Monday, March 23, 2009

Henry Miller the Painter


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.

27 comments:

Liberality said...

I don't like how Henry Miller treated women but I do think he was an artist. I also like Nin.

Utah Savage said...

I didn't know a man from that generation who didn't treat women like crap. But his books were incredibly well written and honest, and it was all autobiographical. He was probably in some ways a diarist.

SarahA said...

I love how you write. You hold nothing back like 'us' English.
And yes, all bullies have small 'dicks' which they can't use properly!

Paul C said...

Women please!

And Sarah, is there no such thing as a bully with a big dick? I've certainly met some in a lot of places.

BTW I saw this "doco" on SBS where Norman was debating Germaine Greer in the early 70s and Norman admitted to everyone there he had quite a "small Jewish dick". Quite brave of him I thought!

themom said...

Ah yes...the big bully - little dick syndrome. There definitely are those!

Randal Graves said...

And some of us are a kinder, gentler Uncle Milty. I don't think I've ever seen a Henry Miller painting.

Amos said...

It's always about the dick.
Maybe size does indeed matter after all.

El Vox said...

Man, gender differences are weird? No wonder the divorce rate is as high as it is, go figure.

[I didn't know a man from that generation who didn't treat women like crap.]

All I can say US is you don't know much or are pretty naive. Making a broad generalization like that is like saying all women are bitches. That's my Dad's WWII generation, and he was a gentlemen as I know a lot other that were.

If you are speaking exclusively of "writers" I'd think Pablo Neruda would have been a gentlemen, now you know one.

Small dicks (women), big pussies(men)...sometimes we don't hold enough back. What happened to self-censorship and civility these days?

Nice art though :0

Utah Savage said...

El Vox, the voice of civility and reason. Yes, I have known men who were nice in each generation, but my experience with men isn't very nice and I'm most definitely a bitch. A crazy bitch at that. Sadly I seem destined to treat nice men badly, and I am not terribly nice myself.

Utah Savage said...

And BTW, I said like all bullies he probably had a small dick or little dick or something like that. I just woke up and I haven't had my coffee and half a pack of cigarettes, so I'll be back to debate the bully dick thing in a minute. Hold that thought.

El Vox said...

a challenge I like it...

Utah Savage said...

Okay Paul, you're up first. How did you know the big bullies had big dicks. I've known some very large men who were/are bullies with small dicks and I actually have seen those dicks. Just saying. I know it's a generality and an over statement, but sometimes it takes a sharp stick to poke you guys into speaking up.

I remember that Geramine Greer/Mailer debate. This was just after publication of her first book, "The Female Eunuch." And as I recall, Mailer tried to bully her. He was such a prick!

Paul C said...

It is funny how some women think the easiest and best way to bring a man down is some general attack on his virility by a specific comment about his penis size.

Don't they realize there are a lot of men who gave up worrying about that stuff and comparing dick size etc by the time they were 13 or 14 or younger?

Anyway, I know a few jokes about why white women are so bad at measurements or why Jewish women close their eyes when they are having an orgasm but too many ladies read this blog for me to continue........

Utah Savage said...

What the fuck are you talking about Paul, there are no "ladies" here. I'm pretty sure no British nobility read my blog. There are some fierce women who read my blog, but the only lady who reads my blog is Lib. (Just teasing Lib.)

Paul C said...

I have seen a lot of bullies with big dicks or average dicks in jail showers (unfortunately), rehabs when I was older and football teams when younger etc.......

It would hurt me a LOT more to be called stupid when I know my IQ etc.......than any comment about my prick.

Again it hurts me a 100 times more to be called mad or insane when I am sober and have the bi-polar under control with meds etc than any comment about my dick or anything to do with not having enough virility.

BTW It feels funny even talking about this stuff in a way........and its all so silly because, really, most men have average dicks.....

What am I doing talking about dick-size to UT and friends in the USA?

