Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Worth A Dedication: The Neimans

"Dedicated to: Margaret and Gilbert Neiman, originally of Bunker Hill (Los Angeles), now somewhere above and beyond the Garden of the Gods (Colorado). In my memory and affection they are even a little higher than that, above and beyond the gods themselves, because so utterly and perfectly human."
----- Henry Miller, Air-Conditioned Nightmare [1945]

In June 1942, a couple named Gilbert and Maragret Neiman invited Henry Miller to stay rent-free on their new property on Beverly Glen Blvd, L.A. It was during this stay that Henry (amongst other events) sought out Hollywood fortunes, wrote The Maurizius Case, and met Bern Porter. He also felt cramped and distracted from his bigger goals, like writing The Rosy Crucifixion. It was from this tiny L.A. hive that Miller sought refuge at Big Sur.

HENRY'S FIRST MEETS THE NEIMANS, 1941
"[The Neimans are] both poor, both enthusiastic and divinely out of this world."
--- Henry Miller to Eva Sikelianou, 1943

During Miller's first stay in Hollywood in 1941, he met the young writer Gilbert Neiman and frequently dined with him and his watercolourist wife, Margaret, at their home on South Bunker Hill Avenue. Miller and the Neimans--sometimes joined by Man Ray and his wife--would often speak of Art; the Neimans seemed particularly interested in the subject of Mexico (these dinners and the conversations surrounding them are described with vivid detail on pages 379-380 of Always Merry And Bright by Jay Martin).

MILLER AND THE NEIMANS ON BEVERLY GLEN, 1942-44

Back in New York in 1942, Henry accepted an invitation of free-board by the Neimans [UPDATE May 2007: Ariane, the Neiman's daughter, has clarified for me that Miller was already staying in a hotel in L.A. when his publisher contacted the Neimans and suggested they take Miller in as a guest. Ariane: "there was a fierce argument as to whom would call him (he was so revered by the underground intellectuals)...my mother got the job (my father often chickened out)...and called Henry to invite him over for dinner. The grapevine has it that she cooked like the gods too...Henry turned up for dinner and never left, sleeping on the floor."]

Henry was then installed in the "modest shack" next to the Neimans' home at 1212 Beverly Glen Blvd. By the end of 1942, Gilbert went elsewhere to work with Mexican immigrant labourers. Henry moved up the street a little, over a garage. By the autumn of 1943, the Neimans moved out to Colorado. Henry and an artist friend named John Dudley then took over the premises until Miller left for Big Sur in 1944. At the tail end of '44, Henry and his finace Lepska stayed with the Neimans in Colorado just before they were married. Gilbert and Margaret acted as witnesses.

MAN RAY'S PHOTOGRAPH OF HENRY AND MARGARET
In the photo at the head of this posting is Henry with a half-naked Margaret Neiman behind him. The picture was conceived and taken in 1942 by Man Ray, a friend of the Neiman's and a neighbour as well (not far away on Vine Street). [this photo is part of a J. Paul Getty collection].

View two more shots from this session here.

THE NEIMANS - AN INCOMPLETE BIOGRAPHY
I've found no comprehensive bigraphy on Margaret and Gilbert Neiman on the internet, but have cobbled together some sort of timeline, collected from various interbet sources:

1912: Gilbert and Margaret are born.

late 1930s?: Gilbert is part of group of bohemian writers like Weldon Kees, based in Denver, Colorado (ref. )

1939: Gilbert translates Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding;

1940: Gilbert is published in the anthology The State Of The Nation (Little Man Press, Cincinatti);

1942: Gilbert has three poems published in Poetry: a Magazine of Verse (June 1942) - The Anarchic Architect; The Furious Hero; Keen. (ref. source)

1944: Neimans move to Colorado. Gilbert dabbles in acting (Big Sur, p. 72);

1945: Gilbert's Mexican-themed story Kermess is published in Accent Anthology (selections of from the quarterly of new literaure 1940-45);

1945: Gilbert contributes No Rubbish, No Albatrosses to the Henry Miller tribute book, The Happy Rock; The Neimans move to Big Sur, near Henry. At one point, they live in Henry's Andreson Creek house with their infant, while Henry lives and works out of his "studio" (horse shed);

1945-48: Correpsondences between Man Ray and Henry Miller often reference Gilbert's "drinking problem" (ref.);

1947: Harcourt Brace publishes Gilbert's There's A Tyrant In Every Country. According to this bookseller, it's "an unusual story of a man who overcomes his prejudice toward Mexicans by traveling to Mexico." (abstracts from NY Times reviews here and here);

1960: Gilbert is editor of Between Worlds: An international magazine of creativity, published in Puerto Rico and Denver. (ref./ref.) Significant in its calibre of contributors: Henry Miller, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Herman Hesse, William Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti (ref.). Alfred Perles contributed to an issue as well. Notes on Miller's three pieces can be searched here.

1960s: Gilbert becomes Professor of English at Clarion University in Clarion, Pennsylvania. A scholarship is posthumously established under his name.

1977: Gilbert dies.

