Musings on Henry Miller and Anais Nin

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Note:  I have been going through my old “unposted” posts.  I’ll post a few of them from time to time.  This post was originally written on July 24, 2011.

I have had a year-long fascination with Henry Miller.  To be exact, I have been fascinated by the love affair of Henry Miller and Anais Nin.  No longer.  I have done enough research, read enough bibliographical materials, and read enough of their own personal works to be satisfied that they were both dogs.  They seemed to operate without care or conscience to those around them.

After her years of financially supporting her lover, Henry Miller, Anais Nin moved on to other men.  At one point, Nin kept what she called a “Lie Box.”  Apparently being married to two men, one on the east coast and one on the west, entailed a great deal of deception.  She wrote her lies down on cards and carried them around in her Lie Box.  It is said that she carried an enormous purse at all times containing the necessary paperwork to keep her life of lies going smoothly.  It was also said that her long-time, original husband “chose not to know.”

I know that I am dead.  As soon as I utter a phrase my sincerity dies, becomes a lie whose coldness chills me.  ~ Anais Nin

Anais Nin was a troubled, passionate, lonely woman.  She spent her life seeking something that she could never truly find.  It makes me sad, because she was generous to a fault.  She loved, but often the “love” she thought she had found was eventually rebuked.  With Miller, she gave until she had no more to give.  Or….he took all that she had to give.  He remained with his wife, and yet she continued to believe in his goodness and talent.  Even after Miller no longer needed her, Anais Nin championed him.  As for Miller, he took.  He used.  He thought only of himself.  Sadly, I have known people like that.

“And for that one moment of freedom you have to listen to all that love crap… it drive me nuts sometimes… I want to kick them out immediately… I do now and then. But that doesn’t keep them away. They like it, in fact. The less you notice them the more they chase after you. There’s something perverse about women… they’re all masochists at heart.”  ~ Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer)

I am reading Tropic of Cancer right now.  It is an ugly book.  I’m not opposed to sex in fiction.  I’m not opposed to reality and ugliness in writing.  In fact, I’m not opposed to the book in general.  Yet, I am greatly disturbed as I read this book.  It is painful to read of the narrator’s complete disdain for women.  To him, they are good for a few things:  sex, food, and money.  He views women as cunts, (a word I despise) not in a derogatory way, but as in the actual body part.  Beyond the cunt, all else in a woman is secondary.

I hope that wherever Henry Miller is spending eternity, he is surrounded by strong women who have no use for a narcissistic dick of a man like Miller.

Henry Miller

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