Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Time Magazine: Henry Miller Features

This posting profiles the articles that Time Magazine published with Henry Miller as a significant subject (not including book reviews, which I've already posted as a separate subject). This includes feature profiles and short bulletins of celebrity-related "news."
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NOV 21, 1938. "Dithyrambic Sex"
Profile of Miller's Tropic Of Cancer and Durrell's The Black Book, as well as publisher James Laughlin, as his New Directions publishing house prepares to release Cancer in the U.S. [the release will not happen].
Sample: "What this type of angry, incoherent prose will prove is anybody's guess. Thus far it has resulted—in the work of Durrell and Miller—in dismembered passages of isolated brilliance, lit with lurid imagery and standing out sharply above records of life that are often dull and usually obscene. It stems from James Joyce's Ulysses, but represents a type of curdled romanticism foreign to Joyce—more brutal, less artful, pervaded by a sense of hopelessness and despair beside which Joyce at his most pessimistic seems blithe and full of spirit."

DEC 25, 1939. "Talking & Doing"
Profile of the new release roster from New Directions, which does not include Tropic Of Cancer; plus brief reviews of Cosmological Eye and Tropic Of Capricorn.
Sample: "Written in a naked language not of literature but of a man's talking, unquotable except by the page, Tropic of Capricorn would mean plenty to countless men-in-the-street. The "dithyrambic prose" which excited avant-garde blurbists in Tropic of Cancer—and which was frequently tiresome—has been kept in hand by a new sense of structure —a better interplay of narrative and reminiscence."

DEC 13, 1943. "Life By Mail Order"
Bulletin - Miller published an appeal for charity in New Republic magazine.
Sample: "He said he wanted contributions of old clothes ('love corduroys') and watercolor materials. In Beverly Glen, near Los Angeles, the 52-year-old, free-loving, free-sponging American-from-Paris had been destitute for months. Recently he had taken up painting."

NOV 18, 1946. "Royalty"
Bulletin - "His Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn moved the French moralist society, the Group for Social and Moral Action, to bring suit on the ground of obscenity. In Paris."

APR 14, 1947. "Landscapes into Fish"
Profile of Miller as a "neo-bohemian" idol in Big Sur, who has recently taken to exhibiting and trying to sell his watercolours.
Sample: "Miller's own watercolors are full of gabled doors, heavenly bodies (he believes in astrology), female sex symbols, eyes ('I'm not perverse, but the idea of looking through a keyhole . . . fascinates me'), and echoes of Paul Klee and Abraham Rattner."

JAN 11, 1954.
Announcement of Miller's marriage to Eve McClure.

JUN 9, 1961. "Greatest Living Patagonian"
4-page profile of Miller and Cancer, which is finally released in the U.S by Grove Press.
Sample: "But when Miller moves from the tropics of sex into the horse latitudes of philosophy, something takes over that could hardly be matched by a whole chautauqua of oldtime New Thought charlatans but which nevertheless establishes Miller's importance—not for what he says but for what he is, a man who, in many different forms, rejects the Western tradition and abdicates its heavy honors."

AUG 25, 1961. "See No Evil"
The Chicago Tribune refuses to list Tropic Of Cancer on it's best-seller list, in order to prevent giving it publicity.
Sample: "'We have come to the conclusion,' said the Chicago Tribune, in an editorial about the list of bestselling books that it prints each Sunday, 'that we can no longer publish this list raw. Recently and tardily, we have become aware that some of the best sellers that have appeared on our lists were sewer-written by dirty-fingered authors for dirty-minded readers. We aren't going to further this game by giving publicity to such authors and their titles.'"

SEP 6, 1963.
Bulletin: Just Wild About Harry is censored in Britain, and cancelled after two performances.

JUL 17, 1964. "Tropic Of Illinois"
Bulletin: The courts in Illinois reverse a ban on Tropic Of Cancer.

APR 1, 1966.
Bulletin: Miller is done with writing and is instead making watercolours.
Sample: "'It seems to me that the battle for freedom on the sex problem has been won,' he proclaimed. Then, in a meditation that many wish he had made years ago, he added: 'I would hope that younger writers would find something more important to rebel against.'"

SEP 15, 1967.
Bulletin - Miller traveling to Paris with fiancee Hoki for a showing of his art.
Sample: "Though he is sanguine enough about the marriage, Henry has the yips about his untutored abstract watercolors, which have taken up so much of his time in the past three years that he has stopped writing."

MAY 20, 1974.
Bulletin - Miller recovering from surgery, talking about women.
Sample: "[W]hile he had advanced ideas about sex, he does not approve of the even more radical notions of women's liberation. Denying that he is a misogynist, he said, 'I really love women.' In the next breath he said of sex equality, 'I'm against it.'

JUN 16, 1980.
Obituary - Henry Miller.
Sample: "..earthy novelist and evangelist of unfettered sex.."

JUL 22, 1991. "Essay" by Pico Iyer.
Tribute to Miller, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Sample: "[Miller] brought to Europe things it was less accustomed to seeing: naked appetite, hopeless high spirits, French spoken with a Brooklyn accent. And what he brought back was something even richer: the great French passions -- of love and talk and food -- translated into a rough Anglo-Saxon vernacular. Joie de vivre made American."

Minor references, quotes, letters to the editor and other curiosities relating to Miller in the pages of Time Magazine will be posted next.