wire piece is a sheet of handmade japanese
paper that has been folded together with one
long piece of wire, then folded in half. this
piece is then wrapped with another wire on the
outside. so there are two wires, one outside
and the other on the inside. each are connected
to the positive and negative terminals of a
battery. the end result is the wire inside the
paper is electroplated to the paper. i'm still
trying to figure out how to use it as a resistor
in an audio circuit to modulate feedback.
posted by Lily

posted by Caroline Picard, in continuation of the day’s earlier explorations on the life, writing and style of Nin. This interview was originally posted on salon.com. You can read the entire interview here.


Deirdre Baire: On The Secret Life of Anais Nin


When literary scholar and journalist Deirdre Bair first embarked on an exploration of the life of Anaïs Nin, she knew little about the famous diarist and writer of erotic fiction beyond the most public details of her life. But after poring over more than 250,000 pages of Nin’s handwritten diaries and conducting countless interviews with those who knew Nin, Bair emerged with a portrait very different than that which the diaries alone suggested.

In “Anaïs Nin: A Biography,” which won Bair her second National Book Award for biography (the first was in 1981, for her biography of Samuel Beckett) and was recently published in paperback by Penguin, Bair revealed that much of Nin’s life revolved around the tainted relationship she had with her estranged father, with whom she had an affair in her early 30s. But she also asserted that Nin, while not quite the fiercely independent woman she presented herself to be, was still “a shining exemplar of the modernist dictum ‘Make it new,’ for she was prescient enough to poise herself directly in the path of all that was fresh, exciting, and frequently controversial.”

While in San Francisco on a recent reading tour, Bair talked to Salon about Nin’s unique place in 20th century cultural history, why she excelled at memoir and erotica but not other forms of literature, and how biographers should handle personal revelations they unearth about their subjects.

Having already written biographies of two major cultural and literary figures, Simone de Beauvoir and Samuel Beckett, you chose Anaïs Nin as a subject — against the advice of most of your colleagues and despite the fact that you yourself describe her as a “major minor writer.” Why?

It really wasn’t against their advice. Perhaps they were surprised and suggested we were an unlikely combination, Nin and me. What made me choose her was that I was finishing the biography of Simone de Beauvoir, and I had become fascinated through reading and rereading her memoirs with the idea of how and why and what women write about themselves. Originally, I was thinking that perhaps I should just write an article, or maybe a “Hers” column or something on the subject. Then I came into contact with a number of journals, just in passing, nothing that I really read seriously.

I kept thinking about the lives that women commit to paper, and whether they do it for themselves, in the privacy of their home, or whether they always have in mind it will be read by a larger public, or whether they write for posterity. All of these questions came up at about the same time that any number of people were bringing up Anaïs Nin’s name in my presence, or asking questions about her. Suddenly, I thought, instead of writing an article, or a critical book, why didn’t I address these concerns through another biography, and wouldn’t she be perfect?

Why do you think Nin was so severely denounced for having lied in her own diaries?

Well, somebody once said that memoir, diary, journal or private writing has to be truth. This was before the age of postmodernism, when we all said, “There is no truth, there’s no one truth. There’s your truth and my truth.” So when Nin’s diaries were published, women in the ’60s, in the dawning of the feminist movement, were reading these diaries and were saying, “Oh my God, here’s one woman who really had the perfect life. She went around the world independently, she lived independently, she did whatever she wanted, she was in charge of her own sexuality, her own finances, everything. We all want to be Anaïs Nin.”

Many, many women I know left their partners, changed their sexual identity, just totally changed their lives, and in many instances really messed up their lives. And then it gradually filtered out, well, you know, she not only had one husband, she had two, and one of them was incredibly wealthy, and he paid for everything. She was never really doing anything on her own, there was always this big safety net of all these people. And so people turned against her, because the diary wasn’t the truth. People were unable to say that memoir and diary writing are allowed to be the written version of the person’s life, as the person wants the life to be known and perceived. They get angry, and I think Nin really was one of the first, 30 or 40 years ago, who was attacked for not telling the truth. And suddenly, the quest for the truth took over, and all sorts of scholars were going out there, writing biographies saying, “Aha! Robert Frost was a liar! Fitzgerald was a liar! Everybody was a liar, they didn’t tell the truth!”

