HENRY MILLER: The Major Writings by Leon Lewis

HENRY MILLER: The Major Writings

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Once the author gets past the first 20 pages of comments on other critics and plunges into the heart of Miller's oeuvre, this book becomes interesting, especially for acolytes of one of America's liveliest writers. Miller's fans will gobble up insight after insight, indifferent as to whether they are consonant with their own points of view or not. Miller found success late in life and never was really comfortable with academe or the polite literati. His boisterous, obscene journey to the ends of reason and back was too wild and dÉclassÉ for most of them. However, his audience grew to be worldwide and he continues to entice new legions of admirers. Hence, the critical interest, and Lewis' book is understandable and relatively jargon-free, a considerable blessing these days. The author gives us a picture of the man and his life and goes on to discuss key books, among them: both of the Tropics, Black Spring, The Colossus of Maroussi, Sexus and Nexus. He is thorough and often enlightening. For those who believe a work of literature is by its very nature articulate, criticism is often gratuitous, if not self-serving. To Lewis' credit, he does not seek to dominate a creative force like Miller by proving arcane notions or earning Brownie points with nit-picking philosophes. Miller fans can never have enough. But this book will also encourage others with only a nodding acquaintance to refresh themselves with a zany trip through his sprightly universe.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1986
Publisher: Schocken