Freymann published highly significant books in a range of subjects that no-one else would. Weil already knew him and got him to publish the Bourbaki group’s work (it’s been suggested that Freymann, who brought Chevalley and Weil together, actually instigated their project). Wiener and Freymann had lived together in Mexico; the suggestion again is that Freymann persuaded Wiener to write his seminal book. Rivera was a friend. De Broglie introduced Freymann to Einstein (whose work he published) and to Langevin, and threatened to sue him for withholding publication of a book, but Freymann died three days later.
Herzfelde collaborated extensively with his more celebrated brother, Heartfield. Together with Grosz, they founded a magazine ‘die Pleite.’ Huelsenbeck and Baader were among fellow activists in the Berlin Dada scene from 1918. Through his Malik-Verlag (and encouraged by colleagues Piscator and Lasker-Schüler – she inspired his nom de plume as well as the business name), Herzfelde published work of Grosz and Brecht among others. Canetti worked as a translator for him. Brecht, Döblin, Mann, Feuchtwanger, Bloch and Herzfelde co-founded an anti-fascist publishing company while in exile in the U.S., before his return to Germany in 1949.
Russell taught Eliot, became a close friend, and seemingly slept with his wife. Pound helped get his early work published, named him “Old Possum”, and was ‘The Waste Land’s dedicatee. Woolf published his second book and recognised that his poetry came out of his torments. The young Betjeman was one of his pupils. Alain-Fournier taught him French, Stravinsky was a friend and collaborator, and Lewis, his stern critic, ended up a friend. Marx visited Eliot in London, and Lowell described him “dashingly dancing.” Eliot published Auden, Spender, MacNeice and Muir, but turned down a long poem by MacDiarmid as uncommercial.
Themerson characteristically claimed to be a verb, not a noun. Franciszka was his partner in everything, Lutosławski writing music for one of their films. Queneau, a fellow-member of the College of Pataphysics (Transcendent Satrap to Themerson’s Commander), gave him two stories to publish. He found the elderly Pol-Dives (with a gramophone) giving slide-shows of his poems in a Paris shed, and met Schwitters in London, staying friends until Schwitters’ death. Lye and Grierson were film-making friends in the U.K., Hausmann a correspondent, while Russell gave him a mathematical formula and co-wrote a book that started as a joke.
Publisher prepared to take risks. Girodias employed Trocchi, Logue and others to write erotica under various noms de plume. Southern had already been published by Girodias, and with Corso persuaded him to take on Burroughs’ ‘Naked Lunch.’ Bataille, Beckett, Nabokov and Donleavy all had work published by him; Nabokov was the only author to make him a lot of money, while Donleavy had a running battle with him over the rights to ‘The Ginger Man’, and when Girodias went bankrupt, acquired the remnants of his business. Calder liked him but said he’d never met anyone so complicated.
Rexroth met him whilst he was studying at the Sorbonne, and persuaded him to go to San Francisco. His bookshop ‘City Lights’ became an institution – he published ‘Howl’ and other work of Ginsberg’s, Corso (who broke in to raid the cashbox), Levertov, di Prima, Rexroth, Patchen, Kerouac (who fictionalised him in ‘Big Sur’), O’Hara (whose pockets Ferlinghetti searched for some of the poems), and others. He met Thomas (as well as Trocchi) in Paris and drank with him in San Francisco. He and Coppola hosted a pasta-and-meatballs feast for their San Francisco neighbourhood; the city named a street after him.
Tranter has made and maintained contact with poets and other writers around the world, including Enzensburger, O’Hara, Koch, Bernstein, Fisher and Ashbery (Ashbery once reciting McGonagall’s entire Tay Bridge Disaster poem at the end of a long evening with Tranter). These, as much as fellow-Australian poets like Kinsella, have contributed to publications Tranter has edited — not least his online magazine ‘Jacket.’
Girodias said he introduced Calder to Beckett, though Calder’s version differed; Beckett and he drank and played chess and billiards in Paris bars, becoming lifelong friends. Burroughs gave him editorial control, saying he started his career. Trocchi and MacDiarmid had a famous spat at a conference he organised, with Mailer, Burroughs and Miller. He also brought Wesker, Pinter, Ionesco and Arden together. Robbe-Grillet (taken on a writers’ tour with Sarraute and Duras) described him as “very trustworthy… with the slight exception of money.”
Both Miller and Durrell were close friends. Miller described him as a colossus, and made him the subject of a book: Durrell (together with Miller) treasured their passionate discussions about literature and Greece, and later their collective correspondence. Seferis was a close friend and fellow force in Greek literature. The teenage Valaoritis had his work published by Katsimbalis in his journal ‘Ta Nea Grammata’, alongside established poets like Seferis and Elytis (whom he’d also encouraged). Stephanides, a close lasting friend, met him in the Greek artillery during WWl; Friar was another close friend.
Visionary cultural entrepreneur. Mekas was a schoolfriend in Lithuania. Maciunas’s A.G. Gallery held events involving Young, Higgins, Mekas, Johnson, Ono and de Maria. He met Vostell and Paik in Germany; they organised the first major Fluxus event. Under the Fluxus rubric he published scores by Young and Brecht; Knížák and Watts (as well as Brecht and Vautier, whom he greatly admired) were among those who contributed regularly to Fluxus productions — Kaprow and Oldenburg were more resistant. He also designed and published work by Spoerri and Paik. Hausmann encouraged use of the name ‘Fluxus’, and Lennon and Ono helped with a festival.