Saturday, December 10, 2005

Miller Characterized in 1934 Novel by Calmer

Henry Miller was the inspiration for the character 'Irving Brace' in an obscure novel by the American broadcaster and journalist Edgar 'Ned' Calmer. All The Summer Days (1934) was the fictional story of a group of ex-patriot Americans working for the Paris Edition of the Chicago Tribune (called the Paris American in the novel). Henry's "Irving Brace" is one such character. This is how Miller described it in a letter to Emil Schnellock on August 28, 1934:

"There is another book, by a friend of mine named Edgar Calmer (a Virginia fellow) who calls me Irving Brace in his book Always Summer [sic], which is being published by Harcourt Brace & Co. He has me killed at the end of the book--run down by a taxi while in an ecstatic mood. (Not to mention that he plagirized a few paragraphs from T. of C.--which I thought a good joke, particularly because he didn't think I noticed them.)"

Ned Calmer (photo left, circa 1950) was part of the real-life clan of Yank ex-pats working for the Chicago Tribune in Paris in the early 1930's, which included Henry Miller, Alfred Perles, Wambly Blad and many others. He had known Henry for at least three years by the time he based that character on him. In Miller's letter, he refers to the book as Always Summer, but it was copyrighted on March 29, 1934 as Beyond The Street and published by Harcourt Brace that same year under that title. When the book was re-published in 1961, it was re-titled All The Summer Days. I am making the assumption that these are the same works under different titles, because the timeline seems to suggest it.

This is the part of the post where it would make sense that I quote the passages about Miller/Brace (funny that Henry was named after the publisher, alluding to Calmer's awareness, I assume, of Henry's heavy desire to be published). Unfortunately, I don't own the book, and it's obscure enough that the reference libraries in my major city don't hold it. If you have a copy, please be a pal and post a comment with a quote or two. (perhaps I should just shell out $20 or so and order a used copy from somewhere).

This bit of trivia about Miller/Brace is mentioned in all the Miller bios I have, but just in passing. Mary Dearborn's Happiest Man Alive goes the furthest in detailing the relationship between Miller and Calmer. She quotes several letters Miller sent to Calmer, but I couldn't identify the source of this letter collection.

Ned Calmer and his wife were part of Henry's infamous list of people to scrounge meals off of in 1931. Henry showed Ned his manuscript for Crazy Cock, but Ned wasn't impressed. Ned showed Henry something that he had written, and was told he was (to quote Dearborn) "in danger of becoming a prig" and that he should (to quote Miller) "chew a little dirt." There are a few personal references to Calmer in A Literate Passion as well.

Ned Calmer was born in Chiacgo in 1907. He began his Paris journalist gig in 1927 and became a traveling foreign correpsondant shortly afterwards. Beyond The Street (which appears to be an extremely rare book) was his first novel. He later went into broadcast journalism, first in radio as an assistant to Edward R Murrow in 1940. He famously announced the beginning of the D-Day invasion on CBS in 1944 (this may or may not be him, but here's part of that day's broadcast in MP3). In the early 1950's, Calmer wrote the WWII novel Strange Land, analyzed here in 1958 [PDF file].

Calmer hosted several radio and television programs, and wrote books about the early days of TV journalism, including Anchorman (1970) and Late Show (1974). He holds notoriety in the history of TV as well: As the headline anchor for the CBS morning show Good Morning in 1956, he witnessed a horse shit on camera during a staged introduction, to which he commented into a live microphone and over the air, "Good God, what a fuck up!"

Calmer died in 1986 (New York Time obituary).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting post! Calmer could have conceived the taxi episode after Henry's anecdote about his own (almost fatal) accident in a Paris taxi (will have to search where Miller talks about this strange incident in his books
though - "Letters to Emil", maybe?).Calmer's "All the Summer Days" is still available at:
Pierre from Montreal

1:02 pm  
Blogger RC said...

