I must say I do enjoy books by/about creepy old men being, well, creepy and depressing or weird or drunk or fantasizing about too young girls… or all of it. Like a lot of Bukowski, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Updike’s Rabbit series, Burroughs drug escapades, and Céline’s depressing Journey to the End of the Night.
But this was somehow tough for me. Different times, different ways of living and seeing the world, but damn it, it can’t be that every last woman in Paris was either a prostitute or at least possible to buy with enough money. Also, I think this book set the record on the use of the word cu*t.
I can see why it is a modern classic and is praised by many. Some passages were truly wonderful. Mostly the long trails of thought by the narrator. But every time we returned to the world of pervy men, it got hard to digest again.
But as Mr. Miller said himself in the book:
“I believe that today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails, anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul.”Henry Miller
I will stick to the assholes I already know and like, and maybe give Miller another chance sometime in the not-too-near future.
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller, first published in 1934.