Editors' note: This feature seeks to alert readers to current scholar-ship on Miller, as well as to significant popular references to Miller or his work. Reviews have not been included. If you would like us to acknowledge a new item (or an omitted item from the following list), please contact the editors at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Newly Discovered or Issued Miller texts (not in lackson bibliography vol. I or II)
Proteus and the Magician: The Letters of Henry Miller and John Cowper Powys. Ed. Jacqueline Peltier. Dorset: The Powys Press, 2014.
One of the pleasures of reading letters is coming across the unexpected. In this particular case, we see the somewhat formal nature of Henry Miller as he starts the correspondence in March 1950, as well as the respectful tone throughout to a writer roughly twenty years older; on John Cowper Powys' side there is high regard for Miller, as well as his hallmark exuberance. Soon both are writing freely of their passions and imbroglios, their books and their partners, and whatever else comes to mind, with formalities dropped and visits planned and carried out. Over the course of their exchange, Powys slowly enters what he termed his "Second Childhood [where] ... I live absolutely and entirely in the present," (126), a state that "is very nice for me but less so, as you can imagine, for Phyllis [Playter, his female companion for forty years]," (131) and as a consequence his way of writing alters as he forgets matters and repeats himself. Of course, we read with the awareness that he dies in mid-June 1963, and this can lead to a somewhat melancholic experience.
As the editor, Jacqueline Peltier, writes in her well-done introduction, the two writers, though raised very different settings and ways, have much in common: "Both men suffered from poverty almost to the end of their lives, and were shunned by the academic world. They often show similar tastes in their lives, not only for burlesque, which they both tremendously enjoyed, but also for anarchism, for freedom, for occultism, for admired writes such as Dostoievsky, Rabelais, Whitman" (ix). The open emphasis on sex in Miller's works shares certain points with the idiosyncratic view of sensuality apparent in Powys' Autobiography (1934), and the more subdued, almost philosophical, use of sexual attraction in his fiction, though, as Peltier puts it, the "onanism, which [Powys] had practiced since his youth" (viii) is terrain Miller only occasionally referred to in his works. The younger writer is careful to speak about general matters connected to sex and obscenity, especially the banning and prosecution of his books, rather than express himself like Powys does in a letter dated from 1951 that is typical of his confessional style (and his use of ellipsis and emphasis):
But now well for two years I have been & till I die shall be--absolutely chaste! I tell you it's an odd feeling for a lascivious lecherous vicious perverted degenerate to be as chaste as a child again! Well much more so ... for of course as I can well recall my imaginative Dionysian Mysteries began in childhood or very very early boyhood ... No! in childhood! (70)
Miller initiates their conversation, as he tells Powys, because he is writing what would become The Books in My Life (1952), and has included "a few pages about you. I spoke of you as one of the few 'living books'--for me. By that I meant to pay a tribute to you, the implication being that I could always turn to you in my memory, as I would to a good book, and read you to my heart's content." (21) Miller readers will recall that he saw Powys speak "in my early twenties." (22) When asked by Powys for "any book of yours" (23) Miller replies that, though very happy to do so, "for the first time in ages I feel a kind of panic. The thought of sending you something of mine to read gives me the quakes. It's as though I had to submit something to my 'master'. I never dreamt, when I wrote you, that you had heard of my work." (24) Throughout the letters Miller refers to Powys as "Dear Master" (28) and "dear Friar John," (129): and signs off as "Your devoted son," (78) with Powys calling Miller "Henry of my soul!" (79) and finishing off letters with variations of "Yr devoted and ever loyal old John," (90) indicating their spiritual and literary affinity, as well as a sense of humor.
In a 1950 letter Powys writes "the discovery of the works of Henry Miller is far the greatest event that has occurred to me in my old age or will occur to me (as far as I can tell) as long as I live. The way your mind works exactly suits me and what you reveal to me goes along with what I've had glimpses of for long & long! yes! yes! here we are ..." (36). For Miller, the words of Powys are steeped in the past:
When I listened spell-bound to your words (in the Labor Temple on Second Avenue, N.Y.) something affected my soul. It went deep, your message. Is it any wonder that your words return to you, in new guise perhaps, but yours as much as mine. And finally--not yours or mine, but "its". Ah yes, we discover, uncover and recover our own--which is not ours either but every man's. (38)
Anyone who is a reader of either Powys or Miller already knows that they are not simply great writers, but great writers of letters, something that we may consider a dying art (or necessity), and this collection further enhances their reputations in this regard.
Slender though it is, this book contains much that is valuable in the way of exuberant and deep reading of each other's works, as well as mutual encouragement for completing future projects. The years covered focus on the creation and publication of late and final works by Powys; and several non-fiction titles by Miller, as well as descriptions of his wives Lepska and Eve, and his children: "Val and Tony are raising holy hell all about us--sounds healthy" (98). Aid in figuring out what the books will become, who the people are Miller and Powys mention, along with obscure topics or allusions, is supplied by economic editorial notes, and Peltier also provides a list of major works by each writer, as well as an index, to close off the volume.
