Saturday, February 20, 2016


Let me approach the conundrum from the perspective of a once NY book editor  who lacked both feel for even the ability to read “commercial fiction” and who not only published his share of  literary novels - Hesse’s GOLDMUND, Nossack’s THE IMPOSSIBLE PROOF, Christa Wolf THINKING ABOUT CHRISTA T., Bataille’s STORY OF THE EYE & BLUE OF NOON, Peter Handke’s  GOALIE’S ANXIETY AT THE PENALTY KIC, Innerhofer’s BEAUTIFUL DAYS, Michael Brodsky’s DETOUR, Ilja Ehrenburg’s THE LIFE OF THE AUTOMOBILE being weakest on that list yet most amusing for it being politically so parti pris, but who also translated Robert Musil’s novella THE PORTUGESE WOMAN, Hesse’s DEMIAN, Handke’s THE GOALIE’S ANXIET AT THE PENALTY KICK, Erich Wolfgang Skwara’s PLAGUE IN SIENA, Edgar Hilsenrath’s NIGHT, Josef Winkler’s FLOWERS FOR JEAN GENET, Robert Schindler’s WHEREBBORN and edited the translation of the amazing and unfortunately forgotten great novelist Uwe Johnson’s THE THIRD BOOK ABOUT ACHIM, and thus can be said to have a smidgen of knowingness what fiction and its truths can convey.
When I drifted into publishing in the 60s I felt halfway well-read and appreciated a wide range of novelists – the major writers in the Anglo-Saxon, German, Russian, French tradition – to have a sense of the truths that novels could convey, and remain amazed how the traditions keep delivering fascinating off-spring, but for John LeCarré I found myself quite unable to read beyond a few pages the so-called commercial fiction, and that has never changed and is unlikely to at this late date. I regard Le Carré’s truths those of non-fiction deriving as it does from a world that - much of an adventurer that I might be - I happened to get enough of a whiff of to know I wanted no part of. Thus it is not surprising that I never had a “commercial” novel submitted to me, yet most surprising that I had the most extraordinary editing experience with what was meant to be a commercial venture, Robert Kalich’s THE HANDICAPPER, the true life novelization of a millionaire handicapper’s involvement with the mob, eventually published by Crown, where I then met each colorful  figure of the book – imagine editing a manuscript and its figures materializing as though you were schizophrenically fantastic! – quite a few indistinguishable from more legitimate folk, one of them Abe Costello’s best Jewish friend; and quite a few others of that ilk from associated mobs! And there I had thought to stay clear! And of course I pretty much did but for that one stimulating experience.

Rober Kalich, a serious writer who went on to write the partly very powerful TWIN LIFE and other books, straddles the littoral of commercial and metaphysical ambitions. Serious fiction leaves its many different marks in different ways upon the spirit – avails itself of very differing in-roads, and my most extraordinary fiction experience was when I opened the satchel with five manuscripts that Michael Brodsky – who had been sent to me via Patricia Highsmith & Peter Handke – and looked at the first page of each and realized “this is it, the real thing,” a serious writer, the raison d’etre the pay-off for being an editor.

Thursday, January 14, 2016


a stub that will increment but not be completed until the Heartache: (B.U.A.) Breakup under Analysis & Revolutionary Road sections of Darlings & Monsters Spiral & the New York memoir, Always the Wrong People are completed, in about three years!

Moi: Michael, reading Screen Memories brings to mind the question “will there be a sequel?”

MêME: The Postscript, not completed, indicates as much. There will be two sequels, one for the 25 years in publishing and theater in New York City, and a third and last for the subsequent years back on the West Coast, in earth-quake country, chiefly in Seattle. I have the opening for Part II which allows me to link up with the problematics indicated in Part I, it is called Always the Wrong People.

Moi: What do you mean by “problematics”?

MêME: The childhood trauma, the effect of the abandonment at age 9 months and that weird imprisonment by the governess that was so debilitating while yet over-protective, and has resulted in a life-long need to be as free as possible, aversion to being helped, the fortunately only occasional unhappy relationship with a denigrating father, which produced  insecurities & disorientations of all kinds, the dithering I note retrospectively, say in the Oakwood section of S.M. persisted in New York; and nonchalance which derives from having my grandfather Werner von A. as a model, both its fortunate derivative, that I can or used to be easy-going, but also that I become involved with all kinds of people that it would have been better of not to, a lack of discretion I call it, and that though I was brought up as though I would have money, which I then didn’t, I didn’t learn the importance of greed in this culture. Nonchalance again. That led to a series of menial jobs in adolescence – S.M. cites them - and the only good thing to be said for them was that they Americanized me and taught me the spoken language, which came in handy in translation work, taught me the common touch. I continue to feel positive about the general run of Americans, as I did as a German kid about American G.I.s. post 45 to 1950 when I shipped out of Bremerhaven on the USS Maurice Rose.

Lack of necessary obsession with money – this has to be instinctive as it is with every real New Yorker – but for the children of the upper class -
and understanding the need for it,  characterized stretches in my life in publishing, and had consequences.

