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Book by Henry Miller

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Tropic of Cancer

  • Sep 28, 2009
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Just completed reading the Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller for the third or fourth time and each time I read it I enjoy it more.  It takes place in Paris during the 1920s where Miller was one of a number of American expats struggling to make a name in the artistic world (NOTE: an interest contrast is with Hemmingway's A Moveable Feast). 

Banned for many years in the US due to lewd and obscene text (if you've ever read Miller you'll understand), this book is remarkable for its down and dirty depiction of seedy Paris life.  Of course Miller is exhilarated by it all and it's infectious, and at times even hilarious.  My favorite quote from the book is  " I have no money, no resources no hopes.  I am the happiest man alive." 

Here is a link to Google Books where you can read more.

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September 28, 2009
Nice review! I went ahead and added a photo and some basic info in the wiki so that readers could have more info at their fingertips or see what the book cover looks like just in case they want to go get it! This is one of those books that every time I hear about it, I want to read it and now with your review, I'm going to have to do just that. Thanks so much!
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Jim Kovarik ()
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Member Since: Dec 12, 2008
Last Login: Sep 28, 2009 05:39 PM UTC
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Tropic of Cancer is by Henry Miller and was first published in 1934 by Obelisk Press in Paris. Its 1961 publication in the US by Grove Press led to one of several obscenity trials that tested American laws on pornography. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Grove Press, Inc. v. Gerstein, cited Jacobellis v. Ohio (decided that same day) and overruled state court findings of obscenity.

While famous for its frank and often graphic depiction of sex, the book is also widely regarded as an important masterpiece of 20th century literature. Time magazine included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

The novel included a preface credited to Anaïs Nin (although allegedly penned by Miller himself).

The book was famously distributed by Frances Steloff at her Gotham Book Mart, in defiance of censorship pressures.

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Books, Paris, 1920s, Henry Miller, Obscenity Laws, Obscenity


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