Okay, fine, but how about the work? Could we maybe judge the work? Why do we make these demands on the lives of others that they have to be perfect? Why can’t these people be normal human beings like all the rest of us?

This is why I’m one who has said, “I have no problem with your written version of reality, if that’s the way you want it to be told, fine. I’m not going to point my finger at you and say, ‘nasty, hideous liar.’ Okay, so you lied, I’ll put that in the context of the rest of everything else.”

Given the current literary climate, where so much fiction is based on implied memoir, would Nin have had an entirely different experience were she writing now?

Had she been alive today, her diaries would have been published much earlier, and much more easily. Everyone was terrified of the censorship of the ’50s — from 1940 to 1960, when you know, “Lady Chatterley’s Lover,” that tame book today, was banned. “Catcher in the Rye” was a dirty book. You have to put yourself back into that historical context and realize that these diaries were shocking at that time, and nobody wanted them.

She would have had such an easy time getting them published today, so she might not have ever tried to write fiction, because diary writing was so easy for her, and fiction writing was so hard. She could never make that leap, beyond herself into the world of pure fiction. Her material was herself, though she was never able to turn that self into an other self, an other entity entirely.

But her erotic fiction brought her the most commercial success, at least while she was alive. Was that perhaps her best attempt at fiction?

It probably was, and for several reasons. The first is that she wrote it for hire, and she was told, “Take out all the poetry, it has to be nothing but descriptions of sex.” She wrote it very quickly for money, so there was not the same booby trap that she got into when she tried to write her own fiction, making the leap into pure creativity that fiction requires. Certainly most fiction writers take the stuff of their lives and the lives of the people around them and convert it into a form of fiction, but they somehow convert it into art.

And Nin never could?

Nin was always so afraid of being discovered for this transgression or that transgression, that she was never able to do that. Whereas, with the erotica, it was going into a private collector’s hands, it was never to be seen again in the world, and she was just sort of sitting down at the typewriter and belting it out. And that was it.

Do you consider her erotica literature?

Very much so. A friend of mine, Michele Slung, who’s kind of an expert on pornography and erotica, considers it to be practically the finest example of women writing erotica. Also, it’s really the first time that a woman was able to express her own command of her own sexuality in a lyrical, beautiful form. I’ve read the erotica certainly, and I’ve read some other erotica, but I count on the experts to verify that opinion. And I share that opinion.

The film “Henry and June,” about the relationship between Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller and his wife June, was supposedly based on Nin’s diaries, but it’s a very different portrayal than the one you offer.

I was struck by the way (director Philip Kaufman) was able to take the incidents and the conversations that Anaïs Nin put into her diary and turn it into something on stage.

you can read the rest of this interview by going to http://www.salon.com/weekly/bair960729.html

posted by Caroline Picard

Her first introduction of Anais Nin came from the author’s place on bookshelves that belonged to the naughty girls at boarding school. While Camille had never read Nin, she gathered from their prominent positions that the books had a certain and specific power; tidy and passive aggressive totems of rebellion, they sat side by side, dustless, in a single row with text aligned, in an otherwise clean room–these books waited, anticipating the nun’s inevitable footsteps. For each day the same nun came and looked through each girls’ room to ensure the beds had been neatly made, the floor tidied, the counter top’s mess put away. And each day the nun wrote remarks on the adjoining door-chart, pointing various issues that could be improved, i.e. Fold clothes in hamper.

The old woman never mentioned the naughty girl’s collection of books.

And, as it turned out, it was Camille, the unknown freshman, who eventually stole them, though everyone blamed it on the nun.

Findings ’round about Anais Nin


if you go here you can listen to some of her interviews, including one with Studs Terkel, Bookbeat and, among others, Northwestern.

  1. Interview w/ Studs on January 1972, Northwestern University (follow link above to listen)”A musical intro is interrupted with Nin reading from her fourth Diary. This passage could have been written today as she talks about technology and how it has a potential to create greater distances, not bridge them.