I can see where the trauma effected some of my decisions later in life, and in a deleterious way. As indicated in S.M. and also on-line at
though I imagine having someone like Wieland Schulz
for a partner is scarcely typical, one of the two major, the second of the seriously “wrong people” in my NY City life, and I blame myself for letting Schulz get to me for a stretch and to frazzle me as did so many others, for not going to a lawyer sooner, this is something that ought to have been done on principle as soon as I got wind of what he was up to!  There are certain chances that you don’t get twice. Not as bad as my grand-dad Werner von Alvensleben not poisoning Hitler when he had the chance, but the matter will gnaw at me until my dying breath. At least I caught on eventually and as it says in Handke’s Walk About the Villlages “freed a bit of blue sky”, at least in New York. If I’d know what a great and deep shit detector Handke had at the time that he communicated to  me how dark he felt Schulz was….b but I didn’t, took it too lightly.

MOI: What do you mean, by Always the Wrong People?

MêME: This only changed once I had done the psychoanalysis. And I did not take psychoanalysis non-chalantly at all! And you won’t be really be able to conduct the interview until I have completed part II or have taken a look at the Urizen & Schulz matters & some other matters that are online, about Roger Straus, about the restaurant Elaines, but see below I have the opening of Part II, and define what I mean by the “wrong people”, and also ran in a few of them in Seattle.

Moi: Overall, it sounds as if you regret coming to the U.S. as a kid?

MêME: I would not come a second time. But I was seduced by the Americans that then surrounded us, that OSS/CIC troupe that protected the anti-Nazi villa where they could party, but chiefly by The Declaration of Independence. I would visit & at length, but check out other options around 1949/50 where to go. Canada would have been preferable, it is not an imperialist country, but is also a new country, which is what I wanted. I wanted not just out of Germany at the time, but out of a forever warring Europe. The reading of Karl May’s 70 novels of course introduced a lot of geographics into the romantic adventurous imagination. No Baluchistan, but certain South American countries, Mexico, Argentina, the Pampas, would have come under more serious consideration. Mexico I came to love being in later in life, and felt much more at home at than I ever did in the U.S., although toward the last decade of my life in Seattle I would not have minded living in Paris, or London, or Madrid or Lisbon. I started to feel very European and missed being there. The lack of a past in the U.S. began to bother me. The same same of so much of it. On the other hand, the sudden prospect of the U.S. turning socialist, in 2016, gives me optimistic pause.

Moi: But haven’t you become quite American in all these years?

MêME: I suppose so. But I still don’t chew gum or flounce about. On a more serious note:  a few years ago I had a a moment when I realized how American I was. A song by Al Greene came on, a gentle r & b soul, might also have been by a few other folks, Otis Redding, and it hit a spot that said, “you are an American”,  I too sing the blues, for childhood’s sake, and thus identify with American Blacks more than with any other folk, I heard that music first in 1945, in Spring, AFN Bremen. I am hooked on a few other utterly American matters, Baseball which initially was the substitute for childhood soccer, Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boys of Summer instead of Werder Bremen. American literature, a lot of it. But I think I have far more aversions than attachments. The landscape yes, of course, nature, but that was never linked to a nation for me,  Alaska was a major experience, so was the South West. The people are friendly, as I experienced them as G.I.s, it’s just that only at the rarest of moments have I felt to be an American. The disappointment set in not just in Sour Orange as that first American Chapter of S.M. is called, and which was a shock that I often felt I never got over, but continued to, politically, at Oakwood when I got a good whiff of the McCarthy Hearings, of American paranoia; by the Bay of Pigs in 1961 I was ready to be an insurrectionist. By 1968 I wanted to find a troupe for the insurrection. All this was seen very much through the eyes of a descendant of 20th of July opponents of Hitler’s, through what I learned of the failed opposition. And Revolutionary Road (Sentimental Journey # 3! the second novel part of the Darlings & Monsters Spiral project is about someone a bit like myself who believes “the revolution” must break out at any moment and who lives and behaves like that and does all kinds of things to further such a happening, it catches the mood of the period until it devolves into the absolute impossibility of anything of the kind, although, as in The Man with the White Suit the “revolution” keeps ticking away, somewhere underground.
Moi: But you have no regrets about leaving Germany?

MêME: No, none at all.

Moi: In that case, why a life-long preoccupation with German literature?

MêME: Disappointed in the U.S., as you can read in Screen Memories, I decided to check out where I had come from with that 1956-57 Junior Year Abroad, and but for theater and literature was once again disappointed in Germany, the country still spooked me as it had as a kid. I tell myself that if I had stayed in Germany I would one way or the other have had something to do with German literature, as an editor, perhaps as a writer. I might easily have become part of a theater, more easily than in the U.S. Back in the U.S. I sought to stay attached to what I liked in what I had left behind, to import it, make it part of my life, to stay whole.

Moi: And in that respect you pretty well succeeded, no?

I got lucky with a few things, especially Handke, what came as a surprise, at least until I realized again what a garbage heap of a culture this is, that what had been created could so quickly disappear and that there was no continuity. That has to do with the institutions, the Cult of the New, and the people that manage the culture industry, certain matters persist at the universities, but the universities are divorced from the culture at large, are their own special world.



