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Hormone Wars

A. Craig Copetas, 23 April 1992

Crazy Cock 
by Henry Miller.
HarperCollins, 202 pp., £14.99, March 1992, 0 00 223943 4
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The Happiest Man Alive 
by Mary Dearborn.
HarperCollins, 368 pp., £18.50, July 1991, 0 00 215172 3
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... sneered the American expatriate. ‘The game has no place in my life.’ I don’t know if Henry Miller was a football fan, but after reading his long-lost novel Crazy Cock, which was located by Miller scholar Mary Dearborn, together with Dearborn’s biography of the quintessential American writer in Paris, I ...
Anaïs Nin 
by Deirdre Bair.
Bloomsbury, 654 pp., £20, April 1995, 0 7475 2135 2
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Conversations with Anaïs Nin 
edited by Wendy Dubow.
Mississippi, 254 pp., $37.95, December 1994, 0 87805 719 6
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... of self were inventions of the 20th century. In his snatch of vérité during the film Reds, Henry Miller hazarded the view that people have always done a lot of fucking. Montaigne settled to his solitary task of reflective self-examination in the mid-16th century. Sex and the self as subjects for investigation share the characteristic of always ...

At Free Love Corner

Jenny Diski, 30 March 2000

Literary Seductions: Compulsive Writers and Diverted Readers 
by Frances Wilson.
Faber, 258 pp., £12.99, October 1999, 0 571 19288 2
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... and Shelley shadow the literary love of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, Robert Graves and Laura Riding, Nadezhda and Osip Mandelstam, W.B. and Georgie Yeats all get chapters to themselves. Since some of her cases come close to the pathological, and most are ineffably silly, there is nothing instructive about ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Voices from Beyond the Grave, 20 November 2008

... if the voice in their writing was a secret between the work and its readers. We don’t know what Henry James sounded like, and that is part of the mystery we enjoy. So much so that hearing the actual voices of dead writers can come as a shock. The British Library has decided, most pleasingly, to begin trading in that kind of shock, with the issue of a bunch ...

Living with Armageddon

Dudley Young, 19 September 1985

The World of Lawrence: A Passionate Appreciation 
by Henry Miller.
Calder, 272 pp., £14.95, April 1985, 0 7145 3866 3
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... ill-attended affair: Lawrentians are now so thin on the ground that this time-warped offering by Henry Miller (written in the Thirties) may be the only significant one to show up. Such a desertion becomes the more strange when one remembers that up until quite recently one didn’t have to be a Leavisite to believe that Lawrence was perhaps the major ...

Short Cuts

Elisabeth Ladenson: Autofriction, 20 September 2007

... of autofiction (which is why it was initially criticised for its strange hybrid nature). Céline, Henry Miller, Colette and Jean Genet followed; and autofiction has gained something of a stranglehold on French literature in the decades since Doubrovsky named it. Over the past decade or two this trend has given rise to many works of remarkable ...

Bow. Wow

James Wolcott: Gore Vidal, 3 February 2000

Gore Vidal 
by Fred Kaplan.
Bloomsbury, 850 pp., £25, October 1999, 0 7475 4671 1
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... biography of Gore Vidal. Kaplan, a professor of English in New York whose taxidermies include Henry James, Dickens and Carlyle (they hardly get deader than Carlyle), understands that it’s much easier to get the paperwork done if you don’t have the living-breathing item second-guessing you at every turn or trying to use you as a ventriloquist’s ...

Philip’s People

Anna Della Subin: Divine Prince Philip, 8 May 2014

... the formula … Ah, Larry, it isn’t that life is so short, it’s that it’s everlasting!’ Henry Miller wrote to Lawrence Durrell in 1959. The formula, if one were to look to history for clues, seems fairly simple. Be white, male, fairly imposing in stature, and in possession of a large ship and obedient crew. Mysteriously circle the coast of a ...