    “‘We have reached a hastier and superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the allusions which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing right next to us. It is a dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephone, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater, and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.'”

    “Terkel talks about the young’s attraction to her work. Nin talks about her relationship with them, about Edmund Wilson not remaining open as he aged and how all of her other artist friends have remained open. Nin talks about Under a Glass Bell ‘This book which seems to be all fantasy and actually every one of those stories is based on a real persons, on a real situation, they begin in reality and take their roots in reality….then I embroider on that.’ They discuss Nin’s houseboat, the story and themes of displacement. They discuss DH Lawrence and his relationship with feminism. Nin quotes him and says how she is not as harsh on Lawrence as others. Terkel prompts Nin to read a passage about woman and her conflicts to find her own language and discove her own feelings. Nin mentions her personal issue from growing up, ‘I had a sense of guilt about creating and being successful before my brothers were.’ Nin is pleased the diary gives her a way to examine her own growth, ‘The mystery of growth was always terribly interesting to me as a child.’

    “Nin remains steadfast in her appreciate of men and what they had given her, “I used man’s knowledge and that is why I am grateful for him, whether it was psychology…I took what was useful and left the rest. I learned from them, I learned freedom from Miller and converted it into feminine terms. I don’t think we need to let certain things stand in the way, we need to convert them.” Nin then discusses her feelings on analysis, “analysis is only for when we get troubled.” They talk about the press and Nin reads a passage about Gonzalo. Terkel is familiar with Nin’s work and seems charmed with her. He is highly familiar with her writings and prompts her numerous times to read passages. His analysis of the work is astute and Nin even comments on his reading of her work, “You seem compassionate in your reading of these characters.” One of Nin’s final comments, “I do not like dogma and will not wage war on man.” The end the interview discussing how the conversation could easily continue and they discuss the origins and pronunciation of her name.” that text was posted and written originally for the aforementioned blog, www.anaisnin.com; you can read more about her life there.

  2. anais-nin-1

Biographical Options

Born Angela Anais Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmel, she was born in France on February 21st, 2003 and died on January 14th, 1977. “Anais Nin was born in France. Her father was the composer Joaquin Nin, who grew up in Spain but was born in and returned to Cuba. Her mother, Rosa Culmell y Vigaraud, was of Cuban, French, and Danish ancestry. Anais Nin moved to the United States in 1914 after her father deserted the family. In the United States she attended Catholic schools, dropped out of school, worked as a model and dancer, and returned to Europe in 1923.” To read more about her bio, go to: http://womenshistory.about.com/od/anaisnin/a/anais_nin.htm

Excerpts of Letters Between Nin and Henry Miller


these were gleaned from http://www.anais-nin.de/henry.html

where you can also buy the book.

Anais on March 2, 1932
The woman will sit eternally in the tall black armchair. I will be the one woman you will never have … excessive living weighs down the imagination: we will not live, we will only write and talk to swell the sails.
(LP p.16)

Henry on March 4, 1932
Three minutes after you have gone. No, I can’t restrain it. I tell you what you already know – I love you. It is this I destroyed over and over again. At Dijon I wrote you long passionate letters – if you had remained in Switzerland I would have sent them – but how could I send them to Louveciennes?
Anais, I can’t say much now – I am in a fever. I could scarcely talk to you because I was continually on he point of getting up and throuwing my arms around you.
(LP p.16)

Henry on March 10, 1932, after they had becomelovers
You make me tremendously happy to hold me undivided – to let me be the artist, as it were, and yet not forgo the man, the animal, the hungry, insatiable lover. No woman has ever granted me all the privileges I need – and you, why you sing out so blithely, so boldly, with a laugh even – yes, you invite me to go ahead, be myself, benture anything. I adore you for that. That is where you are truly regal, a woman extraordinary. What a woman you are! I laugh to myself now when I think of you. I have no fear of your femaleness.
(LP p.22)

