Saturday, 10 May 2014

Roger Normand: The Dustbins Of My Heart! Valentino, Callas, Eusebio & Garbo!



 My godfather's memoirs, "Les poubelles de coeur",
to which I own the rights. They were always way too litigious to publish in France, and even now they could prove awkward. The stumbling-block was the footballer, Eusebio, who has recently died.One actor with whom he had a 20-year secret affair is still alive, but only just.
Roger's godfather was Jacques Hébertot, who for a time was also his lover. Another lover was Robert Florey, who was also Hébertot's lover. In their very small world, both Hébertot and Florey were lovers of Rudolph Valentino. Here is a fraction of one of Rudy's love-letters to Florey. The remainder I also have exclusive rights to, as Roger was one of the executors of Florey's will. The language is colourful, to say the least, which proves that Rudy was human. The passion they had for each other is unavoidable. Valentino opens his heart--about his horrible wives, about his thieving manager, about the studio chiefs. Believe me, he rarely holds back!
The other letters in "Les poubelles de coeur" also tell us a lot about Eusebio, Maria Callas, and Greta Garbo, who were all close friends. I released some of the Callas information in my biography of her, and it caused quite a stir. There's also quite a lot about Piaf, which I have already published in the "Interviews" book, and a lot about Gérard Philipe.
I am not going to publish the entire book--it's over 500,000 words and in the tiniest print I have ever seen. Roger was obviously trying to save money on paper! But I will publish all the material relevant to the people I have written about. Maybe it will only shift a few thousand copies, but this I don't mind. What is important is that Roger's legacy be made available to a wider audience. 
I loved him.

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