Sunday, May 07, 2017

One further post in the matter Roloff versus FSG

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <>
Date: Tue, May 2, 2017 at 12:26 AM
Subject: Statement Advice From MacMillan Royalty Dept.

Dear Jonathan Galassi,

once more and with more than feeling: attached statement for my royalty share (for a two year period)on the 1969 KASPAR & OTHER PLAYS reminds me once again that you have failed to reply to various queries of mine regarding FSG’s failure to abide by my orginal 1966 contract but especially in the matter of royalties for my translation of the 1975  RIDE ACROSS LAKE CONTANCE & OTHER PLAYS (aside a series of early texts it contains Handke’s 1973 THEY ARE DYING OUT, which eventually premiered in English at the Yale Rep in 1979), which translations - done in some instances while I was  in 1966-1969 employ of FSG - fall under the same royalty agreement; ditto for my query regarding Christa Wolf’s THINKING ABOUT CHRISTA & the two Hans Erich Nossack volumes I edtited at FSG and brought to the firm,  which in fact may never have reached the agreed upon threshold, whereas Nelly Sachs’s OH THE CHIMNEYS - on which I had the option when she received the Nobel Prize in 1966 and which I edited, found fine translators in Michael Hamburger & Ruth and Matthew Mead while also translating about 65 poems myself and the H.M. Enzensberger introduction -  certainly did cross the threshold  - as I recall in that respect taking a call from Roger Straus, after  successful publication, that he did not pay royalties on translation of poetry! 
In retrospect, this call, its chutzpah, its effrontery constituted the kind of breach of contract that, as I recall, took my breath away, and was of a nature that I ought to have left the firm & sued if in fact the royalties were not paid - and by that point, in 1968, I had already brought FSG the first ten book Hesse contract. 
Roger’s fiat also constitutes yet one other instance of several I had noticed during our trip to the Frankfurt Bookfair in 1967 of his brutishness, and one element in my evntual conclusion of the forever unNobelizabilty of the man no matter how many Nobel prize winners he might publish. 
However, now that we have Boris Kachka’s book on the history of the firm and know of the precariousness of its financial situation, so nicely confessed to by Dorothea Straus, Roger sitting at his Union Square office and his hawkeye for saving the small percentages - that indeed can add up! -  chintzing these matters out, in this and yet one other instance that would affect my well being - while yet - to all appearances, with the Purchase estate, the Mercedes and the $ 1200 12 ply suits - makes good survivalist sense! 
I have detailed the rest of the story and put it on line:

where you find out that Roger managed to cheat this chump out of huge sums of money, that would have made a real difference during my Urizen Books days, even though Cecil Hemley had mentioned to me, prior to Roger cherry picking me, that Straus had managed to cheat Cecil over the sale of Noonday Books - it appears that I lived under the imprission that I was inviolable because I had brought the firm all those wonderful Hesse titles that made millions. But as I then found out, the way millionaires keep their million is by being chintzy, and as you, Jonathan, noticed in the kind of tips the man left. 
Let me also note, the successors I don’t think are bound to abide by their predecessor's crimes. 
Unfortunately for me it is too costly to sue in Federal Court, in New York State I would bring suit under the State laws, and do so per se, as I eventually learned to do in these matters.  
Just a footnote now in the matter of Peter Handke plays & FSG publication of the work of the Ibsen Prize winner, a matter featured in the firm’s press releases: as of WALK ABOUT THE VILLAGES 1983 & including great plays THE ART OF ASKING, THE HOUR WE KNEW NOTHING OF EACH OTHER, VOYAGE BY DUGOUT OR THE PLAY ABOUT THE FILM ABOUT THE WAR, etc etc., as in other matters Handke, FSG blew it, in part because of omissions on the part of that dear old chintzy Runyonesque fellow, Roger Straus.
Yours truly,Michael Roloff


*Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society a.d

"Degustibus disputandum est" {Theodor Wiesenthal Adorno}
"May the foggy dew bediamondize your hoosprings + the fireplug
of filiality reinsure your bunghole! {James  Joyce}
"Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde." {von Alvensleben}
"Siena me fe, disfescimi Maremma." {Dante}
"Ennui [Lange Weile] is the dreambird that hatches the egg of
experience." {Walter Benjamin, the essay on Leskov.} 

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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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