Joseph Witriol’s Journal – Part 26: No Asch in Yehoshua

Tuesday, October 1st 1958, 8.25 p.m.

The first day of Edith’s “retirement”. I called for her at her office yesterday. her colleagues had presented her with layette-stuff; very moving, really. We celebrated in a mild way by dining at the Strand palace. E. naturally revels in her new-found leisure, though it remains to be seen whether she will revel quite so much as time advances and she finds herself “confined to barracks” and having to work to a tight budget. The change has been a relief to me, too. To-night I was able to listen to a talk on the wireless, make this entry and I stand a fair chance of being able to listen-in for an additional hour and have a bath. Under the old dispensation I would have had to go to the launderette (which to-day Edith was able to do in the morning), do all the washing-up (to enable Edith to get on with the ironing, which she will now be able to do in daylight hours) and so on.

I started taking my French class at the Clapton & Kingsland Evening Institute the Monday before last. Thirty-one students! Which means the class should last throughout the session. Only 30/- a night; probably leaves me with about 17/6 after deducting tax, fares, teas; but I have nothing more lucrative with which to occupy the time.

I “preached” at the kids’ services on the Yomim Nowroim [“The High Holidays”] at Highgate Shool. Difficult to know what to say to them. They were an awkward age group; the oldest – one or two only – about 13; too young to give ’em much meat. Must try to work up a collection of “stories.” The young chap who “takes” the service ( for a fee, I have reason to believe – why not, I take a fee for my Sunday-school teaching) was rather weak, unfortunately; couldn’t sing, or even read Hebrew at all decently (he read, or tried to read, Israeli, which would have been all right if he could have done it).

My translation from the German of a – rather drippy – article by Max Brod and also, from the Hebrew, of a quite intelligent article by Yehoshua Bar-Yossef appeared in the last issue of The Jewish Quarterly I was given full translator’s credits. Unfortunately my translation of the latter article, which was largely a complaint about the poor quality of Hebrew-English translating, was rushed (I did it all – about 1500 words English text – on the Friday preceding the Saturday on which we left for Crikvenica) and could have been better. I had no time even to type my rough draft; anyway the printed text has elementary grammatical errors like: “translators of sufficient high standards” which, whether originally my fault or not, will not redound to my credit. I’d never heard of Yehoshua Bar-Yossef before. Apparently he’s a well-known Israeli author, & writes in Yiddish, too. He complains Hebrew has no translator, as Sholem Asch had, of the calibre of Maurice Samuel. The answer’s obvious enough. Let’s have a Hebrew Asch, and I won’t let him down!

Advertisements

Joseph Witriol’s Journal – Part 5: Wiseman’s Sacrifice

12th July 1957 – 7.45 p.m.

With Richard [Stern] on Wednesday evening (10th) to see Kind Hearts & Coronets at the Everyman. Exquisite. Remembered: the artist-hangman’s (I mean: the professional hangman who regards his profession as a high art – as always I labour to be brief and become obscure – I’m not certain of the Latin, soddit): “I shall never be able to go back to hemp after silk.” Sholem Ash’s death reported. The only work I remember having read of his – in English – was Three Cities, which made a profound impression at the time, though I can’t recall anything of it now. I wrote to him twice trying to get something by him to translate, but he did not reply. Perhaps had I been able to send him my Heine translation at the time he would have played. Even so, I suspect he wouldn’t have given me much scope to get any fancy translating fee – and I’m not in translating for my health or for the sake of a graceful intellectual exercise.

13/7/57 Janáček 2½ hrs; 15/7/57 Janáček 3 hrs 17/7/57; 3¼hrs Janáček [red text at the end of entries indicates time spent on writing/translating work]

2nd August 1957 – 3.30 p.m. (1)

