One of the better biographies of iconic writer, Henry Miller. I've always been a fan of Henry Miller--well, kind of a fan even though some of his work does come off a bit misogynistic. Miller sees the artist as reaching another plane of being that he calls inhuman. He then goes on to sum up his accomplishments as a writer during the decade that he has been living in Paris, emphasizing his debt to Anaïs Nin, who gave him both financial and emotional support as he wrote several of his major works. After his Grecian escapade, he returned to the United States in 1940; yet it would still be nearly four years of transient life around America before he settled in Big Sur. Miller appears in real rather than canonized form, impressive for his commitment to a rare aesthetic and philosophical vision but necessarily a source both of frustration and affection for his friends, lovers and readers. This is no easy task, given the mess that Miller made of his bibliography, publishing ephemera, republishing bits and pieces of works here and there.
Arthur Hoyle has expertly penetrated the Miller myth to analyze his prodigious body of work and the underpinnings of Miller's attitudes toward women, beginning with his ruinous mother. All of the major works mentioned in the letter to Cairns were published by Jack Kahane through his Obelisk Press. The correspondence exposes the desperate lengths to which Miller went to hold onto Renate. Thus Miller sets up the terms for his presentation of modern life: on the one hand, it is a time of desperation and sickness of soul. The stores are 35 miles away. Cairns advised Miller that in order to overcome the ban, he must build a reputation in America as an author of recognized literary merit, such as James Joyce and D. I have blended passages from Miller texts with letters he wrote and received to expose the intersection between his life and his art.
My book focuses on his years living in Big Sur, California, where he settled after his return from Europe in 1940 and wrote many of his most important books. The task which the artist implicitly sets himself is to overthrow existing values, to make of the chaos about him an order which is his own, to sow strife and ferment so that by the emotional release those who are dead may be restored to life. Toward the end of the book, there's a nice exploration of Miller's use of astrological and occult symbolism, which ties in to his essentially mystical understanding of human life and human history. And he had asked Osborn to obtain for him addresses of Carl Sandburg, Max Eastman, William Carlos Williams, Scott Fitzgerald, Edgar Lee Masters, Walter Winchell, and Al Jolson. This probably explains why the critic H. He shows Miller's ultimate goal was for the individual to turn inwards, understand himself, or herself, and use those transformative moments to get a clearer understanding of what their life was all about. And if you aren't very familiar with Miller's life and writings, Hoyle will make you want to rush to read him now.
He knew that one has to go through the body to find the soul. Above all, this is a smart biography. While researching for the book, Hoyle visited the Ransom Center, and he shares some of his findings below. Our list includes biographies on well-known historical figures like Benjamin Franklin, Nelson Mandela, and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as villains from history, such as Heinrich Himmler, John Wayne Gacy, and O. But to regard Miller merely as the author of largely censorable books whose achievement was to liberate our standards of what words are permissible to appear in print is to diminish him by turning him into a historical curiosity and to miss his true significance.
The latter inclination would sometimes as above cause him to appear disingenuous or defensive. I plan on reading some of Miller's books now that I've finished this biography, and a thank you goes out to Mr. And Hoyle's The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur is the perfect trailhead. Yet lesser writers, such as Kerouac, are anthologized. It also draws on material not available to previous biographers, including interviews with Lepska Warren, Miller's third wife, and revelations from unpublished portions of Anais Nin's diaries. For many commentators, the time of his relevance for American readers, the 1960s, has passed. Cairns, a literate man who counted among his friends H.
But today, while Whitman is a fixture in the literary pantheon, Miller is largely unknown, excluded from the academic canon, rarely taught in colleges and universities, remembered, if at all, as the author of banned books that broke through the American and British censorship barriers. His early writing took the form of long, humorous letters to friends, a practice he continued throughout his life. The Unknown Henry Miller recounts Miller's career from its beginnings in Paris in the 1930s but focuses on his years living in Big Sur, California, from 1944 to 1961, during which he wrote many of his most important books, including The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, married and divorced twice, raised two children, painted watercolors, and tried to live out an aesthetic and personal credo of self-realization. I am relatively new to Miller and this made me more intrigued to read the Greek travelogue , the modern American dystopic and the paradisiacal This was an excellent overview of 's life which concentrates on the years living in Big Sur, California 1944-1962. Miller appears in real rather than canonized form, impressive for his commitment to a rare aesthetic and philosophical vision but necessarily a source both of frustration and affection for his friends, lovers and readers.
In the novel, Miller expressed this through the sexual dysfunctionality of his characters. Miller is in genuine despair; his clownish mask has fallen away. He follows Miller to Greece, where Miller comes upon the idea of making one's life into a piece of art, and then his wanderjahrs in America before settling in Big Sur. Miller continually bumped up against censors--and it is a revelation I had not known that he was actually in sympathetic correspondence with one of the government's censorship lawyers, who tried to help Miller overcome the laws, at least to an extent. Skyhorse Publishing, along with our Arcade, Good Books, Sports Publishing, and Yucca imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs.
He has accepted an invitation to visit the Greek island of Corfu and stay with his friend, the English writer Lawrence Durrell and his wife, Nancy. He lives in Pacific Palisades, California. This language shows another side of Miller the writer—serious, reflective, direct. Although Miller never received the award, the exchanges above reveal a sometimes brazen concern for his reputation that manifested itself periodically nearly from the beginning of his career. The novel chronicles the picaresque adventures of the narrator Miller as he wanders the streets of Paris encountering an odd assortment of eccentric characters that he presents in a tone of affectionate contempt for their pathetic attempts at living.
Hoyle offers generous interpretations of Miller's work. The manuscript of Tropic of Cancer reached him through William Bradley, the preeminent agent for literary exiles living in Paris whose clients included Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and F. By the end of 1943, Miller was ready to settle somewhere and get to work on his magnum opus, The Rosy Crucifixion. But he was conflicted about leaving his own two teenage children behind in California. He puts Miller's alleged misogyny in the context of his satire of sexual mores in general, and makes the case for restoring this groundbreaking writer to his rightful place in the American literary canon. Hoyle is not always a great literary interpreter--he sometimes misses the hidden structures of Miller's books, and ends up comparing them to rivers, which seems inapt-but does nice summaries of the various works Miller wrote during this period and tying them into the overall themes that concern both Miller and Hoyle. The Unknown Henry Miller is at its most revealing when it weighs Miller's Whitman- and Thoreau-inspired philosophy against this vulnerability, and particularly his struggle to cope with the demands of domestic adult life.
Arthur Hoyle is another in long list of Miller fan's who want to revise his legacy as a writer of smut. During this period, Miller continued to struggle to make ends meet, with sales of his various books, such as The Air-Conditioned Nightmare 1945 , failing to sell well due to poor reviews. This despite the fact that Miller was one of the twentieth century's most prolific and provocative authors whose writing and literary example influenced many well-known writers who followed him, including Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Norman Mailer, Phillip Roth, Cormac McCarthy, Paul Theroux, and Erica Jong, not to mention such pop culture icons as Bob Dylan and the Beatles. There is no climbing back, no ray of light, no sound of human voice or touch of human hand. With the dawning of the Second World War, he was forced out of Paris and was invited by Lawrence Durrell, a lifelong friend, to visit Greece.