Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Annotated Nexus - Pages 11 & 12

11.0 On this page, Miller explains how Mona and Stasia exist in a world of lies, yet draw blanks when discussing their childhoods ("From the cradle, apparently, they sprang into womanhood.") Stasia sometimes gives Henry clues by way of Dostoevski references.

11.1 "Details bore them."
Henry must ask them "point blank" or "coaxing" questions about their childhoods, but they never "permit themselves to slip into the past." Here are the few scant facts he managed to find out: they can swim, skate and have played jacks; one or the other has broken a leg and sprained an ankle.

11.2 Russia, Roumania, Vienna, and the flatlands of Brooklyn
Miller tries another tactic: mention their homelands and perhaps childhood memories will be tapped. All they do in response, however, is talk about "strange places, Russia and Roumania included, but as though they were recounting something which had been related to them by a stranger or picked up in a travel book."

11.3 "Stasia, a little more artful.."
This is an example of Henry's sympathetic portrait of Jean Kronski in Nexus, compared to his critical portrayal of June Mansfield.

11.4 Dostoevski
Fyodor Dostoevski [1] [2] (1821-1881) is of course one of Russia's greatest writers. He is mentioned over a dozen times throughout Nexus. In Miller's Books In My Life, he credits Dostoevski's "works in general" as being amongst his 100 most influencial books.

Here, it is Stasia dropping Dostoevski references, which Henry takes as a challenge to his memory of Dostoevski's works.

11.5 "I have an excellent memory for the aura of things read."
Miller is never sure whether the facts presneted in Stasia's Dostoevski references are true or not, but he feels certain that he could identify "a false Dostoevskian touch." I included this as an annotation because, some day, I'd like to explore the subject of how Miller read books.

11.6 The spelling of "Dostoevski"
Miller spells is as above in Nexus, but I'm sure everyone recognitzes the fact that Mr. D's name is often spelled in different ways. Here's a little essay about these discrepancies. In Books In My Life, Miller spells it "Dostoievsky." Maybe that was just the editor's touch.

12.0 This entire page is devoted to Dostoevski and his versions of madness and evil, as perceived by Mona, Henry, and Stasia.

12.1 "her god, Dostoevski."
This refers to Mona's reverence. Mona is happy to hear Henry and Stasia talk about her idol, yet Miller adds an insult to her portrayal by contrasting this with the comment on page 11 that she is "aware neither of truth nor falsity" in their discussions of her supposed "god." [see 11.3]

12.2 "As if he invented all those mad people, all those crazy scenes which flood his novels."
Miller commenting on Mona's wish that Dostoevski was with them. He seems to be responding to an idea Mona has that the madness in D's novels was invented for "pleasure" instead of being drawn from real life. Miller then suggests that Mona and Stasia don't realize that they exactly the type of real-life "mad characters" that he would have included in his books ("'mad' characters in a book that life is writing with invisible ink.")

Reseraching the "mad characters" and "crazy scenes" in the work of Dostoevski is beyond the scope of what I'm doing here, but, if you're interested, you may sift through these essays for clues.

12.3 "'You're such a dear fool, Val.'"
"Val" is of course Henry, from his middle name Valentine.

12.4 "when she gets to raving about my unwritten books"
A reference to the fact that Miller would use June as a sounding board for most of his ideas, but at that point in his life, he had not yet completed a book (not including his hack work Clipped Wings, which he wrote for Wetsern Union).

12.5 "..another Dostoevski. A pity I can't throw an epileptic fit now and then."
Henry wishes he could maintain the "necessary standing" when Mona compares him to Dostoevski. Mr. D was in fact an epileptic, as elaborated on in this essay and also in this study by Sigmund Freud.

12.6 bourgeois
Illusions of Dostoevski often degrade into insults of "bourgeois" aimed at Miller by Mona. My understanding of this term as slander is that it means one is a member of a conservative and fearful middle class. Here, Miller says Mona calls him this for being "too inquisitive, too picayune, too intolerant" as well as too interested in "facts."

12.7 Dostoevski, according to Mona
.."was always in the couds --or else buried in the depths." "He lived only in the imagination."