Pierre, thank you. You're right, I remember something about a taxi accident in Paris. I'll have to look it up as well.

4:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miller’s accident in a Paris taxi occurred on December 31, 1930. Jay Martin says this in « Always Merry and Bright » : « On New Year’s Eve, the last night of 1930,
Henry stepped into a taxi after a party at the Coupole; the taxi driver had been partying too, and as soon as he got his vehicle to its highest speed, the cab went out of control and hurtled head-on into another car. The force of the collision was so terrific that Henry’s taxi flipped right over, the glass side window smashed to bits right beside Henry and slivers flew all about inside. Yet he wasn’t even scratched. He celebrated this New Year’s nursing a case of piles and resolving to walk a few miles every day », p.221 in the Sheldon Press (British) edition. Martin gives as the source of this anecdote a letter to Emil Schnellock (2-16-31,11)and this is what Henry wrote:"Nearly killed New Year's Eve in a taxi smashup. Ran full on to another car,tipped it over. The glass smashed to bits right beside me, but I got off without a scratch - only to come down with the piles. And never felt the least nervous afterwards. As though it happened on another planet. Can you beat it?" p.75 in "Letters to Emil".
It is indeed possible that Miller had mentioned this incident to Ed Calmer when he was visiting him for a free dinner, and Calmer may have transformed the story into a tragic accident in « All the Summer Days »,therefore getting rid once and for all of Henry Miller (Irving Brace) « run down by a taxi while in an ecstatic mood »…
Pierre from Montreal

9:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read this old book of mine from my days @CBS News and the last few pages were missing. Can anyone who read this book tell me if the main character married the woman named Ware in the book. Thanks.

7:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read this old book of mine from my days @CBS News and the last few pages were missing. Can anyone who read this book tell me if the main character married the woman named Ware in the book. Thanks.

7:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ninest123 16.03
burberry outlet, longchamp outlet, burberry factory outlet, ray ban sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors handbags, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, ralph lauren outlet, uggs on sale, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, uggs on sale, christian louboutin, nike free, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, nike air max, oakley sunglasses, ralph lauren polo, christian louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, nike outlet, tiffany jewelry, tiffany jewelry, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, longchamp bags, michael kors outlet online, louboutin shoes, louboutin uk, prada outlet, uggs outlet, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, tory burch outlet, uggs outlet, gucci handbags, louis vuitton, longchamp outlet, cheap jordans, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, michael kors, louis vuitton outlet

10:29 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nike blazer pas cher, nike air max uk, polo ralph lauren uk, new balance, ralph lauren pas cher, michael kors, lululemon outlet, jordan pas cher, sac guess pas cher, nike free, burberry pas cher, michael kors uk, nike roshe run pas cher, hermes pas cher, coach outlet store online, coach purses, true religion outlet, replica handbags, north face uk, hogan sito ufficiale, timberland pas cher, north face pas cher, longchamp pas cher, true religion outlet, louboutin pas cher, polo lacoste pas cher, nike air max pas cher, nike air max, mulberry uk, hollister uk, ray ban uk, vanessa bruno pas cher, nike trainers uk, nike air force, lunette oakley pas cher, vans pas cher, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch UK, nike tn pas cher, longchamp soldes, lunette ray ban pas cher, converse, nike air max uk, nike free pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, nike roshe uk, true religion outlet

10:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, karen millen uk, hollister, pandora jewelry, thomas sabo uk, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose jackets, pandora uk, canada goose uk, canada goose, canada goose pas cher, ugg uk, sac louis vuitton, canada goose, swarovski uk, swarovski jewelry, canada goose outlet, ray ban, replica watches, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, moncler, canada goose jackets, moncler jackets, pandora jewelry, links of london uk, marc jacobs, barbour jackets uk, moncler outlet, converse shoes outlet, canada goose outlet, coach outlet, ugg pas cher, juicy couture outlet, moncler uk, lancel, moncler, wedding dresses uk, barbour, louis vuitton uk, toms shoes, moncler, bottes ugg pas cher, sac louis vuitton, pandora charms, juicy couture outlet, moncler, moncler pas cher, montre pas cher, supra shoes
ninest123 16.03

10:34 pm  
Blogger Unknown said...

ralph lauren uk
mont blanc pens
ray ban wayfarer
michael kors outlet
ugg boots
michael kors outlet
jordan outlet
rolex watches
louis vuitton belt
michael kors canada

10:58 pm  
Blogger expertshelp said...

