Monday, May 30, 2011

Henry Miller & Anais Nin

Happy Memorial Day to all y'all.
We're going with a personal post again today and here's why:
I almost always read books by female authors. I don't feel bad about this because males have an extreme advantage in the publishing industry based on nothing but the fact that they have a certain something between their legs.
When I started this blog I decided in order to have a little balance I would write about a book written by a man once a month. In April I wrote about crazy, funny Tom Robbins. This is the last blog day in May for me & I haven't written about a male authored book.
I was at BAM so I thought, I'll reread Henry Miller. I bought the Tropic of Cancer & the Tropic of Capricorn. I'm 45 pages into the Tropic of Cancer and having to force myself to read it. Where's the sense in that? I read these books years ago and I remember liking them. I can even see why I liked them at the time. They just don't do anything for me right now.
So I decided not to waste any more time reading them just so I can have a post for today. I could find truths in them but I would have to say some not so complimentary things as well and it's just not necessary.
It's possible that the most interesting thing about Henry Miller FOR ME was his relationship with Anais Nin. Their relationship spawned a book and a lovely movie named Henry and June. (June being Henry's wife.)
Wikipedia says this about the plot summary for Henry and June:
"At the end of 1931, Nin finds herself dissatisfied with being a timid, faithful wife to her banker husband, Hugh Parker Guiler. Nin and her husband contemplate the possibility of opening their relationship, and determine that it would threaten their marriage. However when Anais meets June Miller, she is magnetically drawn to her and perceives June to be the most beautiful and charismatic woman she has ever met. Nin pursues an extremely intense, ambiguous, sexually charged friendship with her. When June leaves, Nin becomes involved with Henry, and begins an uninhibited sexual and emotional affair with him, which prompts an intellectual and sensual awakening. A friendship is formed between the two that was maintained throughout both artist's lives."

After reading a book titled The Nature of Personal Reality by Jane Roberts I began to examine my own beliefs about things, including what constituted true sexual morality for me*. Anais Nin taught me a lot about being true to the sexual person and the writer I want to be. I'm sure Henry has a lot to offer as well, I just don't have the patience for it right now.

I recently reread another book that I wanted to post on. That blog post goes up on Wednesday. It was a book I've reread many a time. This time I had a completely different reaction and learned something about myself.

Do you reread books? Does your reaction to them change from read to read?

Now I think I'll put all other reading material aside and go for fun! I picked up Stephanie Bond's latest Baby, Drive South. I guarantee I'll be happily reading in no time flat.

*The only immoral thing in sexual relationships for me is if any of the participants aren't consenting adults.


  1. I remember enjoying the movie, but that was as far as my interest went. I have had some different experiences when re-reading, though I don't re-read much. I mean... so many books, so little time. ;-) Just the stuff that's comfort food for when I'm down, or need inspiration, like my Heyers and Wodehouses.

  2. I'm normally the same about rereading - with a few exceptions (Agnes & the Hitman) I don't. Lately I've just picked up a few books to reread because I remember them fondly & thought to dig out the truths & put them here. Sometimes a good experience. Other times not.
    BTW I adore PG Wodehouse!

  3. We've already discussed WHO I re-read and why. Otherwise nope, as Ms Mabel said, too many books too little time. But I really enjoy it when I hear about people (Barb does this very well, as do you) finding new things in old reads, or observing something they hadn't seen before. Always insightful.