what I'd like to dmmiaimmm m
myv answer was:
ansmmw mpaampxamulnd.i: in kiBma wmee ballet dancer or missionary.

Either career meant a chance to see the world. I-~loCr-- aP aleidy,-
i- __4 -U- into u mcf2l .
\ciie b m,-A-- -umm -xi ow=
chaLnala a y h.n.-- me- ake facing lessons,.1 and~i~E an myself as

a prima balerina on tour. The Creeyof missionary was more hazy*

ex pt or t fact tha I wou travel ..r-axmardam ai'Tke many xwmn
h A o turn heathens into Christiana
mj ei S ns seemed neg:igible tmmma and rather foolish. There was'nt

much religious talk in our house. Mother had no use for conventional

ChristianiAyr, least fro theri dreary, reformed protestants oteewh of

her past.And father, for cravonienoy, guess, had converted to the

Lutheran faith, though in his head he preferred anrmshemxpzmx to be

a -Moslem persona in A Thousand Nights and one (He owned the

unabridged Burton edition, and next to Jules Vernes and Schiller,

the tales of sham Shahrazad were his favorite readings.)

At twelve, with my future career established as an explorer,

I skipped, religion-wise or otherwise from extreme to extreme.

The romanesque- gothic grandeur of our cathedral khemasimmdezmfmzi1gh
turned me toward Catholicism, fo divine guidance(
MamBsmB emim emummmBxikaxatmiaKmmmaxBemamem I fervently prayed ind
front of Gruenewald,'d airam&ima0mar '.whenever I visited m'mm T m
~ammue in Colmar
mdlwmisPllPB rsamme Jewishe relatives who lived/in a medieval hpus
aft~ I had
ianaanshoaxnf. Butraminemnid read Frobinius on African culture, I became

an instant Pa.an. The more gods the safer. In a sense, that is

still my credo.


I went through sihamu strange sensations in my teens, -- as

though I were transported outside gdfmy bodyjira t~-B=LLoLud.~W"

I might s4~i perfectly still and feel sinny body turn into a
/kh a clear night I would
huge shell which comprised the universe.#r I mg~hA go nearly out

of my mind with excitement ovet the stars.hs"m'Bi@xbiTm5g

SW We. pftee ireror imagemir xmt:kkm in te mirroen

a y'.omBF Caspa in prince Ishmael). Th~-idL of the infinite.

or for a more grphic autobiographic example the old Quaker Oats

box with Quaker man with the box with the man in the box *... A

commercial label symbolizing th( mystery of the universe: mtham

1 suspect that's what pop art is all about.

I had no inkling that the symbol of limitless repetition

advertised a product from the New World. America was a mere consep#,

like the golden dollar or l'oncle d'Amerique. Of all the continents

I hoped to explore, the U.S-A, barely existed,


But here It11 take a huge leap, forward in time or backward in me
~8e8O, from Strasbourg Bas-Rhin to Berlin an der Spree., piatbhm

hasmI3mr Alsace were father taught me to skate and to ski in the

Vosges mountains were we mibmmdmfmnaimad climbed the mountains and
them luxuriant
hiked through vineyards and sitapled and drank wine with the vintners
at homes these
mm their amciemt, patrician fuat namaum -- all t~hi wonders I took
have benanma abandoned
for grantMP~fB been emmanram for the sandy wasteland of Branden-
burg. How could mother have oggggmo the move when everyone,._
relatives, friends, clients had implored him to reeorrnefr?'
of mother's camemifimm
The olv~ limarnmn overt signal Whm mtkmermgavmzmm
anxiety maumn a ar
heam asaikihtmaEB msmemapmmaed in a nightmare when we are already

settled in the gray capital: A gigantic moter in frock coat

and top hat is rolling his bulk across Europe, setting villages
The monster is the prussian war machine,
and field, ablaze with his fat cigar. That is how mother explains
A II-r-e-sa<
the dream to us -- as tough shef e the coming of Hitler from a
/ A
not e-remote horizon....

But the World war is past history. And because of the
advance in
League of Nations and the Bnkun stupendous pargazgxmaxmmamniManiMy

technology, war has become a chimera, ocordin to father

^ ~-, '^-C k
6L 0-T iA/&..-
o' g de- ELY~_ ~


Berlin in the late twentieth: Eva has been accepted by the

academy of Fine Arts to study painting. And father's new practice

is thriving, with mother working at the office as of old.

The drastic displacement seems to havd effected them much less than

me, at least fro my unfortunate perspective. For I am trapped

inmamsmbiiha by a highschool system so moronically teutonic,

monarchistica and pedantic, it brings out the devil in me.

The #eimar Repbplic is stull in its infancy.But already it

is being systematically murdered by its own educators. The strict

curriculum of the French Lycde was tough going. But it was at

least human, and heaven compared to the nationalistic trumpets

that are now blaring at me.

