As is usual with Miller, these pieces cannot be tagged with the label of any given literary category. The unforgettable portrait of Max, the Paris drifter, and the probably-autobiographical Tailor Shop, are basically short stories, but even here the irrepressible vitality of Miller's personality keeps breaking into the narrative. And in the critical and philosophical essays, the prose poems and surrealist fantasies, the travel sketches and scenarios, Miller's passion for fiction, for telling the endless story of his extraordinary life, cannot be held down. Life, as no other modern author has lived it or can write it, bursts from these pages--the life of the mind and the body; of people, places and things; of ideas and the imagination.
In his great triptych “The Millennium,” Bosch used oranges and other fruits to symbolize the delights of Paradise. Whence Henry Miller’s title for this, one of his most appealing books; first published in 1957, it tells the story of Miller’s life on the Big Sur, a section of the California coast where he lived for fifteen years.
Big Sur is the portrait of a place—one of the most colorful in the United States—and of the extraordinary people Miller knew there: writers (and writers who did not write), mystics seeking truth in meditation (and the not-so-saintly looking for sex-cults or celebrity), sophisticated children and adult innocents; geniuses, cranks and the unclassifiable, like Conrad Moricand, the “Devil in Paradise” who is one of Miller’s greatest character studies.
Henry Miller writes with a buoyancy and brimming energy that are infectious. He has a fine touch for comedy. But this is also a serious book—the testament of a free spirit who has broken through the restraints and clichés of modern life to find within himself his own kind of paradise.
"When Miller the raconteur is on his own . . . he is incomparable, doing his best, in ribald fashion, to laugh the Victorian Age to extinction." -The New Yorker
"Plexus is the core volume in The Rosy Crucifixion: the volume which has the most complete description of Henry Miller's basic values, beliefs, opinions, judgments, both at the time of his 'Crucifixion' and at the later time when the trilogy was written. Plexus is simply the most marvelous volume of emotion and ideas and visions and nightmares about man and society in the twentieth century-with art as the link perhaps, or as the soul's refuge-that I have read in many a long year. There is absolutely no subject in the world that Henry Miller does not seem to know about, want to talk about, and to evaluate with the deep authority of wisdom. He is probably the most learned of all our American writers, the most open to ideas and feelings, and yes, the most worshipful of all the aspects of life, as well as the most critical literary spokesman of our time." -Maxwell Geismar
"At times uproariously funny . . . may be Miller's masterpiece." -Choice
As is usual with Miller, these pieces cannot be tagged with the label of any given literary category. The unforgettable portrait of Max, the Paris drifter, and the probably-autobiographical Tailor Shop, are basically short stories, but even here the irrepressible vitality of Miller’s personality keeps breaking into the narrative. And in the critical and philosophical essays, the prose poems and surrealist fantasies, the travel sketches and scenarios, Miller’s passion for fiction, for telling the endless story of his extraordinary life, cannot be held down. Life, as no other modern author has lived it or can write it, bursts from these pages—the life of the mind and the body; of people, places and things; of ideas and the imagination.
In this selection of stories and essays, Henry Miller elucidates, revels, and soars, showing his command over a wide range of moods, styles, and subject matters. Writing “from the heart,” always with a refreshing lack of reticence, Miller involves the reader directly in his thoughts and feelings. “His real aim,” Karl Shapiro has written, “is to find the living core of our world whenever it survives and in whatever manifestation, in art, in literature, in human behavior itself. It is then that he sings, praises, and shouts at the top of his lungs with the uncontainable hilarity he is famous for.”
Here are some of Henry Miller’s best-known writings: an essay on the photographer Brassai; “Reflections on Writing,” in which Miller examines his own position as a writer; “Seraphita” and “Balzac and His Double,” on the works of other writers; and “The Alcoholic Veteran,” “Creative Death,” “The Enormous Womb,” and “The Philosopher Who Philosophizes.”
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer) and Erica Jong (Fear of Flying) are true literary soul mates. Both authors have been, in equal measure, lauded for their creative genius and maligned for their frank treatment of human sexuality. So who better than Erica Jong to offer an expert appraisal and appreciation of Henry Miller, the man and his art?
At once a critical study, a biography, a memoir of a remarkable friendship, and a celebration of the life and work of the author whom Erica Jong compares to Whitman, The Devil at Large explores the peaks and valleys of Miller’s storied writing career. It examines his tumultuous relationships—including his doomed marriage to June Mansfield and his lifelong tenuous bond with his mother—and confirms his standing as a creative genius.
Jong, a renowned feminist, courageously answers critics who accuse her subject of degrading women in his fiction, suggesting instead that he sought to demystify them by means of the “violent verbal magic of his books.” With grace, wit, warmth, and intelligence, Jong brings readers close to the man and his writing. There has never been a more incisive and insightful analysis of this exceptional American master.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Erica Jong including rare photos and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection.