Monday, March 23, 2009
I was a lover of Henry Miller's writing and didn't know the man painted until I was in my forties and living in Santa Barbara. My mother was the companion to a very wealthy and intersting woman who was an artist herself and a patron of the visual arts. Her name was Aida Siff. She was a remarkable woman. And through Aida, my mother met Henry Miller's last wife. I met her too, but only briefly. She was a very attractive woman in her sixties or seventies when I met her, and though I don't remember her first name, or even if she remarried, her fame was that she was Henry Miller's last wife. She had a great many of his original paintings, and gave my mother a collection of small reproductions of Henry's paintings. My mother was never a fan of Henry Miller, "that old misogynist," but she knew I was, so she gave me the prints. I never thought of Henry Miller as a misogynist, but I did think Norman Mailer was and not only that, he was a really shitty writer. I mention the two men in the same sentence because that's the way I read them. I must have been plowing through the M's or something. But Henry Miller led me to Anais Nin, where as Norman Mailer led me no place at all. (At least no place I remember). Henry Miller took me to Paris and a lot of other great writers. Henry Miller was a real artist. Norman Mailer was a bully and like all bullies, he probably had a tiny dick.
Without the bar, without the "other" to love or hate, this is how I feel. Do you think this is something I choose? You would be wrong to think that. This is the way I am. Can you not be you?