I can't keep my mouth shut. Diplomacy isn't my forte.I speak

my mind. No doubt Irm more obnoxious than necessary.At assembly,
makkes-j-n"eech, daommifmng call.Sg
when the principal onmamrmmamm.m-m m c aB ~p>m pamBmxKmin
for the Germans
-m6mdMaIB a hew Bismarck toleadmas from defeat to victory,
I Xaugh out aloud, Irm explllied.fremdschool. Dimgamamdxm

publicly disgraced, lut pid3iiaramm~mhmpinmmm himmpifa. No more

stuffy class rooms for me. However, mother iu _li re gt me

into one of the few liberal schools, IWat that point. formal

education has lost me for good.dplay hooky never feasable,

forging sick notes s8 I can go swimming or skating. NO skiing in

the sandy flats og lP~-an-d-aim.g.That I ever wormed my way through
the final exams and into the gmam Ubiversity of Berlin, is

short of a miracle.


I'll skip the farcial chapter of academe, as ,indeed, I skipped

most mmm courses at law schoolI can't recall why I enrolled there

in the first place.l1Maybe I tried to impress father. He had in

vain hop-d for a son, and sometimes hinted that one of his daughters

might mmnimday enter into partnership with him.But if he ever

considered me at all, he must have realized long ago how totally

unqualified I was for that calling.

I audit* courses which attracted me -- the history of painting

or architecture, and above all anthropology, zmmkniomaimssitp A mmffglM
mRaxx:xhax n i~Vx ks pA the MaM for my

finnkl ffper hi school paper I a "The mask in primitive
(f ^ i/ to"d rou.,h
societies", and iue fb~8 g research on iti mAlsemn and libkrris
,'hen I r&e-drawn to a siDject wit hout eing-e erce, I worked.
4M have /
But I had not thoughts about a future carrier. My urge to
travel was stronger than ever. But now it isn't tied to a specific

occupation. For my own amusement, I write little stories ,though

not for a moment does it enter my head that I could be a writer.
skate,or dance, blue
I am happiest when I liiexmimtheiBmmia or swim in one of the lakes
liamzm near the city,
that: .2 cgmPROcAm[Imc ~cg~IC gcag~f mpc@s I love to laze
have oayc one ambition: to acquire ammn a sun
in the sun I hawemnuiambitimtaximpi ernPitimdanaxamxiaixmm

tan so dark, pmekapxwiii will be taken for a Hindu or Mulatto,


We are advancing toward the thirties. :azi nrownshirts are

coming out of the alleys and flow into the streets like liquid

shit. The bashing of homosexuals and Jews, the murder of socialist

or commu ist workers have ceased to make front page news. Mother, s

prediction seems to come true: German democracy can't survive.

Hitler with hhe many unemployed for mercenaries, and Big Industry

his silent partner, wAll drag the world into a second war,

.t fther still insists that keSzaxmra another war is am--mss.

Shi3bli Does he really believe what he sg&B? It comes to me as

a shock how little I know him -- or mother. She with all her,
elsake him out of his belief that w?
_Qracular talk -- why can't she mminmmmmBmm? rBut they mgt both be
apei:4g_.down in the streets is a passing h
stuck in midlife iertia -- a thoughthowever which occurs to me

me only years later.

I take long walks through the city, or watch from a window

seat at one of the croi.ded cafes. Am I watching th grand finale,

a dance of death? But thiam surely that vision is a replay of

mother's, For a feel wildly alive .Iconoclasm in the arts -_film,

theatre, musicdP e(tenrds iirto- elerg-yiday-a-f and projects q false

sense of freedom. We'll go any length to shock tbe bourgeois.

BmI ::va -desinins an outrageous costume for me to wear at the annual
.je dance tWF.u6 mroirn~.
Arts 3all., kezfac m.ithalri:.Ldadimdnm!mmrii amsmrmtarm:..mxd through
the night That I return honr, still virgin, I credit to
mother's warnings about lethal abortions and syhelitic men.
MY. my to', e-e.
Indeed, my sister is mtin first acmaeducemmncmcm lo-er which means

all fun and no risk.


Iconoclasm extends fr=Q-mcT aT ts night li;f- "and gives us

a false sense of freedom, Wet go any lengt~to shockthe bourg ois,
4 h ~d -o4 truth /
Cgaeaa4r--f-the 1A tt it will be,.he bourgnS exa who'll
_-_- _,r ^^^^ "l Our --reed o -ef .,ur,
S 2he arbiter .L t a m.-itlerlandgrmed i E B bmximmnmxbimixtas
^a----, has-no-4 s, ,Apecially-. t the annual Ar 3a ll
M. I atzmzer tm at theannual Arts 3al / where Eva takes
Sme along~ iy fi-tYe is good an --te costumeshe designed for me is

\ out ageousThe fact tb I remain a yfrgin I credit to mot
Sarnipgs about IJfhal abortions an &-sphelitic me indeed, my sister

o seduce me -- a elightf d quite riskless little
.... a venture.


And so, as the world turns, I get married to a man I shall not

name. My choice of a husband with whom I have nothing in common

defies reason as did my choice to study law. iy parents are a called.

I am too young besidess tKey dislike the fellow
S ge ,o-;r learn
/t. motive behind my aud-i decision 44 I too did0 t sibaaam to dis.

like him a- day r -before the dreaded knot is tied.

