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Summary Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer

American censorship standards ushering in a new era of freedom and frankness in modern literature permitted the publication of this first volume of Miller’s famed mixture of memoir and fiction which chronicles with unapologeti I am going to create a new goodreads bookshelf titled sausage party It will exist solely for Henry Miller

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C gusto the bawdy adventures of a young expatriate writer his friends and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s Tropic of Cancer is now considered as Norman Mailer said one of the ten or twenty great novels of our centu Considering I often found this virtually unreadable I m amazed I got to the end reading every word First published in 1934 when undoubtedly it would have been shocking with its relentless lexicon of crude language including every racial slur out there and its insistence on referring to just about every woman as a ct It s a book in which men relentlessly revel in degrading women Miller deploys an Emerson uote in his foreword the gist of which is that new novels ought to take the form of autobiography and record experience truthfully But if this is an unfiltered expose of the male psyche then the male psyche is one ugly place I actually didn t buy the honesty ticket at all A lot of the time it felt like Miller was posturing He failed to get his early novels published and his bitterness and anger seems at virtually all times his source material In fact I found it s only when he isn t feeding his bitterness and cynicism that his writing excels there were some beautiful descriptions of Paris and I especially loved his appraisal of Matisse The rest of the time it often felt like the work of a brilliant mind moored to the emotions of an adolescent boyI recently read one of Anais Nin s journals She was a good friend of Miller s and I found lots of similarities between the two of them first and foremost the posturing the desperation to be taken seriously as artists as if underneath they were riddled with insecurities Like Miller Nin could be brilliant when she came out from behind her pose but ultimately I can t help thinking they were both essentially poseurs But what do I know This made it into the Guardian s top 100 novels I can only imagine the majority of voters were men Marriage by Deception young expatriate writer his friends and the characters they meet in Paris in the 1930s Tropic of Cancer is now considered as Norman Mailer said one of the ten or twenty great novels of our centu Considering I often found this virtually unreadable I m amazed I got to the end reading every word First published in 1934 when undoubtedly it would have been shocking with its relentless lexicon of crude language including every racial slur out there and its insistence on referring to just about every woman as a ct It s a book in which men relentlessly revel in degrading women Miller deploys an Emerson uote in his foreword the gist of which is that new novels ought to take the form of autobiography and record experience truthfully But if this is an unfiltered expose of the male psyche then the male psyche is one ugly place I actually didn t buy the honesty ticket at all A lot of the time it felt like Miller was posturing He failed to get his early novels published and his bitterness and anger seems at virtually all times his source material In fact I found it s only when he isn t feeding his bitterness and cynicism that his writing excels there were some beautiful descriptions of Paris and I especially loved his appraisal of Matisse The rest of the time it often felt like the work of a brilliant mind moored to the emotions of an adolescent boyI recently read one of Anais Nin s journals She was a good friend of Miller s and I found lots of similarities between the two of them first and foremost the posturing the desperation to be taken seriously as artists as if underneath they were riddled with insecurities Like Miller Nin could be brilliant when she came out from behind her pose but ultimately I can t help thinking they were both essentially poseurs But what do I know This made it into the Guardian s top 100 novels I can only imagine the majority of voters were men

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Now hailed as an American classic Tropic of Cancer Henry Miller’s masterpiece was banned as obscene in this country for twenty seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934 Only a historic court ruling that changed This may be the greatest book ever written This opening passage proves it I have no money no resources no hopes I am the happiest man alive A year ago six months ago I thought I was an artist I no longer think about it I am Everything that was literature has fallen from me There are no books to be written thank God This then This is not a book This is libel slander defamation of character This is not a book in the ordinary sense of the word No this is a prolonged insult a gob of spit in the face of Art a kick in the pants to God Man Destiny Time Love Beauty what you will I am going to sing for you a little off key perhaps but I will sing I will sing while you croak I will dance over your dirty corpse To sing you must first open your mouth You must have a pair of lungs and a little knowledge of music It is not necessary to have an accordian or a guitar The essential thing is to want to sing This then is a song I am singing


10 thoughts on “Tropic of Cancer

  1. says:

    So I was glancing through some of the reviews here and noticed that someone has totally disparaged this book because its “hero” is immoral It always bewilders me when people judge a book according to the moral judgment that they pass on its characters Like when I was looking at the reviews of John Updike’s Run Rabb

  2. says:

    This may be the greatest book ever written This opening passage proves it I have no money no resources no hopes I am the happiest man alive A year ago six months ago I thought I was an artist I no longer think about it I am Everything that was literature has fallen from me There are no books to be written thank G

  3. says:

    I got through the first 150 pages before I decided that life is too short to waste time reading books you hate Maybe I'm not smart enough or deep enough to appreciate a book like Tropic of Cancer but for me each page was a tedious struggle The author of the book's introduction boldy asserts that Henry Miller is the great

  4. says:

    My fiction addictionHad lost all its frictionI needed raw meat but this new stuff was veggiePredictable safe and not bold tough and edgyI tho

  5. says:

    I am going to create a new goodreads bookshe

  6. says:

    I feel like I have been reading this for a thousand yearsAfter reading Anais Nin's The Delta of Venus some months ago Miller appeared on my radar It seemed only natural to follow up her collection with something of his given their well known relationship Plus Tropic of Cancer Miller's semi autobiographical memoir from his time in Paris was a banned book in the US after its publication in 1934 It wasn't until

  7. says:

    Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcentercom I am the original author of this essay as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally Sorry; the last paragraph today

  8. says:

    Considering I often found this virtually unreadable I'm amazed I got to the end reading every word First published in 1934 w

  9. says:

    Don't really have the enthusiasm to review this in depth so will be brief This was my second buddy read reading a chapter per week the fact Paris was the setting got the thumbs up from me before even turning a page and I have to admit I was at first dazzled by Miller's writing the whole bohemian lifestyle scene

  10. says:

    When I read this for the first time I thought the world was opening up and eating people I wanted to get drunk and go on a hooker spree to move to Paris and generally debauch for the rest of my 20'sThen I realized

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