12.8 "the diabolical element" [in Dostoevski]
This is what Stasia is said to "relish." (she also believed that D had a "bourgeois" side). The paragraph about the "evil" in Dostoevski continues onto page 13. Mona doesn't recognize the evil in Dostoevski's work, whereas Stasia believes in the "reality" of evil and the Devil.

12.9 "she was, after all, a little closer to reality."
This is how Henry describes Stasia in comparison to Mona. Once again, a kinder portrayal of Jean and a critical presentation of Mona's fixation on "imagination."

<--- previous page 10 Next page 13 --->

8 Comments:

Anonymous Tony G (UK) said...

Hi RC. Thanks for another brilliant post. It reminds me so much of why I love reading this book. Gonna check out those D. essays now.

Looking forward to reading your "some day, I'd like to explore the subject of how Miller read books." Sounds like a great idea!

All the best,

Tony

10:10 am  
Blogger RC said...

Hey Tony. Thanks for the message.

RC

11:47 pm  
Blogger mmjiaxin said...

swarovski outlet
longchamp outlet
michael kors outlet
true religion outlet
uggs outlet
wellensteyn outlet
ugg outlet
canada goose jackets
ugg boots clearance,ugg australia,uggs on sale,ugg slippers,uggs boots,uggs outlet,ugg boots,ugg,uggs
true religion jeans outlet
michael kors outlet
lebron shoes
louis vuitton outlet
oakley sunglasses
ray ban sunglasses
beats headphones
mizuno running shoes
burberry outlet
ed hardy clothing
kate spade uk
mm1223

8:55 pm  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

05028wangjuan2
redskins jerseys
nike free run
baltimore ravens jersey
nike outlet
seattle seahawks jersey
air max 2014
nike foamposite
golden state warriors jersey
raiders jerseys
mizuno shoes
chicago blackhawks jerseys
philadelphia eagles jerseys
cincinnati bengals jersey
cleveland browns jerseys
denver broncos jerseys
seattle seahawks jerseys
chicago bears jerseys
boston celtics jersey
celine outlet online
los angeles lakers
tods shoes
air max uk
cincinnati bengals jerseys
lions jerseys
kansas city chiefs jersey
tommy hilfiger uk
detroit lions jerseys
minnesota vikings jersey
miami heat jerseys
san diego chargers jerseys

11:48 pm  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

ugg boots sale
ghd hair straighteners
canada goose uk
louis vuitton outlet
nike outlet store
giuseppe zanotti shoes
nike roshe
prada handbags
hermes birkin
rolex orologi
jordan 11
mcm backpack
nike air max 2015
michael kors outlet online
tory burch outlet
mizuno shoes
longchamp outlet online
nba jerseys
polo ralph lauren
nike free run
michael kors outlet
yeezy boost 350
adidas nmd runner
ugg uk outlet
michael kors canada
coach outlet store
louis vuitton sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet
polo ralph lauren
tory burch outlet
christian louboutin outlet
louis vuitton bags
mbt shoes
pandora jewelry
michael kors handbags
czq20160825

6:19 am  
Blogger Unknown said...

jianbin0902
tory burch outlet online
tory burch shoes
christian louboutin shoes
fred perry polo shirts
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
abercrombie and fitch
louis vuitton outlet
fitflops outlet
cheap jordan shoes
true religion outlet uk
nfl jerseys wholesale
the north face jacket
lacoste pas cher
replica watches
louis vuitton bags
timberland shoes
valentino outlet
ralph lauren uk
christian louboutin outlet
nike roshe run
adidas wings shoes
uggs outlet
polo pas cher
ugg outlet online
michael kors outlet clearance
ray ban sunglasses
ralph lauren outlet
longchamp handbag
reebok trainers
louis vuitton neverfull
rolex watches
beats by dre
cartier uk
ugg outlet
yeezy boost 350

4:15 am  
Blogger Gege Dai said...

canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
coach outlet
prada outlet
nike huarache
yeezy boost 350
canada goose jackets
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton
ugg boots
20161122lck

1:53 am  
Blogger dada24 Xu said...

ysl handbags
kd 8 shoes
true religion outlet store
celine outlet online
valentino shoes
michael kors outlet online
michael kors
adidas outlet store
polo ralph lauren
ralph lauren uk
zhi20161219

10:53 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home