Henry Miller Memorial Library

Big Sur, California
"Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood."

This Saturday at the Henry Miller Library – a very special talk with Pearl Means, widow of the Native-American activist and writer Russell Means…

This Saturday at the Henry Miller Library – a very special talk with Pearl Means, widow of the Native-American activist and writer Russell Means…

Pearl Means copy

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“Miller did not understand Burroughs’ work, and Burroughs expressed little interest in Miller’s..” yet…there’s something there

burroughsAnd so today we direct you to this amazing article from RealityStudio comparing Burroughs and Miller and their respective legacies here.

Money quote: Miller and Burroughs did not forge a personal rapport. Miller did not understand Burroughs’ work, and Burroughs expressed little interest in Miller’s. But does this surface disconnect not conceal the greatest connections? You can only imagine what the two talked about in the middle of a sherry party at Edinburgh — likely nothing. But the work of the one speaks very strongly to the work of the other, and this conversation — probably the more important — is there for the hearing.

Here’s another:

In spite of their differences in outlook, Miller did not fail to recognize Burroughs’ genius. To Rosset he had spoken of Burroughs’ “ferocity” and “daring use of the language.” To Playboy he continued to temper his distaste for Burroughs’ subject matter with his admiration for Burroughs’ prose.

Burroughs, whom I recognize as a man of talent, great talent, can turn my stomach. It strikes me, however, that he’s faithful to the Emersonian idea of autobiography, that he’s concerned with putting down only what he has experienced and felt. He’s a literary man whose style is unliterary.

 

Read the whole thing!

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Two FREE events this weekend at the Library – Christian McEwan (Sat) and Big Sur Earth Day Fair (Sun)!

1504152_734013736643990_843257679_nTwo FREE events in Big Sur this weekend at the Henry Miller Library!

Saturday, April 12th at 7:30 pm. Acclaimed author Christian McEwan will talk about ways we can unlock our inner creativity in a chaotic world plus other valuable lessonsfrom her recent book, “World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down.” (Donations accepted)

Sunday, April 13th, from 1-5 pm – The annual Big Sur Earth Day fair! The day will feature games, music, permaculture, yummy food, kids activities, and education booths from local organizations. Join us for a quintessentially “local” afternoon – courtesy of Big Sur Advocates for a Free Environment whose mission is to educate local residents on ways to adopt a sustainable, environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

The Henry Miller Library is a non-profit art center located on Highway 1, in the heart of Big Sur, 25 miles south of Carmel. For more information call 831-667-2574 or go here.

See you soon!

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Sign up for the HML Digest: get “insider” goodies, exclusive content, and sleep soundly knowing you’re supporting the Library (for only $2/month!)

Support the HML for only $2 a month!

By signing up for the Henry Miller Library Digest, two things happen. One, for only $2 a month in recurring payments, you support the Library and all we do.

Two, you also get our monthly email Digest delivered to your inbox. In March, we selected 10 digest members who can reserve tickets for sold out HML shows! April’s digest is pretty cool too. It includes:

theo1. Discounted brand new “Totes” for Digest members!!!
2. Fleet Foxes in 2011: the show which best resembled attending a multi-colored mass in the woods in a translucent church. (Plus photos!!)
3. Rare shot of the Library under construction in the early 60s!
4. Meet “the very able” Michael Hoffman, who brought Miller to the European masses (and got him some money too…(?))
5. Ryan Adams *hearts* Theo the cat! – A love story (see photo)

AND MORE!

So what are you waiting for? Sign up now – get “insider” goodies, exclusive content, and sleep soundly knowing you’re supporting the Library, a 501 c 3 non-profit, which is a nice thing to do! Click here to sign up!

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The Henry Miller Library is proud to announce the launch of Big Sur Sound and Story, the Library’s new outdoor audio listening series!!

The Henry Miller Library is proud to announce the launch of Big Sur Sound and Story, the Library’s new outdoor audio listening series!!

