Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Annotated Nexus - Pages 42, 43

42.43.0 Miller briefly speaks about his failed suicide attempt. He awakens a changed man; something in him has died, leaving only the mind-machine. He is alone with his mind; a prisoner in a snowbound apartment, patiently waiting for human contact.
42.1 mind machine
The on-going reference to the "mind machine" began on Page 38. Before decribing himself as being in a mind-machine state, Miller describes the dead as having ceased to wonder--instead, they endlessly ruminate on universes full of matter without substance.
42.2 Kronski
In real life, Dr. Emil Conason [see 9.2, 13.5]. He is referenced here as providing Miller with "innocent white pills" which Henry used in an apparent suicide attempt.
42.3 "the night I died to wonder"
Here, Miller describes his attempt to kill himself by taking Conason's white pills, then lying naked in his apartment while the icy winter winds blow in from an open window. Miller first makes reference to this on page 38 [38.2]. He's surprised to awaken, alive, yet something feels dead within himself, leaving him only with the mind-machine.
42.4 aux autres de faire la guerre
Roughly translated, this means "let others make war." I couldn't identify this as a specific French saying or famed quote, but I assume it is since Miller adds it here in French. He uses it to explain his new feeling upon awakening from his suicide attempt. He feels like a solider who has been "dispatched to the rear." Despite his negative comments about the mind-machine state, Miller appears to welcome it here.
43.1 Et haec olim meminisse iuvabit
Miller gives this quote significance by setting it apart from the paragraph and placing it all in caps. This is a Latin quotation taken from Vergil in The Aeneid. It means, Perhaps someday we will look back upon these things with joy [1]. Although the original quote appears to contain the word forsan ("perhaps"), Miller has chosen to make this statement more definitive by leaving it out. Miller writes this quote on the "toilet box which was suspended above Stasia's cot." Miller calls himself "clairvoyant" for having done so, because he would later spend much time looking back at these events.
43.2 the place
Miller brings us back to the real time of events by describing the apartment. In 9.15, I admit that I'm uncertain as to whether Henry, June and Stasia have already moved into their Henry Street apartment yet, or whether the action is still set at Henry and June's second Remsen Street apartment. I think we're pretty safe, however, to assume that all of Nexus takes place on Henry Street. Henry mentions that the apartment is dark, and that he'd taken possession of it during a snowfall, giving him the impression that the "whole world outside our door would remain forever carpeted with a soft white felt." Snow and winter are motifs for much of this page.
43.3 prisoner of Chillon
In this apartment, Henry feels like the 16th-century imprisoned monk written about by Lord Byron in a poem of the same name.
43.4 divine Marquis
See 23.3 for Miller's first references to the divine Marquis de Sade, with whom he compares himself alongside the prisoner of Chillon.
43.5 mad Strindberg
Another in the collection of comparisons; this is a reference from the first page of Nexus. Miller "lived out my madness" in this apartment.
43.6 the two of them appearing arm in arm
The "two" are Mona and Anastasia, although he doesn't say their names here. He says he can always count on them coming back to the apartment in the "wee hours," arm-in-arm, excited about the previous day's events.
43.7 the madman, Osiecki
His freind would tap on the windowpane when he wanted Henry's attention. See his previous reference at 9.9.
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