ALWAYS THE WRONG PEOPLE…” is what I said, it slipped out, when the firm went under in the early 1980s, said to someone whom I regarded as “the great fondness”, though, I imagine, I might have confided as much to a few other people I was close to; the realization had evidently been building up for some time, yet the statement begged quite a few questions.
For one, who might have been the right people? Did the even exist? Actually, I had met a few, more than a few, I wasn’t misanthropic, it just so happened I didn’t have sufficient truck with them, but ended up in bed, also literally, with a lot of the wrong people.                    That that might be the case the overly, fantastically optimistic part of me could truly not have known, imagined, or been able to assess at the time that I took my headlong plunge, in Alaska, at a McCabe & Mrs. Miller’s type orgy on Chena Ridge, outside Fairbanks, in November 1960.                                              The current into which I dove in New York, where I gradually oriented myself, did not appear egregiously wrong, not until you took a close look. But that I had not done as I would in the future for indigenous pests & illnesses when setting out on a trip to a third world country, take a close enough look at the individuals, as I did as of the mid-80s, and still made some mistakes, who, after all, withstands a truly hard close look, the messes you found there. Experience would teach me, it did teach, at the end of college I realized that I needed American experience, and I certainly have it now, the darkest past of New York, and in the early 80s I seemed to have sufficient experience to reach the conclusion that it was always the wrong people, or had been so far, or at crucial moments. At least I now had experience, I told myself, which I knew I had not when I stopped writing stories during my senior year in college, bruised now, an aging Tom-Cat with a nip bit out of each ear, and a split lip. Is that what I had wanted? A lot of experience of all kind? Yes, it must have been. You had to take your chances, or - I don’t know - become a quietist, work for the post office. I could even see myself doing that if settled with a brood.                                       On reflection I began to doubt whether the “great fondness” had been the right woman for that confession (see anon for justified reservations), although “great fondness” was, I concluded, a stronger foundation if permanence I wanted than passion. Passion blinded and subsided. “Great fondness” was a rare position in a firmament where love was meant to win the day but never did, which left me heart-broken or which I elided at the last moment, apparently not wanting to be permanently bound. What did I really want?                                     I wanted to toss these thoughts, they seemed garbage, out with the day’s garbage and go have a drink at the Raccoon Lodge, and perhaps Happy Hank would be there and he and I could hook up and hold the pool table against all comers, as we had the last time that I had I had been in my preferred “happy go lucky” state of mind.           The only excuse, or excuses I had for myself, could come up with - no stopping these thoughts it seemed - was that however wrong these people had turned out to be I had had not the faintest. Well, but that was not entirely true either. I had had warnings, inklings. However, I had not necessarily have a choice… but to hold my nose? There were times that there was very little choice indeed. Thus, the “wrong person,” so it occurred to me, might even be myself, in which case the over-all equation became absurd: how does the only halfway right person, (I allowed my vanity to accord that much to myself!) then venture forth with others who turned out to be the wrong persons.”                 I had had some warning, and not only from mutual acquaintances. Even my own senses had been alerted, but I had chosen to ignore the advice of the acquaintances and of my eyes and nose. In a few cases there had been no choice. It had been as on wintry river where you quick-stepped from one ice floe to the other. Thus the “great fondness’s” reply to my statement that always the wrong people was “destiny” was an assessment that applied even more generally than to me: it was wrong all around, was it, a fool’s ship? I had mounted a fool’s ship with blazingly optimistic eyes. I was the super fool. It was foolish to try to live the “right life” in the wrong life, as I recalled I was not the first person to conclude.
If the “great fondness” had really been also the “great confidante” we might have sat down and examined the specifics of the matter, the dirty half dozen most eeegregious – oh how I love that word whose eees screamed -  as I did with a confidante who, however, was not the great fondness but a former lover with whom I secretly hoped to re-align as we examined night after night the evil carnivorous spider web which entangled her firm.              The half dozen really wrong people with whom I had become involved, what qualities, if any, did they share in common was one way of approaching the problem to make it less abstract. Each and every one of them had been immediately physically ugly, and since I did not, could not ignore as much I decided to look past that physical ugliness, it wasn’t denial, I congratulated myself on not being unduly, as I put it, influenced by physiognomies. Eventually I learned that such physical ugliness was an expression of something inside these people, however it had got there or developed                          I said “wrong people” in some puzzlement and unhappiness for so much effort having been spent on such a great venture, such a cause; and the “great fondness”, actually I had only had one other, who was not entirely ignorant of some of the people I had become involved with, thought my predicament “fated.” She might have been analytic, descriptive, enumerative as I will be, as indicated, if she had also been my confidante.        Fated since when? I thought back on my childhood and earlier life than coming to the big city.  Indeed, there were a few of the “wrong people,” perhaps it was the mark they had left on me that had destined me to encounter, to be at the mercy, of that half dozen that had left their mark on my life now? However, being born stupidly preternaturally optimistic, not fatalistic, and unreflective in these terms, I can’t say that I had been apprehensive that I might meet some “wrong people” or, on being warned, imagine how “wrong” they could be. What a concept after all! What if all the “wrong people” held a convention how many of them would there be, what would they do to each other, how had they become “the wrong people” (WPs… wropeapes) In what respect where they wrong? Were they wrong to all people who encountered them? In the case of the half dozen I am thinking off, the answer is actually yes, they left an ill odor, a mark on each and every one they harmed, but they were not monstrous criminals were they? Criminals yes, to one degree of another. They were not gangsters, they had intentions, they were unusually selfish, they  were unusually, preternaturally… greedy aside being unusually physically ugly, those were the chief features that each shared, that marks them, and yet: each of them, nearly, must not have been ugly as children? They had become ugly, something ugly in them had started to manifest itself in them physiognomically - I had to stiff upper lip in their presence, look past their ugliness, to ignore that feature. I had one friend who just about vomited each time he had met them, and by chance he had met each and every one of them, if only briefly, and if I had not suppressed that impulse… the thought completes itself. How could you allow the impulse to vomit free reign, wouldn’t you vomit out your intestines during your first week in the big city? Yes, physically ugly, not beautifully ugly like Popeye the high-rise steel worker whose face was the first to introduce that category into my mind, a man whose face had become pockmarked by flying bits of molten steel, rivets flying about as he worked building high rises.           Question became whether “the great fondness” herself had been a “wrong person”, the most severe of the delusions, of self-deceptions? After all, there had scarcely been an inkling of a warning about her, yet a few people had made negative noises - “all that schmoozing”, -   and I had not inquired further., after all, there were far too many positives, the reasons for the fondness outweighed the doubts.
 “Not inquired further,” was a commonality, a refrain in my relationship with them on hearing negative comments. “R. screwed me on that deal.” “S. is very dark!” Really? “At least very German.”  German dark might be bad news indeed. I however had not noticed anything of the kind. I was taking chances, perhaps I was an adventurer? I had little choice. If I did not take a chance I would have to leave the city and fend in less dangerous quarters. Perhaps I secretly meant to get hurt? A friend suggested that being adventurous implied fundamental masochism. But I detested pain, all kinds, I plained, I could suffer it, but not gladly. Yet the thought nagged. I decided to take a close look at how I’d gotten into that fix of “always the wrong people” and what I might be able to do to cheat fate. Another novel!!!     

