Dear, Dear Brenda: The Love Letters of Henry Miller to Brenda Venus Hardcover – Jan 1986
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From Publishers Weekly
Bedridden and in his late 80s, Miller wrote more than 1500 letters to a young actress-dancer who was the last great love of his life. The letters here selected, interspersed with commentary by Venus and each virtually complete, are remarkable for their clarity, cheerfulness and passiona passion often expressed with Milleresque uninhibitednessand interesting for their views on writers, painters, sex and spirituality (the last two considered by Miller to be inseparable). As the final blaze-up of a powerful romantic spirit, the letters make a touching love story; and as Durrell points out in his crisp preface, we should be grateful to Venus for the tact and generosity that allowed Miller to spend his last days in a "marvelous euphoria of loving attachment." 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo. January 22
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In his eighties (from 1976 to 1980), Miller almost daily wrote love letters to actress Brenda Venusmissives overflowing with memories and hopes, crackling with erudition, exploding with explicit sex. As friend Lawrence Durrell prefaces: "He does not exaggerate when he says she is literally keeping him alive; indeed her generosity and tact allowed him to end his days in a marvelous euphoria of loving attachment." Miller's intelligence, sensuality, humanity, and love reverberate throughout this correspondence, in spite of his then being critically ill and almost blind. These letters, written while he was dying, exhibit his remarkable creative capacities that for too long went unrecognized. Glenn O. Carey, English Dept., Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
While Mr. Miller always had some interesting things to say, has it really been worth reading his sexual fantasies with her even while he and she were not a couple that engaged in sex beyond touches and kisses which she seems to really not want? It makes me embarrassed for him.
I don't blame her for printing the letters. He is after all a famous writer and people will want to see them -- but if I had been him I think I would have asked her never to share the sexual fantasies he had with her whilst their actual physical relationship was pretty well non-existent. It is just not a pleasant picture to have of him (or even her) to me. Maybe it's just my prejudice that I would have liked it so VERY much better if she had just been honest with him that she didn't really want to hear that part. Then again, maybe it was a big ego boost for her, but that doesn't paint a very good picture of her. [That said, maybe she is just a very different bird than me and actually really felt she was doing someone a favor by encouraging to write "anything you want." It is not for me to judge -- I am only reporting how reading this made ME feel!]
I feel embarrassed reading this as if I walked in on someone when they were in a strange and awkward position in the bathroom. It happens, but really do I want that page after page? No. Not this reader.
I just want to add that I have no problem reading erotic works, and have enjoyed some of his steamier writings, but due to the situation between these two it made it impossible for me to read it as if it were even vaguely erotic. Instead, it just made me feel very sad.