May 11, 1977
Marx stayed here after you for a full week, altogether ten days, and left for Basel on the first of May. I let him have broad powers to act, and have already the first report from him. He will take over most of the European Continent for contracting my books with publishers, and be a rather central figure in organizing groups of interdisciplinary synthesis, and in opposition to the Establishment.
From Isenberg in Jerusalem I had a report on his participation in the conference of science editors, and a copy of the paper he read on the 26th of April. Sending it to me, he intended it for Kronos, but I cabled him to submit it to Nature, Science, New Scientist, and Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as coming from the convention. (I advised him to terminate the paper on page 8, before he starts to tell of the poll made by Industrial Research.)
The letter of Langenbach is enclosed. It moved me. I am sending it to Earl Longford, president of Sidgwick & Jackson, who is famous in Britain for his fighting in the House of Lords and elsewhere against literary smut. What is going on now at NYT is also smut.
I contacted William Safire of NYT in his Washington D.C. office; he is, as he says, my great fan, and I am going to send him some material and take counsel as to how to proceed with the New York Times; two days ago they had another attack on me, this time on the daily book review column thus occupying both strategic positionsthis time at the occasion of a review of Sagans new book of wisdom. From Sagan I had it sent inscribed with all good wishes, only a day apart from the arrival of the tape of his annual Venus and Dr. Velikovsky lecture, indoctrinating freshmen in astronomy as to who is Velikovsky (comet hardened Pharaohs heart with cholesterol, diesel oil fed the Israelites in the desert) the regular fare, annually warmed up for academic consumption.
I called Ralph Juergensand as if in answer to my prayer he already resigned from his job, the 20th of this month being the last day he works for the sanitation department of his town - and I told him that from the next day he is employed, and should visit in Princeton. Next call - and a good room within walking distance was rented for him for two weeks, starting with the 21st of May. Same day, yesterday, I mailed him the letter of Langenbach to the NY Times and Zysmans to me to prepare his spirits for the changeover from working in city sanitation to working on sanitation of another kind.
I made quite a few steps here and in Lethbridge for Lorton; here I started with two students visiting me (one was Lorraine, the other a student learning Hittite) a movement to ask for a course in Egyptology, and I believe that about 15 students will join.
I had Earl Milton here from Friday to Saturday, and worked on my paper expromptu-delivered at Lethbridge in May of 1974, three years ago. It was not well-prepared, and I did not like to think of it - but by reading it I found that it was better than I thought and was moved to make improvements and additionsand keeping a copyright, we agreed that I may offer it for pre-publication printing in some journal or journals. It became almost era my desperate appeal to humanity.
DeGrazia was also here, and by last Monday left for a writing vacation at Naxos. He wrote to Lustig, offering himself as the author of the 1977 yearbook of Encyclopedia Britannica entry on me.
Ramses II is being further improved on the eve of its shipment to England. This morning I introduced in a proper place a section narrating the natural-historical significance of -687, and at this occasion went all the way back to -776?. this is desirable, in view of the growing opinion that Worlds in Collision was only an episode in my work, and that with the Ages series, one should half-overlook the erratic writing of the pre-Ages period.
LynnI splurged probably only a half of what is going on. And on the outside a carpenter-mason builds a room for guests to sleep over, for my wife to play in better acoustics (in a room not stuffed with rugs and books)and yesterday in a short visit at the building inspectors office, I achieved what no architect could achievean overall consent to extend the building in the yard even more, against all zoning regulationsand will have, probably an art studio for my wife.
I had a letter from the widow of Professor PfeifferShapley lied to her that I let my publisher use her husbands letter without permission and taking sentences out of context.
I spoke with Mainwaring, and will have a complete file on radiocarbon negotiations with the British Museum and with PA Museum in expectation of an attack on my work with radiocarbon dates.
I spoke also to John Holbrook, he is busy and his work is prospering in Washington, so he is rarely at his new domicile at Vermont.