The infrequency of the entries make it increasingly doubtful whether it was worth while to embark on this diary (journal? what is the difference – “diary” can be used in a literary context too, I think). We broke up on Friday 26th July – schluss mit jubel, as my old boss Sperling used to say. Sam [brother] “sprang” on me at last moment that Blatts [tenants living with their mother] were away, hence would I stay the week at Mum’s, which I am grudgingly doing. I am a sod, wish I weren’t – poor Mum, at 75, asks little except to smother me with food, dilate on her apple troubles (owing to the non-occupation of the house next door the scrunching – I mean scrumping – plague is worse than ever – Mum rigged up the hose in wonderful Heath Robinson fashion to drench raiders, but ‘shelft nisht  –  nor did the barbed wire defences erected by the yok for a ridiculously low sum — zey delenggern ins dooss goolless, [they lengthen our exile] as mum observed) and retire early to bed with the Evening Standard, to read the social gossip and longevity items therein. But – I can’t come back late, because she can’t stay up worrying – I invariably have to re-make the bed, and in the heat yesterday in picking up the apples I lost my temper. However, an apology seems to have restored tolerable relations, Mum merely remarking it was extraordinary how one named after her saintly father could have such a vile temper. I: But he didn’t translate Max Brod. Mum: Pfu! (literally spitting, or going through the motions at any rate) Allevai vosst de geveyn a shnahder vee er (Blatt, the upstairs tenant). What can you do?

28th July Janáček 2 hrs; Cumulative April – July: say 105 hrs, of which say Janáček, 65.

2nd August 1957 – 3.30 p.m. (2)

Chores and commuting between Avenue and Moresby Road decreased amount of work done. Finished reading The Sacrifice by Adele Wiseman. Written by a girl of 27 it shows extraordinary  maturity and ability to make the words behave. I find it extraordinary too, that a young Jewish woman can use words like balls, arse with complete verisimilitude. Merton [Sandler] knows Adele. Would like to meet her myself, although I don’t know whether there would be any point. If I think of unmarried Jewish women, I think of them as potential wives for J.W. – being perfectly aware, of course, that nine out of every ten I so think of would not think of themselves as potential wives for J.W. even if they did not know my whole story, and that it is extremely doubtful whether anyone who did know my whole story would consider marrying me –  and I wouldn’t ask anyone to marry me unless I’d shown them all my divorce dope. In any case, even if and even if and even if, etc. – I still can’t see myself as brilliant novelist’s husband – I know, brilliant novelist wouldn’t want me as her husband.

Saw Titus Andronicus with Richard in brilliant Peter Brook production. Managed to read first two acts, no bell-ringing lines, but “easier” than much of Shakespeare and on a consistently high level of mediocrity. Also a film – The Bachelor Partyby the “Marty” man. Good – humanity in the shadow of the skyscrapers. The final message:

…By love subsists

All lasting grandeur, by pervading love;

That gone, we are as dust.

Shit hot, Witriol, shit hot. (But I must check the quotation – it should be capable of rendering yeoman service)

Aug 2nd 1957 and preceding days: say 10 Janáček

Monday August 5th 1957 – 4.30 p.m.

Plaintiff in a Pretty Hat at Golders Green Hippodrome on Saturday evening. Excellent innocuous comedy on the theme of the landed aristocracy are pretty decent chaps really and taking their reversal of fortune on the chin. Yesterday led ten Senior Ramblers. Although I had thought that this, the third bite of the cherry, would go without a hitch (ugh! but it’s hot) I managed to lose the track. However, we got from our starting point – Great Missenden – back, managed to have a midday rest at a pub and tea at another; all things considered, a successful day. To-day didn’t get up till midday,. over to Mum to pick up my things, relaxing.

 

Joseph Witriol’s Journal – Part 2: Forty-five – still alive

My father, Joseph Witriol (1912-2002), kept a Journal from 1957 for forty years. There is the trivia of daily life (sometimes in extraordinary detail). But there are also philosophical, religious, political, cultural, and linguistic insights and musings.

The overarching theme is his feeling of being a failure. Among the many things this ‘failure’ did was to write his  memoirs, Also Lived – An Autobiography of a Failure, chronicling his life up to the time the Journal begins.

I do not always explain words and expressions merely because they are foreign, dated or obscure. However, it should be noted that my father’s Hebrew and Yiddish transliterations are often different to conventional usage.  His red text at the end of entries indicates the time he spent on writing/translating work.

21st April 1957 2.20 p.m.

Forty-five – still alive (after all, a number of those contemporary with me aren’t). I suppose one ought to stock-take, dedicate the remainder of one’s life, etc. Non possumus, tout court. A fairly hard morning this morning, even though up at 10 a.m. Lawn mowed, box of grape fruit from Esther ben Aharon [his cousin] in Haifa opened – in garden, necessitating fetching of tools from cellar; opened box placed here in drawing-room, privet hedge clipped, clippings swept, candlesticks polished, shoes polished. Want to get two hours in at Avenue Road if possible to revise typescript of “Part II” of Cicero and collect Sunday Times. Then write out one or two cheques for Mum, shool, [synagogue] supper – by which time I shall probably be too tired to read the S.T.