An American Genius

Patrick Parrinder, 21 November 1991

The Runaway Soul 
by Harold Brodkey.
Cape, 835 pp., £15.99, November 1991, 0 224 03001 9
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... had still to be written. Neither Melville, Twain, Faulkner nor Hemingway had quite managed it, and Henry James had defected to England. From Henry Miller to J.D. Salinger, any aspiring genius who did not have a shot at it was not doing his duty by Uncle Sam. The truth is, of course, that the GAN had long been written ...

No Sense of an Ending

Jane Eldridge Miller, 21 September 1995

Windows on Modernism: Selected Letters of Dorothy Richardson 
edited by Gloria Fromm.
Georgia, 696 pp., £58.50, February 1995, 0 8203 1659 8
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... to write Pilgrimage had cased, Richardson’s letters, especially those to Powys and to the poet Henry Savage, became more expansive, but they are as much about theology, politics and mysticism as they are about literature. However, as her 1938 Preface to Pilgrimage demonstrates, Richardson was highly aware of the other modern writers with whom she was most ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation, 8 September 2016

... Lunch. Girodias had already published The Thief’s Journal, Lolita, various unreadable works by Henry Miller, pornographic novels by Christopher Logue and Alexander Trocchi, a para-Beat from Glasgow, and Trocchi’s ghosted volume of the Frank Harris memoirs (Trocchi was Olympia’s ‘top all-out literary stallion’, according to Girodias). Olympia ...

Absurdities

Angela Carter, 2 July 1981

Original Sins 
by Lisa Alther.
Women’s Press, 608 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 7043 2839 9
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Amateur Passions 
by Lorna Tracy.
Virago, 192 pp., £7.95, April 1981, 0 86068 197 1
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... circle on earth.”’ This is from a sequence, ‘The Mama Stories’, which takes a motto from Henry Miller: ‘there is no salvation in becoming adapted to a world which is crazy.’ Mama is certainly not saved, although Tracy’s ability to salvage ammo from Miller is proof of the resilience of the ...

Auld Lang Syne

Graham Hough, 1 December 1983

Sebastian or Ruling Passions 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Faber, 202 pp., £7.95, October 1983, 0 571 13445 9
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Woman Beware Woman 
by Emma Tennant.
Cape, 176 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 224 02164 8
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Queen of Stones 
by Emma Tennant.
Picador, 159 pp., £2.50, September 1983, 0 330 28074 0
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Blue Rise 
by Rebecca Hill.
Joseph, 296 pp., £8.95, October 1983, 0 7181 2372 7
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Here to get my baby out of jail 
by Louise Shivers.
Collins, 141 pp., £6.95, October 1983
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... of realistic narrative. Yet if you require a novel to be one entire and perfect chrysolite in the Henry James manner, Durrell is a non-starter. His fiction is made up of wildly different elements which there is no attempt to harmonise. He has ebullient moods and phases, and he wants to get them all in. There are the great descriptive set-pieces, often ...

Gentlemen Travellers

Denis Donoghue, 18 December 1986

Between the Woods and the Water 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor et al.
Murray, 248 pp., £13.95, October 1986, 0 7195 4264 2
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Coasting 
by Jonathan Raban.
Collins, 301 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 00 272119 8
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The Grand Tour 
by Hunter Davies.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11907 3
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... for a walk along the local beach or by taking minor trips or otherwise agreeable spells abroad: Henry James in France, D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico, Lawrence Durrell in Corfu, Michel Butor in Istanbul, Henry Miller in Greece. In December 1933, leaving his father in Simla and his mother in London, Patrick Leigh Fermor ...

Great Thoughts

E.S. Turner, 7 May 1981

The Macmillan Treasury of Relevant Quotations 
edited by Edward Murphy.
Macmillan, 658 pp., £3.95, August 1980, 0 333 30038 6
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... Oliver Wendell Holmes (72). A. C. Benson (67), Sherwood Anderson (64), George Santayana (61), Henry Miller (56), Emerson (55), William James (49), Nietzsche (46) and Anaïs Nin (40). These are only the familiar names; the unknown table-talkers, maxim-mongers and cracker-barrel wiseacres buttonhole the reader hardly less repetitively. Among the ...

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