The publication of these letters gives us a good view of both writers' lives in the 1950s and early 1960s. (Previously the Miller side had only been published in French.) With regards to Powys, it is an even more illuminating look at his life when we connect this book to letters that appeared in 2013 in The Powys Journal between him and another US writer, James Purdy, that go from 1956 to 1963; for Miller, it provides additional light on a period of his life that we would do well to dwell more on, as Arthur Hoyle does in The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur (2014). Proteus and the Magician should be welcomed by all readers, whatever their level of familiarity with Henry Miller or John Cowper Powys.
Reviewed by Jeff Bursey
This printing by Obelisk Press is not described in the Miller bibliographies. It has a printing date of May 1956 and falls between the previously described 15th (1954) and 16th Obelisk Press (1957) Editions.
Submitted by Dan Stone.
Miller, Henry. [Mother and Other Short Stories]. Suiseisha: Tokyo. 2013.
Translated by Michiyo Kobayashi. Contains Gliding into the Everglades, Alter Retour New York, A Devil in Paradise and Mother, China and the World Beyond. This book is volume 11 in the Henry Miller Collection, 2nd Series. Text in Japanese.
Submitted by Hiroshi Rikukawa
Miller, Henry. [The Books in My Life]. Suiseisha: Tokyo, 2014.
This book is volume 13 in the Henry Miller Collection, 2nd Series. Text in Japanese.
Submitted by Yasunori Honda
Miller, Henry. [Book of Fiends: A Trilogy]. Suiseisha: Tokyo, 2014.
This book is volume 14 in the Henry Miller Collection, 2nd Series. Text in Japanese.
Submitted by Yasunori Honda
Miller, Henry. "Ljudfilmsscenario" [Scenario]. Biografbladet (1949) p24-38.
In addition to "Scenario" this Swedish film magazine contains a brief introductory statement on Miller by Artur Lundkvist and a photograph of Miller in Big Sur, California. Text in Swedish.
Submitted by Magnus Grehn
Miller, Henry, [excerpt from Tropic of Capricorn]. Zartliche Bliiten Der Lust [Tender Flowers of Pleasure]. Caroline Keiser, editor. Orbis Verlag: Munich, 1998.
This literary anthology by editor Keiser contains an excerpt from Miller's Tropic of Capricorn on pages 121-134. Text in German.
Submitted by Ernst Richter
Miller, Henry. "Reflections of a Cosmic Tourist" [interview with Jonathan Cott] and "Mother". Literatur Magazine 14. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt, 1981.
The interview with Cott appears on pages 162-186 and Miller's essay "Mother, China and the World Beyond" on pages 272-284. Text in German.
Submitted by Ernst Richter
Miller, Henry. "Third or Fourth Day of Spring." Unsere Besten [Our Best], Duisburg: Mayersche Buchhandlung, [nd].
Miller's essay in this literary anthology appears on pages 132-144. Text in German.
Submitted by Ernst Richter
Somer, Hilde. Piano Music of Alexander Scriabin Performed by Hilde Somer. LP record .
Somer (1922-1979), a child prodigy from Austria, often performed Scriabin music with the accompaniment of colored laser lights projected onto a screen, as prescribed by Scriabin himself. Miller was friends with pianist Somer and contributed a promotional quote that was printed on the record cover to this album. It reads: "Scriabin is Cosmic Fire. Pure hallucinogenics promising rainbow nirvana."
Calder, John. The Garden of Eros. London: Calder, 2013.
Publisher Calder's memoirs include references to Miller, Durrell, Girodias, and others in the Parisian scene.
Submitted by Karl Orend.
Calonne, David Stephen. Henry Miller. London: Reaktion Books, 2014.
Charting Miller's cultivation of his esoteric ideas from boyhood and adolescence to later in his career, Calonne examines how Miller remained deeply engaged with a variety of philosophies, from astrology and Gnosticism to Eastern thinkers. Calonne describes not only the effects this had on Miller's work, but also to his complex and volatile life--his marriages and love affairs with Beatrice Wickens, June Mansfield, and Anais Nin; his years in Paris; and the journey to Greece that resulted in the travelogue The Colossus of Maroussi, the book Miller considered to be his greatest work. After discussing Miller's final residences in Big Sur and the Pacific Palisades in California, Calonne considers the author's involvement in the arts, love of painting and music, and friendships with a number of classical musicians. Miller, Calonne reveals, was a quirky, charismatic man of genius who continues to influence popular culture today. Highlighting many areas of the author's life that have previously been neglected, Henry Miller takes a fascinating revisionary approach to the work of one of America's most controversial and iconic writers, (publisher's description). Contains 27 illustrations.
Decker, James M., and Indrek Manniste. Henry Miller: New Perspectives. New York: Bloomsbury, 2015.
In the first collection of essays on Miller since 1992, Decker and Manniste commissioned fifteen new essays on a wide variety of subjects and approaches. Contributors include Edward Abplanalp, Jeff Bursey, Sarah Garland, James Gifford, Rob Herian, Hamish Dale Mercer Jackson, Paul, Jahshan, Finn Jensen, Eric D. Lehman, Anna Lillios, Katy Masuga, Ondrej Skovajsa, and Guy Stevenson.
