The Cosmological Eye

The Cosmological Eye

The Cosmological Eye

The Cosmological Eye

Synopsis

This collection, first published by New Directions in 1939, contains a number of Henry Miller’s most important shorter prose writings. They are taken from the Paris books Black Spring (1936) and Max and the White Phagocytes (1938) and were, for the most part, written at about the same time as Tropic of Capricorn––the period of Miller’s and Durrell’s life in the famous Villa Seurat in Paris. As is usual with Miller, these pieces cannot be tagged with the label of any given literary category. The unforgettable portrait of Max, the Paris drifter, and the probably-autobiographical Tailor Shop, are basically short stories, but even here the irrepressible vitality of Miller’s personality keeps breaking into the narrative. And in the critical and philosophical essays, the prose poems and surrealist fantasies, the travel sketches and scenarios, Miller’s passion for fiction, for telling the endless story of his extraordinary life, cannot be held down. Life, as no other modern author has lived it or can write it, bursts from these pages––the life of the mind and the body; of people, places and things; of ideas and the imagination.

Excerpt

IT WAS ONLY the other night while entertaining an American writer who had come to visit France after a long absence that I realized poignantly what has happened to me since I left my native land. Like all my compatriots who come to see me he asked quite naturally what it was that had kept me here so long. (It is seven years since I am living in Paris.) I felt that it was useless to answer him in words. I suggested instead that we take a stroll through the streets. We started out from the corner of the Rue de la Gaîté and the Avenue du Maine where we had been sitting; I walked him down the Rue de l'Ouest to the Rue du Châ-

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