Always Merry and Bright: The Life of Henry Miller

By: Martin, Jay

Price: $25.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good

First edition. Signed by author without inscription. Jacket edges lightly rubbed. Page ridges lightly foxed. 1978 Hard Cover. xi, 560 pp. Practically everything bohemian Miller's ever written has been about himself--so any attempt at biography is almost automatically placed in a competitive position. Martin gives it his all. The life boils down to three basic stages. A miserable existence until age 35, working for Western Union as a dispatcher, not yet writing, and suffering like a Marcel over Albertine-like, gold-digging June, second wife of an eventual run of five. Then, Paris: relief at being free and an explosion of bohemianism--Tropic of Cancer. Finally, the return to America: more poverty (not until he was 60 did Miller earn more than $3000 a year), but success growing on the slopes of scandal; the censorship trials; fame; Big Sur; guruhood thrust on a man who remained a German-meticulous romantic hoping to make up for a life haft down the tubes. Martin is nothing if not sympathetic; Miller's own terms, so massively spelled out in his books, are the ones in operation here. To the point that-and this is where readers will divide over this book-Martin consciously writes like Miller: all the obscenity, corny metaphysics, and baroque sufferingartist stuff. Martin, who approached Nathanel West previously in a very different fashion, clearly made a conscious decision--that there was no way to encompass Miller's heartlessness, craftiness, huge appetites, hucksterism, and self-promotion on coolly objective grounds. Miller is excessive; so is Martin. But the energy--like a dog running in wild circles after a flea on its tail--is effectively captured, with all the sloppiness, all the will it took to reform a hated life into another image. When Miller is ludicrous, the book is ludicrous with him. When he breaks through with candor and fire, Martin seems to be right there, too. Henry Valentine Miller (December 26, 1891 – June 7, 1980) was an American writer, expatriated in Paris at his flourishing. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms, developing a new type of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association, and mysticism.[1][2] His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, which are based on his experiences in New York and Paris (all of which were banned in the United States until 1961).[3] He also wrote travel memoirs and literary criticism, and painted watercolors.[4]

Title: Always Merry and Bright: The Life of Henry Miller

Author: Martin, Jay

Categories: Signed, Biography,

Edition: First Edition

Publisher: Capra Press: 1978

ISBN Number: 088496082X

ISBN Number 13: 9780884960829

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Jacket Condition: Very Good

Inscription: Signed by author

Seller ID: 2262963