Last night spoke to about 30 adolescents of “Phoenix” – the youth club of the New Liberal Jewish Congregation, where I teach Sunday mornings – on “Theodore Herzl.” I probably found it more of a strain than Aubrey Eban did to address the American Jewish Committee mammoth gathering, bringing, I read, the huge audience to their feet by an”outburst of characteristic eloquence.”  Strange to think – I’m sure my memory is not playing me false – that Aubrey once warned a meeting of ‘He-Atid,’ the Young Zionist Society I ran circa 1933, to “be beware of my eloquence.” [But Also Lived has a very different version]. Sic has transited my gloria, sic Aubrey has iturd ad astra ( Israel delegate to U.N. and Ambassador to U.S.). More of this, no doubt, anon en passant.

To revert to my Phoenix talk. I spent 2-3 days reading Bein’s biography – excellent and, I agree with Edwin Samuel, admirably translated by Maurice Samuel. In the event I spoke for an hour without reference to the notes I had prepared. I can’t pretend I had the kids enthralled, though Herzl’s story is enthralling enough, but still, I am not too displeased at having held this difficult type of audience (gangly, giggling, spotty).

The tragedy is that if I give another lecture on Herzl I shall feel impelled to read Bein all over again. I have the memory described in the Perek [Chapters of the Fathers] as being that of “He who learns quickly and forgets quickly – his gain disappears in his loss.” The examination memory in short.

Friday, 26th April 1957 – 7.15 p.m. Lunched in B.B.C. canteen on Wednesday with Julius Gellner. He’s a friend of Brod, whom he esteems highly as a man – he says rightly that Brod is now a Grand Old Man. He thought possibly the B.B.C. might be able to use Cicero. I doubt it, but it was pleasant enough to be in the B.B.C. European Services Canteen. The atmosphere reminiscent of the P.W.B. canteen in Bari, [see Also Lived for more about his time in the Psychological Warfare Branch] suggestion of suppressed excitement, “glamour,” a break from “dinner” in the School dining-hall. The previous week I had gone with Mum, Sam and Lily to see Sholem Aleichem’s Tevie Milchiger done by the Polish State Jewish Theatre. Leslie Curzon told me in shool on Pesach that Menachem Mendel in the play had made a moitsee [blessing] over bread – this was during Chol Ha-moed Pesach. Neither Mum nor I had noticed – Mum incensed.

Read The Tyranny of Hagbah at FrumSatire.Net

Hagba how-to

At shool given Hagba. [raising the Torah scroll] It’s not a mitsva I like; I always dread dropping the Sefer. The shamass [beadle] briefed me exhaustively enough: pull the sefer towards you the full extent of the handles, then press the sefer down against the reading-desk so that the sefer is absolutely vertical; don’t try any kuntsen – wandering about the belemmer (but surely the essence of Hagbaha is that the Sefer be exhibited in all directions?). There was no catastrophe, but my performance was weak, in contrast to that of the chap who hagba’d the second Sefer – he did it with the right bravura.

On Wednesday from B.B.C. (Bush House) to Watford to visit Wal & Bev. Wal, an optician, a friend from my schooldays (Eheu!).He has a house which perhaps qualifies for nothing much more by way of epithet than “nice,” but the garden has a fine uninterrupted view of trees. He has bought a second car. He, Bev & Jennifer (young daughter) off to Bermuda on a cruise for their holiday. Beverley’s V. crass talk I found a little much: Have you a cigarette darling? (to Jeremy, who will soon be 21) – Jeremy: You’re always pinching mine, Mummy. Beverley has to get her maids from Germany, davvke. Merton Sandler (lecturer in pathology at Royal Free Hospital Medical School, occupies flat below mine) revolted by my description of Beverley mores – “I can’t imagine my mother smoking a cigarette” – which is, of course, a rather strangely illiberal Nazi outlook. A propos, Merton says he detests Jewish girl equestriennes – though here again, Jennifer is quite genuinely equinophile.* Merton says it’s time he married (he’s 31) – a young pretty girl with money. If there are any young pretty Jewish girls, he’s certainly able to have first pick; with his yeekhess, [background, advantage] which, after all, is substantial (he’s not stam a doctor, waiting to have a house, sc. practice bought for him), his good Jewish family (both parents “English”) and his general presentability and commendable Jewishness. Na ja!  3hrs. Cicero B 25/5/57

* O.K., H.L., [my father went on to regularly deploy this acronym for Baudelaire’s hypocrite lecteur,] “hippophile” [JW 29/12/58] [his square brackets were used to date later notes/corrections]

Wednesday, 1st May 1957 – 3.30 p.m.

