Thursday, April 18, 2013

the last book I ever read (Jim Harrison's The River Swimmer, excerpt four)

from The River Swimmer: Novellas (The Land of Unlikeness) by Jim Harrison:

Turning in bed he could see Henry Miller’s To Paint Is to Love Again beneath a slender folder of Pascin. His daughter Sabrina had given him the book when she was twelve and feeling insufficiently loved. He liked Miller’s work very much but had never opened the book under the notion that he didn’t want to be disappointed with the man’s views on painting. He had seen a few of Miller’s aquarelles in the possession of a collector in L.A. and they were almost nice though the painter was trying something beyond his capabilities. These thoughts made him feel priggish. Miller had seemed quite happy in his last decade unlike most artists. He painted, played a lot of Ping-Pong, and was involved with younger women. This reminded Clive of Goethe who at seventy-three had gone into a depression because the eighteen-year-old girl next door wouldn’t marry him. This was an amusing presumption by a mountainous ego.

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