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Henry Miller & Anaïs Nin

When Anaïs Nin met Henry Miller in Paris, she was starting to liberate herself from her childhood sexual abuse and a strict, religious upbringing.  Miller was a bohemian artist, pouring his energies into a book that was designed to shock and appall the bourgeoisie. 

Their meeting inspired an explosion of writing.  Nin dove into a series of affairs she documented in her journal, and Miller wrote The Tropic of Cancer, celebrating the death of the cancerous modern world.  Miller encouraged Nin to find herself in affairs—with June and himself, with her cousin and her analyst, even with her father—while Nin diverted her allowance for a studio, books, and typewriter repairs for Miller.


For three years, Miller and Nin delighted in their irreverence, but when Miller found that Nin had lied to him about an affair, he said he was wrong to share her, and offered to make a monogamous marriage.  She never did join him, but their writing had broken the rules.  After Miller and Nin, art and literature became what we know them as now: the chaotic process, incomplete and interminable, that is always starting to reclaim the human world from industrial culture.

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