Sunday, December 13, 2009


OK, this is weird and a little strained, but bear with me.

The diarist and author Anaïs Nin was married to a French banker, Hugh Guiler. She also had several lovers, including (but not limited to - not by any means!) Henry Miller, Edmund Wilson, James Agee, Gore Vidal and Antonin Artaud. Who he? The name was vaguely familiar. Artaud was an avant-garde French actor who played the treacherous priest in The Passion Of Joan Of Arc, one of my favorite flicks, that I blogged about here.

Antonin Artaud and Maria Falconetti in The Passion Of Joan Of Arc.

Looks a bit like Ah-nold, Der Governator.

Anaïs Nin was also a bigamist, having married her second husband without divorcing her first. Her second hubby, Rupert Pole by name, was a California forest ranger (!) and sometime actor. She commuted between husband No. 1, who lived in New York City, and husband No. 2 in California. She told Guiler that she needed to take a "rest cure", and she would head west for six months and live with Pole; then she told him that she had a writing assignment in New York and would spend six months there with Guiler. Neither man seems to have been aware of the other until after Nin's death in 1977.

Rupert Pole died in 2006. His main claim to fame is that he arranged to have Nin's unexpurgated diaries published. Pole's obituary in the New York Times contains this howler:

... Mr. Pole is survived by his companion, Kazuko Sugisaki, a translator of many of Nin’s works into Japanese. His fellow husband, Mr. Guiler, with whom Mr. Pole became cordial after Nin’s death, died in 1985.

"Fellow husband?!" I like that! I bet the obituary writer had to consult the society columnist about how to refer to the decedent's bigamous wife's other husband. Simple! "Fellow husband!" (I would have chosen "co-polyandrist", meself.) Although I think it is interesting that the men "became cordial" after her death. Love is strange, isn't it? Strangest of all is that Nin had an intense sexual relationship with her father when she was 30 and he was 54.

The movie Henry And June covers this time period in Paris. Anaïs Nin was played by the actress Maria de Madeiros.

Anaïs Nin

Maria de Madeiros in Henry & June.

Nice bit of casting. Maria de Madeiros also played Fabienne in Pulp Fiction.

Bruce Willis and Maria de Madeiros in Pulp Fiction.

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