Saturday, February 28, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015

Art and Brain Pickings : From The Archives Anais's Birthday Week Continues




Happy Birthday, Anaïs Nin: The Famous Diarist on        Love and Life, Illustrated

                                                            


This is an amazing blog that those who still wish to celebrate Anais Nin's birthday week should visit this posting celebrating Anais's 112th birthday. And check out the art pickings on Brain Pickings!




San-Francisco-based illustrator Lisa Congdon

Or follow Maria Popova @brainpicker







Saturday, February 21, 2015

Happy Birthday Anais! West Hollywood Celebration March 28



Today Anais Nin would be 112. It is difficult to believe that it was seven years ago that Steven Reigns produced the wildly successful and sold out  Anais@105 celebration at the Carl Hammer Gallery at UCLA.

This month, Reigns has organized another celebration in her honor. Entitled Anais Nin: The Women She Influenced. The event, will be held March 28, 2015 at 2:00 pm at The West Hollywood Library Council Chambers. Female writers will read from their books and discuss their personal relationships with Anais Nin and her everlasting influence.. Sponsored by the City of West Hollywood's Woman History Month program, speakers will include Barbara Kraft, Tristine Rainer, Valerie Harms and Sas Colby.
Council Chambers
West Hollywood Library
625 N. San Vicente Blvd
West Hollywood CA 90069
between Melrose Ave and Santa Monica Blvd
Library website with public transportation directions;


We would like to celebrate Anais's Birthday with a  portion of a poem of Steven Reigns from the book of poems entitled Divining Divas :100 Gay Poets on Their Muses by Michael Montlack.
The poem is entitled:


And so in a moment like this as I shake hands with the salesman, haggle on price, I don't know what to do. I've modeled my life on her words, her account of what happened, how she handled herself. Would she have smiled at the salesman?......

a beautiful poem...(buy the book to read it in entirety!) the last lines are the reason why Reigns has created such wonderful events for his Muse.

After her death there was no car to bequeath, no children to divide belongs, but their were Anais 's words
the daily diary writing where she road-mapped her life for me to travel. 




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Barbara Kraft: Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller Revisited Santa Monica Library Wednesday October 29, 7:00 pm


Santa Monica, California – Santa Monica Public Library presents Barbara Kraft: Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller Revisited on Wednesday, October 29, at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library’s MLK, Jr. Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard.


Barbara Kraft, author of Anaïs Nin: The Last Days, discusses the lives and relationship of Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin.  A friend to both writers, Kraft is uniquely positioned to talk about the authors’ lives and art.  Anaïs Nin, noted for her diaries and erotica, was at the height of her fame when she took on Barbara Kraft as a writing student.  Quickly, the two became intimate friends at the moment when both would encounter tragedy: Nin’s terminal cancer and Kraft’s impending difficult divorce.  The circumstances created an environment of interdependency. Nin, despite her failing health, supported Kraft’s writing and life decisions, and Kraft became a devoted and untiring part of Nin’s support system during her last two years of life.  A book sale and signing will follow the program.
This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and on a first arrival basis.  The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible.  For special disabled services, call Library Administration at (310) 458-8606 at least one week prior to event.  For more information, visit
smpl.org or contact the Santa Monica Public Library at (310) 458-8600.


 Visit the  Barbara Kraft: Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller Revisited Event Page on Facebook.

Monday, October 13, 2014

No Such Thing As A Free Lunch: "Lunch Break Book" about June Miller

Steven Reigns let us know about this "Lunch Break Book" available on the Kindle at Amazon

June Miller was the wife of the controversial American author Henry Miller. Notorious for explicit depictions of sex, Miller used graphic language to describe sexual feelings, sexual encounters, sexual organs, etc. His books were banned as pornography in the U.S. until 1961. June Miller was the great love of Miller’s life, his inspiration from the moment they met in a New York City dance hall, and a character in many of his works. She convinced him to quit his job and become a writer, and she supported him financially for years by waitressing and cadging money from admirers—although Miller suspected she was prostituting herself. 