Friday, January 01, 2016

"feliz novedad" to but a single person,

 I said "feliz novedad" to but a single person, my amigo Antonio (Tony) Diaz, an avegado who is the go-to for local (Seattle) latinos who need paperwork done. Every evening at Burgermaster's they are lined up, often he takes them next-door to Fedex to do work on-line. There he was at BM aroud 7:30, they were closing early, with two customers - although i never see money exchanged. He looks very fatigado, perhaps the Mexican state pays him for this after-hours work. He derives from Juarez a colorfurl city I got to know somewhat in the 80s and that elicted my interest in the so lively Mexico. I mentioned to Tony that I was surprised, as I was, that I had no interest whatever in a social celebration of the Novedad, yet felt good, or at least a lot better, less disgust with the species because I realized that I still had a few really good friends, and so as long as some people are still good to each other... if you follow my thought. I have my work cut out for me, funnee thing to say as I just turned an unexpected 89 anos, and hope that the December publication of Handke's MORAVIAN NIGHT will bring fair and interesting reviews and a real asessement in this bloody country of his immense achievement in drama and in prose x michael r,

Friday, December 25, 2015


​ significant 2015 postings @

A PROVISIONAL OBITUARY, WRITTEN UPON MY 80S, as Marcia & I agree, nonetheless there is still a lot of kid in me, and the four year olds spot it at once!




Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society
"Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben]
"Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma." [?]

Thursday, December 10, 2015





The translator and editor Michael Roloff, born December 19, 1935 in Berlin, of uncertain health since fracturing a hip-bone upon a fall on black ice in 2013, is living on borrowed time with complications from C.P.O. {Chronic Pulmonary Obstruction i.e. emphysema} & the creep of advancing age, the wear and tear…

Roloff translated, edited & published a veritable Who’s Who of chiefly post WW II German language authors: three Hermann Hesse novels, 
including DEMIAN, as well as publishing scores of Hesse titles at Farrar, Straus; introduced and translated the work of Peter Handke 
(13 plays & one novel), and of F.X. Kroetz and H.M. Enzensberger;

translated as well as published work by T.W. Adorno, Michael Schneider; edited and published the translation of works by Rudolf Augstein, Ernest Bornemann, Hans Georg Gadamer, Gertrud Kolmar, Christa Wolf, Hans Erich Nossack, Tilman Moser, Wolfgang Schivelbusch, Dolf Sternberger, Franz Innerhofer, Norbert Elias & Christian Enzensberger;

translated work by Rolf Hochhut, Josef Winkler, Walter Kempowski, Tankred Dorst, Bert Brecht, Edgar Hilsenrath, Erich Wolfgang Skwara, Werner Schwab, Ernst Juenger (with Louise Bogan), Robert Schindel, Reto Henny, Heiner Mueller (with the director Carl Weber) and Robert Musil; and edited translation of work by Uwe Johnson, Alexander Kluge, Heiner Mueller, Wolfgang Roth; Esther Dischereit & the physicist Harald Fritsch
and saw to the publication of Peter Weiss and Peter Bichsel’s work at Atlantic Monthly Press.

 Among authors of his, at Farrar Straus & Giroux, Continuum and Urizen Books, were Georges Bataille, Pierre Clastres, Bartolome de la Casas, Ilja Ehrenburg, Suzanne de Brunhoff, Robert Bresson, Augusto Boal, Julia Kristeva, Hans Erich Nossack, Sam Hall Kaplan, Sam Shephard (five volumes of plays), Stanley Aronowitz, Michael Brodsky, Kurt Mueller-Vollmer, Marvin Cohen, John Helmer, Paul Sylbert, Martin Grey, Andrew Arato, Robert Sussman-Stewart, Eike Gebhardt, Jim Stratton, Michael Hamburger, Larry Birns
Christa Wolf.

