Monday, August 15, 2005

The Red Notebook

Miller's "Red Notebook" (1958) is an actual facsimilie of one of his journals he'd kept while driving around America for a few years in 1939. These notes eventually became "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare" and "Remember To Remember."

The limited-edition book was published by Jonathan Williams (referred to in my post, Aug. 13), a Princeton drop-out who'd taken bookmaking at the Chicago Institute of Design. He was printing challenging works on a small press called Jargon Books, out of Black Mountain.

Williams became intrigued about Miller in 1945, when Time Magazine tore Henry apart in a review for "Air-Conditioned Nightmare." In 1951, he paid Miller a visit (see link to anecdote on Aug 13 post). A relationship was made. In 1958, "The Red Notebook" was published by Williams as Jargon book #22.

I've never personally seen this book. Antiqbook describes it as a "facsimile reproduction of a notebook Miller filled with musings, observations, poems, drawings, and clippings while on his 'Air-conditioned tour 'across the nation in the forties." I've searched around the net: it certainly seems like a rare find, but seems to go for an average of $75 US.

Of course, you could go all out and cough up $750 for a very special copy: one signed by June Mansfield, from her personal collection (no inscription, just "June E. Miller. Dec. 27, 1964."). Powell's Books also has a copy signed by Miller, going for $206.

Another Miller book, "The Nightmare Notebook" (1975) is apparently another facsimilie of these same notebooks, yet I don't know if it's the exact same one, or selections from various notebooks. This gives me something to explore tomorrow.


Blogger Russell CJ Duffy said...

very impressed. i too know little about Miller and, truth to tell, am far more in love with Anais Nin then her erstwhile lover BUT this site should prove to be of great interest to me and others like me.
thanks for providing the info.

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Blogger RC said...

Thanks CJ. My focus will be Miller, but my interest lies not only in his words and thoughts, but also his life and times and all the people he associated with. I'll eventually (and continually) be touching on Nin and many others who crossed paths with Miller in his lifetime. I appreciate that you posted a message.

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