The 2011 edition of the annual Nexus: The International Henry Miller Journal
is now available. The 281-page, book-sized journal contains ten articles relating to Miller, plus a few pages of additional notes.
Letter From Henry Miller to Alfred Perlès - Henry Miller
A previously unpublished letter from Miller to his friend, Alfred Perlès, circa 1936. Miller announces the completion of some of Black Spring
and makes a self-assessment about his place in the American writing scene. Not a modest sentiment to be found!
The Face of Richard Osborn – Eric. D. Lehman
One of Miller’s least-known friends from his golden romp in Paris in the 1930s was Richard Galen Osborn
, disguised as ‘Fillmore’ in Tropic Of Cancer
. Intrigued by the fact that Miller scholars have never seen a photo of Osborn, nor have they known the details of his death, English professor Eric Lehman
set out on a quest to fill in these blanks. The task was made all the more convenient by the fact that Lehman’s current home base, Bridgeport, Connecticut, was also the hometown of Osborn. Lehman brings the reader step-by-step along his logical trail, as he follows leads in old school yearbooks. Not only does the hunt produce photographs, but Yale alumni records (updates on the activities of graduates) contain a wealth of information—including short autobiographies by Osborn himself, in which he references Miller. Finally, Lehman uses the new photographic evidence to make a comparison to an iconic Brassaï picture, which may very well prominently feature an image of Richard Osborn in 1930s Paris.
Nothing But Light—Notes on Henry Miller’s Birthday Gift for Anaïs Nin & The Tranquility of Struggle – Karl Orend
Between 1937 and 1940, Miller created several hand-written books for friends, some of which have been published (i.e. The Waters Reglitterized
), and some which have been hidden away in private collections. In 1939, Miller composed a hand-written book as a gift for Anaïs Nin
, called The Heaven Beyond Heaven
. In the meaty “Nothing But Light,” Orend uses text from this book to illustrate the lives and minds of both Miller and Nin during the period of writing (1939/40), which includes Miller’s Greece and Nin’s New York. Miller’s personal offering for Nin came at a time when she and Miller had reached the end of their relationship; Miller’s critical words in Heaven
may have helped seal this fate. Orend draws from numerous sources to explore the divide in philosophies and personalities between the two writers, from Nin’s fears and literary deceptions to Miller’s insensitivities and immense egotism. For good measure, Orend includes some intriguing paragraphs on Miller’s affinity with China and feeling that he was himself somehow Chinese.
The Genius and Mr. Nobody – Joe Kishton
One of things I like about Miller as a research subject is the way his life intersects with so many other fascinating individuals. In the case of Joe Kishton’s contribution to the journal, that person is Salvador Dalí
, and his wife Gala. The Dalís and Henry Miller had shared Caresse Crosby
’s Virginia mansion for several months in 1940. It was an uneasy time for Miller, who disliked Dalí. An account of this time is pieced together mostly from interview transcripts of Miller, from documentaries he’d done in the late 1960s. This article, in fact, is a documentary script, in script format, for a recently completed film
on this very specific subject. Includes a detailed anecdote about the crazy event that drove Miller and the other guests to leave Caresse Croby’s home.
Miller and Seferis: A Mutual Portrait From One Mythologist to the Other – Finn Jensen
In 1963, George Seferis
became the first Greek to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. 24 years earlier, Seferis gained the admiration of Henry Miller, who had met the Greek poet in his home country in 1939. Finn Jensen, in this essay, provides a biography of Seferis, and considers the reasons for the personal connection between he and Miller, suggesting that a shared perspective of life through a mythical lens helped form the bond. Includes a couple of Seferis poems, including one dedicated to Miller (“Les Anges Sont Blancs”).
