Victorian Pencils

December 29, 2008

posted by Caroline Picard; these instructions were found here, where, I believe, one is capable of purchasing said pencils.

Refilling your
Vintage Mechanical Pencils

Most mechanical pencils made before the late 1960s and some even after that are refilled by feeding lead in from the Point End. Those that feed from the barrel (below the eraser) are a fairly modern invention! Don’t be fooled by leads in the barrel, in older pencils, that was simply a space to store a few extra leads, but that’s it – just storage. As always with vintage writing instruments, exceptions will crop up!

The instruction below are from a Sheaffer package insert, but apply to most older mechanical pencils.

Pencil Refill Instructions

Love Letter Blushings

December 28, 2008

posted by Caroline Picard; written by Jane Austen and posted here, where you can go to read more excerpts.

austen_house_600

From DARCY to ELIZABETH

in defense of a Victorian character

“Be not alarmed, Madam, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any repetition of those sentiments, or renewal of those offers, which were last night so disgusting to you. I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on wishes, which, for the happiness of both, cannot be too soon forgotten; and the effort which the formation and the perusal of this letter must occasion should have been spared, had not my character required it to be written and read. You must, therefore, pardon the freedom with which I demand your attention; your feelings, I know, will bestow it unwillingly, but I demand it of your justice.

Two offences of a very different nature, and by no means of equal magnitude, you last night laid to my charge. The first mentioned was, that, regardless of the sentiments of either, I had detached Mr. Bingley from your sister; — and the other, that I had, in defiance of various claims, in defiance of honour and humanity, ruined the immediate prosperity, and blasted the prospects of Mr. Wickham. — Wilfully and wantonly to have thrown off the companion of my youth, the acknowledged favourite of my father, a young man who had scarcely any other dependence than on our patronage, and who had been brought up to expect its exertion, would be a depravity to which the separation of two young persons, whose affection could be the growth of only a few weeks, could bear no comparison. — But from the severity of that blame which was last night so liberally bestowed, respecting each circumstance, I shall hope to be in future secured, when the following account of my actions and their motives has been read. — If, in the explanation of them which is due to myself, I am under the necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to your’s, I can only say that I am sorry. — The necessity must be obeyed — and farther apology would be absurd. — I had not been long in Hertfordshire, before I saw, in common with others, that Bingley preferred your eldest sister to any other young woman in the country. — But it was not till the evening of the dance at Netherfield that I had any apprehension of his feeling a serious attachment. — I had often seen him in love before. — At that ball, while I had the honour of dancing with you, I was first made acquainted, by Sir William Lucas’s accidental information, that Bingley’s attentions to your sister had given rise to a general expectation of their marriage. He spoke of it as a certain event, of which the time alone could be undecided. From that moment I observed my friend’s behaviour attentively; and I could then perceive that his partiality for Miss Bennet was beyond what I had ever witnessed in him. Your sister I also watched. — Her look and manners were open, cheerful, and engaging as ever, but without any symptom of peculiar regard, and I remained convinced from the evening’s scrutiny, that though she received his attentions with pleasure, she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment. — If you have not been mistaken here, I must have been in an error. Your superior knowledge of your sister must make the latter probable. — If it be so, if I have been misled by such error, to inflict pain on her, your resentment has not been unreasonable. But I shall not scruple to assert that the serenity of your sister’s countenance and air was such as might have given the most acute observer a conviction that, however amiable her temper, her heart was not likely to be easily touched. — That I was desirous of believing her indifferent is certain, — but I will venture to say that my investigations and decisions are not usually influenced by my hopes or fears. — I did not believe her to be indifferent because I wished it; — I believed it on impartial conviction, as truly as I wished it in reason. — My objections to the marriage were not merely those which I last night acknowledged to have required the utmost force of passion to put aside in my own case; the want of connection could not be so great an evil to my friend as to me. — But there were other causes of repugnance; — causes which, though still existing, and existing to an equal degree in both instances, I had myself endeavoured to forget, because they were not immediately before me. — These causes must be stated, though briefly. — The situation of your mother’s family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison of that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly, betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father. — Pardon me. — It pains me to offend you. But amidst your concern for the defects of your nearest relations, and your displeasure at this representation of them, let it give you consolation to consider that to have conducted yourselves so as to avoid any share of the like censure is praise no less generally bestowed on you and your eldest sister, than it is honourable to the sense and disposition of both. — I will only say farther that, from what passed that evening, my opinion of all parties was confirmed, and every inducement heightened, which could have led me before to preserve my friend from what I esteemed a most unhappy connection. — He left Netherfield for London, on the day following, as you, I am certain, remember, with the design of soon returning. —

