Category Archives: Timothy Leary is dead

1973 Letter to my literary agent seeking her help to break a book contract on how Timothy Leary escaped from prison

Letter to Marie Rodell June 1973

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Wikipedia

Marie Freid Rodell (January 31, 1912 – November 9, 1975) was a literary agent and author who managed the publications of much of environmentalist Rachel Carson‘s writings, as well as the first book by civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr..

Rodell was born in New York City, and attended Vassar College (B.A. 1932). After nine years as an editor for mystery novels, Rodell formed her own literary agency in 1948.[1] That year she met Rachel Carson, who hired her. She worked with Carson for the remainder of Carson’s life, and after Carson’s death in 1964 became her literary executor; she compiled and organized the Rachel Carson Papers (which took over two years) and arranged for the posthumous publication of A Sense of Wonder.[2] In 1957 she was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s literary agent for Stride Toward Freedom.[1]

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“Marie: This is the understanding hat I have with Joanna in relation to this book. This book will be Joanna’s view of  her love story with Timothy Leary as told to Joel Solkoff.”

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Sampling from a five page letter

“Marie

It is therefore necessary for Joanna Harcourt-Smith Leary to agree to the following conditions in writing.”

  1. Anything contained in the final draft of our book will be agreed to by each of us.That means that I can veto anything I don’t like and t she can veto anything she doesn’t like.  That means we will constantly be fighting until there is a state of equilibrium.”

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Page one

 

 

 

 

 

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I took this photograph of Joanna Harcourt-Smith on the Friday before Mother’s Day, 1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Page two

Page two of five pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Marie

Now, even considering the above, this is why I am bothering with the scene:

  1. For the first time in my life I am dealing with brilliant minds on an equal basis with the opportunity of making some money and advancing my career. (I define my career, incidently, as the ability to make a steady income from playing with words.”

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In the beginning there was Oui Magazine

 

 

 

 

 

In May I began to search for the next source to supplement my income publishing for the Village Voice. That month, another publication went out of business.. That publication had paid me to cover the World Series of Rodeo in Oklahoma City. I had finished the article and having trouble selling it. I was in search of the next idea to propose to a magazine and then I was inside the Timothy Leary inner circle.

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3653-24th Street. pt 1

San Francisco, California 94110

July 26, 1973

“Dear Marie:

Monday, I visited Timothy Lear in Folsom Prison. I am now on his approved visiting list and am able to to wee him four times a month, six hours at a stretch. My visit convinced me your advice is sound. My relationship with Tim and Joanna is clearly wasting my time.

Joanna was in New York last week becoming famous for Bantam Books. I very much wanted you and she to meet. She is in need of some intelligent information on why it is that most people do not regard Tim Leary as the messiah.

Joanna is a brilliant woman who is very much in love with Timothy Leary. She is frightened because she suspects Tim’s claims of omnipotence will suddenly manifest themselves as nonsense.

Joanna fears the time may come when she will be unable to remain in love with the man for whom she abandoned everything.

Copyright © 2018 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.

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