Saturday, February 17, 2007

Time Magazine: Miscellaneous Miller

This final Time Magazine post focusses on minor references to Henry Miller within its pages, as found on its on-line archive. These include letters to the editor, passing references, and quotes. In many cases, the descriptions I provide cover the entire extent of the reference. There are a few Miller references I did not include because of their utter lack of significance (in my mind, anyway).
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JUN 28, 1937. "Word Workers"
(ref) The anthology New Directions in Prose & Poetry includes "fantasies by Henry Miller, incorrigible author of the more-than-Rabelaisian Tropic of Cancer."

DEC 15, 1941. "The Year In Books"
(ref) " Among the avantgardistes who ferment, sometimes germinally, at the thin edge of commercial publishing, the year's most notable were Henry Miller and Kenneth Patchen. Miller continued with Michael Fraenkel his extraordinary correspondence about Hamlet ($3) and published The Colossus of Maroussi ($3.50), a freewheeling book on Greece."

MAR 18, 1946. "Of Ugliness & Henry Miller"
Letter to the editor from Mme. Deweese Ivaldy, an American living in La Ferté-Bernard, France: (excerpts) "...Miller left Europe as soon as the going grew hard in 1940..." "For us, this 'largest force lately to appear on the horizon of American letters' is a man to amuse a very prosperous culture which can still permit itself the undermining, disheartening, demoralizing effect of his kind of literature..." "For let anyone . . . try to survive and keep his family alive, to furnish a pleasant place to live with bits of this and that ... The effort is sure to leave him with the greatest indifference toward the 'literature of despair.'"

DEC 16, 1946. "Dickens, Dali & Others"
(ref) "Town & Country [magazine], which claims to be the U.S. discoverer of Ludwig Bemelmans, Evelyn Waugh, Henry Miller and Oliver St. John Gogarty..."

NOV 24, 1947. "Free Wheels in the Groove"
(ref) Review of the New Directions anthology Spearhead includes the "dithyrambling Henry Miller" who contributed two pages of "exhibitionist prose." Of the collection in general: "The shrill, barren exercises in surrealist freewheeling, the turgid moralizing of those poets who have retired to philosophical hermitages, and the vulgarity of the psychoanarchists—all these are dead letters in 1947."

MAR 22, 1948. "Unhappy Angels"
Miller quote used to open brief article on artist Raphel Soyer: "Have you ever sat in a railway station and watched people killing time? Do they not sit a little like crestfallen angels—with their broken arches and their fallen stomachs? -- Henry Miller"

JAN 16, 1950. "Old Directions"
(ref) Review of New Directions XI anthology: "Expatriate Novelist Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer) writes his way around his subject (Rimbaud) and plunges defiantly into his own thrice-told life and hard times."

JUN 22, 1959. "The Lady's Not for Mailing"
(ref) Postmaster General Arthur E. Summerfield upholds a ban on Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover going through U.S. Mail, "lean[ing] heavily on a 1953 decision (concerning Henry Miller's notorious Tropics) by Judge Albert L. Stephens of the U.S. Court of Appeals: 'Dirty word description of the sweet and sublime, especially of the mystery of sex and procreation, is the ultimate of obscenity.'"

APR 4, 1960. "The Carnal Jigsaw"
(ref) In a profile of Lawrence Durrell, Miller is referred at as his "literary foster father." "Obviously affected by Miller's Tropics, Durrell erupted with a steamy item called The Black Book ... When his disciple's novel cached Miller, that dithyrambic daddy of all unshy pornographers effused: 'Down with Shakespeare! Down with Chaucer! I greet Lawrence Durrell as the first Englishman.' Even that cool sage, T. S. Eliot, bobbed approval. For Durrell the effect was tonic, 'like suddenly hear-ng your own tone of voice.'"

SEP 19, 1960. "Hello to All That"
(ref) From a review of Durrell's The Black Book: "... his blatant mimicry of such authors as Lawrence, Eliot, Aldous Huxley and Henry Miller (to whom Durrell sent the only typescript of the book with the coy instruction to read it and throw it in the Seine)."