The part which I acted is now to be explained. — His sisters’ uneasiness had been equally excited with my own; our coincidence of feeling was soon discovered; and, alike sensible that no time was to be lost in detaching their brother, we shortly resolved on joining him directly in London. — We accordingly went — and there I readily engaged in the office of pointing out to my friend, the certain evils of such a choice. — I described, and enforced them earnestly. — But, however this remonstrance might have staggered or delayed his determination, I do not suppose that it would ultimately have prevented the marriage, had it not been seconded by the assurance, which I hesitated not in giving, of your sister’s indifference. He had before believed her to return his affection with sincere, if not with equal, regard. — But Bingley has great natural modesty, with a stronger dependence on my judgment than on his own. — To convince him, therefore, that he had deceived himself, was no very difficult point. To persuade him against returning into Hertfordshire, when that conviction had been given, was scarcely the work of a moment. — I cannot blame myself for having done thus much. There is but one part of my conduct in the whole affair, on which I do not reflect with satisfaction; it is that I condescended to adopt the measures of art so far as to conceal from him your sister’s being in town. I knew it myself, as it was known to Miss Bingley, but her brother is even yet ignorant of it. — That they might have met without ill consequence is, perhaps, probable; — but his regard did not appear to me enough extinguished for him to see her without some danger. — Perhaps this concealment, this disguise, was beneath me. — It is done, however, and it was done for the best. — On this subject I have nothing more to say, no other apology to offer. If I have wounded your sister’s feelings, it was unknowingly done; and though the motives which governed me may to you very naturally appear insufficient, I have not yet learnt to condemn them. —

With respect to that other, more weighty accusation, of having injured Mr. Wickham, I can only refute it by laying before you the whole of his connection with my family. Of what he has particularly accused me, I am ignorant; but of the truth of what I shall relate, I can summon more than one witness of undoubted veracity. Mr. Wickham is the son of a very respectable man, who had for many years the management of all the Pemberley estates; and whose good conduct in the discharge of his trust naturally inclined my father to be of service to him; and on George Wickham, who was his god-son, his kindness was therefore liberally bestowed. My father supported him at school, and afterwards at Cambridge; — most important assistance, as his own father, always poor from the extravagance of his wife, would have been unable to give him a gentleman’s education. My father was not only fond of this young man’s society, whose manners were always engaging; he had also the highest opinion of him, and hoping the church would be his profession, intended to provide for him in it. As for myself, it is many, many years since I first began to think of him in a very different manner. The vicious propensities — the want of principle, which he was careful to guard from the knowledge of his best friend, could not escape the observation of a young man of nearly the same age with himself, and who had opportunities of seeing him in unguarded moments, which Mr. Darcy could not have. Here again I shall give you pain — to what degree you only can tell. But whatever may be the sentiments which Mr. Wickham has created, a suspicion of their nature shall not prevent me from unfolding his real character. It adds even another motive. My excellent father died about five years ago; and his attachment to Mr. Wickham was to the last so steady, that in his will he particularly recommended it to me to promote his advancement in the best manner that his profession might allow, and, if he took orders, desired that a valuable family living might be his as soon as it became vacant. There was also a legacy of one thousand pounds. His own father did not long survive mine, and within half a year from these events Mr. Wickham wrote to inform me that, having finally resolved against taking orders, he hoped I should not think it unreasonable for him to expect some more immediate pecuniary advantage, in lieu of the preferment by which he could not be benefited. He had some intention, he added, of studying the law, and I must be aware that the interest of one thousand pounds would be a very insufficient support therein. I rather wished than believed him to be sincere; but, at any rate, was perfectly ready to accede to his proposal. I knew that Mr. Wickham ought not to be a clergyman. The business was therefore soon settled. He resigned all claim to assistance in the church, were it possible that he could ever be in a situation to receive it, and accepted in return three thousand pounds. All connection between us seemed now dissolved. I thought too ill of him to invite him to Pemberley, or admit his society in town. In town, I believe, he chiefly lived, but his studying the law was a mere pretence, and being now free from all restraint, his life was a life of idleness and dissipation. For about three years I heard little of him; but on the decease of the incumbent of the living which had been designed for him, he applied to me again by letter for the presentation. His circumstances, he assured me, and I had no difficulty in believing it, were exceedingly bad. He had found the law a most unprofitable study, and was now absolutely resolved on being ordained, if I would present him to the living in question — of which he trusted there could be little doubt, as he was well assured that I had no other person to provide for, and I could not have forgotten my revered father’s intentions. You will hardly blame me for refusing to comply with this entreaty, or for resisting every repetition of it. His resentment was in proportion to the distress of his circumstances — and he was doubtless as violent in his abuse of me to others, as in his reproaches to myself. After this period, every appearance of acquaintance was dropt. How he lived I know not. But last summer he was again most painfully obtruded on my notice. I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human being. Having said thus much, I feel no doubt of your secrecy. My sister, who is more than ten years my junior, was left to the guardianship of my mother’s nephew, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and myself. About a year ago, she was taken from school, and an establishment formed for her in London; and last summer she went with the lady who presided over it, to Ramsgate; and thither also went Mr. Wickham, undoubtedly by design; for there proved to have been a prior acquaintance between him and Mrs. Younge, in whose character we were most unhappily deceived; and by her connivance and aid he so far recommended himself to Georgiana, whose affectionate heart retained a strong impression of his kindness to her as a child, that she was persuaded to believe herself in love, and to consent to an elopement. She was then but fifteen, which must be her excuse; and after stating her imprudence, I am happy to add that I owed the knowledge of it to herself. I joined them unexpectedly a day or two before the intended elopement; and then Georgiana, unable to support the idea of grieving and offending a brother whom she almost looked up to as a father, acknowledged the whole to me. You may imagine what I felt and how I acted. Regard for my sister’s credit and feelings prevented any public exposure, but I wrote to Mr. Wickham, who left the place immediately, and Mrs. Younge was of course removed from her charge. Mr. Wickham’s chief object was unquestionably my sister’s fortune, which is thirty thousand pounds; but I cannot help supposing that the hope of revenging himself on me was a strong inducement. His revenge would have been complete indeed.