Gallagher, Daniel. D'Ernest Hemingway A Henry Miller. Paris: Editions L'Harmattan, 2011.
Discussion of Miller's time in Paris. The book contains a photograph of Miller's identity card and letters from French agents who were trailing Miller. In French.
Submitted by D. Stenning
Hoyle, Arthur. The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Snr. New York Arcade, 2014.
Arthur Hoyle brings The Unknown Henry Miller into the light using extensive excerpts from Miller's letters and those of the people in his life, tracing his literary evolution as well as his personal aspirations. He focuses on each step of the great writer's career as a human and author, notably his time at Big Sur where he completed his masterpiece The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy (Sexus, Plexus and Nexus). But in writing a biography of Miller Hoyle is, most certainly, rushing in where angels fear to tread as taking on the lives of one of the greatest writers in American Literature does not come without its inherent dangers.
Even when it comes to a biography of the finest effort, my first and best advice is to read everything Henry Miller ever wrote before reading a biography of him. There is a reason that it has been approximately 20 years since the last Henry Miller biography was published--and it's not for lack of interest; it's because everything Miller wants you to know about his spiritual quest as an author and human is in his books. But his literary collection does not, necessarily, reveal the truest and exact facts of his life. The flame of both literature and life must be kept alive. And there's nothing better than a new, well-researched biography to do that. The goal of the book? Ostensibly to reach a "new generation" of Miller readers and, presumably, share the Gospel of Henry Miller.
But, this is no hagiography. Nor is it a demonization. It's a factual journey into a man whose inner life, both intellectually and emotionally, was so complex he had to put it into volume after volume of words at the expense of nearly everything else in his life. The strength of this biography is also one of its greatest difficulties. Hoyle utilizes correspondence throughout the book to great effect. However, the correspondence is never complete. The reader gets quotations that help move the story of Miller's life forward and that help flesh out that problematic nature of existence that he faced through much of his life. However, a biography is not a volume of correspondence; thus, Hoyle is faced with using a technique that challenges the reader as much as it gratifies. One never knows what else might be in the letters being quoted.
In a world of sensationalistic send-ups, Hoyle is to be praised for his objectivity. However, it is the same objectivity that leaves Miller's life and actions up to the reader to decide upon. While Hoyle will put a sentence or two of opinion in once and awhile, he leaves the reader with the aforementioned correspondence, quotes from Miller's work and factual accounting. Again, while praise-worthy, Hoyle does not truly provide an in-depth psychological analysis of Miller or his work; he lets Miller and his circle do that for the reader, for the most part. It is the reader's preference as to whether this is a strength or a weakness --hermeneutical approaches threaten to drag on for centuries and Hoyle has avoided these perils here in this highly readable account that stretches across Miller's writing career from obscurity to success, from legal perils, victories over obscenity charges, to a largely pleasant old age.
For the uninitiated, for the general reader and for the Miller enthusiast, Hoyle will bring them into Miller's world. If it is for the first time they are in for a hero's journey, a spiritual quest that will not disappoint. Miller's story is not just his; it is the story of every person who is trying to realize him or herself.
From a scholarly perspective, the most compelling part of this book can be found in Appendix D: Academic Survey Findings, where Hoyle provides survey results from many universities in the United States only to find that they essentially leave Miller off their syllabi. Hoyle writes, "Miller is an American author, many would say an important American author, who is rarely taught in major colleges and universities across the United States, despite the facts of his prodigious output, relentless dedication to the highest aims of literature, and acknowledged (by many respected critics) stature as one of the most influential authors of the last century (326). Hoyle asks finally, "How can America's great intellectual centers continue to neglect and ignore an artist who is so uniquely American, who gave himself so completely to his work, and who became such a powerful conduit of modern thought?" (329).
The answer, he finds, is usually some form of political correctness something that is uniquely powerful in America's institutes of higher learning. In an era when many would see trigger alerts or "warning labels" placed on literature that might disturb a student, making a case for Miller might be difficult--unless your goal is liberation of the human spirit. For an author whose work helped break down the barriers to Freedom of Speech and Expression to not find a place of debate in American universities is a unique travesty--but a travesty that can be undone one class at a time by Hoyle's readers, Miller's "new generation."
I often wonder what might have happened had Jack Kerouac met Henry Miller. In his own Big Sur book, Kerouac describes an evening when he and his buddies were supposed to meet Henry Miller at Miller's home, only to go out for an evening of drinking. By the time they finished up it was 10 p.m., and Miller gave them a pleasant sendoff over the phone telling them he was going to bed. Miller was certainly an influence on the Beat Generation and tens of thousands of other writers and readers. His influence, though, goes far beyond that of most literary greats in that despite his virtual banishment from the "academy" he touches lives deeply through his writing and the way he lived his life. Miller is an icon for being true to oneself and to one's words. He touches the lives of readers who are writers and readers who have never picked up a pen. In that way he will continue to offer himself to all generations willing to listen to his message of self-liberation.
