My Life is a Novel

Ronald Searle

Born in Cambridge in 1920, prisoner of the Japanese during the war, for four years, he told his adventures through drawings done for Holliday Magazine and cartoons in Hollywood. Books illustrator and author of forty or so albums of drawings, Searle is really a gentleman, with a devastating and invigorating humour; I met him in Topor’s circle. For the publication of Ave Lucifer he sent me a wonderful drawing.

Irnerio Seminatore

Very mysterious man, who was a student of the Marxist fashionable philosopher Althüsser (who killed his wife !), flamboyant aesthete, Irnerio has been a long time in the circle of the “people” of the Tout-Paris. I met him often, he made me laugh a lot, but I never really knew who he was. Such are some shooting stars of our youth.

David Shahar

We dined, that evening, in the restaurant Pitchi-Poï, Place Sainte-Catherine in Paris, with Israeli writer David Shahar (born in 1926 in Ottoman Palestine, died in 1997, Médicis Prize Winner in 1981), author of the series Le Palais des vases brisés, and his companion, Madeleine Neige, his translator. He was to write for Editions Hologramme a presentation for the photos of « marranes » by Frédéric Brenner. I don’t know why my partner, who was directing the project, didn’t pursue it. Shahar wrote for me a text ((never published, I think) which started with our encounter. We finished the night at the Russian club « Raspoutine », because one of our party had a birthday.

Elie Shneour

Scientific advisor to the White House, director of Biosystems in San Diego, Elie is responsible for a lot of important activities in many fields; he is chairman for the Science Advisory Board for the county of San Diego. He has always adopted courageous positions on the Ukraine (Chernobyl) or on Iraq (especially in the field of health expertise). I knew him during my writing on Biotechnology, in the years of the early 1980s and we are still good friends. He married a charming Shakespearian actress.

William Skyvington

This « guardian angel » of mine lives now as a hermit in Vercors mountains. We worked together at the TV Research Department with Pierre Schaeffer, in the early 1970s. William taught me a lot about artificial intelligence, on the masters of the technical world. Inventor of informatics languages, author of many important books on the matter, singing like nobody else old ballads learned on Greek boats, in love with his native Australia, William was present at many of the turning points of my career – when he was not the organizer and Deus ex Machina of them…

Norman Spinrad

Norman was a young author, well-known on the West Coast for two books – Jack Barron on the power of media, and Iron Dream on the fantasy universe of a Hitler, and who could indeed have written meanderings in a science-fiction best-seller, which would have won a Hugo Prise; vice-President of the Science Fiction Writers of America when I knew him (the President being, at the time, Harlan Ellison). We had wonderful days in Los Angeles and he helped me a lot on my TV film Evadés du Futur (“Escapees from the Future”). At the time, he had golden curls, big porcelain blue eyes, sparkling with humour and tenderness, and a resemblance to an angel in a cathedral. We had amazing moments with Ted Sturgeon, whom I admire so much, and, on the Fox sets and at Disneyland with Philip K. Dick, to whom Norman introduced me and whom he loved as a father. I met him long after, when he decided to live for a while in Paris. His features were more severe, his hair was more like a helmet, the nasal voice had no more the lilting inflections of yesteryear. Maybe, the slightest little thing would be enough to reveal once more the charm. But should we make memories come alive again?

Micheline Stancheva

The sister of Guitchka Petrova, Micheline is born in Bulgaria, but she is Lorraine. An ardent nature, a long time singer at the Opera of Nancy, she still sings, from time to time, gypsy melodies.

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