Howe''er, the childish marriage has one rest of Paxammnm A

the greatest importance, ali**R B"to me. Th. Reichstag is betng

torched w bt~a I depart from Germany with my m .room we nlay honeymoon

on Capri, ^ try to play house in pais.
The idyl is of short duration. I split, and in time we divorce


I'm about 22, on my own ,in Paris and forced to earn a living.

No more support from my parents, since Hitler's rise to power,

the transfer of money abroad has become punishable with death.
I've taken a mmamb hotel room on the rive gauche. At day,

I'm blessed with a splendid view of Notre Dame. At night, I fight

the bed bugs. I czn take my meals with friends or relatives.

And many of father's clients who live in or near paris hamw offer

practical suggestions as to jobs.

Mlamih I can't face the idea of a regular job.(I never will.)

I sit down at my wobbly table and finish a juvenile "novel" at
high speed.The simplicistic pJal explains why this instant

opus -, one draft finds and instant publisher, in Germany,

in Switzwrland where it ist erialized, in France.Remarkably, the

truly naive plot ends with heroine's flight to .,merica, or more

precisely Washington D.C. which I then believed to be the cultural
At any rate,
hBEama center of the New World. AhampmmmmaminaaihM, the bmooh novel'

is my one commercial success and m* worst book.I gave it various

titles, including 7Seventee" blithely ignorant of Boothe

Tarkington or his famous bestseller by that same title.

I write i French and German -- short amusing aEan articles,

interviews with s"persoalities" fashion reports. My best market

is Switzerland. BymrcxmanRa ma& mmtbjiam I don't make another attempt
would have thought it presumtious
at fiction I write, but 1 m b xRg fmamIinaxm
to call myself'a weiter. I Wlll Cdline's "Voyage au bout de la i.
a d, shi hased, 'stcce ureaivoe t y-
mnat" obghi,aes,9uetsceph,]u V'ethpt

which shocks me into a cross, poetic reality. Agfhain Py desire to
No matter how, I must f 5m get
travels more urgent than ever. zrmmaixxgfhxaxamU

away. To stay in one place has become unthinkable.


My dream comestrue in Switzerland. In hnqaka Basle, across the

border from Asace, I'm offered a contract -tmacra tJSlPspata .
by the Basler National Zeitung. ,he paper ,iahsilai known by
the briviation, NAZI, is., ff m~aBjx Bxthe first in that

land of banks and neutrality, to pn mm strBingy oppose 4he Nazis.

L have rapped out my trip for the editor: Egypt, India,

lvaleysia, uambodia, Ceylon (now sri Lanka), China, Formosa

(now Taiwan), Japan, Honolulu, and lastly the U.S.A* -, for me a

country as exotic as thetheohers.I am to send a weekly feuillettn

(ca 1200 words) which reflect my impressionsThe traditional

travelogue won't do. The feuilletons in the "Nazi" are literary

and avant garde.

The'sum I'm'paid'is mpdest.But with added income from other
publications and free transportation offered ky the Italian
liners Conte Rosso OII Conte Verde, I'm ready to sail.

Officially or indirectly, the British Empire still rules

most of Asia, and racism, the scourge of colonialism extends
imkmo the farxtkmImm farthest village, we are supposed to keep the

natives at a proper distance an implicit law which I

amammaibi ignore.you cna't begin to get the feel of a country,
unless you try to know its people intimately.c'quaint costumes m,
landscapes and temples wmKnatinkmmm will be mere props.

Fortunately for me, long distance travel by air is

still the exception.The unhurried mode of travel -- bammiakrmm

in third class ra ilroad cars, in busses, by boat or ferry and

often on foot -- brings me in close contact with the people.

They eaJ with me. They ask me to their homes. I feel accepted.

Or at times rejected. And I learn.

Compressing for my feuiletons a mass of material into

a specific moment, I learn my craft. I observe. I write and
rewrite. T'y weekly column of three typed pages now takes/a week

to complete, I'm in no hurry.For I have all the time in

the world -- that grandest of all young illusions


o "hTa tarAy f t i .An anti-British

Hindu, former math student -Of mr uncle's had my host _--guidv

in Bomb.a g&v me a lette..-ef" tecommendiation to one of the
.gr, in his realm -
Pprogressive lIahfctQe imr:idae- small nrth-eastern province

a.fictariba ,' m stayed a/rw 'C-n se, bewitch-

ed,- /,"' *4 my. s t

An anti-British Hindu, former math student of my uncle's and

my host in Bombay, had sent me with a letter of recommendation

to one of the progressive maharajas. His realm was smaij was

a small north-eastern harbor province where I stayed as

his guest, bewitched by the proverbial mystery of India. However,

mystery here was tempered by court intrigue, Rolls Royces and

a pmtanm& rebellion against British imposed harbor taxes, as well

an appealing subservience of the poor to their prince.

The shadow play of politics dam against the glare of India,-s
was to become my first "
hottest season waxminmx18Bkhfmamxmxiam serious" novel.

I start on it in shanghai which I've made my headquarters

while a travel for a year in China. The novel, "Indian phantom-

ply or "Indisches Gaukelspiel" is eventually published in
A few dher
Vienna (zinnen,37). Z ownone copy. amms copies may still be flo

floating about, somewhere. My French version, "FantOmes des
in a small edition
Indes" appeared/with an underground press, named, I believe,

En Avant. Like numerous anti-fascist presses, it was destroyed

during world war II. ljm My copy of "Fantomes" 6ot- lost.