This book discusses June as Henry Miller's muse, answers questions about "Who was June Miller?," discusses June's life with Henry, explores June's life after Henry, and details the discovery by author Tamworth Grice, a lifetime Henry Miller fan, of June Miller's grave in a small rural cemetery in Northern Arizona. 

This Lunch Break Book is short enough to be read in 1 or 2 lunch breaks. Now instead of just wasting time, you can spend a pleasant lunch break learning something new, with Lunch Break
Books! (above book description taken from the amazon site)

Read the sample by going to this Amazon link and clicking Look Inside

And check out a really interesting blog on Henry Miller called
Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company: A Henry Miller Blog
the post about June Miller can be found here


Where else can one find a lunch for under three dollars? ($2.99)

To read more about the author Tamworth Grice, follow her blog at:Tamworth Grice Welcomes You.



Friday, June 27, 2014

I Pursue Her Still: Bern Porter on Anais Nin


Bern Porter’s Wild Sexual Life with Anais Nin or Wild Imaginings?
by Steven Reigns, www.stevenreigns.com


In the late 1990s, Bern Porter, a physicist turned avant-garde publisher in the 1940s, did a series of interviews that became books published by Roger Jackson. These staple-bound, premium paper stock, ink-illustrated editions were formatted in a Q&A style conducted by one Natasha Bernstein, a presumed pseudonym for Sheila Holtz, who was Porter’s live-in companion. In these “interviews,” Porter tells fantastic tales of Nin’s sex life with him and with others.
The first in this series, My Affair with Anaïs Nin, starts off with Porter meeting Nin in the fall of 1935 at an open house conducted by Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. He states how Nin made passes at three men and a female, all of whom declined her advances. Porter writes that Nin then sat next to him, drinking tea with one hand while the other hand, under the table, had “a full grip on my penis…very hard and very big.” This scene ends with Porter and Nin getting up to leave the party. According to Porter, Toklas had been watching the scene under the table and “made beckoning signs to me.” As he says goodbye to Toklas, she opens the front of her dress, unzips his trousers, and rubs him between her legs until he ejaculates on her. Nin and Porter then walk a couple of blocks quietly, because Nin “knew what she wanted… It wasn’t necessary to talk,” to a bar with an “hour room.” Porter goes into great detail about the sex he had with Nin, her washing his penis, and her overgrown mass of public hair. Most serious Nin readers would see this story as suspect at best, but those familiar only with the public reputation evoked by her name may find it fitting. What is the reality?
Gertrude Stein was known to be jealous. Would she have let such a scene transpire between Porter and Toklas? Linda Simon, Toklas’s biographer, states, “I have no evidence that Alice had sexual relationships during the time she lived with Stein, or ever with a man” (personal communication). Anaïs’s very presence at the open house is suspect. Looking through the original diaries housed at UCLA, there is no mention of the event in the journals numbered 36, 48, and 49. These journals were searched for falls of 1936, 1935, and 1937. Nin chronicled almost all activities, and it seems nearly impossible that she would not have mentioned attending one of the well-known Stein and Toklas gatherings. One suspects she would have at least mentioned Bern Porter, but his name is absent.
Even the time of this particular story comes into question. According to Porter, the open house started at 4:00 PM. Porter claimed he walked with Nin to the bar at about “quarter after five,” and later states that “She’d been playing with my penis for the better part of an hour” under the table. This means that Nin’s unwanted advances with the three men and one woman all took place within fifteen minutes before she sidled up to Porter. The chronology doesn’t add up.
The second section of this book consists of Porter recounting a meeting with Nin in New York in the winter of 1937. Once again, there is no record of this in the original unpublished diary, numbered 49. He mentions her printing press and the living situation with Hugo. The rest is details about having vaginal and anal sex with Nin.
The series of books in which Porter recounts his “affair” range from Nin orally servicing a line of 40 gay men after a reading in a private home in San Francisco to Rupert arranging lesbian orgies at their house in Silver Lake.
Margo Schevill, widower of Porter biographer James Schevill, believes “Porter did exaggerate details and embellished the truth” (personal communication). Margot Duxler, author of Seduction: A Portrait of Anaïs Nin, said, “[It] made me laugh. It certainly wasn’t the Anaïs I knew. Nor the Rupert I knew!” (personal communication). Tristine Rainer, once a confidant of Nin and now working on a memoir of their friendship, says, “I think the story about Anaïs servicing all those guys sounds spurious; she was too much of a romantic for it to ring true” (personal communication). Duxler confirms, “Anaïs may have used her sexuality as a means to connect with others but connection was the main dynamic…orgies just don’t sound like her at all” (personal communication).