This, madam, is a faithful narrative of every event in which we have been concerned together; and if you do not absolutely reject it as false, you will, I hope, acquit me henceforth of cruelty towards Mr. Wickham. I know not in what manner, under what form of falsehood, he has imposed on you; but his success is not, perhaps, to be wondered at. Ignorant as you previously were of every thing concerning either, detection could not be in your power, and suspicion certainly not in your inclination. You may possibly wonder why all this was not told you last night. But I was not then master enough of myself to know what could or ought to be revealed. For the truth of every thing here related, I can appeal more particularly to the testimony of Colonel Fitzwilliam, who from our near relationship and constant intimacy, and still more as one of the executors of my father’s will, has been unavoidably acquainted with every particular of these transactions. If your abhorrence of me should make my assertions valueless, you cannot be prevented by the same cause from confiding in my cousin; and that there may be the possibility of consulting him, I shall endeavour to find some opportunity of putting this letter in your hands in the course of the morning. I will only add, God bless you.

FITZWILLIAM DARCY.”

In Regards to Jane Austen

December 28, 2008

posted by Caroline Picard

I used to have a hard time with Austen; I use to feel she was too much the parlor-woman, the author that made the list by virtue of being a woman. Her presence in my scholastic syllabi signified a kind of inverse sexism, to me. What I see now is that I was too young to read her. Even though she was present in my classes at age 16, and again at age 20, I didn’t understand the meaning of subtext. At those ages, I was frustrated by the characters inability to speak their minds. I had no respect for the formal structures and heierarchies of society – structures which I now appreciate, flawed though they may be, because they give strangers a chance to feel more comfortable together. In as much as within a structure, non-familars have a better sense of what to expect and what is expected of them. I guess I would also argue that it doesn’t matter what society you live in, that society has it’s own rules, rituals and expectations, and it is the style of a community, as it navigates those things that gives us a chance to develope friendship, just as it makes it similarly impossible to say the thing one most wants to say.

I appreciate Jane Austen much more now. I think I might even find the foibles amusing rather than frustrating.

austen

I found these familal charts posted, along with a ton of other information, at http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/ppdrmtis.html#index2.

Bennets, Philipses, and Gardiners

Mr. Collins is a cousin of Mr. Bennet (an explanation of the entail is available).

                    +--------------+---------------------------+
                    |              |                           |
                    |              |                           |
Mr. Bennet === Mrs. Bennet   Mrs. Philips === Mr. Philips   Edward === M----
            |                                              Gardiner |
 +--------+-+-----+-------+-------+                                 |
 |        |       |       |       |                           +--+--+--+
Jane  Elizabeth  Mary  "Kitty"  Lydia                         |  |  |  |
                     [Catherine]                           Four children

Darcys, Fitzwilliams, and De Bourghs

The individuals in parentheses died before the main action of the novel begins.

                       (Old Earl of ----,
                       surnamed Fitzwilliam)
                              |
                 +------------+----+----------------+
                 |                 |                |
  (Old Mr. === (Lady            current            Lady  === (Sir Lewis
   Darcy)   |   Anne)         Earl of ----      Catherine |   de Bourgh)
            |                      |                      |
     +------+------+           +---+------+               |
     |             |           |          |               |
Fitzwilliam    Georgiana     elder     Colonel          Anne de
   Darcy         Darcy       son(s)   Fitzwilliam        Bourgh

Lucases and Bingleys

 Sir William === Lady                 +----------+----------+
    Lucas     |  Lucas                |          |          |
              |                       |          |          |
    +---------+----------+         Charles    Caroline   Louisa === Mr.
    |         |          |         Bingley    Bingley              Hurst
Charlotte   Maria    other boys
  Lucas     Lucas     and girls

Kazaka

jed-electromagnetic-thingy

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.
http://guadhamzil.tumblr.com/
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.

june-miller-anais-nin

Deirdre Baire: On The Secret Life of Anais Nin


By CYNTHIA JOYCE

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

anais2

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

aupetitpoucet_03

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

I.

on the

flicker

to combine

—carrot—

or

on the

—dirtiest—

or

on the

—the knight of a thousand faces—

.

a “rather not”

.

flicker

to combine

or

—the snakiest of the snakes—

combined

to flicker

running flags,

stitches

caused fabric

to become hard

on the

affect

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

interrupt

now/here

henri/ad

false/after

II.

please don’t talk to the lifeguard

decided fugues

ghosts

costing

I’m

I’m

on the

left

my

my silhouette

can’t be touched

I’m

I’m

on the

left

face up

my

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.

III.

On the

ending

the open

banjo sway

heart

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

IV.

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