In Roloff’s own estimate his best translation work was of the sixty five poems he rendered for his edition of the Farrar, Straus & Giroux volume of  Nelly Sachs’s 1967 Oh the Chimney’s, of Peter Handke’s dramatic poem 
Walk About the Villages (Ariadne Press, 1996); and Josef Winkler’s Ariadne Press Flowers for Jean Genet, 1995.

Among his own work, subsequent to leaving distracting and sybaritically pleasurable New York City in 1985, are a handful of plays and screenplays, among them Palombe Bleu,
BLT: Last Time Best Time;
Dental Slugfest,
Graduation Boogie

a host of postscripts to books translated for Ariadne Press;
 The Developing Account of Time in Baja Part I (1994);
the collection of prose poems
 the 1998 reportage
“Write Some Numb’s Bitch!”

A Patients Account 
of his Analysis (2003);
the memoir of his German childhood and American youth
­Screen Memories (2015);
the, as of this December 2015 Posting
 of this Provisional Obituary, unfinished collection
Downtown Stories;
and fragments from the novel project The Darlings & Monster’s Quartet
 an on-going online project devoted to the work and person of his scholarly literary interest, Peter Handke:
and numerous sub- associated blogs.
Roloff’s career in publishing -  approached in a crabwise manner since, initially, he was fearful of becoming engaged in commercial ventures - was marked by a number of setbacks.
(1)He had to abandon the 60s literary magazine Metamorphosis when its Hillsboro Books publisher, Michael Lebeck, joined a Sufi sect;  
(2)his two years as agent for Suhrkamp Verlag,
via Lantz-Donadio agency, was made unfortunate in that prior to Dr. Siegfried Unseld, head of Suhrkamp, persuading him to assume the position Roloff failed to realize that there was little of Suhrkamp / Insel left to place with U.S. publishers. It did not help matters that within the year – 1970 – Dr. Unseld had made himself unrepresentable by Roloff as well as Robert Lantz for being undependable in matters contractual once large sums were at stake;
(3)that on becoming an editor at the McGraw-Hill acquired Herder & Herder to create the American equivalent of the famous edition Suhrkamp, Roloff plans went awry when McGraw-Hill, upon the calamitous consequences of losing millions on betting on a fraudulent autobiography of Howard Hughes, withdrew their support also from this venture. A minute part of the edition plan was realized at Continuum Books,
(see resume)
 the successor firm to the also abandoned Herder & Herder, where Roloff next was editor, prior to initiating Urizen Books. 

Meant to be a profit, but not loss-sharing socialist collective, Urizen’s three founders, however, quickly fell into disagreements, and not only in this matter.
(4) Within a year of the firm’s founding Roloff discovered that the source of partner Wieland Schulz’s

funds did not derive from documentaries produced for West German T.V. but that Urizen served as the sluice for funds generated by the Schulz & Victor Bertini owned pornographic dubbing firm Vicland Productions which dubbed Mafia produced U.S. pornographic films.
One of Roloff’s failures of discovery of the fraudulent basis of the firm’s existence, was to consult counsel.
Instead, fancying himself an eminence grise,Roloff kept finding ways to keep the firm going despite the fact that it was being fleeced up front. Schulz then took over the firm from the two partners prior to selling its heart for the song and dance he needed for his film ventures.
From the Urizen bankruptcy Roloff emerged with two federal judgments against Schulz, which remain uncollected in Palermo, Schulz’s subsequent residence.
 In the course of these Urizen Books events, Roloff encountered a prospective author, a dealer in illegal substances, who at one point asked Roloff to make a phone call that proved to have been an act of entrapment and which, had money been involved, likely would have led to Roloff serving time in prison.
Roloff there-upon decided to undertake an analysis to find out why he kept he kept running into   
   “always the wrong people.”
(5)   For It did not help matters, as Roloff eventually realized, that Roger Straus Jr., the publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux,

 a firm for which Roloff had earned millions, then deprived him of three quarters of his editor’s participation which would have stood him in good stead during his Urizen days and those of his analysis.

The analysis proved most productive & was continued on the West Coast where Roloff trained to become an analyst himself, but then changed his mind,
not only because he was in his fifties but because the taxing profession would not have allowed him to pursue a scholarly Peter Handke project nor his own writings.
After seven years in the Los Angeles area Roloff moved to the Baja for three years & likely would have stayed in Mexico for good had the small stipend not disappeared that, in addition to royalties, financed his writer’s existence.
Thereupon Roloff moved to Seattle where for ten years he was a visiting scholar at the University of Washington’s German department, his focus being on Handke where he felt wholehearted devotion might teach him the limits of what he might come to know about one other single individual. This endeavor resulted in volumes worth of essays, especially on Handke’s dramatic oeuvre and the aforementioned on-line Handke project.

there atr also the setbacks enumerated @:

as well as Performing Arts Journal breach of our contract for my translation of Handke's WALK ABOUT THE VILKAGES
a breach with consequences along the trail of tears of 
"the saga 
of a God-save turning into Albatross
 non-reception of VILLAGES 
in the U.S.of A."
which I will publish one of these days. 
One other Seattle setback (6) was that the head of the U.W. Drama School, the now deceased
Sarah Nash Gates
nixed a Handke play festival that was well financed & had general all around and much specific support from the theatrical community.

