Saturday, July 18, 2015


Table of Contents


Fir Place
Screen Memory One – The Toy Train
S.M. Two – The first bombs.

Travels with Ms. No

A Pond, Cats in the Belfry
Hornets, Horse Stalls, Champignons
Vornbach & the Inn River
The Monastery & The Dancing Bear and the Second Nightmare,  
The Flattened Forest, a one room school,
Jola + Constantin + I + a Rusty Knife,
We Lay Anchored off Madagascar & had the Plague on Board,” Awkward Drawings,
Trains on Sidings,
The Lady Vanishes
The Animals in the Bombed Zoo
Garmisch & Icicles
Puppe Sarre” + the Sculpture

The Return to Paradise

The Nag Lisa, Kirkway,
Foreman Klinner & Ivan, the Ukranian “guest worker”
A Walk About
The Fox Hole & Bomb Craters
Ack-Ack Splinters
The Monkey Woman
A Chase & Consequences
The SS-Teacher
The Offering of Lead Toy Soldiers
X-Mas Forest
Ice Skating to Holland
The Man who Eats Children
Pitt” and “Witt"
The Tank Documentary
Tonsillitis & Eros & Thanatos
at a young Age,
Rabbits, Chases
The Giant B-17 Bird
The 19th of July
Klinner + the Bolshevik

Idyllic Years: Spring 1945-1947

Nona, Ditloff, Dedo, Stani
Life in the Fox Hole
The Chestnut Tree
The Frozen Pond

The End of the War
The Battalion from Arnheim
Water Carriers
The First “Amis”
The Return of the Grandfather
Inception of a Political Education
Trading with the Enemy
Pineapples + “Real” Coffee + Cigarettes
The Return of the Parents
The Political Education Ctd.
Life in the Fox Hole
Nona & a Terry Cloth Panty
The first Cigarette
Five Gallon Gas Tanks

Cold War Consequences

Plön, a boarding School Castle
Soccer, Chess, Fairy Tales,
Gisela, baisers,
the fight with the son of the Nazi General

Feldafing – Benno Siedhoff - Tennis

X-Mas 1949/50
Rainer Hildebrandt &
Combat Team vs. Inhumanity"
Night at the Opera,
The Road to Morocco, The Red Shoes
The Third Man
A Chaste Kiss

A Summer’s Trip with Father & Uncle through the Diminished Reich
A last walk-about
Nona gets Cold Feet


Pineapples & Sour Oranges
The USS Maurice Rose
New York Harbor
Brooklyn & Port of Embarkation

Newark & West Orange
The Furniture Movers
Junior High School
Prospect Park
World’s Sloppiest Boy Scout Troupe
The Aborted Hay Ride
The Pine Barrens
Delaware Water Gap – Another Lady Vanishes
Shakespeare & the Crosley

Camp Pocono
the Paxtons,
canoeing, expeditions
Polio, Beer,
The Mother Departs

Anti-Acid: Oakwood School
The IBM Plant - Appple Orchards
A Different Reception
Kurt Anschel
Girls Girls Girls
Terry Matern & Yoshiro Sonbanmatsu
Dr. Newlin & Elizabeth Roosevelt
Necking Necking Necking
Alice & a Thanksgiving Weekend
An explosion in the Photo Lab &
A Walk across the Poughkeepsie Bridge

First Summer Interlude:
Hitchhiking to Canada
The Howard Johnson’s


Steve Sarnoff
Frank Conroy, Harvey Phillips
Sandro, a story
The Destruction of Lower Marion
Musser’s Suicide + Still Point
Packard’s Breakdown
D.H. Lawrence
John Ashmead
Extracurricular activities!!!