Also lost was the original ms which I had,together with my

French articles, stored safely, I -hought outside paris.

That storage P]ace was burned down However, most of what

I wrote for Switzerland, has survived.\pag aathe blessings

of XA-otiivp neutrality.


Years later, when I lived in the States, John Hall wheelock got

a hold of the German copy of "Fanttmes",and wanted it for Scrihners.

I tried to manufacture a Jranslation. But I am a poor translator.

worse, I soon became dissatisfied with there very concept of the book.

So I let a chance slip by. It wouldn't be the last time that I acted,
in matters of business, btp impulse and against my asm interest,

jut that's past history, as is this present moment which has

already slipped into the past.

the 50the state of th
I finished "Fantomes" in HIawai, noj yet afinAAPM kjimcijate,
Union, not yet a polluted mecca fmta u ummists though evn then di

l(aR~dixMM.maR a preview of Americam Aloha hoopla, ;amesmanship and

gorgeous bronzed young tourists from California.

Hawai were I finish "Fanttmes int yet a llut

,mer~e-ar th 50th state of the States- tk h it does &i~ye-~e a preview

of American aloha hoopla, _amesmanship and bronzed, gorgeous young

tourists from Califo ni

Omaaitm an Francisc Galif rnia, Ta arrive

.o-my ltl--, from Honolulu on a Japanese freighter. And astoundlingly ,

after the man1; strange countries, the U.S. strikes me as the strangest.,
Strikes me as unreal,
its very realism amannmma k Yes, Im back in western
i v .ery ireals "a of here than If
civilization, yet I feel more ifhim an alien bammmnmalid in mDanbchmuiamn

Outer Mohgolia. 0

Of course y initial visit lasksxnankgx lasts oka two

months. But the culture 'shock is memorable. AS I amble through
the typical drugstore, past the soda fountain in a smell of

tf french fries, malts, deodarants and medications, with

P.Buck's "Godd Earth", theG and other best sellers

'4a1d'-ap adjacent to cosmetucs and the perscription counter, I

might be a latter-day Alice caught in the Looking Glass House.

Little do I suspect that one day paris will celebrate with

fanfare thepopening of its own "drugstore".


I'I not sure how well my feuilletons of that period reflect

my Bedevilment. So, upon my return to Swit~rland, I'm surprised

by my editorBs praise for those recent piecesL; rbmmkaikxitiakxir

e They contain some of my best writing, ha and he'd like to

reassign me back to the States, I'm to continue sending him

weekly feuilletons, preferably from New York City. And though

I ad hoped he'-d send me to Afr:a or Australia a I am eager to

accept.. perhaps saiething is telling me that the Looking Glass

Hose is the house for me and my work.

After recovdrifig from travel exhaustion and a botched apen-

dectomy suffered at a non-Chinese hospital in peking, I sail

for New York on the U.S.. lin4r "'America" The date of my

arrival is March, 1937'

while I was still ins3aiklxm Switzerland, father met e for a
week of skiing. because of censorship, our letters had awid aed

/politics- M despite any-reliable news I'd taken it for granted
7 would be preparing to give up the practice ad
that my parents' fmnmcmhbmecoma~idecatoncoutdacbemmagmlhmmxta

leave.However, upon meeting father, I learned that nothing of the

sort was planned, In fact, hetav ied the subject alto ether,
enthusiasticaA about na aes ,maor
/ S ( z (^'M talked 0 mr injihBnmrrimmmaplast ics, nhinmhmn.uam dihenmrihsMbiajn lmmnm
invention -- how ta, would, contribute to better and cheaper
4nw problem oe
living conditions. (Wake Waste disposal had~nikrnligy had not yet
been programmed into the human brain).
All in all, he acted his usual self, But underneath h&is the

o humor he yas a broken man. His rimmmaiik idealism had blinded
rural real y
him to the ainmbidtlb of the Third Reich. physically ,that reality

had not harmed him. But it had broken his spirit* ,

Shortly after, when Ism mother in arise she confirmed
hat-tr-ared. could
WmmmmaikhrtmhMa Nothing, she told me, had swayed him innki~
warned e oe
from staying put. No matter how auhmarm d km1~s setn K e

amBM ients, ii6efiaxSglm@Fga ix9MPFHB nW him kmxmkakUgmfiha
maAm l clmts from abroad, and even some Germans offered their help.
He wouldn't budge. ~bm

NMamdimdxa f*mx mprxmBbam&tm xizxigemy
His was 71 when he died after prostate surgery. By the end
of the war,.mother died of cancer at 73.
,,<-'*~. r v


^ ;



r... r.
^n CT.4

I cp_

I've spent the larger part of my life in the U.S.A --

j half a century, to, to put it into perspective. And though vf-

hart, 1'ite rmiained European, or rather Alsatian,. my
I- P 0 41- he U.S.
S true vice as a writer Gapenwhecinwrln2arinzale in Amermicmm

when I startet-to write in English .

I' .alwafs had a penchant fcr that language which I had

learned to speak as a child, But now it s a matter of writing,

or more importantly, of drearimn in it, you mi6ht say Ird- fallen

in love with English, I ioi read in no other tan.uage.

