Thursday, February 27, 2014

Anaïs and Henry

"His passion runs through a chill, intellectual world like lava. It's his passion which seems important to the world today. It raises his book to the level of a natural phenomenon, like a cyclone, an earthquake. Today the world is chilled by mind and by analysis. His passion may save it, his appetite for life, his lust."

Anaïs Nin makes me want to read Henry Miller. I've only been reading women lately - Anaïs (we're on a first name basis, don't you know?), Lydia Davis, Alice Munro - and I should expand. Volume One of her diary is alive with Henry - he's living in it, and I feel I know him. I know that he didn't care to know other writers ("What would they see in me?"), that he watched acrobats dance naked in their slippers, that he slept in train stations and brothels, that he strained his eyes proofreading at a newspaper. Anaïs gave him her typewriter and bought him shoes, though her brother Joaquin, a concert pianist, didn't approve.

I'm looking forward to taking Tropic of Cancer on holiday with me next month.

photograph of Cascade Resort

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