Reviewed by C.E. "Chip" McAuley
Supplemental notes to Hoyle, Arthur, The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur. New York Arcade, 2014, by Roger Jackson.
The following series of corrections are provided in order to address inaccuracies that appear in Arthur Hoyle's book on Miller. The quotes listed below, taken from Hoyle's book, are followed by corrections based primarily on documentation found in my book Henry Miller: His Life in Ephemera 1914-1980, published in 2012. Questions or comments: email@example.com.
p38. "He [Miller] had very little contact with his mother and father during his years of exile, and none at all with his ex-wife Beatrice and their daughter Barbara, now a young woman of twenty-one."
Miller sent Barbara at least two letters while abroad, a letter dated 2/16/38 and a second one of 12/5/39. The last letter contains comments indicating she had received Miller's earlier letter. Barbara had both letters in her possession at the time of her death.
p68. "Miller's passion for Sevasty [Koutsaftis] inspired 'O Lake of Light,' his only published poem."
A second published poem, "Fuck Away, Fuck Away!" appeared in Third Rail, Volume One, Number One, 1975, and a third, "Ho the Windhover!" appeared in promotional material issued for the Henry Miller Centennial Festival in 1990 and was reprinted by this writer in 1995.
p87. "Miller needed a multifaceted woman who could serve as mistress, housekeeper, and secretary. He contemplated putting a personals ad in the Saturday Review of Literature [seeking a female companion] then thought better of it."
Miller did in fact write and submit his ad to The Saturday Review of Literature but found it rejected due to the following sentence: "Prefer Chinese, Mexican, Greek or French person." The rejection letter noted that "age, religion and place of residence are definitely taboo" and not "consonant with the purposes and character of The Saturday Review of Literature."
p95. "And Miller had arranged for two printers from Fullerton, California--George Barrows and Norman Holve--to produce an expensive ($50) four-color book of his watercolors accompanied by his text "The Angel Is My Watermark."
The book was not printed via a four-color process. What made this spiral bound book expensive was that an original Miller watercolor was bound into each copy.
p144. Beniamino Bufano is identified as the person who wrote a review of the Henry Miller/Bezalel Schatz collaboration Into the Night Life that appeared in the February--March issue of What's Doing magazine, and on p152 states that this review "reads more like a press release than a critical assessment."
Bufano did not write this review, Henry Miller did, under Bufano's name, which is why it reads like a press release. Miller admits his authorship of this review, in writing, on a copy of the review that had been reprinted for promotional purposes.
p214. Miller is said to have visited ex-wife June in New York, in 1956, and on p303 that he visited her "on his occasional trips to New York ..."
Miller visited June only once, in 1961, in New York. It was a harrowing experience and not one to be repeated.
p242. "Mona" [June] is said to have returned from Europe and rented, with Miller, an "elegant apartment in an upscale brownstone neighborhood in Brooklyn," and "At Mona's insistence, Miller quits his job with the Parks Department so as to be free to write."
June returned from Europe in 1927. The elegant apartment is a reference to 91 Remsen Street, in Brooklyn Heights, NY, in which they briefly lived and from which they were evicted, in the spring of 1925 for non-payment of rent. They never returned to this address. Also, Miller was working at Western Union, not the Parks Department, when the decision was made to write full time.
p305. Ana'is Nin's is identified here as the person who wrote the "Preface" to Miller's Tropic of Cancer.
Miller's involvement with the writing of the "Preface" is generally accepted. In fact, in the margin of the typescript of the "Preface" that Miller sent to his friend Emil Schnellock, he identified the authorship as a "collaboration" [Nexus, Vol. 10 p46].
Manniste, Indrek. Henry Miller: The Inhuman Artist. Bloomsbury, New York, 2013.
Manniste begins this engaging narrative with the comment that "the question of Henry Miller's relation to philosophy is positively vexing." What follows this opening sentence is a generally successful attempt to establish the idea that Miller had indeed developed a philosophical position worthy of the name.
At the beginning, Manniste usefully states that it is important to understand what sense of philosophy is understood in his examination. He states: If D.H. Lawrence is right "every novelist who amounts to anything has a philosophy." Indeed, philosophy is something writers have rather than something that they do as opposed to professional philosophers, (see page xii, in the introduction) Most importantly, this comment sets a tone that contributes significantly to the success of this book.
In the three central chapters of this book, Manniste explores the main philosophical themes that he sees in Miller's thinking and writing. Sandwiching these chapters are, first, an introduction to Miller's early reading (and experiences) that provided the groundwork for Miller's thoughts and, finally, a concluding chapter that discusses Miller's "philosophy" in the context of his later years. The introductory chapter is an especially good summary of the background that successfully supports the idea that Miller had indeed explored more aspects of "philosophy" than many might realize.
After the introductory material, Manniste first examines Miller's rejection of the traditional notion of time and history in favor of the concept of the full present. For Miller, this was not just a theoretical stance expounded in some esoteric essay. Escaping his past (making a "clean break") was very much a principle of action for Miller however, his struggles during the 1920s ultimately showed that he needed a physical change of location to transform his life into one in which experiencing the full present was possible. As "everyone" knows, he "found himself" in Paris. Manniste's chapter on this important theme can easily be read on its own--it is entitled "Apocalypse Now: The End of Elistory and the Twofold Present."
