Friday, March 21, 2008

Sorry about the lack of posts lately- I've been on a writing streak at the American Library and haven't devoted much time to the blog. I also bought Season 2 and 3 of Lost, which hasn't helped.


I have been reading some Henry Miller these last few weeks- “Quiet Days in Clichey and “Tropic of Cancer”. Flipping through a biography about him yesterday I noticed that on his to do list he had written, “Steal good books from the American Library”. I showed it to the librarian at the American Library in a sad attempt to connect with her; she laughed but it did nothing to help my standing. Sometimes I read a celebrated author and can’t help but wonder what people see in him. Henry Miller is one of these authors. Granted I haven't read much and will continue but what I gather from these two books is the main subject matter seems to be a 40 something-year-old balding man writing about his sexual conquests in Paris. But if he's paying hookers, or not paying them, as is often the case, it is hardly a sexual conquest. I find the whole topic fairly depressing- it seems to be the subject matter for a 16 year-old boy's fantasies than that of a middle-aged man. I've heard Henry Miller described as Celine- but I'm not seeing it.

I acknowledge that I know only a small amount of his work but so far the only thing I learn from his writing is that if Henry Miller can get laid in Paris than pretty much anyone can.

12 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

I read few of his books when I was in college. After that, no! I think I will re-read him.

watered down

Anonymous said...

Miller had a way of connecting with people that brought him many friends and lovers. Your dismissal of him because of his age and appearance suggests you lack his humanistic qualities. I find his best works to still be fresh - filled with a love of living life that is very rare today.

DJB said...

Read the oranges the Hieronyous Bosch. That should change your mind about Miller.

kay said...

I'm on an extended visit to France and picked up Tropic of Cancer in a used bookstore to read while here. I love it! I love it because what in many other writers hands would be self-congratulatory spewing, in Miller's hands feels true. It's seedy but in a really authentic and beautiful and honestly written way. In other words, I believe it, and I sympathize with him. Moreover, rather than being about his sexual exploits, I find it more about his lack of exploits, about the depravity and destitution and lack of "success" he has found.
I find the writing surprising humble.

Sorry to spew on your blog; I've been waiting for someone to talk to about this book!

mndy said...

Ah, heck, just rent a copy of Henry and June if you're not fond of his writing.

Granny Smith said...

Is mine the only comment to say that I agree with you completely? Among the thousands (literally) of books that I have, his are among the ones that appeal to me least.

Lucy said...

wish I could comment about him, I've never read him. BUT... May I comment on how nuts I am over Lost? I also bought the seasons to catch up with the craze and Could not stop till I finished season 3! Debated on waiting for season 4 on dvd, but couldn't resist beginning it. No matter how much they share, MOre becomes mysterious! Love it!

Devil Mood said...

I have the same impression about Henry Miller. A friend of mine was a huge fan and really recommended it to me but I browse through the pages and don't even have the urge to start.
Funny conclusion you gathered there ;)

Cricket's Hearth said...

I have not had the "pleasure" of reading any of his books. But I am still laughing at your final comment! Great post.

tumblewords said...

It seems to me that his work was much revered at a time when titillation was new to print and image. Now... Well, I may have to re-read. But, maybe not. I'll bet Paris has changed since I was there, too! Good post.

OneMoreBeliever said...

oh geez, sorry haven't read miller in ages... and dont remember much... tho marilyn did marry him.. wasn't there something redeeming in that... now abt lost i've got this love/hate thing going on with that program... will it never end...

amy said...

If I met Henry Miller, I'd ask him for a blow job and then piss in his mouth.