Thursday, January 10, 2008

Jean Kronski: L Is For Lewin?

Until today, I really hadn't made any progress on my attempts to investigate further the idea that Miller's "Jean Kronski" is possibly Jean Lewin in reality (see my posting, Jean Kronski: Revealed?). But today I found another piece of evidence to submit to the jury.
In Pascal Vrebos's book, 444 Ocampo Drive: A Crazy Week With Henry Miller!--which is essentially a transcription of every significant conversation they had during a week in February 1979--the author has published an excerpt from Miller's Rosy Crucifixion outline. This is the master plan Miller had created one night in 1927: a word map of his entire relationship with June, which would become the basis for much of his autobiographical writing.

In this transcription of notes, one person is referred to simply as "L." It's clear to me that "L." is Jean Kronski. My question is this: why refer to Jean as "L?" Answer?


Again, I've said this before: this is all a guess. For your consideration. I'm just putting it out there until I find something more concrete.

Here are the "L." references in the passage:

"L. decides to make puppets and sell them. Also death masks ... Relations with L. are improving. Sleeping three abed. J. now jealous ... The two of them look like freaks. L. hiring herself out for experiemnts of all kinds ... Returning at dawn to find L. sleeping at my place. Dragging her out of the bed by the scalp. Peeing over her on the floor. Then falling asleep in the bathtub, nearly drowned ... Suddenly the explosion in Jersey City and the discovery of L. standing on the stairs. Last confrontation. Dragging her along in the snow despite protestations and denials. I leave for the West."
(from 444 Ocampo Drive, p.120-121)


Anonymous pierre from montreal said...

Hi RC!

“Suddenly the explosion in Jersey City and the discovery of L. standing on the stairs. Last confrontation. Dragging her along in the snow despite protestations and denials. I leave for the West.”
(from '444 Ocampo Drive', p.120-121)

Henry travelled through the West in 1913. The explosion in Jersey City ( aka “the Black Tom explosion”) occurred on July 30, 1916, many years before his encounter with June Mansfield and Jean Kronski.

This is a good example of Miller’s peculiar technique: mixing or changing dates, events and names, while pretending to give a factual account. He was always a novelist first: recreating, reinventing, transforming. In 'Black Spring', he even said: “My brother was a half-wit” p.80 (The Tailor Shop). We all know of course that Henry had only a sister, who was a half-wit, but does it really matter? It’s fiction after all.

Personally, I think Miller applied a fictional treatment to all his so-called autobiographical works; and, alas, we’ll probably never know who was June’s lover (“L”)…

6:53 pm  
Blogger RC said...

Thanks for this, Pierre. It is confusing, I agree. For all I know, "L" just stands for "lover."

If HM meant the Jersey explosion of 1916, none of this timeline makes sense, if it at all refers to actual events in his life.

The head-scratching continues.

8:55 pm  
Anonymous Eric L said...

Well, this could be a mystery forever. But look at the letters they recently found that proved who the Mona Lisa was.

We probably have to find some letter Miller wrote that hasn't been published yet.

11:30 am  
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