Friday, January 27, 2012

Hmm ...

... Renegade — Henry Miller and the Making of ‘Tropic of Cancer.’ — By Frederick Turner — Book Review - (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

It grieves me to say it, but I think this is mostly crap. Henry/Val in the Tropics is not Henry Miller (Tropic of Capricorn, by the way, is a far better book than Tropic of Cancer). Bawdy humor seems to escape Winterson. The Miller in the books is a parody, a caricature. I reviewed a biography of him years ago. I foget the name of the book and the name of the author - a woman, and an admirably honest biographer. She admitted at the outset that she intended to do a job on Henry, but found out after meeting him that "Henry Miller was a very nice man." I believe hers is the book that relates how, when Miller learned that his wife Eve had died - and it had been a stormy marriage - he fell on his knees in his kitchen and just wept uncontrollably. As Somerset Maugham sagely observed, men are not of a piece. Blackguards can prove surprisingly sensitive at times, and genuine saints can often be mean and vicious.

1 comment:

  1. Further, Miller always maintained that he integrated the women he loved into his novels in ways far different than the women with whom he shared but a fleeting attraction.

    This dynamic is discussed at great length in his discussions with Brassai, especially in "Henry Miller: Happy Rock" (which is a beautiful book - in so many ways).