Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The Many Names Of Jean Kronski

This posting is really just a means of putting the scattered facts in my last post The Real Jean Kronski? into order. The information added by James and Pierre in my 'Comments' section made this possible; thanks to you both.

The real name of Jean Kronski has long been a mystery. Listed below are her numerous potential real identities.

UNKNOWN
According to June Mansfield in Colossus Of One, "Jean" had been an orphan, possibly brought to America at a young age, with no knowledge of her actual name.

MARION THRALL
According to the same source, Jean had been taken in by a Mr. & Mrs. Thrall, who gave her the name Marion. Although they acted as foster parents, they never actually adopted her, so her name was never actually Marion Thrall.

MARION FISH
Her second pair of foster parents apparebtly went by the surname Fish (again, see June's interview in Colossus Of One). Not sure if they legally adopted her, so her full name may not have officially been Marion Fish either.

As I mention in my previous posting, Karl Orend has turned up a letter from Alfred Perles to June Mansfield from June 1962, in which Perles makes reference to Jean:

"...and Jean Kronski, alias Fish, alias McCarthy, alias Romanoff, as young and ageless then as he is now, wherever she is." (see ref in Nexus Journal 3; "Romanoff" is in reference to the fact that June used to claim that Jean descended from the Romanoffs, a Russian royal family [see item 10.9]).

In his annotated notes to this letter, Orend states that Fish is her actual birth name.

MARION McCARTHY
The only reference to this surname seems to come from the 1962 letter by Perles, and Orend seems to believe that this was the surname of one of her adoptive families.

JEAN KRONSKI
June (in Colossus) says the she gave her the name Jean because "the name of Marion did not fit this beautiful thing at all." June said that the name "Kronski" was in reference to Jean's claimed Russian lineage, and named after Miller's "Dr. Kronski" character (although, in my mind, this character name came after the fact).

In Miller's own personal notes, he refered to her as "Jean Kronski." Alfred Perles has also written about her in his novel The Renegade and named her "Jean Kronski."

MARA ANDREWS
The idea that Jean's real name is Mara or Martha Andrews seems to start with Robert Ferguson's Miller biography Henry Miller: A Life. He points to--but does not cite-- "a great deal of cirumstancial evidence" to back his claim that this was her name and that she was the daughter of wealthy parents from Baltimore.

THELMA KRINSKY
And then there's my very recent cockeyed theory that maybe her name was Thelma Krinsky, based on the flimsy evidence that Miller called her "Thelma" in Time Of The Assassins and that a woman in New York by the name of Thelma Krinsky died on October 28, 1947, and happened to be around Jean's age and have a surname that sounded like her "fictional" surname Kronski (yeah, I know, some more research work needs to be done here).

"Pierre From Montreal" is absolutely right: the discovery of the passanger list from the ship that June and Jean took to France from New York in April 1927 could provide us with some exciting evidence.

20 Comments:

Anonymous JamesD said...

Your comment about the character coming after Jean Kronski is spot on, I think. In Miller's MOLOCH, the Emil Conason figure is named "Prigozi." Miller didn't return to the character until after he had divorced June (although I suppose she may have seen notes and early drafts referring to "Kronski."

9:41 am  
Blogger RC said...

Thanks for the support material, James. Henry and June were both prone to revisionist history, so that's no help. Any idea what the earliest mention of Jean Kronski is in Miller's letters? Maybe she was just "Jean" at first, and they added "Kronski" on much later? (in a 1933 letter to Schnellock, he refers to the "Kronski woman.")

9:46 pm  
Anonymous JamesD said...

I'm sure that earlier references exist, but Nin mentions Jean in a 25 February 1932 letter to HM (a brief remark about Count Bruga being "Jean's creation.")

7:47 pm  
Anonymous JamesD said...

Addendum: HM also refers to "Jean" in the Capricorn notes, composed 1927. I've never seen these, alas.

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