Every Sunday in June, July, and August visitors will lay out on the Library lawn beneath redwood trees, under the stars, steps from the Pacific, and listen to the world’s most amazing stories as the sun sets.unnamed

Certain installments will be curated by some of the most acclaimed story-tellers in the English-speaking world, including The Truth, Unfictional, the Kitchen Sisters, Radiotopia, Wiretap, and more TBA!

It’s true: they’ve signed on to select their favorite audio pieces and in most cases they’ll make the trip to Big Sur and discuss their selections in person!

Other Sundays we’ll be playing stories selected by our own “listening committee.” In fact, we’re accepting submission as we speak, so if you have any friends with amazing stories to tell, tell them to submit them now here!

unnamed-2Can it get any better?  Yes it can!

At the end of the summer, our illustrious jury (which includes Bob Edwards of NPR) will select the three “best of the best” and the winning selections will be played at our gala finale!

So what can you do to support this amazing new program?

  • Like us on Facebook and tell your friends!!
  • Submit your story to us!  Click here for guidelines and instructions.

We’d like to think of Big Sur Sound and Story as our Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series mashed up with your favorite story-telling podcast: compelling and poignant narratives plus the majestic Big Sur vibe (minus the actual film.)

Click here to learn more!

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Meet “the very able” Michael Hoffman, who brought Miller to the European masses (and got the guy some money too)

Every Digest we like to talk about other individuals who flew within Miller’s orbit, be it Emil White or Anais Nin.

Today it’s Michael A. Hoffman, founder of the Agence Littéraire Hoffman, Paris.

The agency was founded in 1935 by Sankt-Petersburg born Michael A. Hoffman soon after his arrival from Berlin where his publishing activity had become impossible under the Nazi regime. Paris, then, as now the centre of literary life in France, enabled the young multilingual cosmopolitan Michael Hoffman to establish close contacts with authors like Erich Kästner, Ivan Bunin, Henry Miller, John Steinbeck and many more who followed.

The agency still handles worldwide rights in Henry Miller’s works.After the death of the founder of the agency in l971, his two sons Boris and Georges took over the leadership. Georges Hoffman runs the agency to this day.

51a9RRi79ML._SL500_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_In fact, Michael A. Hoffman is not only responsible for bringing Miller to many masses in Europe, but also in making Miller a pretty wealthy guy.

On page 57 of “Henry Miller and James Laughlin: Selected Letters,” Miller, in a letter dated June 5th, 1946, sent from Big Sur, tells James, he:

Had a long letter from…my agent in Paris, Dr. Hoffman, regarding my credits there. Seems they owe me considerably more than I thought, but, they add, how to get the money to me they do not know…

Incidentally, regarding the money due me from Paris — almost $40,000 at the present legal rate of exchange, and accumulating rapidly with all the new editions being put out — do you suppose that any banker would take up my credit and dole me out a decent sum of intervals over a period of two or three years?

An editor’s note from the book states: “Michael Hoffman, Miller’s very able literary agent in Paris, would end up handling all his foreign rights, representing New Directions in Europe, and becoming a good friend of all concerned.”

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Which HML show best resembled attending a multi-colored mass in the woods in a translucent church?

For those of us who’ve worked HML shows the past few years, each performance can be uniquely described in a simple sentence.

For example: Gillian Welch and David Rawlings? Most intimate and “living room”-y of the Library shows.

Al Jardine of the Beach Boys and Friends?  Most festive, celebratory, and, IMO, best of the Library shows.

Fleet Foxes?  The show which best resembled attending a multi-colored mass in the woods in a translucent church.

The fact is that everything lined up pretty well for the Fleet Foxes’ 2011 show.

They performed in September, which all but guaranteed immaculate weather. They came equipped with a stunning (but not excessive) lightning rig which radiated clean light as if the Library’s entire redwood grove was spit through a prism (didn’t do drugs at it, I swear.) And most importantly, their sound and the songs, naturally, was perfectly attuned to the aforementioned environment.

It also didn’t hurt that they performed with pitch perfect precision – the complex harmonies were spot-on as if the record itself were playing. How do they do that? (Answer: lots of practice. And talent.)

If you weren’t there, well, sorry about that, but perhaps these amazing photos from Terry Way can help dull the anguish.

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