Henry on March 21, 1932
Anais, I don’t know how to tell you what I feel. I live in perpetual expectancy. You come and the time slips away in a dream. It is only when you go that I realize completely your presence. And then it is too late. You numb me. […] This is a little drunken, Anais. I am saying to myself “here is the first woman with whom I can be absolutely sincere.” I remember your saying -“you could fool me. I wouldn’t know it.” When I walk along the boulevards and think of that. I can’t fool you – and yet I would like to. I mean that I can never be absolutely loyal – it’s not in me. I love women, or life, too much – which it is, I don’t know. But laugh, Anais, I love to hear you laugh. You are the only woman who has a sense of gaiety, a wise tolerance – no more, you seem to urge me to betray you. I love you for that. […]
I don’t know what to expect of you, butit is something in the way of a miracle. I am going to demand everything of you – even the impossible, because you encourage it. You are really strong. I even like your deceit, your treachery. It seems aristocratic to me.
(LP p.32,33)

After Omer Fast

December 27, 2008

After Omer Fast

a response to Omer Fast @ the Rymer Gallery

by Devin King


on the


to combine



on the



on the

—the knight of a thousand faces—


a “rather not”



to combine


—the snakiest of the snakes—


to flicker

running flags,


caused fabric

to become hard

on the


a vaseline

porous singing

usury is still

nested in transit

on the

other hand-

of the rarest mention:

a loft,

moments of hesitation,

three pairs of hands

moving to interrupt the handshake

“the brothers’ dimensional

infrastructure of presentation”

combine too






please don’t talk to the lifeguard

decided fugues





on the



my silhouette

can’t be touched



on the


face up


my silhouette

can’t be touched

do you ________?

do you ________?

do you or don’t you?

I think you do.

do you ________?

do you ________?

do you or don’t you?

I’m saying you do.


On the


the open

banjo sway


the ending

on heart.

banjo hammer

knotted fingers

split teeth

on the

porch monkey.

minor desperation

blatant and soft

on heart

ending sway

the banjo


every photograph I see looks like it was taken by some dude who wanted to make sure everyone looked like they needed a good fuck

and it’s different from advertisements

Odette with a fleshy kimono.

posted by Caroline Picard


In Regards to the Peculiar Nature of Parrots

another work in progress, posted & written by Caroline Picard


Finch had made her mother nervous.

She told Bridget he was attractive. He’s so handsome! her mother had whispered (too loud) like an old woman, in the hallway just after he’d arrived. Bridget had shrugged, certain that everyone, Father, Sister, Finch, could hear everything from where they sat in the living room.
Finch arrived two days after the first brain surgery. Their father had gotten out of the hospital that morning. It was four days after Thanksgiving.
“I’m glad you got the chance to meet him, Finch,” she said which, in retrospect, seemed overly symbolic.

And next morning, the Johnstons ate bread and cereal and jam and coffee with Finch. Her father talked to Finch about airplanes. Finch had worked for his uncle cleaning airplanes with a power hose. Zelda, a small green fist-sized parrot, fell off the cage with a flurry and climbed up her father’s leg while he ate yogurt with flaxseed. No one looked at the sutures.
“It was a great summer. Southwest is a great company. It’s the airline for the common man. There are no assigned seats. First come, first serve.”
“I’ve never flown on Southwest,” her father said, smiling. Zelda was grooming his ear. He picked Zelda up and put her on his head. They watched as Zelda’s tongue tickled the angry black stitches. The swollen lips of the scar. Zelda looked back at them, blinking her eyes with a coy upside-down tilt in her head. The feathers on her neck puffed out like she felt sexy. The bird blinked her eyes upside down, the bottom lid rising to meet the top. Bridget thought, ‘how strange that birds have eyelashes,’ when her mother swatted Zelda off with a sharp, jerk of her hand. Shirley giggled. Zelda squawked, flapping clipped wings until she landed, with duck grace, on the kitchen floor. The bird shrieked for three minutes, beating her wings with little thumps.
“Zelda’s like our three-year old,” their mother had said by way of apology, while orange juice came up Shirley’s nose. When she laughed it sounded like champagne would, if it could laugh. With orange juice up her nose, though, it just sounded like a stage laugh.
“Spencer,” her mother said in admonishment, “that isn’t funny.” Their mother was about to cry.
Bridget laughed, a little. An angry happiness.