Roloff’s parents, father Wilhelm T. Roloff (1900) & mother Alexandra von Alvensleben (1910), in the opposition to Hitler as of the early thirties, participated in the 20th of July plot and fortuitously survived their respective Gestapo imprisonment during the siege of Berlin in April 1945. His grandfather Werner von Alvensleben’s

 (Schleicher’s go-between to Hitler) alleged plan to call out the Potsdam garrison to arrest Hitler provided Hitler, in 1934, with the stated reason for the “Night of the Long Knives” with which Hitler eliminated the remainder of the opposition and sealed the completion of his assumption of his dictatorship. A friend of Alvensleben’s,
 privy to Hitler’s scheme, suggested to Alvensleben to spend that weekend at his hunting lodge, as he then did.
High on the list of those to be assassinated he was then condemned to death, which sentence was commuted to life in prison. Alvensleben survived four concentration camps and was liberated at Buchenwald. Reading an account, in 1947, of his grandfather’s torture led Roloff to resolve to leave what he regarded as “the country of murders,” and he succeeded in doing so in 1950 when his mother re-married, a U.S. OSS/CIC officer, Captain Richard Weber. The 20th of July attempt to assassinate Hitler itself occurred on the property of relatives of Roloff’s, and the family’s involvement in these historical anti-fascist endeavors colored Roloff’s perspective life-long, also on U.S. politics & nothing upsets Roloff as much as torture.


MICHAEL ROLOFF                                                                          
BORN: December 19, 1935, Berlin, Germany/ Emigrated to the U.S. in 1950; U.S. Citizen since 1952/Father: Wilhelm T. Roloff (1900); Mother: Alexandra von Alvensleben(1910)                                                             
EDUCATION:Graduated Oakwood School, Poughkeepsie, NY (1954)/ B.A. Haverford College, Haverford, PA (1958)Studies at the University of Munich and Free University of Berlin in 1957/Department of German,                                                                           Stanford University (1958-60)
1961-1965: Editor: METAMORPHOSIS, a literary magazine; / Contributor: N.Y. Times Book Review, Partisan Review; Commonweal; Herald Tribune Book World, / Atlantic Monthly, etc.; /Literary scout for Atlantic Monthly Press, Alfred A. Knopf;TRANSLATOR: RISE UP IN ANGER by Stefan Olivier (G.P. Putnams), DEMIAN by Hermann Hesse (Harper & Row);/ NIGHT by Edgar Hilsenrath, (Doubleday & Co.); Selected Essays in the Three Volumes: EDUCATION IN VISION edited by Georgy Kepes (George Braziller, Inc.); Ernst Juenger translations with Louise Bogan.TRANSLATION-EDITOR: THE THIRD BOOK ABOUT ACHIM by Uwe Johnson (Grove Press); /ATTENDANCE LIST FOR A FUNERAL by Alexander Kluge (McGraw-Hill)

1966-1971: Editor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux: THE IMPOSSIBLE PROOF by Hans Erich Nossack (1967)/ OH THE CHIMNEYS by Nelly Sachs (1967) (Nobel Prize, 1966)/PETER CAMENZIND by Hermann Hesse (1968) (Nobel Prize, 1947)/ BENEATH THE WHEEL by Hermann Hesse (1969)KASPAR AND OTHER PLAYS by Peter Handke (1969) / NARCISSUS AND GOLDMUND by Hermann Hesse (1968)/THE QUEST FOR CHRISTA T. by Christa Wolf (1969) / GERTRUDE by Hermann Hesse (1968)/ROSSHALDE by Hermann Hesse (1969) / THE D'ARTHEZ CASE by Hans Erich Nossack (1971)TRANSLATOR: 50 poems in the above Nelly Sachs volume / PETER CAMENZIND and BENEATH THE WHEEL by Hermann Hesse;/KASPAR AND OTHER PLAYS by Peter Handke (all for Farrar, Straus & Giroux);/JOURNEY THROUGH A HAUNTED LAND by Amos Elon (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1967).CONTRIBUTOR: The New Yorker, N.Y. Times Book Review, Partisan Review.                                                                          
WORK IN THE THEATER:1968-1971: Directed early plays of Peter Handke; worked with Herbert Berghof, E.G. Marshal, Peter Brook, Carl Weber 1970: PUBLIC INSULT by Handke (H.B. Studio, Herbert Berghof, director)1971 KASPAR by Peter Handke (H.B. Studio, with E.G. Marshal, Herbert Berghof, director)1971 SELF ACCUSATION & MY FOOT MY TUTOR by Peter Handke (Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1971 THE RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONSTANCE by Peter Handke (Lincoln Center,        Carl Weber, director).                                                                          
1971-72: Literary Agent with the Lantz-Donadio Literary Agency (representing Suhrkamp, Hanser, Verlag der Autoren, etc.)


