"I do not know which to prefer, the beauty of inflections
or the beauty of innuendoes,
the blackbird whistling,
or just after.“

:: Wallace Stevens ::

This page is given in tribute to the spirits of
Sarah and Blaise. On this page, their flame
lives on.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Henry Miller to Anais Nin, 1932

Chez les Vikings, Taverne Scandanave
29 et 31, rue Vavin, Paris VI
March 4, 1932

Dear Anais:

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 have sent them to Louveciennes?

Anais I can't say much now - I am in fever. I could scarcely talk to you because I was continually on the point of getting up and throwing my arms around you. I was in hopes you wouldn't have to go home for dinner - that we might go somewhere to dine and dance. You dance - I have dreamed of that over and over again - I dancing with you, or you alone dancing with head thrown back and eyes half shut. You must dance for me that way. That is your Spanish self - your Andalusian blood.

I am sitting in your place right now and I have raised your glass to my lips. But I am tongue-tied. What you have read to me is swimming over me. Your language is still more overwhelming than mine. I am a child compared to you, because when the womb in you speaks, it enfolds everything - it is the darkness I adore. You were wrong to think I appreciate the literary value alone. That was my hypocrisy talking. I have not dared until now to say what I think. But I am plunging - you have opened the void for me - there is no holding back.

Without you realizing it, I have been living with you constantly. But I have been afraid to admit it - I thought it would terrify you. Today I had planned to bring you to my room and show you the water colors. But it seemed so sordid, leading you to my miserable hotel. No, I can't do that. You will lead me somewhere - to your shack as you call it. Lead me there so I may put my arms around you.

And, I lie Anais, when I tell you I do not want to worship you. Did you expect me to tell you these things? When I saw "Marius" , I was dreaming of you - you are like the boat going out to sea, and your sails are full spread, and the sunlight is playing all over you. And like Marius, I have joined the boat at the eleventh hour - I have jumped out the back window and raced to the wharf.

Still, I don't know how much I dare write to you in spite of your permission. I have a feeling I may be committing sacrilege, but then can't be. My instincts must be right. Nevertheless, I await hungrily some word from you. Yes, you have told me over and over again, in a hundred different ways, but I am slow, Anais, slow perhaps because it is such delicious torture. It is like waiting to see you rise from your throne.

And about Hugo - Anais, I can't think of Hugo. It is impossible to think of him and of you. Please don't lie to yourself now. Not before me!

I may call you tomorrow and let you know that this is waiting for you. I would call you immediately, only that Hugo will be there.

There is a telephone at my hotel, but I don't know the number, and I'm afraid it is not listed in the book. At any rate, if you should succeed at calling, the number of my room is 40.

Then I won't see you Sunday. That is hard, too. But it is better - you are right.



  1. Henry, you must learn to both worship and usurp. Rein it in and let it loose, create a lasso. Rope her rough and kiss her soft. Learn quickly.

  2. "Rope her rough and kiss her soft." [smiling] Oh, such a rare art, no?

    S, thank you for posting the odd tango (tangle?) that is Henry and Anais.

  3. Elizavetta, I've read every book of each of them. Nothing they've written compares to the intense dialogue between them while they were at the height of their passion for each other. Some of the most beautiful language in the world is contained in their letters.

    Thank you for sharing the appreciation.

  4. S., Henry and Anais have a special place in my heart. I too am moved by their interactions. In particualy his raw passion. It is all at once beautiful and imperfect and at times even ugly. It stirs me to read his feelings for her. There is no lie here. It is passionate truth. And he has an uncontrollable hunger for her. To be desired this way is dreamy and painful. One feeds the other.

    And they will always remind me of my love. And always in a good way. xo

  5. Though I had wanted to learn more of Anais, it was Henry I fell in love with during my readings. I think passion has to, at times, contain a certain sort of ugliness in order for its purest and most absolute truth to be revealed. A flawed perspective, I'm sure, but one I continue to adhere to, and inevitably, will never change.

    This one is for you and yours...