S read Cmnrad, Hawthorne or Amb ose Bier'ce ad infinitum
aloud to myself late into the right. I learn to write thmagh
(k-c. ~ -garaamar whose maies m~e;g.Agpi 'C.
rhkmamafixsound, notmrmram andRgfxhy iammatfiraa w-hos
& C P even ini my
h agm hadnLde m mmd m amnm- a,, ieluder/me inxany:-..uto .gusem

native lan ua.'.es.

I ee lo walks -hrough and around Manhattan, careful y

lmlistening whoever I ston-eqd--_ in cafeterias, libraries, auto-

... mate, irxa:.-panikaxam'a park bench., I learneO from housewives,

S shopgirls and financiers. I dr#i prea chers, bums,andu!iWIaIl

)rostitxites and kAS into convention And so, throug.-h ammo

and spoken vernacular the American lan.-uae beoam my own.

Now, when I rki into ans l acquaintance, my French or

German was flawed, whywould I pose as an American ? a fend
. from the : idi 9sk sTCsC -aclieaa-.y-,But he hafl missed the point.

I ha& no desire to assimilate. And!;~~irTk i egoet-.itaat T'. rh

perhaps my etrteas-e involvement with a new language has

cut mes cf from my mother-tagues. I wish Ikmx I had the waidIRmfmI

the genius of a Beckett or Femderman who write with equal brilliance

in two media.


3ut back go Sprin '37 and my earliest NY days. I've rented

a furnished room near Columbia U. kvertised in the Times as

"modestly priced and exclusive". Exclusive of what pets? Kids?

Obviously not roachs which age i crawl all over the so-called

"Residence Club". Tf sgme hwg told me that exclusive meant

WASPS ONLY I would have .clla hi. ijar. I'm a newcomer

to the Land of the Free. and have yet to discover that racism is

as prevalent here as in the "colonies" t-hough more ingeniously

disguised and often intertwined with the great American phobia

of socialism, '

European puulilications, and


I had Iafled to travel o0!1-perhaps to Australia. df the more

I saw of he U.S., thewrde I seemed to bp on a rpetual journey.
Eah f" r or rooted.
Each dy brought xjE; discoveries. I never i stuck,9mmmimeem
i-ha to me was d still is the meaning freedom;
a artHXmnmn~ mafitermmxB ,rf amm oa1a

o have o roots, except air roots'


I've cut my link with European publications. I'm reviewing

for the N.Y.Times and the Tribune on a regular basis. The pay
Coby Gilman
is minimal and I have to supplement my income. Amy Loveman Qulncy
waderful friends he) me : -
Howe sin many others now dead or forgotten, hamimm mihpjimm mJ

contacts.A job as assistant editor for a publishing firm --

reading: detective stories and the like from 9-5 -- I w 4 afraid

to accept, despite a tempting smamym salary, In order to

write, I must freelance, no matter how poorly I'm paid.

I've picked up work as outside for a number of big publishers -

SKnopf,Harper, S&S etc., at 10 bucks a manuscript% I also lecture

for church related groups who are among the first to dok-e-r-fhm--

se4-es'-against fascism. As to our noted publishers, they ,like

Hd&lywood in the thirties, prefer to stay clear of the issue, lest

they should be identified with "Jewish interests" or worse,

be labeled : reds

CLarly, the melting pot mustn't be stirred. It dawns on me

that bigotery in the U.S. is a way of life rather than an isolated

phenomenon/ ot that I had looked at the Statue of Li erty through

rose colored glasses as we like to portray the traditional emirant.

I had no intention to stay beyond the year my contract demanded.

Then I would be on the move again, perhaps to Australia.
were on
But as the months went by I felt as bough I man weammamm

a perpetual journey,right here in the U.S. Iua The city Bndscape

the vast, multi-layered country beyond seemedin a state of constant
whether on a bus or at my
transmutation.I was on the move, amanxwkenammXrm maItxrtikexrtypm exrmxi

typ ewiter.

I n ver had longed for root. perhaps that is an Alsatian

condition. To m that's still the essence of freedom: tohave

no roots, mliymamrsave air roots. -L -Q6 _/k -


Coby Cilman editor of tkexmamxJNjfifmmt Travel Magazine

has asked me to write an article on Asace that mythical province e

few American had ever heard of,he says.His budget is small but

his enthusiasm is boundless. He commissions further travel

pieces from me, modeled, in style, on my old feuilletons.

His qap ft faith in my tartA bor any new real talent for

4Ba-ta gives me sufficient courage to start on a novel.

which is to become Dark Dominion, Its theme evolves from a brief(

but intense relationship with an psychoanalyst whom I met on

i antucket.shortly before WW II. I had known little if anything

about Freud and his pseudo science, So now lamx I'm maing up for

was under interminable analysis
past neglect. He NMm f bd.ne eopp bammbirm
amau iu&pA and thus xrp was a mihnu living text book of information
As for mysl4ff, I sometimes felt tempted by the dream surgeons.

