Henry Miller Memorial Library

Big Sur, California
Develop an interest in life as you see it; the people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.

Orwell and Miller: That’s what friends are for (until they aren’t friends anymore.)

As you may know, there was no greater champion of Miller’s work – early on – than George Orwell. The two even became friends yet sadly drifted apart.
Literature. Personalities. pic: circa 1940's. British author George Orwell, (1903-1950) among his many books were "Ninteen Eighty Four" and Animal Farm".
Here’s a great piece on the complex relationship of two very different – yet eerily similar – men of ideas…

“Both men were dropouts from mainstream backgrounds. After Eton and five years with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Orwell had submerged himself in the underclass, had shared the lives of the poor and then surfaced to write Down and Out in London and Paris.

But his actions were a means to inspire change, not, like Miller’s, an end in themselves, private forays into degradation and anarchy. The profoundly unpolitical Miller had no desire to change anything….Henry Miller, 1962

Whole thing here!

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The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series Announces the Winners of its 2014 Summer Series

The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series Announces the Winners of its 2014 Summer Series

Jury selects “Zela Trovke” by Asier Altuna First Place Winner; 2014 Audience Award goes to “Helium” by Anders Walter
SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 (BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA) – The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series announces the winners of its 2014 summer series, as selected by its 7-person jury.  Zela Trovke (Spain/Netherlands) by Asier Altuna came in first place, followed by Helium (Denmark) by Anders Walter in second place. Third place went to Baghdad Messi (UAE/Belgium) by Sahim Omar Kalifa. The 2014 Audience Award went to Helium by Anders Walter.
The Big Sur International Short Film Screen Series Jury consists of composer Philip Glass, musician and artist Laurie Anderson, actress Kirsten Dunst, Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, producer/film director Michael Polish, film editor Susan Littenberg, and film producer Lawrence Inglee.
Recognized as one of the most exciting and innovative short film series in the world, the Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series’ 2014 installment — its ninth since its inception in 2005 — was its most successful to date, receiving over 1,000 submissions from over 80 countries. The Screening Series has no submission fees or restrictions on content or genre.
The Series’ screening committee whittled down the 1,000-plus submissions to 54 films, which were screened across the summer. Every Thursday night in June, July, and August, hundreds of visitors came to the Henry Miller Memorial Library — a 501 (c) non profit art center and the Series’ “parent” organization — to watch four of five of these films. A selection of ‘finalists’ were subsequently sent to the Series Jury who then selected the “best of the best.”


“It seems like we say it every year, but we were particularly blown away by the breadth, diversity, and consistent quality of this year’s selections,” said Series Director Magnus Toren. “You never really know what to expect. One program can include a surrealist comedy from Mexico followed by a heart-warming animated film from Norway followed by a searing documentary from Somalia. These were powerful films that spoke to the core elements of our humanity, films that transcended language and culture.”

“I’d like to thank every filmmaker who made a submission as well as our ever-thoughtful Jury for taking the time to view the extensive list of finalists. Next year will mark the Series’ 10th anniversary and we’re already excited for what should be a landmark year.”
The Series is now accepting submissions for its 2015 installment. To submit and for more information regarding the series, as well as previous selections and winners, visit bigsurfilm.org.
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This Friday – Big Sur Intl Short Film Screening Series Gala Finale REPRISE!!

By popular demand for those who missed it the first time!

We received over 1,000 films from over 100 countries this year. (Our ninth!) Friday we screen, for a second time, the BEST OF THE BEST as selected by our jury (which includes Kirsten Dunst, Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, etc.) Note: doors at 7.30 pm.


Big Sur Gala Finale Poster(1) copy 2

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Check out this great review of Godfrey Reggio’s VISITORS (Sept 25 at HML) in the Huffington Post!

visitorsposterMoney quote:

“…see “VISITORS,” because seeing it on less than the big screen and hearing it without digital surround sound might diminish its distinctive poetic voice.”


Let me declare that this is an art film of the first caliber and if you have appreciated Reggio’s “Qatsi” trilogy of heady, intellectual, super-fast, trippy visually-altered imagery (about 1,500 images between all 3 films), then be prepared for his quiet, slow, emotionally poignant “VISITORS.”"

LUCKY FOR YOU, we’ll be screening VISITORS and hold a Q&A with Godfrey and composer Philip Glass here at the Library on Sept.  Tickets here!

And read the HuffPost article here.

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Is Borges the 20th century’s best writer?

We appreciate good hyperbole when we see it.  So what do you think: Is Borges the 20th century’s best writer?

The BBC seems to think so.Borges

[Fun, yet applicable fact: In 1961, Borges was catapulted onto the world stage when international publishers awarded him the first Formentor Prize for outstanding literary achievement.

He shared the prize with Samuel Beckett (the other authors on the shortlist were Alejo Carpentier, Max Frisch and Henry Miller)]

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Who will be the next Big Sur Writing Workshop participant to land a publishing deal? Discuss.

Reason #25 to sign up for the Dec 5-7 @ Big Sur Writing Workshops for picture books, early reader, middle grade & YA fiction: you may land a publishing deal with our co-sponsor Andrea Brown Literary Agency, Inc.!!

keeper_cvr_final_lrIn fact, we’ve brokered countless of publishing deals across the past 18 years – check them out here.

For example: Shannon Messenger landed a six-figure deal at Simon and Schuster for “The Keeper of the Lost Cities” and is represented by ABLA agent, Laura Rennert.

Who will be the next success story??????

And click here for more workshop info and to sign up or just call 831-667-2574.

Oh, and do tell your friends! There’s nothing in the world like it!

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In this week’s installment of legendary Big Surian…the fabled Jaime de Angulo (aka the Old Coyote of Big Sur)

Does the name Jaime de Angulo ring a bell?

If not, do read on, because he’s one of Big Sur’s most colorful and fascinating characters.

In fact, the Library has published a book about his life, an autobiography called the “Old Coyote of Big Sur.” You can buy it here.

Here’s a great video with Heidi Hopkins and the Big Sur History at the DeAngulo Ranch to talking about Jaime’s life, how he made it to Big Sur, and reading excerpts from the book.

Big Sur Historical Society discusses Jaime de Angulo from carmen tedesco on Vimeo.

Jaime was born in 1887 to Spanish parents who first lived in Paris and then came to the US in 1905, when Jaime was 18. For the next decade he was either breaking horses in Colorado or sheepherding or going to medical school – he was a rambling Rennaissance man.

Eventually a stop in Stanford brought him to Carmel. In 1913, Jaime made it to Big Sur, and the rest, well….is history!

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