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Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Clearly Used Book with Markings, Notes, and Highlights to Interior. Exterior of Book May Have Bent and Curling Covers. Noticeable Wear from Previous Use but Still a Useable Reading Copy.
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Black Spring Paperback – February 11, 1994

4.1 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

'American literature today begins and ends with the meaning of what Miller has done.' - Lawrence Durrell 'I like Henry Miller. I think he's the greatest American writer' - Bob Dylan 'There is nothing like Henry Miller when he gets rolling... One has to take the English language back to Marlowe and Shakespeare before encountering a wealth of imagery equal in intensity... a wildwater of prose, a cataract, a volcano, a torrent, an earthquake... a writer finally like a great athlete, a phenomenon of an avatar of literary energy.' - Norman Mailer 'The only imaginative prose writer of the slightest value who has appeared among the English-speaking races for some years past." - George Orwell --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Henry Valentine Miller was born in New York City in 1891 and raised in Brooklyn. He lived in Europe, particularly Paris, Berlin, the south of France, and Greece; in New York; and in Beverly Glen, Big Sur, and Pacific Palisades, California where he died in 1980. He is also the author, among many other works, of "Tropic of Capricorn", the "Rosy Crucifixion" trilogy ("Sexus", "Plexus", "Nexus"), and "The Air-Conditioned Nightmare".
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 243 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press; Reissue edition (February 11, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802131824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802131829
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Excuse me for my bad English: I'm Italian and I don't speak English. I have found Black Spring completely different from Tropics of Cancer: this is blood, sex and hunger, without thinking (so appear, naturally), that is remember and philosophy, a wondereful mix. Miller is a hard man, and like all the hard men, he is also an hopeless romantic.
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Format: Paperback
One of Miller's earliest books,and considered to be the
second in the Tropics trilogy, this is a collection of
short sketches (for lack of a better term) by a young Henry
Miller using the mature writer's voice that makes him such
a powerful speaker. With pieces like "The Angel is My
Watermark", a hilarious self-portrait of Miller in Paris
suffering an excess of artistic inspiration, to a tender
reminiscence of his father's New York tailor shop, this
book contains a side to Henry Miller rarely seen through
the publicity but known to his careful readers; a side
that is philosophical, spiritual, and funny. It remains
one of Miller's best and most enduring books.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished reading BLACK SPRING. It blew me away. Henry Miller's storytelling style is so personal, it's kind of like taking an unexpected medium punch in the gut. The geography becomes local, the imagery is rough, obscene and poetic, and goes on for pages at a time. Miller becomes larger than life, powerful through his honesty and vulnerability. I am amazed with his unique ability to effortlessly paint such vivid pictures, wander aimlessly through haunting nightmares, and relive pleasure and passion. From sitting around in the Parisian home of friend Jabberewohl Crondstadt celebrating each other's conquests and madness, to wandering the dark bum-piss hooker-lined streets of forbidden America, I found myself constantly stopping, re-reading and wondering how he took me there. Eventually I stopped raising my hand to ask questions, and just sat back and listened.
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Format: Paperback
"I am dazzled by the glorious collapse of the world."
....some vignettes here start out pretty innocent here but once Henry Miller gets a figurative and literal bug up his-- he waxes and waxes and waxes poetically (a lot of times in alliteration) about life, death and the cosmos. He and Bukowski are my favorite derelict writers, I feel I always get something from them although their story-telling is not always linear. And I love to read them both aloud. Why, when Henry really starts these tirades, sometimes its best to have an unabridged dictionary on hand. All the previous reviewers seem to like the recounting of Henry in the pissoire. My favorite piece is the hilarious and poignant "Jabberwhorl ("But it must be in the key of C") Crondstadt" who turns out to have a refugee sanctuary and who's own illness (abated by cognac and cayenne) exposes to Henry something about madness and art and creation. It simply must be read aloud for appreciation. Henry Miller is not evvybody's glass of absinthe, but for me, he is great...like he says, "What is not in the open street is false, that is derived, that is, literature" I have not been everywhere he has, but I have been where he has been a lot and most of his writings, even those which are way too funky to decipher are fun and enjoyable to read in my opinion. Most of his writing may be just too, too real for anyone who is not willing to take up the challenge...
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Format: Paperback
The "Paris books" are by far the best work Henry Miller produced and Black Spring, a collection of shorter pieces that followed Tropic of Cancer should rank at the top. If I had to make a list: Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn, Tropic of Cancer, Quiet Days in Clichy. Black Spring contains some of his best work and displays his dazzling use of language and the exhilarating build-up of detail. This book contains some his most energetic writing. My favorite is the first piece in the book, his depiction of his Brooklyn days, which stands as classic "memoir" writing. Speaking of which, in Henry Miller's day, there were very few people writing fiction disguised as "memoir." Now take a look around and that's all you'll see! Imagine the world without Henry Miller! No Jack Kerouac, no Frederick Exley, no Dave Eggers. Black Spring is a MUST-READ for anyone interested in this kind of writing. Another recommendation for younger readers: The Losers' Club by Richard Perez
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Format: Paperback
These stories have in my view some of the best English language prose that was written in the 20th century. A "voice" runs through them, that takes words and carefully crafts them into meaning, so beautifully written it is almost painful. Of course the quality of the stories is somewhat uneven, two or three really stand out, but I find it a marvellous collection overall. An unexpected must-read!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Strange reason for writing a review. I stumbled across an old George Orwell review of Black Spring and wondered. Questions abound in these pages.

Did you know that Orwell was a prolific book reviewer? Book reviews staved off starvation during the Depression for the struggling Orwell. Did you know that Orwell and Miller were friends? Maybe the apolitical Miller's friendship was a respite for the war weary Orwell after his near death experience in revolutionary Spain.

Orwell, always the pragmatist, questioned the "mickey mouse universe" found in the pages of Black Spring but admired the genius of Miller. Orwell,in his essay Benefit of Clergy, said the same of Dali's surrealism. Technically good but weird. Orwell oddly concluded that Dali was demented and Miller was a genius. Was Orwell biased towards writing over painting? Was Orwell biased against Dali's fascism?

Is Black Spring a written attempt to create a surrealist painting when surrealism was in vogue? A mickey mouse universe indeed yet one beautifully wrought. The images in this book are compelling...

I could see the decks being scrubbed down and the guns polished and the weight of those big sea monsters resting on the dirty glass lake of the basin was a luxurious weight on me. p7

Can't you feel the weight of the water and the ships? The racism in this book is rife..the n word, Asians described as having "glass craniums" and even a lurid description of a lynching in the mind of the detached narrator. Is it any wonder that the government tried to ban Miller's books under the Comstock Act?
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