But I had enough sense not to get trapped by them. In one of the

oaroseB Diaries, Anais Nin states erroneously thatZmxm wefit

throu h n alysis it t 0 Rank. H was k grien d far t
umartl/ CJ l -C-7 %C
iM 9.m too lure te in o the cuch. / 6,

Dak Dominion went through many drafts, the last was finished

on onhegan Island. The story, told in the first person by

a Swiss hotelier, imta$ unfold in New York where the narrator's

sister is married to her former analyst, :y role as male narrator

is a device I've used ium HT8 in later works, P-owever,

in '47 when them novel was published, was such "literary cross

dressing" was fro2ned upon as queer by see. yet np one as far as

I know ha -'udged Defoe a. "queer" for usin,; Moll Flanders as



The early forties and WWII. I'm an occasional camp follower,

AFred Kirchberger' -/y close friend and future husband is radio

operator in the army, his BAadibranan music studies at juillard

interrupted, his fumBrexammamlpm pianistic future in the
--1 temporarily
clouds. iaemsmm akmsampx He is immitbiba~ stationed at a C' -Z -

Groi Georgia campr~ here t4' my America horizon keep expanag

S-mi___m i JSn -,' *gs s hrinkin~g ha s lm

I'm on my way back from Atlanta to New York. The train is crowded

with solders and I was luck to find a seat. There I sit, deeply

tanned, with my hair tucked under a bandana and shades on my

nose when the conductor orders me off the seat and to the back

of the train I reluctantly get up, a bewidered alien, unfamiliar

with the sacred code of the Jim-Craw law. I remove my shades for better

vision. The conductor's face has turned from gray to purple, as
phrase 89BI9Sd got stuck like a bone in his throat.
though his mmlnmamxhmakmidxkiaxnru x n

with a trembling hand he motions me to sit bankndown again -

pleasel am And now it dawnson me by degrees thatthe poor bastard
because he took
is mortally terrified IBmRtA~xB ft1 n me for a Negro' that
thought I was black -
I might sue him or the railroad for having munAibsmah di&cmam

an unpardonable insult to the entire white human race.

So much for Southern hospitality and our war against racist

Germany. I've witnessed worse incidents since then, but as an outs

sider. Ironically, my adolescent dream to get so sun tanned Ird
has come pv.I--.-. -
bA taken for a mulatto, &MSe true with ne -v.jriwf of results.


Fred and fget married i agLusta,Ueorgia, lmarly Lcause w-
*m*hee -
4nQt-fShild. BRMaBRmap'dOM1raBmwar He iu with the CIO in Germany,

when our son Michael Kirchberger is born,. 20, 1945.
I work at home, so taking care of the baby is no
Besides regular reviw6ng, and ghmBMmamsUtag a biography for

a mummified banker,i,ve been writing short stories.which appear

(8 Zis.rr

elw-Harper s Bazmr. Today my young friends we amazed when I tell them

that the Bazaar used to be a top quality magazine whose outstanding

authors included lonesco, Coletter D.Bartholeme, T4rry Southern,

Paul Bowels and many others. Its most memorable editors were G

the late George Davis, and Alice S.Morris. w~I-brought e t--

/The Uncommon Reader (Avon), a selection of her farnrit- pi4e0o0e

from the Bazaar under her editorship. My ambqm story, The Abduction
The U.R.
is included in thsmaau taCkspm,ar and another anthology, The

Htman Commitment.
Ce r-F4 / l Wc--O--
The atory agtaiatamiY ymhmadwas taking shape in my head during

the Hungarian Uprising while We were Iving in Tallahasee Fla,

Fred was 'r ki gat ia-n ct aitJ i.n jza4J,- an. teaching at the

State Univ, of--ta while studying for his doctorate in muiso

with Ernet von Dohnkny t kxRmgazhXianxbathe Hungarian born

caposer and conductor. ,A ancient entleman of the old school
whose wama rooms were dlutterw with birds,

_"lil3spen sor ra. A p r SvtkDm
r spent
prior to thr twoeyears in Fla, we had lived InxQxams in North Carolna.
teacning Bennet College amxmasxitmthim
Fred was offered a job at ase hrcmmsmm nhmnnnnablednpunB3y
a College for colored young ladies, as it was then cAled.
Since my experience on the Atlanta Railroad, I yas prepared for

theworst. Fred's position a am*uiakrmad a-bac- cAlege was
acceptable as long as we didn't intemingle with aktAnd as we re
fused to obey that violation of human rights, uam it was difficult
6k, ^R -- f ce /.. ..
to rind lais o a o sneak our black

friends inyo our home nights,


Tate, anmouthernue to the oep wil ve use the salutation
i "Mr." But, aby punmidrantJones has a doctors degree I Relieved
S of his moral qualms, Mr.Tate writes "Dear DrJoaes".Now the confe.

