Henry Miller

Henry Miller, 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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Henry Miller and the Critics
George Wickes.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1963
Tropic of Cancer
Henry Miller.
Grove Press, 1961
The Colossus of Maroussi
Henry Miller.
New Directions, 1958
The Cosmological Eye
Henry Miller.
New Directions, 1939
Henry Miller: Years of Trial & Triumph, 1962-1964: the Correspondence of Henry Miller and Elmer Gertz
Elmer Gertz; Felice Flanery Lewis; Henry Miller.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1978
The Maze in the Mind and the World: Labyrinths in Modern Literature
Donald Gutierrez.
Whitston, 1985
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "'Hypocrite Lecteur': Tropic of Cancer as Sexual Comedy"
Writers and Philosophers: A Sourcebook of Philosophical Influences on Literature
Edmund J. Thomas; Eugene G. Miller.
Greenwood Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Henry Miller begins on p. 139
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