Wednesday, April 08, 2015


In 1966 when Roger Straus offered me a job as German scout & editor for German books after I had stopped by their offices as the Suhrkamp scout, I had written quite a few stories for the Haverford-Bryn Mawr Review & been its editor during my senior year. Yet as of early on I saw myself much more as a servant of writers. I loved graduate school at Stanford as I loved learning at all stages of my life. However, the prospect of life as a member of a German department made me go dead at my orals; and I found University life arid & later I realized I ought never have attended Haverford but NYY or CCNY, a city school, such as the University of Munich, which had been perfect. I had become something of a Poundian during my senior year in college, the ABC of reading was one of many guide that I worked through quite studiously. In November 1960 in Fairbanks, Alaska, at very much a McCabe & Mrs. Miller party – dwelling where my adventuring would take me, after a summer & fall of fire fighting and geological surveying, I had my Eureka Poundian ABC of Reading moment: I would return to NY & start a magazine. And so I did: Metamorphosis, with Fred Jameson as fellow editor & it was published by lovely Michael Lebeck's Hillsboro Press. Unfortunately, Michael at the time that the third issue came off the press joined a Sufi sect, and that was that. I made my living as reader of German books for a variety of U.S. publisher, translation doctor, reader for book clubs, for Columbi Pictures, and translator. I spent the year 1994 in Germany scouting for Seymour Lawrence, first at Atlantic, and then at Knopf. During that time I met Siegfried Unseld & a lot of other interesting people. I had family connection to publishing both in Germany & the U.S. Unseld & I hit it off over my enthusiasm for certain books of Hans Erich Nossack. I became their, or for all I know, one of their scouts. I had interviewed Uwe Johnson during his visit to New York, a valuable lead to East German publishing. I interviewed and made friends with Peter Weiss in Berlin. I was invited to the Gruppe 47 meeting at Princeton in Spring 1966. I even gave a party – with Jakov Lind & Pannah Grady, at her place in the Dakota, for the Gruppe. For a short while I sought to combine the literary & social life, but had entirely the wrong wife to pursue those ambitions. I was pretty well read at that point both in contemporary German & American literature, and as a scout had learned a good deal where gold might be found.

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MICHAEL ROLOFF exMember 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


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