Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Still controversial …

… Men's Lib | by Elaine Blair | The New York Review of Books. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

We are so used to the first-person comic-oratorical (thanks in part to Miller himself) that it hardly needs explanation today, but no one had quite done it like that in English before. He dares us to disbelieve him, knowing full well he has gotten at the truth without having taken the exact measure of anything at all. Measuring is for bureaucrats. “Even if my distortions and deformations be deliberate, they are not necessarily less near to the truth of things,” Miller wrote several years after completing the Tropics, in an essay called “Reflections on Writing.” “One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even though admittedly the most outrageous liar.”
I like some of Miller's fiction — Tropic of Capricorn and Black Spring. But I like his nonfiction better — The Colossus of Maroussi, which Van Wyck Brooks thought was Miller's best book, and The Books in My Life.

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