1972-1975: SENIOR EDITOR, Continuum Books, The Seabury Press:THE CONSCIOUSNESS INDUSTRY and POLITICS AND CRIME by Hans Magnus Enzensberger (translated & postscript, 1974/CRITICAL THEORY by Max Horkheimer (1973) / NEGATIVE DIALECTICS by Theodor W. Adorno (1974)/FOOD, SHELTER AND THE AMERICAN DREAM by Stanley Aronowitz (1974) /DIALECTIC OF THE ENLIGHTENMENT by Adorno/Horkheimer (1973) / RITUAL, PLAY AND PERFORMANCE by Richard Schechner (1975)/THE DREAM DEFERRED by Samuel Kaplan (1974) / INTRODUCTION TO THE SOCIOLOGY OF MUSIC by T.W. Adorno (1975)/THE INNERWORLD OF THE OUTERWORLD OF THE INNERWORLD by P. Handke (translator & Postscript, 1974)./TRUTH AND METHOD by H.G. Gadamer (1974) / THE BRECHT CHRONICLE by Klaus Volker (1975)/THE DEVASTATION OF THE INDIES by Bartholome de las Casas (1974) / THE END OF THE CHILEAN DEMOCRACY by L. Birns (editor), 1974 / A BOOK OF LIFE by Martin Gray (1974)/DARK SOLILOQUY) SELECTED POEMS by Gertrud Kolmar (1975) / SMUT by Christian Enzensberger (1973)/THE DEADLY SIMPLE MECHANICS OF SOCIETY by John Helmer (1973) / EDUCATION FOR CRITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS by Paolo Freire (1975)/FINAL CUT by Paul Sylbert (1974) / ECLIPSE OF REASON by Max Horkheimer (1973)/DRUGS AND MINORITY OPPRESSION by John Helmer (1975) / NEUROSIS AND CIVILIZATION by Michael Schneider                                                                          


THEATRE WORK: KASPAR by Peter Handke, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carl Weber, director, 1973 (Obie).FARMYARD by F.X. Kroetz, Yale University, Jack Gelber, directorMICHI'S BLOOD by F.X. Kroetz, Denise Gordon, directorDISTRESS CALLS & PROPHECY by Peter Handke, Nightshift, director Lindsay Smith, 1976, N.Y. City.THEY ARE DYING OUT by Peter Handke, Yale Repertory Theatre, (Lloyd Richards, Carl Weber, director), 1979 MEN'S BUSINESS by F.X. Kroetz, Nightshift, Lindsay Smith, director, Squat Theater, N.Y. 1979.                                                                                                                                                    

 1975-1981:CO-PUBLISHER, Urizen Books, Inc.; Member Executive Committee American P.E.N. Translation committee;Advisory Committee Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines; I.C.A. sponsored visit to the People's Republic of Bulgaria, CulturalExchange Program; PUBLISHER/EDITOR / THE FRANKFURT SCHOOL READER by Andrew Arato (editor)/JESUS, SON OF MAN by Rudolf Augstein / THE STORY OF THE EYE by George Bataille/BLUE OF NOON by George Bataille / LITERATURE AND EVIL by George Bataille/PUNK ROCK by Dike Blair / THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED by Augusto Boal/THE PSYCHOANALYSIS OF MONEY by Ernest Bornemann / THE RADICAL WILL: A RANDOLPH BOURNE READER by Olaf Hansen (editor)/NOTES ON CINEMATOGRAPHY by Robert Bresson / DETOUR by Michael Brodsky (Hemingway Prize)/WEDDING FEAST by Michael Brodsky / GRASSHOPPERS AND ELEPHANTS by Wilfred Burchett/SOUTH AFRICA STANDS UP by Wilfred Burchett / SOCIETY AGAINST THE STATE by Pierre Clastres/ THE GUAYAKI INDIANS by Pierre Clastres / THE INCONVENIENCE OF LIVING by Marvin Cohen/MARX ON MONEY by Suzanne de Brunhoff / THE LIFE OF THE AUTOMOBILE by Ilja Ehrenburg/THE CIVILIZING PROCESS by Norbert Elias / MAUSOLEUM by Hans Magnus Enzensberger/END PRODUCT by Hall & Sabbath / NONSENSE AND HAPPINESS by Peter Handke/BEAUTIFUL DAYS by Franz Innerhofer / ABOUT CHINESE WOMEN by Julia Kristina/ FARMYARD AND OTHER PLAYS by F.X. Kroetz / PADRE PARDONED by Gavino Ledda/SEX DIFFERENCES by Lee & Stewart / SELECTED LYRICS by Jerry Leiber/BABY THIS WAS ROCK AND ROLL by Leiber & Stoller / ANTI-SAMUELSON I & II by Marc Linder/THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER by Paul Milvy / POET IN OUR TIME by Eugenio Montale (Nobel Prize 1975)/YEARS OF APPRENTICESHIP ON THE COUCH by Tilman Moser / SARTRE BY HIMSELF by Jean Paul Sartre/ THE RAILWAY JOURNEY by Wolfgang Schivelbusch / ANGEL CITY AND OTHER PLAYS +BURIED CHILD & OTHER PLAYS + CHICAGO & OTHER PLAYS; FOUR TWO ACT PLAYS + THE UNSEEN HAND & OTHER PLAYS by Sam Shepard/INSIDE EAST GERMANY by Jonathan Steele / THE USSR VERSUS DR. MIKHAIL STERN by August Stern/PANORAMA OF THE 19TH CENTURY by Dolf Sternberger / PIONEERING IN THE URBAN WILDERNESS by Jim Stratton                                                                           

1982---: Free Lance Writer, Editor, Screenwriter, Playwright, Translator SCREENPLAYS:Feelings (adaptation/translation) Transatlantic; 1982 / Darlings & Monsters, 1983/Boogie [a.k.a. The Graduation Party] 1991 / Dream Icarus l994/ WRITE SOME NUMB'S, BITCH! 2008/ in progress: IN THE CUTTING ROOM /  PLAYS: The Wolves of Wyoming, 1984 / Palombe Bleu 1985 / Schizzohawk, 1986/B.L.T. or: The Last Time Can Be the Best Time 1987-9 / He/She, The Creature S.U./J.C./ 1989/...IT WON'T GROW BACK, 1989 {First Stage, L.A.] /  in progress; The Darlings & Monster Play. BALZAC'S GODOT, an adaptation of Le Faiseur, 1995