Sderate flag may wave proudly again.I feel like throwing the
letter into his face...(Fred kixaxap isn't present.)But we are in
to us
debt, we have a child to feed Ind the letter is vital.iammau

7 BMIftndeed, BnaMuLat Jones wa pleased to lha accept the recommen-
the of the south,
dation from saOM I famous poet. It *ill impress the white cotton
mill owners who are Bennet's ckhtaffaxmwnd uam financial mainstay.
The race issue keeps haunting us throughout our stay.
Greensboro and surrounding ocmuntities can accept Fred's kmakdaxv
employment by a non white college. They might even rent us an
apartment (at twice the rate they'd normally charge). But under
",' o. Ct. r s' one to our home ,wh1e=IFt-
no circumstances can we invite any ofmamumkbakmf*xim Abxamx

S'iau daa". It is an unsavory muddle of stupidity and viciousness,
racist attitudes extending even to college life at Bennet whese sme
Sstudants will not socialize with girls.
~gbmnbs of lighter complexion BaB%|RmeB W1 darker Ipan
T- marmbebias, themcubmkbaeccm
4 th-agcale- of-social injustices Ampmaareturm me ta the Caspar Hauser
theme a'm experimenting with various approach atill groping
for a toaB narrative focus Ihave d iYaalWed notes on the
1- 9thcentury /. j C S ........ti n.By no means will
9t c y when prince Ish,
I write a historical novel, though the publishers labarhmdx
gave it that label against my wishes when the novel came oute at
ban last. I u don't think I evex consulted my notes,except for
dates.Numbers were and-sttlit-are today my number one trauma.

/ V:

Casparts comic-tragic fate played itself out dn Nremberg and

Ansback, two old Bavarian towns I know soj rom photographs,
10 N.C.
I might have viL edYbere, But in the winter of 1950, as I get

deeper into my story, I realize I'll have to see those towns,

especially Nurembergwhich after heavy allied bombings, is partially

still in ruins, Just why piles of rock and caved-in buildings

are quintessential form my character's dimensions, I eeuldnt4--

quite explain. ,/ ,,7, ,C l<;

But J ertaiTs take the trip, though at the time we are

constantly short of money, Cheap tourist flights or the"fly now

pay later plan are yet abe contrived by business .ha-

,ta-go finz first class and have to take Michael atBF with me,

on a umamn*mttakrm full ticket, rtheogh he nly fie. However,

we make it, as usual on borrowed money. we take off for Orly
kimaem xaklbf~a dmfnexfaI
in a heavy storm. ~jammxlptexpoaMseemafibmtscmamummrod embaoge

oamjBWaml- and once in we are in paris I have a chance to borrow
more. so we bt take the train to b aambkMtua the ghostly hants
of Europe's Child.
extapumPbmx bbapx I tr to trae Caspar
Accompanied by I try to trace Caspar
NaxmazXmgmmammmfymmadime an alert five year old boy mnremalke
among XXXX
Nuremberg ruins and Anqbachs baroque tombs 1I search in vain
for Ch chreneixwk.a one hCWe, 'Just make it fp," my son advises.

I did.


Sometimes it seemed that Caspar's stay would be a never to be finished

project. I conthmed to work on it, seetimes itermittantly, returning

to the maxmz ma. between short stories or artioles.Iim9gRJPPWffB
had gone back to
!q~%IH Fred hamzaturnmaAxhe his teaching job at the NE hIissouri
tamfsity m fKir vi le,, a small, bmanlrahb rural town fPIm~Mf

thanghuernInasibehaxnxny wkAiiuhxmzamuamjimx am where fonmdmx I

learned sh first hand about heartland and s roots, Now ,remember
a rearland. elt town
from a distance, the place, so very middle America, seems almost

romantic, Ygai feetooM8f~epm t its drabness and narrowness hia

veiled Auz"9gPxmNlmmaummar h mthahbxmap which softens and flatters.

My novel, The Chor Inw. (first published under title the Living
shSBeR4xhowever was seen
by Gollancz in England)xhamftiXtRRaIe oaaidaXMpHKexe5*Kox PYCeople
xdimmmlaxmdimti M==t9im n anntanaiitFhipximmBdna xkan
sharply and i. maybe the only "realistic" nobel I've done, at least

compared to my other work. Still, publishers found it too strange,

too different, tlam too avant garde until David McDonald,

having seen the British edition, published it. Sb there were large
spaces hkamtm.unpn p when I ba5ely touched the Caspar story ,

a*d carrying it about me in mpxkhaa the back of my head while I

was busa with other works.

My style was changing i petceptibly. The writing became
"One Last Drop for poor Abu" was inxikapmxmrpmat
leaner, ha~tmana Tklmminuztamzua a zPraz zamsmami perhaps
the of the theme who has beeamB
a turning point, $"h The duality ( an Arab tnrmaxhata stxakdx
has become a botn again Missouriana
aag R uxf 3gpma m kamftimptta'fcAmihkm already evidenced in eadlier
stories, becomes more ex4icit here, more finelyhoned Its theme,

an Arab methmorphosed into a born-again Christian Missourian)

is ,ts my opinion, one of my best stories of that period, Yet

tith the exception of George plimpton, no editoruaim ikaAmaAA

understood the story or its significance, sham AFu, unlike many

of my lesser stories, was never fniyu.ed1 and only got into print

when Univ.of Tex as Ibmm press included it into my collection

of short stories.


axab regional terms, the midwest proved creatively
MA uma the most inspiring, xhanxgx~
the maeAmu sU mr xsamaidmfmnxnfnxunwrzm Even now, adbamanda
hsihm after 25 years of New York, gsffmrchkxham1hem
1&zDamimxMjxckxAmwxir5myamss, Im*ndJukxxla~m my stories return to
that region. (Heartlands Beat, Conflict of Legalities are two
In the earl$ 60ies I had
latest exampip ) Ix&mikaxfpx uatbammp divorcedfmBimmiam and returned

to New York.WommaMy long absence from the city had isolated me
professionally But what Ihad lost in contacts, I had gained

as a writerThis may sound poyanish, but each seeming adversity in

my life has benifited my work.