In the next chapter, Manniste examines Miller's attitudes toward "work" and "modern technology," in terms of how they affected modern society in Miller's eyes. In particular, Miller saw America as being "technologically obsessed"--and this was before the advent of personal computers and "smart" phones! His own efforts in the workplace, "endured" before he went to Paris, gave him ample evidence of what "work" and the need to "make a living" were doing to society as a whole. In retrospect, he seems rather fortunate to have been able to quit his job and experience firsthand another way of living. Importantly, Miller distinguishes between work and play, with the latter providing a much more important aspect of life than the word itself implies.
The most difficult chapter of the book is Chapter 4, in which Manniste approaches the "heart" of Miller's philosophy, including the Inhuman and the Miller-specific term called China. Most readers will immediately question the potential distinction between "human" and the "inhuman." For Miller, the concept of inhuman indeed negates many of the qualities of "human," within the context that "human" is a derogatory reference to someone lost in the concept of "the traditional present," as opposed to the full present. More importantly, the inhuman is an artist, as someone whose life is directed by art and artistic practices. In this discussion, Manniste discusses Miller's ideas in relation to those of Nietzsche and he does this in a way that readers not overly familiar with the German philosopher will be able to enjoy reading (this is no small accomplishment). Miller's China is a realm and not necessarily a physical place. It is a state of consciousness (perhaps)--and it might be illustrated by this passage: What [Miller] calls "obsessional walks" carried out in the streets of Paris are, symbolically, trips into unconsciousness, each of which carries him ever closer to China, as yet another bloody "corpse of himself" is left behind during the "walk." (see page 104) In another passage, Manniste seems to summarize the concept succinctly: In the realm of China, life becomes "Art" and "Artist" becomes a seer. China is the sphere "where great Artists don't even bother" anymore to do "Art" but just live it. (see page 113)
Turning these concepts into a way of actually living day-to-day life clearly is a challenge. It would appear, in spite of many of his life's outward appearances, that Miller led a privileged existence in being able to explore his "philosophy" very directly. It is not a philosophy of life for everyone, as Miller knew. His philosophy, as expounded in this volume, would completely contrast with the comfortable coexistence of citizens within conventional communities.
Parenthetically, this "review note" was going to be relatively short by definition. As I read this book, I wanted to stop and engage both the author and the text itself in a friendly conversation, seeking both elaboration and perhaps a few debates. Hence, a much longer "note" is naturally indicated. I do wonder how Miller would have reacted to the now ever-present smart phone in certain societies. Speaking personally, the Miller-specific term China seems to me to be both battered and bruised by both what happened in China after 1949 and what is now happening there, something Miller was not alive to witness in any way. This does not undo the concept but leads me to wish that Miller had used another name.
Reviewed by D.A. Pratt
Margariti, Eleana, Suzanna Prizeman, Remy Deshayes, Mary Gifford Brown, Arlind Schmidt, Heidrun Brandt, and Deborah Browning-Schimek. The Artist Betty Ryan and Andros. Andros: The Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation, 2014.
Created in honor of Betty Ryan's centenary, this book contains a chronology of Ryan's life as well as a series of essays about Ryan and a selection of her paintings. The essays focus not only on her biography but on her artistic achievements. For instance, readers will learn of the "paradisial atmosphere" that infused Ryan's work as well as the "inner dictum of harmony" that pervades her paintings.
Nash, Noreen, and Jeanne Rejaunier. Titans of the Muses: When Henry Miller Met Jean Renoir. Np: Np, 2015.
Packaged with excerpts from two of Nash's other works, "Titans of the Muses" offers impressions and comparisons of both Henry Miller and Jean Renoir. At the center of the essay are two meetings between the men. At the first meeting, the pair discussed a variety of topics, ranging from prostitutes and paintings to Knut Hamsun and Clifford Odets. As the second encounter (a dinner), the men conversed over subjects such as Charlie Chaplin and wine.
Rejaunier, Jeanne. My Sundays With Henry Miller: A Memoir. Np: Np, 2013.
For several years in the sixties, Jeanne Rejaunier often shared Sundays with iconic author Henry Miller at the homes of their mutual friends, as well as at Henry's home in Pacific Palisades. In the course of these gatherings, Miller reflects on literature, film, art, music, and metaphysics, astrology, theosophy, reincarnation, life after death, life on other planets, sexuality, obscenity, women, Anai's Nin, forgotten writers of the past, and much, much more. Miller and Rejaunier soon discover they have much in common, both being Francophiles, both trained musicians, and both having mentally challenged siblings, Henry a sister, Jeanne a brother. Henry's relationship with his "boon companion," Joe Grey, one of the three best friends Henry made in America, runs throughout the book, as Henry also interacts with friends to whom Jeanne introduces him, including a former card carrying Communist dancer/ choreographer, an exotic Portuguese psychic, and a young actress who falls passionately in love with Henry and dies under mysterious circumstances. Woven into the book is Rejaunier's relationship with Anai's Nin; her Miller-related experiences while living in Italy; and amusing childhood encounters with Miller's writing. Encouraging Jeanne in her transition from model and Hollywood actress to bestselling novelist, Miller helps launch Jeanne's million copy bestseller The Beauty Trap. In My Sundays with Henry Miller, Jeanne Rejaunier chronicles a new side to literary immortal Henry Miller that has never previously been revealed, (publisher's description)
In this publication Miller identifies the person who wrote Opus Pistorum:
"I owe Caresse [Crosby] a debt of gratitude.... At times in my life when I most needed a helping hand, Caresse was there."