Love, Pain, Big Sur, and Life as a Bedbug – Harry Kiakis
The latest instalment of Kiakis’s diary entries takes us back to a day in May 1970, when Henry was entertaining Harry and other guests, including a beautiful USC student making a short film about Henry. Kiakis captures many quotes from Miller, on the subjects of old movies on TV, Japan, old age, death, a revelation he had in 1933 about failure, visitors at Big Sur, and freedom. Miller’s final anecdote is very interesting, as he goes into detail about the way he freaked-out when he found the note from June (in their basement apartment in Brooklyn in 1927) saying that she and Jean had run off to Europe without him.
Kilomètre Zéro: Paris Revisited, through the Palimpsest of George Whitman’s Shakespeare & Company – Karl Orend
Anaïs Nin returned to Paris in 1954, for the first time since fleeing the city in 1939. From this visit, came her Paris Revisited
, which would not be published until 1972. Here, Karl Orend compares both the departures from and returns to Paris for both Nin and Henry Miller; success (Miller) or lack thereof (Nin) coloured the experiences of each return visit. Orend also examines factual inaccuracies found in Nin’s account, including some about George Whitman
, whose Parisian English-language bookshop, Mistral, would later re-brand as the famous Shakespeare & Company
. Includes an interesting overview of the support of Whitman and S&Co on people like Miller and Lawrence Durrell
, and the lack of support for Miller's associates by the owner of the original S&Co, Sylvia Beach
“One sits in the middle of a river called nostalgia”: The Henry Miller Research Collections at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. – James Bantin
While this article is in part exactly as the title implies—a run-down of materials relating to Henry Miller, as found in this university’s Miller archive (which you can review online
)—James Bantin also describes each group of papers in an enticing way by including quotes from holograph notations and personal letters from the archive. Bantin talks about the hand-written book, Heaven Beyond Heaven
, the correspondence with Caresse Crosby, the Lawrence Durrell Papers
, letters from ex-wife Eve McClure
, publishing records for New Directions
, what sounds like an amazing archive of audio recordings made with Miller by Robert Fink
, and much more.
Close Your Beautiful Eyes: The Denigration of Louis-Ferdinand Céline—a Prelude to his Evisceration & Inquiry into the Fate of his “unfortunate plagiarist,” Henry Miller, “The American Céline.” - Karl Orend
“Celine’s anti-Semitism is, like sex in Miller’s writing, the red herring. It is neither the core of his writing and philosophy nor the main thrust of his attacks on civilization or humanity,” writes Karl Orend, in this engaging defense of French author, Louis-Ferdinand Céline
, who had been an influence on Miller’s writing style. While not absolving Céline of all charges of anti-Semitism, Orend challenges some of the most-damning, prevalent myths about Céline’s activities and sympathies during WWII. (Orend had done a great job, in The Brotherhood of Fools & Simpletons
, of shedding new light and offering defense for Conrad Moricand, whose negative reputation has been biased due to Miller’s unflattering and previously unchallenged portrayal of him in “Devil In Paradise”). This essay is part one of a forthcoming sequel, which will explore Céline’s influence on Miller, and will compare the charges of anti-Semitism launched against both authors.
On an Old Book about Henry Miller – D.A. Pratt
D.A. Pratt takes the reader on an enthusiastic tour of his favourite Miller biography, The Happy Rock
. Starting with the story behind its creator/editor/scientist, Bern Porter
, Pratt then gives context to Miller’s career and reputation at the time of publication in 1945. Next, the reader is treated to summaries of the major contributions to the book (of the 30 in total) with generous excerpts provided; special attention is given to the in-depth essay by Michael Fraenkel
, Miller’s Villa Seurat
flatmate and thematic inspiration for Tropic Of Cancer
. Finally, Pratt examines the reception of Happy Rock
, from a brutal critical thrashing by Lawrence Durrell to its general neglect by the big Miller biographers. 65 years later, however, this book has proven to be a gem for its ability to introduce us to Miller through the immediacy of those who knew him personally.
This volume of the Nexus journal is available for $20 (U.S.) or $24 (International)