Sad to hear that Deirdre Bair, who wrote the first major biography of Samuel Beckett, has died at the age of 84. Her work continues to exert an influence on contemporary Beckett scholarship, to say nothing of its inspiration to modern practitioners and performers of his writing. She also wrote a biographies of Simone de Beauvoir, Anaïs NinCarl JungSaul Steinberg and Al Capone. Most recently, she was the author of Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir and Me – a Memoir. She will be sorely missed.

Neil Genzlinger has written an obituary for Bair in The New York Times.

From Callie Hitchcock (3:AM Magazine):

Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin

If Baudelaire thought of love as “the traditionally artistic attempt to escape boredom,” then Anaïs Nin waged a war of attrition. Nin’s effusive narrative, Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin 1939-1947, chronicles the vast annals of love and literature in the first 8 years Nin came to the United States after fleeing Paris and the encroaching WWII. This compilation of entries has been re-printed in 2013 after Nin’s second/simultaneous husband, Rupert Pole, commissioned them the year her first husband, Hugh Guiler died in 1985. However, Nin’s diary is not just a torrid, Don Juan-esque description of her sexual exploits. She also probes deeply into concepts like love and happiness with the spasmodic élan of a woman on fire. She is a neurotic, a visionary, and a ravenous epicurean of the known world. [Read More]