Joe [Grey] asked, "How about the time you and Ana'is were writing erotica for the oil baron? Isn't that one of the times you are referring to, Henry?"
"That was one of them, yes," Henry acknowledged, taking a long drag on his cigarette. "What Joe brings up, a story that's been told and retold-I was grinding out erotica at a dollar a page for the aforesaid old baron, but after two 100-page stories for which I earned $200, I just couldn't keep on with it. I was all ready to go, but hadn't provided all I'd promised to the oil man. So Caresse stepped in. She was a member of Ana'is's New York City smut club for the fun of it, not for the money of course-money she was swimming in. Anyway, she took over for me, which freed me to drive through the country and end up in California." (52-53)
Ryan, Betty. Betty Ryan Recalls and Reflects. Ed. Sonny Saul. Woodstock, VT: Pleasant Street Books, 2013.
Written mainly in the early 1990s, this series of hitherto unpublished short essays by Miller's close friend Betty Ryan provides many interesting insights about Miller. She mentions, for instance, his "energizing power" when telling stories, the "thundering crescendo" of his typing, and his apolitical views. Additionally, Ryan comments on many in Miller's orbit, including Nin ("her mind dared to venture out into the dangerous areas of absolute creation, even of madness"), Reichel ("extraordinary turbulence"), Perles ("started every new day from scratch"), Soutine ("a mysterious penumbrous figure walking alone"), and others.
Tokyo Pink Guide describes the Tropic of Cancer nightclub in Tokyo, (p239); Tropic of Capricorn, printed in India, and containing the text of a novel not by Miller, (p239); The Problem With Dear Henry Miller contains a limerick about Miller, (p240); Unsere Tester [Our Best], a German anthology contains "Third or Fourth Day of Spring." (p218)
Tokuda, Hoki. [Henry's Eighth], Suiseisha: Tokyo (2013).
In Hoki's autobiography she sees herself as Miller's eighth wife [Pauline Chouteau, Bertha Schrank and Anais Nin are often considered unofficial wives, ed.] It runs 416 pages and was issued at [yen] 3200. It contains 28 photos, 23 of Miller, with 11 of these not previously seen by this writer. While Hoki's text is in Japanese, two letters and a postcard from Miller to Hoki's father (Rokura Tokuda) and two postcards from Miller to Hoki, are reproduced in facsimile.
Submitted by Yasunori Honda
Articles and Book Chapters
Anonymous. "The World of Henry Miller." Continental Film Review (December 1970): 13.
Short biographical piece on Miller with two photographs of Miller during the filming of Quiet Days in Clichy, along with two photographs from the film.
Bozhkov, Jill Sharer. "The Iconoclast Next Door." Los Angeles (May 2016): 94,154,158.
Bozhkov, who lived next door to Miller as a child, recalls her memories of the man as the kindly ping-pong playing neighbor whose houseguests could be seen swimming naked in his pool.
Bullen, Daniel. The Love Lives of Artists: Five Stories of Creative Intimacy. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2011.
Bullen looks at a series of artistic couples, including Miller and Nin. Bullen rehearses the relationship and covers well-trodden ground, including the idea that the "diabolical writers" encouraged each other to pursue sexual adventures. He also claims that neither writer desired or pursued an exclusive relationship with the other.
Heffernan, Julian Jime nez. "Ironic Distance in Thomas Pynchon's 'Entropy.'" Contemporary Literature 52 (2011): 298-329.
In examining Pynchon's early story, Heffernan makes significant references to Miller. Specifically, Heffernan examines the connection between the story's epigraph from Tropic of Cancer and the concept of decay.
Herian, Robert. "'How long do you intend to stay?': Desire Meets proscription in the Subject in Henry Miller's 'Via Dieppe-New Haven.'" Liverpool Law Review 35 (2014): 65-81.
Herian applies Lacan's theory of the Symbolic to explain Miller's need to seek out a community of English-language speakers. Herian argues that Miller's "inquisitor" in the story is "none other than himself." The story represents a failure of "language to articulate a desire for language."
Marzoni, Andrew. "Henry Miller and Deleuze's 'Strange AngloAmerican Literature.'" Understanding Deleuze, Understanding Modernism. Ed. Paul Ardoin, S.E. Gontarski, ad Laci Mattison. New York: Bloomsbury, 2014.'