Sophomore Year
Writing Class
Barbara Taze & Connie, the girl with “No Panties”

Second Summer + Third Summer Interludes

Frank Conroy's mother
Good Humor Men
Werner, Lorillard Paper Mill
Joseph Conrad, Henry James

Alexandria Virginia: Fort Belvoir
The Parents Return
Another Howard Johnson’s

The Year Abroad

Wabana New Foundland
Amsterdam Hamburg Wiesbaden Munich
Vaihingen, Paris, Berlin, Venice Dubrovnik

Omi Roloff, Nona, Liedke,
Omi R., Christoph von Luttitz, Marianne, Dorothea, Wolfgang Clemens, Fraenzi, Albrecht Tietze, Harvey, Vlado, Thurn & Taxis
Die Schlampe
The Moderns


The Pigalle Whore
Theatre de la Huchette: Ionesco
Harvey, Vlado, Thurn & Taxis
Strasbourg - Hitchhiking

Albrecht Tietze
The Hungarian Sheepdog
Martin Hillenbrandt
Fred Jameson, Ralph Langbacka
Lukacs, Brecht

Fourth Summer Interlude
The Englishman
Vlado Habonek – Plays

Senior Year

Pound, Goethe
Haverford-Bryn Mawr Review
The Car Ride
Dr. Harry Pfund
Last Days

Fifth Summer Interlude
Breadloaf Writer’s Conference
Basin Harbor Club
Tile & Marble Men
Grace New Haven Hospital

Kurt Mueller-Vollmer
Gus Blaisdell & Kepler’s Bookshop
Mary Swift & Mormon Lady
Jean Gosselin Menlo Park Junior College
Horace and Monk + North Beach

Fifth Summer Interlude

Williams Arizona Ranch
Uncle Jack-Herding-Riding Western
The Trip to Malibu & the Bayou
and back to New York
Frank & Chess
Pamela + Roxbury

Rick Litterick & the Nash Ambassador & a Bell Housing
Mountain Climbing
Forest Fire Fighting
Alma + Kim Novak
The Timberline
Geological Surveying
The ABC of Reading Epiphany

Part I
Part II

An Excerpt from A Patient’s Experience of his Analysis
An Excerpt from Charlotte Pommer’s Memoir.Bericht der Krankenhausärztin Charlotte Pommer

Studien und Dokumente zu Alltag, Verfolgung und Widerstand im Nationalsozialismus  


Monday, May 18, 2015


you need to e-mail me to look at this section of SCREEN MEMORIES. MIRO@ 

Monday, April 20, 2015



to come:
media, housing, philistinism

complainers, followers, "uncomfortable,"
snooping, snitching
a city of small complaints
men like old women, busy bodies, other-directed,  anal, dirt-obsessed middle class beings, breeders,  not interested crossword puzzlers.

by Michael Roloff

I recall that the only theater piece to leave Seattle during the twenty years I have been in these parts is the musical First Date