I can't remember when I've last had a conversation with anyone about dick size yet here I am typing away.

Paul C said...

In Australia there are these big posters/ads on highways and freeways. A very pretty young woman is holding up her hand and wiggling her little finger. The words are "SPEEDING: No one will think big of you."

Anyway, the last time I heard dick size discussed was when I was in my car with my brother and his youngest daughter (my niece) kept asking what that big sign/poster on the roads meant. It was hilarious when he told me how eventually he had to explain it to her.

goatman said...

I have to agree with your preference for Mr. Miller.
The only quote that I remember from Mr.Mailer is: "her cunt is her chariot" which comes in apropos many times but was not worth having to read the rest of the book!

I must look up some of the paintings, you have whetted my curiosity.

Utah Savage said...

Paul, this is the most fun I've had in a comment's thread since I wrote about farting. I am thinking about writing another essay on the art of the fart, but this is fun. Speculate on the size of one man's dick and how his feelings of inferiority might make him over compensate by acting tough, well... Are you talking about me? I can certainly be a bitch. I have been called a cunt. I no doubt deserved the name calling, since I know when I'm acting out. I'm crazy, not stupid. But I can be very aggressive and hostile. I have fantasies about being a very strong, fierce, fearless, dangerous women. I daydream of literally kicking ass. I take no prisoners, in my badass fantasy life. I should put that energy to work writing tough female characters like V.I. Warshawski. I'm a big fan of Sarah Paretsky. I'm due for a V.I. fix. So, what was I talking about? I can certainly drift off topic. Oh yes, I remember, we were talking about bullies. I may be one. Do I have a big pussy? No, I have a teeny, tiny, little bitty pussy. I may have no pussy at all, it's been so long since it was penetrated or even teased. I think of it as a vestigial organ, one having no use at all. If use it or loose it means anything, I have lost mine.

Paul C said...

Utah,

After that I am almost speechless. Actually, it scares me how I might reply to your last comments.LOL!

You take care of yourself and your......

Paul.

Utah Savage said...

Ah ha! can't even say the word can you? I wish Lisa had time to weigh in on this. And what happened to Miller and Mailer?

Paul C said...

They are both dead.

Paul C said...

BTW Utah,

I was recently given "A Spy in the House of Love" by Anais Nin but I have not read it yet.......too much time spent on blogs etc.
Have you read it? If so, what did you think of it. I think I will start reading it today after what you said above.

P.

Utah Savage said...

I like her Paul, she is a pioneer for women writers who wrote about intimate topics--and I don't mean domesticity. She writes about her erotic life. For her time she was very daring, very edgy. I think she was more coy then even Colette who was another of those female pioneers. To my knowledge I read everything she wrote prior to the late sixties. Then I became taken with all the great black writers. Once I find a writer I like I read everything I can find, then I read contemporaneous writers and then I read writers who were influenced by those writers and so on.

Beach Bum said...

Tried to read Mailer's "Harlot's Ghost" once, gave it up for a comic book.

Utah Savage said...

Mailer wrote stereotypes. He was an incredibly untalented man, and mean. He was a man who'd rather stab his wife than walk away from a conflict. Stabbing seems a little over the top in the "how to handle the little lady" conflict resolution department. Miller is a feast compared to the cheap sausage Mailer ground out.

Linda McGeary said...

You are a funny lady, oops, you said no lady. Anyway, you are very funny, you had me laughing full out there at the end.
You left em speechless.
I've been gone to Portland to visit my sons and family, and have been so busy upon my return that this has been my first stop by here.
I think I'll use some of your comments as book reviews in my store. No, no, not about size, but there was some other really good stuff.
Thanks.

Lisa said...

I am once again reminded of how very well read I am not.

Although I did read a wonderful biography of Anais Nin back in the early 1990s.

And, for the record, I prefer a mid-sized dick. It doesn't poke me in the cervix and give me cramps.