Marzoni investigates Deleuze's preoccupation with Miller's "peculiar style of novel writing," particularly how Deleuze underestimates Miller's debt to European modernism. Marzoni points out that Miller's "counterfeit self' "takes his line of flight ... toward France," a point on which Deleuze is silent.
Solomon, William. "Disinterring Edward Dahlberg." Texas Studies in Language and Literature 43 (2001): 389-417.
Solomon draws several parallels between Dahlberg and Miller and argues that Dahlberg initiated an autobiographical project that sought to construct a "machine-age grotesque literature" that Miller perfected. While Solomon writes that no evidence can demonstrate that Miller read Dahlberg, the exhaustive list of books in the French edition of The Books in My Life indicates that Miller was indeed familiar with Dahlberg
Gertz, Stephen J. "Henry Miller Loathed Salvador Dali (and Anais Nin Wasn't Crazy about Him, Either." Booktryst: A Nest for Book Lovers. 3 Sep. 2013. <http://www.booktryst.com/2013/09/henry-miller-loathed-salvador dali-and.html>.
Gertz investigates Miller's feelings toward Dali, writing that "the relationship was antagonistic from the start." Gertz uses excerpts from various writings to support his case.
Hoyle, Arthur. "The Astrological Henry Miller." The Huffington Post. 27 May 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arthur-hoyle/the-astrological henry-mi_b_5397661.html>.
Hoyle provides an introduction to Miller's passion for astrology. He asserts that Miller employed astrology as a metaphor that functioned as a system of correspondences between the inner world of the psyche and the soul and the outer world of the planets and the stars."
Hoyle, Arthur. "Henry Miller on War." The Huffington Post. 26 July 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arthur-hoyle/henry-milleron-war_b_5623572.html?utm_ hp_ref=books&ir=Books>.
Hoyle explores Miller's pacifism. He argues that Miller viewed war as economically exploitative. He also notes that Miller saw America's involvement in war as indicative of its fear-inspired conformity.
Hoyle, Arthur. "Henry Miller, Watercolorist." The Huffington Post. 15 Jul 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arthur-hoyle/henrymiller-watercoloris_b_5586080.html?utm_hp_ ref=arts&ir= Arts>.
Hoyle examines Miller's love for watercolors, explaining that while Miller "never became an accomplished technical painter" his colors give his works "richness and exuberance." Hoyle also discusses Miller's use of paintings for barter.
Hoyle, Arthur. "Henry Miller's Men: The Twelve Apostles." The Huffington Post. 3 Jul. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arthur-hoyle/henry-millers-menthe-twe_b_5555981.html?utm_hp_ref=arts&ir= Arts>.
Hoyle takes a look at some of Miller's closest friends, the men who gave "him emotional and psychological support through their affirmations of belief in his writing, by picking up tabs at cafes and restaurants, by serving him meals in their homes, by letting him bunk in their apartments and hotel rooms, by providing needed services he could not afford to pay for, by publishing and distributing his writing at their own expense." Hoyle includes such figures as Emil Schnellock, Lawrence Durrell, Huntington Cairns, Judson Crew, and Emil White, among others.
Hoyle, Arthur. "Henry Miller's Women, Part One: Foreplay." The Huffington Post. 10 Aug. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arthur-hoyle/henry-millers women-part-one_b_5476959.html>.
Hoyle discusses three women who played a formative role in Miller's life: His mother, Louise, Cora Seward, and Pauline Chouteau.
Hoyle, Arthur. "Henry Miller's Women: Part Two: Orgasm." The Huffington Post. 24 Aug. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arthur-hoyle/henry-miIlers women-part-_b_5523954.htmI?utm_hp_ref=books&ir=Books>.
Hoyle continues his review of important women in Miller's life by discussing Beatrice, June, and Anais.
Hoyle, Arthur. "Remember Henry Miller: Censored Then, Forgotten Now." The Huffington Post. 14 May. 2014. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arthur-hoyIe/remember-henry-m iller_b_5320782.html>.
Hoyle recounts Miller's troubles with the censor. He also laments that "young readers are not exposed to Miller" these days.
Lambert, Josh. "Tropical Storm." Tablet. 11 Nov. 2011. <http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and culture/books/82937/tropical-storm>.
Lambert reviews Tropic of Cancer with an emphasis on its attitudes toward Judaism. Lambert mentions Miller's complex relationship with Jewish people and points out that "many Jews spoke up in Miller's defense" during his censorship travails and problematizes Leon Uris's condemnation of Miller.
Morris, Bill. "Still Merry and Bright? Rethinking Henry Miller." The Millions. 15 May 2013. <http://www.themillions.com/2013/05/still-merry-and-bright rethinking-henry-miller.html>.
Morris recalls encountering Miller's "bewitching" language and explores how the writer impacted him.
Nesbitt, Huw. "Why Henry Miller and Louis-Ferdinand Celine Deserve Success as Well as Scandal." The Guardian 19 Feb. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2014/feb/19/henrymiller-louis-ferdinand-celine- scandal>.
