Henry Miller “Tropic of Cancer “
Posted on June 7, 2013
“I have no money, no resources, no hopes. I am the happiest man alive. A year ago, six month ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am. Everything that was literature has fallen from me. There are no more books to be written, thank God. This then? This is not a book. This is a libel, slander, defamation of character. This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word. No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty … what you will. I am going to sing for you, a little off key perhaps, but I will sing. I will sing while you croak, I will danse over your dirty corpse ….
To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or a guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing. This then is a song. I am singing “
I have read many books from many different genres but when I fell unto “Tropic of Cancer “, “This is IT!! ” I thought. That is an Entrance. I had never read Henry Miller before and in my long search of American Classics (just finished “the road ” from J. Kerouak), this was a slap in the face, a wake up call; a “Hey you, let me show you what Picasso would have written if he had been a writter “
I was suddenly immersed in a dark realistic universe that Kafka had never explored. An Payote trip with medicinal additives to remain lucid, in control. At the edge of sanity, a purgatory like painting, where multiple characters cross each others with no apparent relations, and all looking so familiar …
“A valise without straps. A hole without a key. She had a German mouth, French ears, Russian ass. Cunt international ”
Yes,I know her! Just guilty of not seeing the moment, of lacking that twisted perception which is the trait of all artists.
So go ahead, I say. Turn off the TV. Turn off your phone. Lock the door, the wife and the cat, get on the diving board and jump head first. You have not felt anything yet.
“And out of the endless torment and misery no miracles comes forth, no microscopic vestige even of relief. Only ideas, pale, attenuated ideas which have to be fattened by slaughter; ideas which comes forth like bile, like the guts of a pig when the carcass is ripped open “