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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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... place a few bets, and watch the game with us live on Canal+. ‘Football is a most distasteful sport,’ sneered the American expatriate. ‘The game has no place in my life.’ I don’t know if HenryMiller 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 ...
20 April 1995
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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... Although it’s counter-intuitive, neither sex nor the pursuit of self were inventions of the 20th century. In his snatch of vérité during the film Reds, HenryMiller 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 ...
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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... chapter Caroline Lamb falls for Byron, and Elizabeth Smart for George Barker, while Mary Godwin and Shelley shadow the literary love of William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft. Anaïs Nin and HenryMiller, 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 ...
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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... year also marks the 100th birthday of D.H. Lawrence, and his party already seems to be a distinctly ill-attended affair: Lawrentians are now so thin on the ground that this time-warped offering by HenryMiller (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 ...

Short Cuts

Elisabeth Ladenson: Autofriction

20 September 2007
... term started out as a Proust scholar. A la recherche du temps perdu is probably the earliest example of autofiction (which is why it was initially criticised for its strange hybrid nature). Céline, HenryMiller, 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 ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Voices from Beyond the Grave

20 November 2008
... how they sound in a public space. The time is long past when writers – pace Dickens – behaved as 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 ...

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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... talk of the Great American Novel was still fashionable. The Great American Novel, it was believed, had still to be written. Neither Melville, Twain, Faulkner nor Hemingway had quite managed it, and Henry James had defected to England. From HenryMiller 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 ...

At the Centre Pompidou

Jeremy Harding: Beat Generation

7 September 2016
... run by Maurice Girodias, was a ten-minute walk from the hotel, and an obvious destination for Naked Lunch. Girodias had already published The Thief’s Journal, Lolita, various unreadable works by HenryMiller, 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 ...

Philip’s People

Anna Della Subin: Divine Prince Philip

7 May 2014
... Don’t​ talk about God – be it! Find the place, the formula … Ah, Larry, it isn’t that life is so short, it’s that it’s everlasting!’ HenryMiller 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 ...

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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... by more assistance from Gloria Fromm). In later years, after Odle’s death and when the pressure 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 ...

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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... He’s not alone. ‘I prefer my subjects dead,’ Fred Kaplan confesses in the prelude to his ambitious 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 ...

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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... it was a dog,” thought Mama, “chained to a stake, running in snow, who made the first perfect circle on earth.”’ This is from a sequence, ‘The Mama Stories’, which takes a motto from HenryMiller: ‘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 ...

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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... thing) voluntarily accepted death – these all recur with an ominous regularity that is not that 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 ...
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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... a sufficiently resourceful mind, and a persuasive style, of course, you can stimulate them by going 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, HenryMiller in Greece. In December 1933, leaving his father in Simla and his mother in London ...
8 March 1990
Louise Brooks 
by Barry Paris.
Hamish Hamilton, 640 pp., £20, February 1990, 0 241 12541 3
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... hit the skids, and was doing a bit of this, a bit of that in New York, she and her great friend Tallulah Bankhead used to go out on the town together, bar-hopping, up to God knows what. Behaviour of HenryMiller buddies. But, however scabrous the circumstances, Brooks never lost a thoroughly un-Millerian elegance and self-irony and when she finally took up her pen and wrote, in her sixties and ...

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