Meet “the very able” Michael Hoffman, who brought Miller to the European masses (and got the guy some money too)

Every Digest we like to talk about other individuals who flew within Miller’s orbit, be it Emil White or Anais Nin.

Today it’s Michael A. Hoffman, founder of the Agence Littéraire Hoffman, Paris.

The agency was founded in 1935 by Sankt-Petersburg born Michael A. Hoffman soon after his arrival from Berlin where his publishing activity had become impossible under the Nazi regime. Paris, then, as now the centre of literary life in France, enabled the young multilingual cosmopolitan Michael Hoffman to establish close contacts with authors like Erich Kästner, Ivan Bunin, Henry Miller, John Steinbeck and many more who followed.

The agency still handles worldwide rights in Henry Miller’s works.After the death of the founder of the agency in l971, his two sons Boris and Georges took over the leadership. Georges Hoffman runs the agency to this day.

51a9RRi79ML._SL500_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In fact, Michael A. Hoffman is not only responsible for bringing Miller to many masses in Europe, but also in making Miller a pretty wealthy guy.

On page 57 of “Henry Miller and James Laughlin: Selected Letters,” Miller, in a letter dated June 5th, 1946, sent from Big Sur, tells James, he:

Had a long letter from…my agent in Paris, Dr. Hoffman, regarding my credits there. Seems they owe me considerably more than I thought, but, they add, how to get the money to me they do not know…

Incidentally, regarding the money due me from Paris — almost $40,000 at the present legal rate of exchange, and accumulating rapidly with all the new editions being put out — do you suppose that any banker would take up my credit and dole me out a decent sum of intervals over a period of two or three years?

An editor’s note from the book states: “Michael Hoffman, Miller’s very able literary agent in Paris, would end up handling all his foreign rights, representing New Directions in Europe, and becoming a good friend of all concerned.”

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