Henry Miller

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Miller, Henry,

1891–1980, American author, b. New York City. Miller sought to reestablish the freedom to live without the conventional restraints of civilization. His books are potpourris of sexual description, quasiphilosophical speculation, reflection on literature and society, surrealistic imaginings, and autobiographical incident. After living in Paris in the 1930s, he returned to the United States and settled in Big Sur, Calif. Miller's first two works, Tropic of Cancer (Paris, 1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (Paris, 1939), were denied publication in the United States because of alleged obscenity until a landmark legal decision (1961) overturned the ban. The Colossus of Maroussi (1941), a travel book of modern Greece, is considered by some critics his best work. His other writings include the Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy—Sexus (1949), Plexus (1953), and Nexus (1960).


See his selected writings in N. Mailer, ed., Genius and Lust (1976); his autobiography, My Life and Times (1972); memoir by K. Winslow (1986); biographies by J. Miller (1978) and R. Ferguson (1991); W. A. Gordon, The Mind and Art of Henry Miller (1967), E. B. Mitchell, ed., Henry Miller (1971), N. Mailer, Black Messiah (1981), F. Turner, ed. Into the Heart of Life: Henry Miller at One Hundred (1991) and as author Renegade: Henry Miller and the Making of "Tropic of Cancer" (2011).

Miller, Henry (Valentine)

(1891–1980) writer; born in New York City. Of German-American parentage (young Henry mainly spoke German until he began school), he briefly attended City College of New York (1909), then worked at a variety of jobs, including Western Union (1920–24). He had married in 1917 (and had a daughter in 1919) but was divorced in 1924, immediately marrying his second wife, June Smith, a dancer. He had long aspired to be a writer and had begun to publish book reviews by 1919, but it was 1922 before he commenced writing a novel (never published). Quitting his job in 1924, he turned to anything to support himself as a writer—selling poems door-to-door, managing a speakeasy in Greenwich Village—and then in 1928 went off to Europe hoping to find a publisher. He returned to New York, wrote a third novel (never published), and, his marriage failing, went to Paris in 1930 where he would live famously for the entire decade. Subsisting largely on handouts and some journalism, he became involved with Anaïs Nin, who helped him publish (in Paris) his first major work, Tropic of Cancer (1934), heavily autobiographical and so sexually explicit that it was banned in English-speaking countries. (The first American edition did not come out until 1961.) Subsequent books such as Black Spring (1936) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939) were also banned. As World War II began, he went off to Greece to visit with an early admirer, the writer Lawrence Durrell; out of this came Miller's Colossus of Maroussi (1941). Back in the U.S.A., he toured the country—describing the experience in The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945)—before settling in Big Sur, Calif., in 1944. By now he was living off advances from James Laughlin of New Directions Press, but several of his books began to sell. His Sexus (1949) was the first part of a promised trilogy on his life, called The Rosy Crucifixion, but only Nexus (1960) appeared. By the late-1950s he was finding himself increasingly honored by the literary establishment, and with the legal decision that Tropic of Cancer was not obscene, his works began to be republished. He also began to receive some recognition as a water colorist. By the end of his life, he was widely recognized both for breaking down the barriers of censorship and for opening up the possibilities of modern fiction.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1949 he published Histoire de Marie, a collection of "poemes en prose" with a preface by Henry Miller.
There were two erotic books he wanted to publish that had never been distributed unexpurgated in the US: DH Lawrences Lady Chatterleyes Lover and Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller.
The life and work of Henry Miller would present a number of problems for any critic engaged in a book-length analysis.
My family and I want to thank Henry Miller for agreeing to serve as Honorary Chairperson of this year's dinner," John Lynch said.
We learn much about Durrell's outward circumstances - how he was torn away from his romantic birthplace, India, and thrust into English prudery; how he revolted against bourgeois values, monotheism, and sexual restraint; how he found liberation in "pagan" Greece; how he warmed to Henry Miller and viewed himself as a pre-Beatnik Beatnik, all of which made him embrace exile, Buddhism, and unrestrained sexuality (anything un-English) as a route to mental health.
The No on 37 campaign has put Henry Miller in front of millions of California voters as a credible source, yet the public has no idea that Dr.
Also one of the creators of the documentary Henry Miller appeared in studio speaking about why he wanted to show the medical marijuana debate in the documentary.
Which two Henry Miller novels were named after geographical features?
Writer/actress/film-maker Brenda Venus was a mentor of writer Henry Miller who is best known for his ground-breaking novel, Tropic of Cancer.
The chief constable in Sal-ford reported him - then known by his real name of James Henry Miller - as a Communist Party member of the Ramblers' Section of theBritish Workers' Sports Federation.
For various reasons unrelated to the merits of his work, Charles Henry Miller (1842-1922) has been overlooked--a neglect for which this volume is a corrective.
So it's sad to see one of them, Henry Miller, declared insane after trying to slash his parents to death on 6/6/06.