Nesbitt points out flaws in Miller's writing (chiefly misogyny), yet feels that his stress on "the role of language in our understanding of the world" makes him valuable even today.
Pearson, Neal. "Why I Love Henry Miller." Interviewed by Laura Barnett. The Guardian. 22 Oct. 2014. <http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/oct/22/neil-pearson why-i-love-henry-miller>.
The interview describes Miller as being superlative at capturing the "pure, visceral thrill of standing on a street corner." Pearson also admires the "uncensored version" of Miller's persona.
Thatcher, Lisa. "Foreword." Henry Magazine. Vol 1 No. 1 May 2013. Available as a free download at Lulu.com.
A literary review of 93 pages that Thatcher named after "the great Henry Miller, a writer we both love so much, who transformed literature in response to the world he saw around him. He pre-empted the beats and 1960's and he wrote from a place no writer before him had dared to reveal." English and French text. A review inspired by but not necessarily about Miller.
Submitted by Magnus Grehn
Tokuda, Hoki. Mini Concert. Henry Miller Museum of Art (Nagano, Japan) 1997.
This 7 x 10 inch promotional flier for Hoki's musical performance at the Henry Miller Museum of Art describes her as an eternal female singer and jazz chanteuse. The performance, held October 4, 1997, was ticketed at [yen] 3500 (advance) and [yen] 4000 at the door. Price includes a drink and light meal. Flier reproduces two photographs of Hoki.
Supplemental information supplied by Yasunori Honda
The Big Sur Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn, NY. 12-19 May 2013. Presented by the Henry Miller Memorial Library.
Taking place at several venues across Brooklyn, the week-long festivities celebrated Miller's life and work. The events included poetry readings, music, lectures, and a film screening.
Brassai. Henry Miller's Quiet Days in Clichy. Howard Greenberg Gallery. New York City. 10 Sep. 2015-24 Oct. 2015. Exhibition.
The exhibition included 27 prints used to illustrate Miller's novel. The prints include the crop marks required to fit the pictures into Miller's volume. This marks the first New York appearance of the photographs.
A Gob of Spit in the Face of Art: A One-Day Symposium to Mark the 80th Anniversary of Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. 19 Sep. 2014. Goldsmiths College, University of London.
The event gathered Miller scholars from across to the globe to contemplate Miller's work and reputation. Topics included Miller and Polanski, Miller and Morality, inhumanism, and many others.
Henry and Abe: A Symposium. Leepa-Rattner Museum. Tarpon Springs, Florida. 6 June 2015.
Part of the Rattner art retrospective Henry and Abe: Finding America, the symposium explored the relationship between Miller and Abe Rattner. The event featured talks by Arthur Hoyle, Magnus Toren, and James Decker.
Anonymous. Tropic of Capricorn. Np: Np, Nd.
This curious paperback, purchased by the original owner in India, in 1983, is printed on cheap paper with misspelling on most pages,. The front wrapper boldly identifies this book as Tropic of Capricorn and Henry Miller as author. A large portrait of Miller appears on the back wrapper. However, the text is a complete fabrication, an adult pornographic story, written by an imposter profiting off Miller's name and fame. An excerpt:
You take your hands and cushion the two hanging nuts, and rubs (sic) them gently together, careful not to harm the sensitive, naked loose-skinned sacs. For that moment they clong (sic) to you, you have them trapped in your mouth and chained by the grasp on the frightened balls. They're pressed between fear and ecstasy, and for a long time you can keep them suspended, darting back and forth between the come and the capture.
Clemens, Steven Langhome. Tokyo Pink Guide. Tokyo: Yenbooks, 1997.
A man's guide to Tokyo's pleasure spots, it contains a section on "The Tropic of Cancer" (p41-45), a hostess bar located in Roppongi, next to the Hard Rock Cafe, that is owned by Miller's ex-wife Hoki Tokuda. Miller's watercolors hang on the walls and Hoki herself plays the piano and sings. The establishment gets a high rating from the author and contains this quote on Hoki's relationship with Miller:
"It was like a tragedy if I think about it now, because I didn't understand him. I just tried to escape from him," she says while holding court in her nightclub. There is a look of regret on her face as she recalls how she tried to give the famed author, nearly 45 years her senior, the brushoff. But in typical Japanese fashion, Hoki tried to be polite and just couldn't bring herself to tell Henry to forget it.
Grahame-Smith, Seth. The Last American Vampire. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2015.
Among the book's many celebrity vampires, Henry Miller makes an appearance.
Green, Harald Sanders. The Problem with Dear Henry Miller. New York: Pageant Press, Inc. 1966.
This book contains over 200 original limericks, one of which is about Miller and occupies the lead position on page one. It reads:
The Problem with dear Henry Miller Was, he just couldn't write a good thriller; So he cleared from his mind All the junk he could find-- He's now top of the library pillar.
Lyle, Tyler. "Ithaca." Expatriates. 2013. CD.
Song contains the lyrics "Blind Lemon, Jack Kerouac / Henry Miller in my Gunny Sack."
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|Title Annotation:||Henry Miller|
|Publication:||Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal|
|Article Type:||Recommended readings|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2016|
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