I made Jan the gift of ownership of the foreign rights to my work in Czechoslovakia, so that in future he would always be able to pursue his scholarly urge. In the preparation of the Ramses II volume, he came up with a few very fine observations and ideas.
Marion Kuhn, who copy-edited my first few books, now almost blind, since her third year a polio cripple, will be also bestowed by me with some territorial rightsprobably Greece. Christoph Marx will be in charge of these and many other activities. His address is: Rebgasse 16, 4102 Binningen, Switzerland.
I find no time to write a diary, but will circulate the letters I write or receive.
As you have heard from me while in Princeton, Mrs. Alice Miller of San Francisco spent seven years on preparing a very imposing index covering my first four books (Worlds, Ages I, Earth, and Oedipus), and my articles in Pensée and several other publications; she prepared it in several copies, and I assume that by now you may have received your copy. But researchers and libraries will need this work, now 277 pages, and we have decided here to print it by photo-offset. I inquired of the cost of printing in Princeton, and the estimate I received is by far more expensive than the offer obtained by Sizemore from their printer. We also decided not to postpone the first printing in order to include the index of Peoples of the Sea & of my articles in Kronos, because next will come Ramses II volume and other volumes will follow. Therefore I will suggest that what is already accomplished should be printed with Volume II of Index coming later.
This index is also a big help for those who would undertake the writing of the Index of Deviationsa preparatory step toward the revision of encyclopedias and textbooks.
By the first week of May, Kronos sent 1,000 copies of its seventh issue (Vol. II, no. 3) to University and College libraries, asking them to display it, and inviting subscriptions. A number of prominent intellectuals in this country also received free copies.
Jerry Rosenthal of Louisa, Virginia supplied the funds to cover the expenses of the printing and mailing. Rosenthal became aware of my work several years ago while visiting in the Negev (Israel). He worked for a short time on a kibbutz, and upon return to the U.S. he studied my work, and occasionally lectured on it. He and his wife visited me a few months ago; they spoke of a modest beginning, but their interest and involvement will grow, as he writes me. His father owns a chain of drugstores in Maryland.
These days Steve Talbott stunned me, and probably all of you who have read his last Network Communication (dated April 15, but mailed with a delay of several weeks). After introducing the member of the Network to the Zetetic and its purpose (one of the main purposes is debunking Velikovsky together with Uri Geller, von Däniken, and Mme Dixon as announced in Science News (April 28, 1976). Talbott communicates by way of asking and answering:
All of which constitutes a recommendation that you subscribe to the Zetetic? Yes!
The huckster continues:
Every Network member should own a subscription to the Zetetic.
Attached is an order form for the Zetetic ($10.00 a year) with a couple of other books.
I believe that you and the four other associate editors of the now-defunct Pensée, Lewis Greenberg, C.J. Ransom, Ralph Juergens, and Bill Mullen) should make a common statement and try to reach the subscribers of Network, deluded into believing that the Network is an organ to defend and protect my work, and that Talbott unselfishly works to that end. One of my great disappointments in people.
Dr. Gowans of the University of Victoria comes back to the fold. Having once written an impressive syllabus of art history following faithfully one revised chronology, and having organized some six years ago an invitation for me to lecture at the University of Victoria, he spent a year at Harvard, and then wrote a letter to Pensée presenting himself as maintaining scholarly objectivity After the Lethbridge Symposium where he read a paper he invited Dr. Dietrich Müller, my worst detractor, to come to Victoria for a series of lectures. (I have the tapes, but have not listened to them). Now with the publication of Peoples of the Sea he returns to the fold.
Jacques Barzun wrote me on April 28, upon reading Peoples of the Sea. He is the new President of the New York Academy of Science and Art. He wrote on the stationery of Scribners, where he serves as literary advisor. He mentioned in his letter that he is a also devout reader of detective stories. I mailed him my Oedipus and Akhnaton and challenged him to name a detective story that surpasses it.