One has to question why Bern Porter would bother to tell such stories. One theory could be that the validity of Nin’s diaries were being questioned at the time of the interview. Maybe Porter saw the unreliability of Nin’s diary narration as an opportunity to spin his outrageous tales. There is no evidence Nin and Porter ever actually had sex. To determine this definitively would require a detailed page-by-page reading of the original diaries. Given the numerous accounts of affairs, one can’t help but think not all the sexual encounters Porter clams to have had with Nin could be fabricated. In the book Questions about Henry Miller No One Ever Asked Me—With Answers, Porter is directly asked about having a sexual relationship with Nin. He only recounts one incident at the printing press. Maybe this was true, but why the fisherman’s tales? Porter, lonely and living in Belfast, Maine, could have wanted to enhance his reputation and desirability to other women by sharing stories about his sexual connection to Nin. Margo Schevill states, “Women found Porter charming.” Physically speaking, he was not very fit or conventionally attractive. By his own account, he was well endowed and sexually skilled. In the first book, we are given a glimpse of the relationship between Porter and the interviewer, “Natasha Bernstein,” after she responds to Porter’s claim that he penetrated Nin anally. “Don’t say ‘mm hmm!’… You see,…it’s clear that whatever I did to Anaïs I have done to you.” The interviewer could have omitted this, and yet it was left in, a moment when even she is aligning herself with Nin’s sexual linage. In an introduction to another book in the series, she states Porter and she are no longer in a romantic relationship.
In the only biography on Porter, Where To Go, What To Do, When You Are Bern Porter, by James Schevill, Porter talks of always being in love with Anaïs Nin but does not mention anything about a sexual relationship with her. Schevill records Nin’s inscriptions written to Porter in her books: “I am learning from your books now” to “With admiration for the way you fuse science and literature” and “Your dual activities, poetry and science are the future synthesis.” These could be seen as evidence of closeness, although in the UCLA special collection is an undated letter on Bern Porter’s stationery giving an address in Alabama. He writes, “Not sure if you still provide autographed copies of your books now direct from you. If so, I’ll buy if autographed to me personally.” He then lists the new titles he’d like.
Porter, though once a scientist by trade, had an interesting concept of the female anatomy and seemed a bit fixated on Anaïs’s in particular.
In a letter postmarked August 29, 1990 to Henry Miller biographer Mary Dearborn, Porter writes that Nin had “an examination by a Russian doctor early—that her anatomy would never allow pregnancy or pills, diaphragms, salves never needed. Resulting in an incredible sex life—4-6 lovers a week at some periods male and female.”
Porter states in The Silver Lake book that Nin had her first orgasm with him. This is a claim that Rupert Pole, Nin’s second husband, once made. Perhaps this was a line Nin had given to more than one lover. Porter states e.e. cummings had sex with Nin and was concerned about her inability to orgasm.
In A Sex Oriented Woman, Porter claims that “Three separate medical authorities stated from the evidence men penetrated Nin from 12 to 16 and as many as 20 times a week for a period of 3-8 months.” One questions how an authority would make such a determination, and if so, why they would release medical records to Bern Porter. In this volume he states Nin never had a natural orgasm, a direct contradiction to his earlier statement in the Silver Lake book. This isn’t the only alarming contradiction, since he also states that “I was not in Paris in the 1930s,” though he “visited later.” The basis of the first book is on his meeting Nin at Stein’s and Toklas’s house in 1935.
In Part IV, the book describing the Silver Lake days, Porter conveniently states how he cannot recall the names of the people he knew attending the parties at Nin’s house. He also mentions that Nin stated, “We will not be going into my bedroom…” This is curious since the floor plan of the house is open and the bed is visible from the kitchen table. The only thing separating it is a folding partition that was usually kept open.
These editions were published by Roger Jackson of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Jackson’s primary interest was in Henry Miller, and he respected Porter’s “publishing and promoting Henry Miller with small, unique editions.” This led to the publication of the interview series and other volumes written by Porter ranging in topics such as food, O.J. Simpson, and Monica Lewinski. Even at the time of publication, Jackson had doubts about the validity of Porter’s stories, but he had also questioned the veracity of both Nin and Miller. Jackson told me that “[Porter] wrote what he wanted, I printed it as received” (personal communication). He published the interviews as a series over a two-year period, publishing them as they came in and does not know why Sheila Holtz used a pseudonym. Though inside each book is a listed number of copies printed of each edition, Jackson states that was the maximum number he’d print, but he never reached that number. “There were never more than 100 copies actually printed/published of the Affair with Nin books and as a result my books are rarer than one would expect reading the colophons” (personal communication). These books were sold to collectors and a few universities. He does not have plans to publish them in a single volume.
As one ages, memory recall, always a slippery element, becomes less reliable. Details become vague. Sometimes with memory, stories are exaggerated to produce interesting “facts.” Repeated retelling sometimes causes the spinner to believe their own tales. Natasha Bernstein writes in the introduction of My Affair with Anaïs Nin: San Francisco Days that although Nin is “the luminary in this relationship…it is really Bern who surfaces as the personality—or—personage—in these chronicles.” This is one fact we can be sure of.