JUN 16, 1961. "Miller's Spoiled Mystery"
(excerpt) C.V.J Anderson of New York City writes a letter to the editor: "... the thing that makes it so hard for us to take it at all seriously, is that it's so incredibly dull."

NOV 30, 1962. "King of the YADS"
(ref) In a review for Burrough's Naked Lunch, the author makes this unnecessary dig: "The reputation of an underground author is a fragile thing. For example, it had been assumed for years that Henry Miller was unprintable but highly readable. Then Grove Press, merely by publishing his two Tropics, proved that Miller is unreadable but highly printable."

SEP 11, 1964. "More Than a Quiet Concern"
(ref) A group of high-level clergymen are upset that bans on Tropic Of Cancer (and the film, The Lover) were overturned by the Supreme Court -- (excerpt from the clergy): "These decisions cannot be accepted quietly by the American people if this nation is to survive. Giving free rein to the vile depiction of violence, perversion, illicit sex and, in consequence, to their performance, is an unerring sign of progressive decay and decline. Further, it gives prophetic meaning to the Soviet intent to 'bury' America."

APR 16, 1965. "The New Pornography"
(ref) 6-page essay on the changing moral landscape in American literature: "Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer, once the last word in unprintable scatology, can often be picked up in remainder bins for 25¢. Miller has almost acquired a kind of dignity as the Grand Old Dirty Man of the trade, compared with some of the more current writers."

JUL 9, 1965. "Sexus"
Two letters to the editor, by Leo Dougherty (of Commerce, Texas) and Ralph Finch (of Detroit) in support of Miller and Sexus. (excerpt): "Henry Miller is one of the few people in our society who spend their lives trying to salvage living souls from the whirring junkheap of robothood."

MAR 11, 1966. "Old Moderately"
(ref) Miller is a fan of Dean Martin.

APR 29, 1966. "The Index Indexed"
(ref) The Vatican has never added Miller to its Index of Prohibited Books.

DEC 9, 1966. "Holiday Hoard"
(ref) Miller wrote the forward to George Grosz's Ecce Homo. Miller: "Once you have glimpsed these corrosive portraits, these street and bedroom scenes, you will never forget them."

APR 5, 1968. "Abel Is the Novel, Merlin Is the Firm"
(ref) From a review of Durrell's Tunc: "In California, Durrell was staying at the Pacific Palisades home of novelist Henry Miller, an old friend and compulsive pen pal. Pursuing his investigations of Western culture, he played ping-pong with Miller and visited Disneyland, where he made three trips on the Mark Twain paddlewheeler and took the 'Submarine Voyage.'"

APR 12, 1968.
(ref) From a bulletin about Durrell's first visit to the U.S.: "'Here I am at the end of a long misspent life,' said British Novelist Lawrence Durrell, 56, in the U.S. for his first visit. And what better way to make up for it than a visit to Disneyland ('I don't remember when I had such fun!') with his old pal Henry Miller? ... Durrell confided that he found the two coasts so fascinating that he's coming back next spring for a three-month bus tour of all the land in between. 'There hasn't been a good travel book about America since Dickens,' said he. 'Maybe Henry and I can write one.'"

JUL 11, 1969. "Sex as a Spectator Sport"
(ref) Miller on pornography: "No less an authority than Henry Miller recently denounced pornography as 'a leering or lecherous disguise' that has helped make sexuality joyless."

FEB 22, 1971. "Women's Lib: Mailer v. Millett"
(ref) Norman Nailer defends Miller (amongst other things) against Kate Millett's criticism: "Mailer's main indictment of Millett is that she misunderstands and deliberately misrepresents her four main male targets: Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence, Jean Genèt and himself. He accuses her of judging Miller by contemporary standards, and not as a 'wandering troubador of the Twenties,' when 'one followed the line of one's sexual impulse without a backward look at what was moral, responsible or remotely desirable for society.'"

Here are my previous posts about Time book reviews on Miller and features on Miller.