I find the low standard of the entries in this journal depressing, but am not prepared to devote the time necessary to improving them. The ambition cherished that these journals would rival those of the Goncourts (never read ’em) or of Pepys’s or Evelyn’s diary is abandoned. After all, it can only be unique conceit (my conceit is enormous, like Cyrano’s nose) for me to be wished to be judged by high standards. Who am I, what am I?

Israel Witriol, 1876-1924, father of Joseph Witriol

A Kratzer – or a Master Hairdresser?

The son of a barber (Kratzer he called himself; I have an idea I described my “father’s occupation” as “Master Hairdresser” on an Officer Selection form once; visions of Barber-Surgeons) who died when I was 12, leaving just enough for my mother and brother – Sam, aged 18 at the time – to set up a fancy-goods cum confectionery shop, over which we lived (no bathroom) and in which I spent many hours weekly serving, helping Sam to dress windows, etc. By the law of averages with such a background I ought not to expect to be much more than a fairly successful shopkeeper, instead of an unsuccessful Primary School teacher and a moderately successful (speaking chiefly proleptically) literary translator. Samuel Smiles? I defecate on him.

My father, oollevashoollem, [may peace be upon him] was a Hebrew teacher in the heym, so I’m told. So was his father who, I gathered from one Witryol who wrote to me from the States – he had read an article of mine and was intrigued by the similarities of the name – had fled from Russia to Poland and been adopted by one Witriol. My mother, yibbadel le-chayim arukkim, [lit. may she be separated, i.e. in contrast to his father, for a long life] was the daughter of Yosef Balin, an egg factor,  I know nothing whatever of any great-grandparents. Without of course subscribing to Nazi bunk, I would have liked to be able to trace my descent back five or six generations. Mela. [perhaps short for meno male, a favourite Italian expression of his, meaning, in this context, “it could have been worse”]

On Monday evening saw The Mikado performed by the Wimbledon Amateur Operatic society. Gilbert and Sullivan, village (NOT County or Test) cricket – the English at their best. Last night popped in to Merton; he an Angry Young Man – 1100 a year,* car falling to bits, has to dress like a shlokh (etymology?), could I get him a leather brief case fiddling the P.T.? To bed at 1 a.m., up at 11; bad, bad night (verb. sap.); to-day so far frittered away, still feeling tired. Approx. 9 hrs Cicero B 29,30/4/57

Addendum. Wanted to ramble with Fabian’s last Sunday, 28th. Missed them through my own shlemozzle. Went off on my own following Fieldfare. [ pen-name for an Evening News columnist who wrote guides to walks in rural areas of the Home Counties]. Managed first half of ramble, but the second part, the “scramble down to Holmwood” didn’t come off, and I found myself, as on the previous occasions when I’ve tried to do this ramble, debouching into the main Dorking road – roaring motor-bikes, etc.

Total for April 1957: A 5¾ hrs. B 15 hrs.

* Now a consultant. £2,000 a year plus [JW 29/12/58]

3rd May 1957 – 12.20 p.m. Camille at Classic Cinema last night. Annoyed at having to queue, stand for about one hour. Apart from this would have found the film pleasant entertainment – sic, despite harrowing death of Marguerite. To-day’s weight (best sports jacket, cavalry slacks, brogue shoes, green pullover, light-weight socks, Terylene trunks, Aertex vest, tie) 14st. 6lb. How much will I weigh on 13th, when my diet will have been on for a week? Names in Israel, 1,2/5/57 – 6hrs. A.

Joseph Witriol’s Journal – Part 1: Culture, schmulture

Wherever possible, Joseph Witriol’s Journal entries are transcribed exactly as written. Some background about both his Journal and my editing of it is in the introduction to the Hasmonean school entries already posted at Melchett Mike.  See also the note on Also Lived – The Autobiography of a Failure.

JOURNAL  VOLUME 1

1 APRIL 1957 TO 30 DECEMBER 1959

Joseph Witriol's Journal: Volume 1

Journalist’s cover story

1st April 1957.

