Tropic Of Cancer: 75th Anniversary
-- Obelisk Press publicity leaflet for Tropic Of Cancer 
The general media may acknowledge the 75th anniversary of Tropic Of Cancer in the year 2036, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the publication of the novel in the United States in 1961. However, 2009 marks the 75th anniversary of the first pressing of Miller’s controversial masterpiece. In fact, it was 75 years ago this month, in September 1934, when the Tropic Of Cancer first edition became available in Paris.
Shifreen and Jackson’s Henry Miller: A Bibliography of Primary Sources (Vol. 1) codes the first edition of Cancer as “A9a.” It details that the book was published by the Obelisk Press (338 Rue Saint-Honoré) in Paris, and was physically printed in a batch of 1,000 by Lecram Press. Each copy sold for 50 francs and displayed the written warnings: “NOT TO BE IMPORTED INTO GREAT BRITAIN OR U.S.A.” and “MUST NOT BE TAKEN INTO GREAT BRITAIN OR U.S.A.” For each copy sold, Miller earned a 15-franc royalty.
In honour of this anniversary, I provide the following links to items (on this blog and elsewhere) regarding this classic Miller novel:
THE PHYSICAL BOOK: image of the pictoral cover, as well as the customized half-leather box it apparently came in. From Manhattan Rare Books.
THE COVER ARTWORK: notes about the cover and its young artist, Maurice Girodias.
THE PUBLISHER: overview of Jack Kahane and his Obelisk Press in Paris.WHO'S WHO: list of the real people who are portayed as pseudonyms.
ORIGINAL FIRST DRAFT PAGES: at the Beinecke Library.
THE CHOICE OF TITLE: the meanings behind the title, Tropic of Cancer.
MILLER'S HOME AT TIME OF PUBLICATION: he moved in the day that Cancer was published.
TIMELINE OF THE NOVEL: 15 moments in the life of the novel (with emphasis on the first few steps leading to its creation and publication).
THE FILM ADAPTATION: the making of the 1970 film version.
THE HATER: Judge Michael Musmanno's quotes reflect the opinon of those who are offended by the novel.
THE PEDDLER: Eve Adams sells Cancer at Parisian cafes.
THE BLOG TOUR: MillerWalks.com takes you on a then-and-now tour of Miller's Paris, as portrayed in the novel.
THE MONETARY VALUE: the cost of a fist edition (note: visit the Manhattan Rare Books link above to see the current value).
THE COMPREHENSIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY: everything you ever wanted to know about every edition of Tropic Of Cancer.
THE SEARCHABLE TEXT: Cancer is available on Google Books, where you can read selected pages and do a word search...yes, even the naughty words.