NON-FICTION: WRITE SOME NUMB'S, BITCH! [Adventures in Telemarketing]In progress: THE HANDKE PROJECT including psycho-analytic-linguistic, drama and prose monographs, which can be seen at:  THE FOLLOWING SITES AND BLOGSSCRIPTMANIA PROJECT MAIN SITE: 
and 12 sub-sites [the drama lecture]
[dem handke auf die schliche/ prosa, a book of mine about Handke, in German] [the current American Scholar caused controversy about Handke, reviews, detailed of Coury/Pilipp's THE WORKS OF PETER HANDKE, review of CROSSING THE SIERRA DEL GREDOS, PART I OF A PSYCHOANALYTIC MONOGRAPH][some handke material, too, the Milosevic controversy summarized] MAIN LINK TO ALL THIS MATERIAL AND MORE IS: progress: THE DEVELOPING ACCOUNT OF TIME IN BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR [Part I completed.] FICTION:in progress: The Darlings and Monsters Spiral /1944-47  The Idllic Years[No Irony]/:    POETRY: Headshots (1985) / It Won't Grow Back (1985)/ Steeped in Seattle [prose poems and sketches] 2008 / POLY-GLOT-POLITICAL [in progress]THEATRE-WORK: Recording of an adaptation of RADIO PLAY I by Peter Handke, Theatre for Your Mother, Mark Lutvak, director,1981FARMYARD by F.X. Kroetz, Theatre for the New City, Larry Sacharov, director,1981MICHI'S BLOOD by F.X. Kroetz, Taller Latinamericano/ Creation Productions, Mark Lutvak, director, 1982 /THEY ARE DYING OUT by Peter Handke, B.B.C. recording, Penny Gold director, 1983/ THEY ARE DYING OUT by Peter Handke, Provincetown Theatre, Lynn Holst artistic director, Mark Lutvak, director, 1983/FERNANDO KRAPP WROTE ME THIS LETTER by Tankred Dorst [based on Unamuno's Nothing Less Than a Man] Premiere, Seattle 1996, [published in German Theater Contemporary, Carl Weber, editor, Johns Hopkins University Press./ EDITORES KOMMT ALLES AUF DAS LICHT AN by Wolfgang Roth, 1983 / HAMLET MACHINE AND OTHER PLAYS by Heiner Mueller for Carl Weber, (Translation editing), P.A.J. Press, 1984A TWIN LIFE by Robert Kalich l994.TRANSLATOR: The Imaginary Photo Museum by Fritz Gruber (Harmony Books), 1982
QUARKS by Harald Fritsch (with the author), Basic Books 1983 / TELL 38, by Rolf Hochhut (Little, Brown), 1984/ DESCRIPTION OF A PICTURE by Heiner Mueller (with Carl Weber), 1985 , P.A.J. Press, 1989./THE PLAGUE IN SIENA by Erich Wolfgang Skwara, with after word, Ariadne Press, 1993/ WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES by Peter Handke, Ariadne Press l994, with an essay postscript & notes./WHERE-BORN by Robert Schindel, with after word, Ariadne Press, 1994 / CHARADE by Christian Zauner, with after word, Ariadne Press, 1993/FLOWERS FOR JEAN GENET by Josef Winkler 1994, Ariadne Press/ OHNE LEITBILD by Theodor Adorno, Columbia University Press, 1995 / DIE NORMALITAET EINER BERLINER REPUBLIK by Juergen Habermas, Nebraska University Press, 1996/ SPRING-TIME by Reto Henny, 1997, privately published /COLLECTED PLAYS of Peter Handke, Volume I, Methuen, 1997/ Butterblumen by Josef Winkler, Salzburg Festival Catalog, Residenz Verlag 2008
DEVELOPING ACCOUNT OF TIME IN BAJA CALIFORNIA PART I, 1995/LOVE LETTER TO JERRY LEIBER, 1996/ WRITE SOME NUMB'S BITCH: Adventures in Telemarketing, 2000/ A PATIENT'S EXPERIENCE OF HIS ANALYSES, 2003  CONTRIBUTOR: /The Los Angeles Times Book Review, St. Monica Review, The Jewish Journal, Los Angeles [contributing editor]; / The Austrian Symposium, U.C. Riverside; Ariadne Press;Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Society/ 1996 – 2006 Visiting Scholar, Department of German, University of Washington,  

2010 UPDATE... The Handke Project is nearing the completion of needing to be sorted out,
only a few more long pieces to write, unless he writes another biggie of course, reread the last two volumes of his diaries, an essay on his poetics, on his development as a prose writer....
i delved around the publishing past last year and wrote it up in three takes, starting with my association with Farrar, straus, then, in German the complex relationship with Suhrkamp and authors, and then a history of urizen books. all on line at this site. right now, i am writing in German 1944-50 DIE IDYLLISCHEN JAHRE: KEINE IRONIE. DECKERINNERUNGEN. Ought to be done by mid year, at whic point we will turn back to the New York novel, many parts of which puzzle exist...m.r. feb '10

update 2015

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seattle, Washington, United States
MICHAEL ROLOFF Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website