1993: Margaret dies.

David Lavery has an essay on the Web titled My English Teachers [in PDF format]. He once took an Advanced Compositions class with Gilbert Neiman at Clarion U. This is the only sort of profile--an unflattering one at that--I found on the internet regarding Gilbert. It contains details such as these:

* Neiman claimed to have "written a version of The Godfather long before Mario Puzo";

* Was warned he would be fired "if he ever missed a class because of his alcoholism." Lavery claims that Gilbert was nonetheless "incomprehensible" as he "slurred" in class;

* Gilbert invited Anais Nin to speak to his class in 1969;

More details about Gilbert Neiman's life and character may be found in Miller's Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch (see Neiman's Phantom Radio and Missing Shoebox).

HENRY MILLER AND THE ART OF MARGARET NEIMAN

Finally, there is a brief memoir of Henry Miller, posted on painterskeys.com by Ariane Goodwin (Ane Neiman), daughter of Gilbert and Margaret. She describes her father as an "erstwhile author and lifelong jealous friend of Henry's" and claims that her mother, Margaret, is actually the one who taught Henry to paint. She states that she has letters in which Henry suggests to Margaret that he sign his name to her paintings in order to make money. Margaret Neiman gave up painting when her daughter was born.

25 Comments:

Anonymous Pierre from Montreal said...

Hello RC!
There is another photo of Miller with Margaret Neiman on page 164 of « My Life and Times » (1971) and a very good one of Henry alone, also taken by Man Ray, in « Dear, dear Brenda » p. 67 (1977 edition) or p. 139 (1996 edition).

2:46 pm  
Anonymous Helmut said...

The vital statistics are:
Gilbert Neiman 1912-1977
Margaret Neiman 1911-1975

11:35 pm  
Blogger RC said...

Pierre, thanks for the tip. I'll look into it.

Helmut, thanks for the vital stats.

11:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took Gilbert Neiman's class "Literary Extentialism" at Clarion State and it was fantastic experience. I had only a little knowledge about him until I found this website. Thanks !

3:42 am  
Blogger RC said...

Thanks for posting Anonymous. If you have a Gilbert Neiman tale to tell (especially if you recall him talking about Miller), I encourage you to post it here, or send it to me at mt henrymillerblog hotmail address. Thanks.

8:39 pm  
Anonymous Ariane said...

Oops, nope: Margaret Neiman Born 1912 Died 1993 (as her daughter, who was at her side when she drew her last breath, I am beyond qualified to state.)

5:11 pm  
Blogger RC said...

Thank you for the correction, Ariane; I apologize for the error.

3:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ariane, do you know the exact Beverly Glen address where Miller moved above the garage? Could it be 2155?

10:14 pm  
Blogger rsmpdx said...

I was privileged to share a couple of meals with Margaret, about 1984-85. She came, with a friend, to my home for dinner one evening. During conversation, Margaret mentioned that she had known Henry Miller. I said that I had read just one book of Miller’s: The Air-conditioned Nightmare. Margaret said “Oh, that book is dedicated to me.” Skeptical, I immediately found the book and read the dedication . She said that, indeed, Gilbert was her ex-husband. She told me a few stories, such as her adventures with Miller, in an artists’ colony in Big Sur (40’s or 50’s). Through her employment by a member of the de Menil family (possibly Dominique), major art patrons in Houston, she had met and befriended many artists, including D.H. Lawrence and his wife, and Man Ray. I went to Margaret’s house sometime later in Salem for lunch. I commented on a Man Ray she had displayed on her mantelpiece. “Yes”, she said, “that’s an original.” Ray had given it to her in settlement of a personal debt. I am curious to know more about her experiences working with the de Menils. Margaret's life is an amazing window into the world of 20th century art. I feel honored that she shared some of her experiences with me. This post is very valuable to me in expanding on her friendships with Miller, Man Ray, and Gilbert's bio.

12:53 pm  
Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20151120
louis vuitton outlet
vans shoes sale
nike air max
official coach factory outlet
adidas superstars
oakley sunglasses
ugg boots
celine outlet
kobe 9
christian louboutin shoes
jordan 11
women ugg boots
polo ralph lauren
beats by dre
coach outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
coach factory outlet
nike roshe run women
christian louboutin outlet
abercrombie & fitch
cheap uggs
michael kors handbags
soccer shoes
canada goose jackets
ray ban sunglasses outlet
cheap uggs
coach outlet store online
coach factory outlet online
prada handbags
canada goose outlet
polo ralph lauren
ralph lauren outlet
coach outlet store online
michael kors handbags
cheap ugg boots
ugg clearance
ugg boots for men
louis vuitton outlet
coach factory outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet

3:03 am  
Blogger mmjiaxin said...

true religion jeans
adidas outlet
giuseppe zanotti outlet
wedding dresses uk
beats by dre
oakley sunglasses
tory burch sale
fred perry polo shirts
ugg boots uk
michael kors canada
barbour jackets
true religion jeans
ugg boots outlet,ugg outlet
louis vuitton handbags outlet
nike trainers
nike free uk
ray-ban sunglasses
canada goose outlet
vans shoes
true religion outlet uk
mm1223