The most important thing that's always in my mind is to find a post with relevant and interesting information, and this happens to be one of them. I do know that there are other posts with professional information, but this happens to one of the best. Massive Hiring for an NGO How i wish that you keep sharing. Great work.

4:27 am  
Anonymous Howard Prouty said...

Well, I guess it's sort of ridiculous to post a comment on a 12-year-old blog post, but I just stumbled across it and feel that some "correction for the record" is called for. (I might also have a little "standing," so to speak, since my website -- -- is actually cited by the first commenter, above.) Although I haven't looked deeply into the matter (nor even read the entire blog post carefully), I can report definitively that Calmer's book "All the Summer Days" (published in 1961) was *NOT* a reprint of his first novel "Beyond the Street" (published, as stated, by Harcourt, Brace & Co. in 1934). They are completely different books: "Beyond the Street" takes place in a NYC high school, while "All the Summer Days" is, per its cover blurb, "a novel of Paris in the '20s," and no doubt largely autobiographical. I suspect that Calmer was writing the book that eventually became "All the Summer Days" in 1934, but abandoned it, and the blog-post writer simply focused on the year and jumped to the incorrect conclusion that it *was* published that year under the title "Beyond the Street."

3:10 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have not read the novel but from the short description posted I can tell that it is an interesting novel and I will not mind looking for it this coming weekend. I am looking forward to drawing a lot of insights from the novel as outlined by the author. Kindly, find the time and read my article by clicking on Literature Review Writing Help.

9:44 am  
Blogger 时间 said...

0810jeje3 flammes vous nike air jordan xxxi mettront en marche sans que vos pensées ne soient mises en asics running homme pas cher doute. Il est effectivement pensé que tous les nike air flight huarache détaillants de chaussures de sport dans le monde entier Asics Gel Lyte 3 Femme Noir ont réduit Nike Chaussures. Donc, lorsque nous communiquons basket enfant nike air max sur la valeur de la créativité, ce air jordan femme rose et noir que nous indiquons, c'est qu'il est utile ou crucial asics chaussure course pied d'être en mesure d'examiner et de livrer avec originalité et expressivité. air nike presto

9:14 pm  
Blogger Irving Taxi cab said...

When I read the title of your blog I became very much surprised but after reading whole blog, I understand this properly. Really very interesting content.

5:16 pm  
Blogger Taxi service-Yellow cab service said...

Thanks For Sharing!!! Nice blog & Wonderfull post. Its really helpful for me, waiting for a more new post. Keep on posting!

7:26 pm  
Blogger Taxi service-Yellow cab service said...

This can be a great inspiring article. I'm pretty much pleased along with your good work. You set really very useful information. Preserve it up. Hold blogging. Looking to studying your subsequent post.

7:27 pm  
Blogger yanmaneee said...

kd shoes
lebron james shoes
golden goose
yeezy boost 350 v2
lebron shoes
jordan shoes
yeezy boost 350 v2
kobe shoes

9:42 am  
Blogger dreamcare said...

It’s very nice blog! Shoe Bags

1:40 am  
Blogger Jasvir Singh said...

Jeera pani peene ke fayde in hindi

Political in Hindi

4:40 am  
Anonymous hungama mchaoo said...

Get latest update abouut video status like good morning, good night, sad status, attitude status

6:19 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home