A creation of Seattle's Kurt Beattie-run ACT theater
FIST DATE provides NY Times reviewer Isherwood a chance for wicked fun, as would the Seattle that I could apprise him of if ever he comes to these parts.
Does any of the following sound familiar? An instant lack of rapport; a growing aversion as the minutes pass; a mysterious sense that time has suddenly stopped; a desperate hope that the apocalypse will arrive, preferably right this minute. Magnify those feelings, set them to bland pop-rock music, and you’ll have some idea of the oodles of fun I didn’t have during my evening at “First Date,” the singing sitcom that opened on Thursday night at the Longacre Theater.”
Thus, it occurred to me to dwell on, fathom, why so little of note worth exporting is created in Seattle in the arts (welcoming imports is a different matter), what might militate in the usual and more than usual American ways?
Let me focus on matters theatrical first as I did already some time ago @
But let me first revert (avert, revert, what's the vert next?) to the fine summer of 1994 when it did not rain from mid-June until November and everything East of the Cascades burned to a cinder
I arrived in Seattle to see some Green after about ten years of desert & semi-desert, to contact relatives, descendants of immigrants of around the year 1900, and friends.
Matter did not start of all that
I contacted ex-colleague & agent Robert Lantz in New York, “Ah Michael, let me put you in touch with the wonderful Dan Sullivan at the Rep. Sullivan at once turned me over to his assistant Kurt Beattie, and we got along just fine, especially because he had played Peter Handke's
in my translation.
I had published and translated a lot of Austrian authors and the Austrians were ready to repay in the form of helping fund a Handke festival. Kurt did yeoman's work in crunching numbers. The idea went over well until I - by then visiting scholar at the U.W. in Germanics - who had only wanted a library card - heard from the chair of my department that the head of the Drama Department, Sarah Nash Gates, said that they were not interested: well, she wasn't for sure, Steve Pearson who then did a first rate production of Handke's
certainly was, as was Burke Walker the first rate directing teacher & director whose
had gone belly-up.
However, it was my fault in not apprising myself that I needed that Gates chair person's o.k. - matters of that kind had never been a problem on the East Coast where I had arranged several festivals of that kind at colleges, Smith & Bennington. A belated attempt to convince Professor Gates - the damn thing could have been called "Gat es of Hell Festival" for all I cared who made his money from his translator's cut at such events) of Handke's importance did not succeed.
Now that Handke is acknowledged a the most innovative unique playwright since Brecht,
a playwright of Shakespearean dimension
wouldn't it be a feather in the U.W.'s shaved head
to have done a full-fledged well-funded festival cum symposium at that time!
To get a feel for the scene I did some reviewing (for two tickets, ah and the chick who wanted my spare at the Fifth Avenue) for the organ of the disabled & thus made the acquaintance of Seattle audiences that applaud the sets & giggle easily - appalling compared to the children in Mulege in the Baja when the Circus comes to the pueblo & you see genuine wonder, and not just on the children's faces.
I had been going to the theater since the 50s, and had read plays voluminously, beginning with Shakespeare (courtesy of a Shakespeare-nut stepfather – no, not just proverbially, conceive of hurtling in a Crosby automobile - Frigidaire-size, post WW II vintage - through a suburban housing development with your delightful stepfather elocuting the great monologues at the top of his voice!)
I had had had amazing theater experiences - at the Berliner Ensemble, with Peter Brook, Herbert Berghof, E.G. Marshal, and all the Handke in New York. The Seattle audiences were something else – and they then seemed to claim sophistication, perhaps because they drank cafè au lait.
In the process of trying to get the festival off the ground, I came to know the crème de la crème of Seattle off-off Broadway sprinkle. There seemed to be, or at least have been, a lot of fresh shoots in Seattle, starting in the 60s.
There was still an Autumn all around festival at the time where you could catch three shows at tiny venues on Capitol Hill – that disappeared a few years after.
Meanwhile, other shoots were dying out, too; I think it is a total of ten small and large venues that have gone down, and I suppose it is a wonder that Kurt Beattie, with a lot of compromises, has at least kept A.C.T. afloat.
My translation of Dorst's
proved the final nail in
AHA Theater's coffin.
Reviewers, I quickly realized, but for the redoubtable Roger Downey but of questionable character, were a problem: not even what I regard as a fairly straight forward play about machismo'sunhappy consequences for women & ultimately, for Mr. Macho, seemed capable of being described halfway accurately except by a freelancer whom Joe Adcock of the yet extant Seattle Post Intelligencer allowed to sub, Misha Berson's sub at the Seattle Times, was a flub (the sub a flub, sub-flubs) as was Longenbaugh at the WEEKLY – no Stranger yet – at the English language premiere of a play that was done all over Europe and was based on Unamuno's famous novella
Nothing Less than a Man.
And the sweet folk at AHA - wonderful work over the years - had not built up a following to keep a marvelous play of that kind from and early closing of its short run.
Ah if the audiences were only as intellectually curious and adventurous as they are as foodies!
