Alfred Perles, Henry Miller, and Lawrence Durrell put together a collection of written pieces--old and new--and released their first issue (actually The Booster
, volume 2, issue 7) in September 1937
. [Here is a picture of the cover
(I don't have a copy of this myself, so I must rely on internet sources and published Miller biographies to piece this issue together.)Page 5
by Miller, Durrell, and Nin. Lifetime subscriptions are solicited for 500 francs each. They declare their intention to "boost, baste and lambaste when and wherever possible. Mostly we shall boost."Page 6
" by Charles Norden (a pseudonym for Durrell). This appears to be a regular feature, because something called "Sportlight" also appears in the next issue. [to p. 11
- "A Boost For Hans Reichel
" by Henry Miller. This may or may not be identical to an essay Miller wote on Reichel in 1936, called The Cosmological Eye
(which is available in re-print in the book of the same name
). Reichel was a painter acquaintance of Henry's, who lived around the way from 18 Villa Seurat. [to p. 13
- "Je suis le plus malade des surrealistes
" by Le Merle Blanc ("The White Blackbird," an alias for Anais Nin), which was apparently inspired by Antonin Artaud
. This was re-printed in Under A Glass Bell
(1944). Selected quotes from this piece can be found here
. [to p. 18
- "L'Oeil de Paris
" (Eye Of Paris
) by Valentin Nieting (pseudonym for Miller - actually his maternal grandfather's name. He'd used it before, as far back as 1924). This is a profile of photographer Brassai
, with whom Miller was close. He'd actually written this essay in 1934 (creating the Eye Of Paris tag that would stay with Brassai into posterity). This essay was later reprinted in Miller's Wisdom Of The Heart
. [to p. 25
- "Benno, The Wild Man From Borneo
" by Henry Miller. Miller's profile of artist Benjamin Benno, whom Henry appears to have known personally. Benno did in fact live in Paris from 1926-1939. This portrait was re-printed in Wisdom Of The Heart
, as well as in Benjamin Benno: A Retrospective Exhibit
(Donna Gustafson, 1988). [to p. 29
- "A Lyric For Nikh
" by Lawrence Durrell. A poem, I think.Page ??
- "Le Quatuor en Re-Majeur
" (excerpt) by Alfred Perles (his 2nd novel).Page ??
- An excerpt from Anais Nin's diaries.Insert
- "Letter To The Park Commissioner
" by Phineas Flapdoodle (another Miller alias). This was seperately printed and included as a 4-page insert inside the magazine. According to Shifreen & Jackson A14a, the title page contains a line that reads: "Please read very extra careful!" As well, the title includes an asterix, which leads to a note: "This is an authentic letter which reached the office of the Park Commissioner New York, in 1925, and was rescued from the wastepaper basket by Henry Miller."
Miller worked for the Queens Parks Commissoner in 1927
(not 1925, as his fictionalized letter suggests).
According to Dearborn's Happiest Man Alive
, Henry saved this from his NYC Parks job in 1927. However, the Bibliography of Primary Sources
states that this is fiction written by Miller. It was also apparently
published on it's own in 1950, and re-printed along with other Booster material in 1968 [Shifreen & Jackson B190]. The "letter" is also referenced and quoted in Nexus
, page 167.
Incidentally, 'Phineas' is an old biblical name meaning "oracle" or "serpent's mouth," and 'flapdoodle' means nonsense or foolish talk.