I'd never imagine I'd become amitmsksu part of that Academe

I had always shunned. But after an amiable devoroe from Fred

in O6 Ixhad had to supplement my increasingly meager income from

writing with auexmanhauy a fixed salary. Of course I joined,

the kcademe on the lowly level as a night school instructor,

or what was euthemistically dubbed "lecturer"at Queens college

of t0Mzgla@A NYCUThe endless subway rides mamimtx from the village

to the dreary parts of Queens were a nuissanoe, anf timm
.kG (c I '!- y--- sh 0-d
vmBpm~ieamadateacheing creative writing seemed a lst cause .

However, I had gbo or with jm studeris, especially with the
hippies -R-a <'^!*'o-
WIS geW~ Pi So e ion of the late 60ies and early seventies,
then remkhimmau radical rahbdima, "ad and invol ed in the uprising
My son, wkhxihbanw mhnjn~drtn ynmna graduate student at Columbia U

had provided as am useful at example in that fight farxikkaxlept,

maimna for justice and greater freedom.The cause is lost, but

onry temporarily. At least that' how I have to see it.unless

we are already drowning hopelessly in our on shit and garbage.


Teaching at Queens from '66-to '79. GCmmsm Adequate salary ,

ad 3 summer months for travel. I fly many times to paris

wherexaxam my wealthy cousin puts me up, feeds me and

lets me write. I sitam write most of yhe first draft of The Talkg

Rbom at a hotel near the place de l'odeon.Im not much of a
family p oab but fortunately my cousin Giable in Switzerland

is also my best friend, so I travel about Europe, and back

in the fall to Queens. Or Fmae I fly to Mexico City to meet

Fred with whom IVe remained on friendly terms. He shares my
so journey
love to travel and we takammdEf mostly by car, ftrm;ueaa
through ycatan, and again through all of Mexico,
tom Jdt eeamnatmaar Amer amnxae s and the

Central American countries, and to peru.No feuilletons to write.

Drafts of the Talming Room or other tales *ravel along. It is a

good time for me.Divorce Fred and I get along better than married.

How many drafts of prince Ishmael, how many rejections until

it apVua m xatmk ja was published? Zmam I've forgotten. J wasstill

living in Kirksville when the novel d*a was finely published.

in a handsome edition. The only bookstore in town, a shop which sold

more greeting cards and toys than books gave me an autographing

party with coffee and cookies. No booze allowed at suohcpGQbGom

seeuW open-and free for all events.3st- was a celebration

C and the only autgraphin rty I've had-So much for the relativity

of fame or ego.

The Talking Room has gone through amaithmmstring of rejections --
by now an expected routine.However, one wonders hawxhi over the

q lac k of sheer common sense our trade houses manifest iRmJ RtmR a
couldn't be timelier:
in the Talking Room ease. The mere ot -a Lesbian couple and
N ;iJost likely a test tube
(y their pregannt 13 year old daughter begotten eiknaznVhx among
lbaby -
morBiaff)^y^x~ftemfxBe Admittedly, the s5le isn t
iKranzia n orx0ani.ma Oatesian. but ta a the book IsmltBIPmUS t

taught and loved by col ge students '-" '


My lasmdamalmost recent novel, The Memoirs o endured a

similar fate atm with our publishing Industry before it was

brought at by sun&Moon press, the same house which will reissue

prince Ishmael (at present O0P), supposedly late in 189,
(2~* -;c-<'% took
Like all my major worls,. w.mMma5r ages h to write ) and
ages to getC into prin$.

And on this note, I'll wind down my story I've been asked

repeatedly how come I've zmzPAndimrzka3rnkaijd mankman not aostlwOs

a largerreading public, that I am mzkpxexnar the proverbial
writer-s writer. I suppose there are amjai damlAf answers.
prevalent corporate nature and
ia The ii maaSang mmummuemhnuimmmmprmffi. goCRcm corruption
of the book industry, not only here but also in Europe, maya

account for my relative it not total oscurity.Also, I'm not

what's called an"easy read".It takes time to get into my books,
Ad who, except some fb11 hiammiarn tine? aso, MaxuaMnrmmmu
a lfau lt n makhampin the age of the computer
my work escapes classification, MR etalIR$ItEl BgIB9tIff
where we must WLA either fit a pigeon hole or
wemkavmxeaxibumaadxiaxaxkagax fmmammapmta perish.
are contribute to
Ihummp oundoubtedly, many other reason, neskmiamimtma nmmmkbmng
mxaediffilux mmnxAkuAkPktxAbo. ult whatever they are, te OrWa

khme served my during well. Our fambLtxmasuxhauam In tfxftihs

bday's world, simabhumma-iuB commercial failure may well be the

artistte salvation.