April Fool’s day not the best day on which to start a journal, perhaps. But perhaps appropriate perhaps perhaps (if I were James Joyce this would be hailed as revolutionary prose style, gangs of Ph. D. researchers would be unearthing the private allusions – there ain’t none) in a baal journal (that’ll stump ’em, but I’ll make it easy for them – baal = Heb. “master,” of course, so baal journal = the bloke who keeps a journal. Journalist?) who starts his journal a few days before his forty-fifth birthday.

Not wholly dissatisfied with this start, considering: a) ( Ph.D. researcher of 2157 please note, as representative of my daily routine) up at 7.45 a.m., bed made, shaved, dressed (presentably by a fluke – new suit left hanging over chair at night – no time to put in wardrobe and change for sports jacket – pullover – whipcord slacks), breakfasted (breakfast prepared overnight), usual Monday routine at school, sponged and pressed slacks collected, slacks for sponging and pressing handed in, heeled-shoes collected, ¼ lb. toffee (all eaten this evening), 1lb apples bought, Mum phoned too (Mum querulous, but I suppose at 75,* immersed in Pesach cleaning, a widow for over 30 years, both her sons divorced (but my brother Sam happily re-married, but no children unfortunately) understandable), supper made (admittedly facilitated by boiled fish collected from Mum last Friday and – 3 pages of Brod’s Cicero translated. Now 10.30 p.m. Basta. (The “x hrs” whenever it occurs indicates the number of hours spent on translation. To-night’s figure approximate; must try to time more accurately in future.) 2¾ hrs. Cicero 1/4/57. A

* 31/12/67. Actually – according to her Austrian birth certificate – 78. [original footnote]

Friday, 5th April 1957. 9.15 p.m.

Time only for a short entry before taking Friday night routine bath (“Routine! Sacred goddess” – opening for an ode – why can’t I, don’t I write it?). Another week over, another something-or-other. 1 hr 5/4/57 Cicero A

Sunday, 7th April 1957. 10.45 p.m.

Cicero finished – Schluss mit Jubel, as Joseph Sperling, my old Polish-Jewish (was he Jewish, I don’t remember his ever saying so, perhaps he wasn’t after all) boss used to say. With Sam [his brother] and Lily [Sam’s wife] to see Look Back in Anger at Golders Green Hippodrome last night. Seems extraordinary it should have had the success it has. I’ve no objection to its sordid naturalism, but its naturalistic dialogue struck me as being jejune. Presumably many people talk wittily or finely even in natural life, and I see no reason why such talk should not be given us on the stage, rather than the – sorry to repeat the word – jejune dialogue of Look Back in Anger. This is not criticism, too tired to give a critique, anyway what do I get out of it if I do get up a critique anyway anyway? (The repetitions in Witriol have a deep inner significance – I’m trying to be sarcastic and failing. Why can’t I bloody well do anything?) Last word on Look Back in Anger – Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea gripped me more. I see in today’s Sunday Times that phrases like Je te quitte (in Beckett’s Fin de Partie) are much more significant than they seem. Christ! (no anti-Christian bias intended). Liked the bit in the Sunday Times in a review of Robertson Hare’s biography of how R.H. said to the Censor: Can I say “You may smack my bottom?” Censor: Yes, I pass bottom, I was the first to pass bottom.  2hrs. Cicero 7/4/57 A

Sunday 14th April 1957. 9 p.m.

Chez maman at 58 Moresby Road, for Pesach.  A strain on the nerves, but que faire. The little adopted girl of the Blatts (Mum’s tenants) creating – actually “singing” above, Sam had to sacrifice a precious Sunday to “knock in a few nails” (i.e. do about 4 hrs’ handyman’s work) for Mum, had to keep tight hold on self to avoid tension exploding. Must be thankful Mum is mobile. I just don’t know what will happen if she becomes chair or bed-bound. Saw Mirele Efros last Monday, 8th, done by Polish Jewish State Theatre. Homely, unpretentious drama played with elegance (settings) and Kooltoor (no spitting, etc. as in the old-style Yiddish plays at the Pavilion pre-war). Tuesday stewarded at Islington Schools’ music festival at Northern Polytechnic Theatre, taken to his home by Mat (Rosen). Mat jawed as usual – he took me home at midnight. Can’t remember what I did Wednesday. Purpose of this journal is to remedy defects of memory, but not much point if entries infrequent, but just haven’t the energy to write-up daily or at least other-daily. Think I did couple hours translating – no, couldn’t have done, as I see “Cicero finished” under 7th April 1957. I think I just spent the evening putting together figures of my “literary” earnings, ready for H.M. Inspector of Taxes. Thursday to Mum, Friday nil, Saturday letter from Commentary with their edited typescript of my translation of Brod’s Das Unheimliche. Their editing discreet enough not to offend my amour propre, but I noticed no credit given me as translator on the typescript. Wrote saying I was keeping their cheque (36 dollars – my 3/8 share, as agreed between Brod and myself – 2,500 words) until I had their confirmation they would print my name. Revised my Brod MS before sending it off to Mrs Dorothy Shirley. This, with letter to Brod, preparing letter packet for, and writing letter to Mrs Shirley, took, say, 3 hrs. Am entering “actual translation,” i.e. writing translation out in rough as “A”; all other work involved in translation, e.g. revising MS, writing to authors, typists, agents, publishers, revising TS as “B.” So –   3 hrs. Cicero B 14/4/57