December 26, 2008

by Cathy Borders

Sex and philosophy have never stopped interchanging their gravity, but sex cares nothing for philosophy.

It is assigned to the body alone.

Supposing there is a real way to read this, a true way, a perfect way, it would be difficult to know if you had already read it that way.

She doesn’t inhale her cigarettes as deeply as he does, smoking as if she doesn’t want to, and yet she lights up more frequently.

“Her eyes stop traffic. They go from green to red, without the cautionary yellow.”

“I wish I could be more like her.”

All he could think of was how she obsessively plucked her eyebrows.

Stormy weather… since my man and I ain’t together… keeps raining all the time… all the time.

Her wedding dressing is covered in blood, “it must have been an arranged marriage,” she says, but he’s busy jumping back and forth between the two Fridas, following the vein connecting them, the lack of certain breasts, those terrifying scissors.

They suffer from nonconsolation.

Philosophy was born with anxiety, with questions, with insomnia, and from the depths of time we have been seeking consolation within the depths of the night.

She clutched his arm like a monkey, wishing she could hold on with her feet as well, as he led her down the alley and into the next bar, this one was much quieter, “easier on his temples” he said.

With her knees on the ground, snow and mud and sleet soaking through her jeans, she searched for her earring, which was nothing more than a simple wooden circle, with the blue light from her cell phone.

“To be free of hypercivilization, to be able to throw out my television, and hear music like I’ve never heard before,” he said to her as she looked for an earring that reminded her of her father.

In the first season of The Muppet Show, Wayne and Wanda tried to sing the song, but as with most of their attempts to perform, the duet ends with slapstick violence.

Cant’ keep my poor legs together…


Two cats crawled into her lap as he spoke to her, and as she warmed her fingers in their fur he got the vague sense that she wasn’t paying him any attention.

They preferred to meet at the only park in town that wasn’t outclassed by plastic, and she would wait on the swings, twirling the metal chains, staring up at the towering rocketship completely devoid of children because it was nearly two in the morning.

“Wagner has nothing to do with me,” he says, but she doesn’t agree.

He brought her a sandwich from the deli (ham, cheese, onion, no mayo) and upon his handing it to her she burst into tears, and this made him feel like an asshole.

“You are like Wagner, heavy with a light touch- he brings out your feminine side,” she says.

On the bed, listening to Wagner, looking at Le Due Frida, thinking about Trotsky, smoking cigarettes. 

Is Nikki S. Lee making giant drawings now?  Yes she is!img_02111

this is her…

…the same artist who created these amazing photographic self-portraits, all of which are completely fabricated:

Aside from my encounter with the artwork of Nikki Lee, I popped through some old haunts in Chelsea; it seems the glut of galleries is diminishing.  However, the big blue chip galleries–Gagosian, Mary Boone, Jack Shaiman, Gladstone, and a few others are still pumping out some interesting art!

ENjoy some camera-phone pictures from my lil’ excursion:








The University of Chicago

December 26, 2008

My love affair with the institution has extended to the University of Chicago.


U of C exists in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.  The university’s community largely consists of intellectuals in specific academic fields.  It is an insular community for scholarly exchange, within a neighborhood wherein the community is separate and socioeconomically diverse, and with more pragmatic realities.


I entered the office of the Division of the Humanities to turn in some additional and revised materials for my MAPH application, located in the beautiful Walker Museum. The institution’s long and distinguished history is evident upon entering the building.  Everything about it was so grand, down to the lobby with a large portrait of ol’ Walker…It is so wonderfully rich with a history of old money…



An intervention in-care-of Green Lantern was performed…




–Young Joon

Oooo, one last thing!

December 26, 2008


lil elote

Finally ladies, enjoy the video art stylings of Todd Mattei’s God-fina:

Fuck Christmas, give me art…and while you’re at it, get me some more E&J!


lil elote