Works cited

Porter, Bern. I Pursue Her Still: Bern Porter on Anaïs Nin. Ann Arbor: Roger Jackson (1997).
Porter, Bern, and Bernstein, Natasha. My Affair with Anaïs Nin (Part I: Paris-New York Days). Ann Arbor: Roger Jackson (1996).
----. My Affair with Anaïs Nin (Part II: San Francisco Days). Ann Arbor: Roger Jackson (1997).
----. My Affair with Anaïs Nin (Part III: Berkley Days). Ann Arbor: Roger Jackson (1997).
----. My Affair with Anaïs Nin (Part IV: Silver Lake Days). Ann Arbor: Roger Jackson (1998).
----A Sex Oriented, Woman Connected Guy Doing His Own Thing:
Bern Porter on Henry Miller, a Manuscript Sampler. Ann Arbor: Roger Jackson (1996).


 http://www.artsjournal.com/artopia/porter.jpg















This article was originally published in A Café in Space titled Bern Porter’s “Affair” With Anaïs Nin Fact or fancy?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Eric Lloyd Wright Retrospective May 17, 2014



Eric Lloyd Wright , Frank Lloyd Wright's grandson was also Anais Nin's brother in law. Rupert Pole's mother married his father Lloyd Wright  after his parents divorce. Rupert's half brother, Eric Lloyd Wright designed Nin's "House of Light" in Silver Lake.

Thanks to Suzanne Graeber for sending on this information. Apologies for the slap dash cut and paste of this post. We thought it more important to get the information out since the show will be up for just a week.

Stop by the opening tomorrow:

3939 Cross Creek Rd., #D130, Malibu, CA. MLY Gallery Malibu Lumber Yard - in case U can't see the flyer above.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eric Lloyd Wright is an American architect and the grandson of the famed Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright was born in Los Angeles on November 9, 1929 to Helen Taggart and Lloyd Wright(Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.), a landscape architect and architect who was the eldest son of Frank Lloyd Wright Sr. Educated at the University of California, Los Angeles, Eric worked in his grandfather's (1948-1956) and father's (1956-1978) firm as an apprentice before establishing his own firm, Eric Lloyd Wright Architects and Planners, in 1978.