A review in The Times, noch

Lear mit a shmeer: Mirele Efros

Addendum. I ought to have mentioned that Richard [Gabriel Richard Stern, a good friend who helped with Polish and Russian words in Mumme Loohshen] had arranged for him and me to see the M. of V. at the Old Vic with Frieda Shafir (?), who played the part of Mirele’s faithful old womanservant. Frieda smart, 40-ish (?), extremely intelligent – I didn’t mean to be offensively patronising – a pleasure to listen to good Yiddish. She annoyed by Robert Helpman’s mauscheln – “Vell,” etc. But as she says, perhaps she is hipperemfindlikh. I enjoyed the decor and the excellent 10/6 stalls seats, recollecting the hard wooden benches of the gallery I had sat on as a kid nearly 40 ! years ago.

Witriol’s Travails: Heine Fine, Cicero No

For my father, Joseph Witriol, literary translation was more than a means to supplement his teacher’s salary. It was – perhaps primarily –  something he enjoyed doing. He also, I believe, wanted to have a permanent literary memorial. He claimed that he did not have sufficient talent to write a book, but at least articles and reviews – and more so published book translations – would be his legacy.

His translation of Max Brod’s biography of Heinrich Heine was published in 1956, the centenary of the poet’s death. The bibliography includes this essay by Joseph Witriol.

It seems dad may have set the ball rolling. He had written to the biographer in 1954 asking to be appointed the sole authorised translator –

Jospeh Witriol to Max Brod: Offer to translate

Rights request

and had a reply, in German, from Tel Aviv a week later –

Reply from Max Brod to Joseph Witriol 31.8.54

Brod’s reply

This was the start of a relatively complex process involving both the technical and artistic aspects of translation as well as what my father in one letter to Max Brod called the “sordid financial” details of securing a contract. But at least the English translation was published and in time for the centenary and without the involvement of middlemen.

However, Joseph Witriol’s attempts to publish Poor Cicero failed. Certainly not for want of trying over many years. The same laborious process of writing to Max Brod in Israel with detailed textual queries –

Poor Cicero: Joseph Witriol's airmail queries 14.4.57 p1

Witriol’s queries

Poor Cicero: translator's airmail queries 14.4.57 p2

Text queries p2

The same negotiations, but now more convoluted as literary agents were involved. The first of whom was also working around this time on foreign rights for a well-known British writer –

Letter from Peter Janson-Smith to Joseph Witriol 1957

Agent’s letter 1957

The agent would have had the completed typescript, in three bound parts and running to about 100 000 words, to lug around or post –

Max Brod's Poor Cicero: the typescript

The typescript

And would have been aware, if not had sight of, this publisher’s copy of the German original with its tipped-in and apparently amended rights statement –

Max Brod's Armer Cicero: The title page of dad's copy showing an amended rights label

The title page

Unlike that first agent, who acted as my father’s agent for several years, some just gave suggestions –

Letter from Christopher Mann 1966

Agent’s letter 1966

while others seemed more involved and, shall we say, gung-ho about the project –

Letter from Laurence Templeton 1968

Agent’s letter 1968

till the final attempt – based on the papers I have – a few years later, sent  to a well-known agent –

Letter to Deborah Rogers 1973

Letter to agent 1973

I believe a colleague from Hasmonean, E J Frank, by then retired in Israel, was also involved in some way – if only as a “courier” of the typescript.

So, more than fifty years after my father translated Armer Cicero, if you want to be able to read Max Brod’s Roman Roman (sorry)  in English, do let me know…