8:47 pm  
Blogger ninest123 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

10:27 pm  
Blogger ninest123 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

10:27 pm  
Blogger ninest123 said...

herve leger, valentino shoes, jimmy choo outlet, insanity workout, hollister, hollister clothing, softball bats, iphone 6s cases, vans outlet, nike roshe run, iphone 6s plus cases, salvatore ferragamo, mac cosmetics, ipad cases, beats by dre, ghd hair, p90x workout, converse, mcm handbags, abercrombie and fitch, giuseppe zanotti, polo ralph lauren, gucci, nike air max, reebok outlet, bottega veneta, mont blanc, lululemon outlet, celine handbags, wedding dresses, chi flat iron, north face outlet, asics running shoes, instyler ionic styler, soccer shoes, soccer jerseys, timberland boots, new balance shoes, iphone 5s cases, north face outlet, louboutin, iphone 6 plus cases, babyliss pro, s6 cases, oakley, hermes handbags, nfl jerseys, iphone 6 cases, nike air max, iphone cases, vans scarpe

10:27 pm  
Blogger ninest123 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

10:27 pm  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

air jordan 13
new york jets jerseys
cleveland cavaliers jerseys
los angeles clippers jersey
tods shoes sale
miami dolphins jerseys
hollister canada
air max uk
nike free 5
chicago bears jerseys
patriots jerseys
titans jersey
nike free running
abercrombie and fitch
nike roshe run shoes
bills jerseys
giuseppe zanotti outlet
nike soccer shoes
puma shoes
denver broncos jersey
air max 2014
lacoste pas cher
kansas city chiefs jersey

atlanta falcons jersey
texans jerseys
ferragamo shoes
mac cosmetics
ravens jerseys
boston celtics jerseys
jacksonville jaguars jersey
abercrombie and fitch
linyuan0511

5:59 am  
Blogger chenlina said...

chenlina20160517
coach outlet online
michael kors outlet
tiffany jewelry
louis vuitton handbags
air jordan 8
coach outlet
gucci handbags
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton outlet
coach outlet
oakley sunglasses
michael kors
nike huarache
coach outlet
juicy couture
polo ralph lauren
louis vuitton handbags
marc jacobs handbags
nike trainers
christian louboutin outlet
oakley sunglasses
tod's shoes
louis vuitton
oakley sunglasses
kobe 9
gucci belts
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
coach factory outlet
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors uk
air jordans
michael kors outlet
hollister uk
jordan retro
michael kors outlet clearance
christian louboutin outlet
cheap jordan shoes
nike roshe flyknit
coach factory outlet online
a

2:59 am  
Blogger Chen Zhiqin said...

jets jersey
chicago bears jersey
san diego chargers jersey
denver broncos jerseys
air jordan 13
instyler ionic styler
chicago bulls jerseys
fred perry polo shirts
buffalo bills jerseys
lions jerseys
seattle seahawks jerseys
salomon shoes
abercrombie and fitch
tods shoes
tennessee titans jerseys
marc jacobs sale
celine outlet
carolina panthers jerseys
new england patriots jerseys
new york knicks jerseys
abercrombie and fitch
boston celtics jerseys
patriots jerseys
dallas cowboys jerseys
valentino shoes
nike outlet store online
nike air max uk
baltimore ravens jersey
new york jets jerseys
nike outlet
czq20160704

4:55 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

rolex watches
ray-ban sunglasses
air jordan 4
hermes belt
instyler ionic styler
tiffany jewelry
mulberry handbags
ugg outlet
ugg uk
louis vuitton
chanyuan11.19

7:52 am  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

ugg boots
rolex watches
ralph lauren pas cher
ugg boots
mulberry bags
nike blazer pas cher
cheap mlb jerseys
air max uk
louis vuitton outlet
canada goose jackets
20161122lck

2:04 am  
Blogger xjd7410@gmail.com said...

20161122 junda
louis vuitton pas cher
chrome hearts
ugg boots
new balance shoes
ugg uk
swarovski crystal
coach outlet
thomas sabo uk
ferragamo shoes
michael kors factory outlet

3:42 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

saics running shoes
dolce and gabbana outlet
replica watches
yeezy boost 350 white
jimmy choo
versace shoes
colts jerseys
armani exchange
michael kors handbags online
versace

8:54 pm  
Blogger raybanoutlet001 said...

michael kors outlet
yeezy boost 350
rolex watches
michael kors outlet store
the north face
michael kors handbags wholesale
michael kors handbags outlet
michael kors handbags

2:14 am  
Blogger Mie Helal said...

I like all of the points you have made
http://www.kuwait.prokr.net/
http://www.emirates.prokr.net/

3:24 am  
Blogger happy 123 said...

cheap jordans
kobe 9
michael kors outlet online
pandora charms sale
chrome hearts
air jordan
hermes belts
louboutin shoes
james harden shoes
kobe 11
20170606

1:08 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home