Friday, February 7, 2014

Literary sparring partners

I kept scrolling down to see Anais Nin and Henry Miller in Mental Floss's "10 tempestuous writerly romances," but no dice! However, they did have the usual suspects—the Fitzgeralds, Tolstoys, Arthur Miller/Marilyn Monroe, and Hemingway (see the features on onetime inamorata Martha Gellhorn at the bottom right of this blog page).
“Anaïs, 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, Anaïs. 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, Anaïs, 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, but it 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.”― Henry Miller, A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953
James Joyce and Nora (Barnacle) Joyce were known to have a bit of a row now and again as well!
Let us know if you think of any other sparring partners!
Don't forget to watch Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth, tonight on American Masters on PBS. It's the first film biography about the novelist, poet, essayist and activist, who turns 70 on Sunday. We're currently carrying the 2010 anthology The World Has Changed: Conversations with Alice Walker.

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