Aug 29, 2009


This time a matter common to creative, artistic people comes to my mind: the Question of the Muse. The ideas rolling around in the world about Muses are often too romantic and unrealistic. They are imagined as some sort of perfect, beautiful creatures treasured for the loving inspiration they are capable of evoquing. Through the ages a lot of people had aspired to become a Muse, but they hardly really understand what being a Muse entails.

A Muse is not necessarily a person, but it can be an object, a place, and era, and it's not necessarily perfect or beautiful. A muse doesn't need to inspire love or be admired, only to sparkle up an idea for a story, a painting, a sculpture, a musical composition... The misinterpretation comes often from the popular literature filled with romantic "thought" and propaganda. Artists in love, or even artists eager to please someone, who worked around the apraising of the Muse, in an attempt to heighten their image, making it often into something the very Muse is not. A Muse can be the sparkle, like a plateau from which the thoughts, the ideas of the artist take off, can be the mid flight, requiring the artist to make the begining of the idea and the end, or can be the end result. Can be a simple component in a much bigger scheme, or a particle. the Muse might not be the whole person, the whole place, the whole time, but just a fraction of it.

It is little known, but the Muse can be negative. Something or someone that ignites hate, sadness, indignation. A writer writing about some despicable person has a despicable Muse, but this is an idea many often don't get, because the idea of the Muse is the idea of perfection to acquire.

Realizing this sheds a different light to June Miller and her relationship with Anais Nin and Henry Miller. She did became their muse, just like she wanted to, but for Henry Miller, she became a negative Muse, a flesh can full of disgusting features, ill manners, ill behavior. In his novel, Tropic of Cancer, he depicted her as a hateful creature that lived to leech, to spread her disease on those around her. Nutting attitude, never ending lies and poisoned fooling around for money.

Anais on the other hand, infatuated, desperate to burry herself in the world of beauty and ethereal moves, elevated her far high into the depths of surrealistic castles, offering her a few paragraphs in her House of Incest. There the Muse took the form of a rocking, loving child, paying tribute to the hips of her beautiful Muse.

None of them satisfied June, who believed that being a Muse meant her lies to become a book that would make them true. And yet she was a muse, a fine muse for wonderful pieces of XXth century literature.

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