Christoph Marx, Rebgasse 16, 4102 Binningen, Switzerland, 061 47 43 08
Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky
May 16, 1977
having just returned from Sundays S.I.S. meeting in London I find your letter of May 9; and I still have yours of May 6 still to acknowledge. Thank you for both! There is so much ahead this week, Ill put down some thoughts at once. -
Of course I will attend to the Italians and the Czechs, you will have copies.
It is so good that you are making arrangements to provide for your family. I have talked to someone knowledgeable in the booktrade (but without interests), and to achieve favourable conditions this problem of stable continuity for the rights seems to be rather important. Cases like Thomas Mann or Hermann Hesse are invoked, where publishers have been put on the spot by discords among divided copyright interests. Perhaps you might therefore consider an additional suggestion, gifting away the income rather than the rights proper?
Because as you said, two duties will have to be sustained to further your work and your estate: (1) your books, your MSS. and your archive must be attended to for their scientific and literary values; and (2) the output should be managed efficiently. But either duty must find its subsistence.
Im still inclined towards having a Velikovsky Institute provide for these responsibilities on the basis of owning the worlds copyrights. It must have no profit, but to finance its obligations I think that 1/3 of the royalties would not be too high to carry on your work: it would have to cover the agents percentages or its own negotiations with publishers; the support of your groups in all countries, especially work they should do keeping track of the development of your thinking and thus building up the central archive; the distribution of developments and information among the movement by appropriate means; the investment in peripheral works with the intend of safeguarding the Institutes future.
A secondary question might be whether foreign rights (foreign to the $-area) shouldnt be managed through a Continental scion of the Institute in Switzerland, in Swiss Francs. If you could favour the idea of an Institute at all, then in any case I would very strongly recommend to have an American as well as a European side to it.
For the moment, I would leave the suggestion with you in these general terms. Perhaps you would like to send a copy for Lynn Roses consideration. I would emphasize, however, that even if on the face of the project your gifting away at this time 2/3 only of the gross royalties of a country or area will actually result in more, because the future is being safeguarded by work that otherwise will not necessarily be undertaken, and that of necessity would probably lack the benefit of coordinated management.
Before I close, a short report on the meeting in London: there were 28 members attending, Mrs. Nel Kluitman, a 70 year old lady and staunch follower of yours, also having come specially from Switzerland. I extended to the meeting your friendly greetings, and they were very gratified to hear about your work from my personal experience. The many questions I answered up to the point where factual replies could also be found in the published materials. To Harold Tresman and the committee only I mentioned your considering a contribution toward the production of their Review, but that they will hear from you or Pollingers directly. No actual papers were read, but a report on the problems a teacher had come up against when preparing a course of lectures about Velikovsky, and a discussion on Velikovskys impact on Jewish publications was very interesting.
I must hurry!
With friendly greetings,
Still, there is one question left: discussing a reply I wished to write to Kitchen, Im worried a bit if after all there is indeed no chance of breaking the publishers confidence? Did you receive Kitchens letter officially, or might Kitchen think of it as confidential? In that case I would suggest that S&J would send the letter to me also in confidence with the request of writing a reply for them: for in any case I think the histerics should not remain unanswered. Perhaps you could ask Jan to handle this.