Peoples of the Sea already outsold Earth in Upheaval (since 1955 II printings) or Oedipus and Akhnaton (since 1960 12 printings), though it was hardly reviewed in the press. I think I was completely right to refuse the strong pressure from Doubleday (a three-page single-spaced letter by Sam Vaughan, my former editor there, now Publisher and President of Publishing Division - his official titles) to agree to give my Peoples of the Sea as an alternate selection to the Literary Guild. He also offered to take my three earlier books as alternate choices, or attraction choices (boxed), giving them much exposurebut I did not give my consent, even when he was telling me that the Literary Guild has millions of readers, and a series of affiliated clubs. I offered instead Oedipus and Akhnaton as a full choiceand Oedipus got not his response, Doubleday publicizes now Drurys fictional story of Tutankhamun. Several of the viewers of the Tutankhamun exhibition (that will continue till spring 1979 and end at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) wrote me that Oedipus should be promoted. I mailed Doubleday a Tutankhamun Exhibition, Washington DC catalogue, but to no avail; (however, the last weekly sales figures show that Oedipus and Akhnaton outsold my other books) mainly because its existence was not known even to such of my readers who boasted that they have many times reread all your three books.
Walter Bradbury, my editor at Doubleday, came on April 28 (I think after you were here) and begged me to agree to a postponement of publication of Ramses II from November (earlier thought September) to January, 1978, this in view of many additions and changes (advertized by me, but which he did not yet see), and their heavy schedule (700 titles this year): If we should not be ready for November publication, then all salesmens orders would be canceled and a new sales effort would have to start in January. When I realized why he came so sad (he did not dare come out with this), I agreed, and he was greatly relieved.
From London, however, I received a fall catalogue of Sidgwick & Jackson. The last year they earned the Publisher of the Year award, as best publishers in England. They prominently display Ramses II book across two pages, scheduled for October of this year. They saved a corner on the bottom-left corner to insert how proud Sidgwick & Jackson is Sidgwick & Jackson are proud to announce the new volume in Velikovskys series Ages in Chaos. On a later page, Patrick Moore is modestly displayed for his 1978 Yearbook of Astronomy, and has to take this pecking order, he being the author of Do you speak Venusian?, presenting me as a King of Fools.
I wrote to Sidgwick & Jackson, told of Doubledays delay, advised them to go by announced schedules, promised to send them very soon the corrected galleys of Doubleday (1973) - but looking more like a new manuscript, and said that this time the roles should be reversed, Doubleday taking photo-offset from the Sidgwick & Jackson edition (Sidgwick photo-offset Peoples of the Sea from Doubleday, but made the book much more massive by an effective cover and better paper).
My letter to Earl Longford, mentioned earlier, with a series of enclosures will go out today or tomorrow. A fighter against pornographic smut, he is called by me to fight against the smut of Thomson, Gingerich, et al. My letter to the Earl will remove mystery from behind their scheming activities. He repeatedly avowed his admiration for my work.
In the meantime Ramses II grows beautifully, Jan made six copies(the first half of one Marx took with him), very impressive, I do not know whether I should send a copy to you. I am afraid to distract you from our agreed plan to write together The Grand Ballroom, but eventually, possibly even soon, you will see it. Sagans book was reviewed in the NY Times by John Leonard in the daily Book Section, and a dirty slap was in it for me, though it has nothing to do with Sagans book. Earlier in this letter I referred to Sagan.
On the outside, the hammer of the builder sounds like a songI was warned not to build in order not to be distracted, or at least not to build without an architect, but after having a session with one who came to see me, I decided to go ahead by myself with a very experienced and most pleasant Italian workman, and I hourly change and enlarge my plansdo you know that my real vocation is in architecture, and the years that I visited the Library on the 42nd Street, I regularly visited also the room with architecture journals, watching for a chance to compete for a plan and construct a public building?
Keep well, act strong, Lynn.