Upon Heinar Mueller's death I arranged for a memorial reading and performances at the U.W. Drama School. I had collaborated with Mueller's American translator the Berliner Ensemble graduate Carl Weber on most of the translations.
Great attendance at the Memorial which led to nearly nothing: a sweet kid, not even member of the Drama School, then did Hamlet Machine way off in one of the abandoned buildings in Magnuson Park's NOAA facility.
Neither Carl Weber showed, his wife had this habit of falling ill whenever he wanted to go somewhere, especially with me,
nor did Roger Downey, whose translation of Mueller's Quartet appears to have been the only other Mueller piece ever done in Seattle, at Kazanian's then still extant Theater of the New City which is now the Hugo House – Downey had claimed, to Verlag der Autoren, (A Socialist Author's house, one of the few left-overs of 1968) friends whom I had represented in New York,
that he had exclusive English language rights – the prospect of finding himself on the same stage as Carl Weber, Mueller's American translator, had induced a diabetes attack (if only it had been agenbite!) in someone who had vied to be a food rather than a drama & opera critic of … actually … national talent, if only he had not been a petty and vengeful crook besides! Domage!
- I was becoming privy to Seattle parochialism & would encounter a lot more of it. David Brewster, objecting to Downey reviewing shows at ACT because his wife was a member of the board – David then apologized for his overly protective impulse. Certainly one reason for lack of creativity & a low horizon.
In the course of trying to salvage something of the attempt at a Handke festival,
Kurt then introduced me to a few people each of whom proved to be a breaker of his word.
Arne Zaslove during the course of a decade never read
of which now modest mouse me
had merely wanted to do a reading. I was still in four-hour voice at that time & had done it at venues such as Beyond Baroque
in Venice, Ca.
By then Arne had lost his Bathhouse Theater because the prospect of hosting Theater Zan Zinni at that location had alarmed the Greenlake Green Police! Arne was quite right that Kurt couldn't direct himself out of a brown paper bag, which didn't keep him from sucking up to him with projects. Parochialism! And Kurt then didn't do any Handke as he had hoped he would when he inherited the artistic directorship at ACT.
And it appears he has not realized his deepest wish, to finally premiere Brecht's Mother Courage
in a major venue in Seattle before he retires.
He asked me whether I wanted to do a new adaptation of the Thirty War Year-old Mutter Kuraschfor years I had been thinking of doing an American Mother Courage, and was quite ready, and not to do a Kushner or Steve Pearson, Mother Courage as Cabaret version
(Imagine doing Death of a Salesmen as a comedy, perhaps as Death of an American Hustler!)
but, as an aboriginal Brechtian, as of 1957, I was going to do it with full-fledged urmarxist tragic pathos. What a mother that would have been!
John Kazanian (whose work as a director of performance artists I admire) had sold the building that housed his NewCity Theater and now only did shows at his and his wife's kitchen, promised to read
and get back to me, which he has not to date.
The best chance to still do something spectacular along that line was provided to
Richard White @ Cornish
A half way decent production in the early years of this century, of my proposition for CORNISH to do Handke's highly controversial VOYAGE BY DUGOUT (THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR) would have put Cornish on the map as it has not been for a hundred years
Instead White, never got back to me as he promised, and seems to have spent his time giving away money for whatever never left an impression.
Parochialism to the Nth power – the U.S. of A. the biggest parochial self-involved
country in the world!
Not that I didn't see some fine theater while Sullivan & Sher & a few other notables were directing who all departed Seattle for its provinciality.
Meanwhile I think a total of ten theaters have gone down, including the Intiman that tried to revive itself by reviving its once biggest hit
currently is running a competition for the next Kushner!
Pretty pathetic!
The Seattle Rep
had a play “in progress” for some years
far worse than the movie's
in “turn-around”
(the sure sign of death
a notice to the effect of “in progress no matter with what artistic director you encounter it - a good playwright gets the work done)
and Misha Bernson mercifully put the stake into this attempt at a femme GLENGARY GLENROSS
I imagine you could throw millions upon millions into arts funding hereabouts and it wouldn't change the fundamental provinciality that I have seen so many artistic directors flee during my 20 years in these parts - theatre is an area in which I am a bit of an old hand. But then it is an area without a building audience, thus no great surprise that so many small ventures have disappeared, also for reasons of mismanagement or grandiosity. Had I Paul Allen's resources I'd know what it would take to be the right kind of Medici in that area, say like the HB Studio in New York - Herbert Berghof Uta Hagen Studio to put names with the initials  - actor development, an uncompromising dose of truly contemporary and classical theatre, do that for about 25 years and you have something, as well as a loyal educated audience that realized that it had a gem in its midst. A better newspaper would help but is not essential. Give it another 100 years and Seattle will be just like told old-time Vienna!



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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