Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Maurice Sachs (born Maurice Ettinghausen, 1906, Paris - 14 April 1945, Germany) was a French writer. He was the son of a Jewish family of jewelers. Sachs was educated in an English-style boarding-school, lived for a year in London and worked in a bookshop, and returned to Paris.
In 1925 he converted to Catholicism and decided to become a priest, though this didn't last upon meeting a young man on the beach at Juan-les-Pins.
After involvement in a number of dubious business activities, he travelled to New York, where he passed himself off as an art dealer. Returning to Paris, he associated himself with leading homosexual writers of the time - Cocteau, Gide and Max Jacob - with all of whom he had stormy relationships whose precise nature is unclear. Read more on Wikipedia
Lowry was eager to get Ultramarine published in France, and through Kathleen Coyle met Maurice Sachs from Nouvelle Revue Francaise. Sachs had recently returned from America with his partner Henry Wibbels after running an art gallery in new York. Sachs was on the editorial board of Nouvelle Revue Francaise, he was soon talking of Ultramarine being translated by Gide. (Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 173).
Maurice Sachs introduced Lowry to Jean Cocteau who gave Lowry tickets to see his latest play La Machine Infernale which opened 10 April 1934 at the Comedie des Champs-Elysees (Louis Jouvet theater) in Paris. The play had a big affect on Lowry because the idea of the univers in the play as an infernal machine and of time as a "folded eternity" "chimed with Lowry's own obsessions - Nordahl Grieg's Moloch of fate and the time theories of J.W. Dunne and Ouspensky." (Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 178).
Lowry left Paris in early May with Maurice Sachs and Henry Wibbels to stay in Saint-Prest. They stayed at the Hotel du Pont. In an unpublished letter written from the hotel to Jan referenced by Gordon Bowker, Lowry wrote to her describing that the Hotel du Pont was the perfect place for them to live. However, he also stated things were not working out as on of his companions was romancing the gardener, the other pursuing an oboe player (Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 179).
The exact nature of Lowry's relationship with Lowry is unclear. Bowker suggest that Sach's was stringing Lowry along with promises of publishing Ultramarine for sexual motives. They had a violent argument when Lowry was drunk and Sach lost interest in both Lowry and Ultramarine. (Bowker Pg. 180). However, Lowry claimed later that he had a contract with Nouvelle Revue Francaise and had drunk the advance away. (Lowry, Haitian Notebook - conversation with Philippe Thoby-Marcelin)