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Henry Miller: The Paris Years Paperback – Bargain Price, May 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing (May 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1611450284
  • ASIN: B00CC7AECS
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,811,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Originally published in France in 1975, famed photographer Brassai's exuberant account of Henry Miller's years in Paris (1930-1939) and of his friendship with the expatriate American writer comprises a delightful, sparkling memoir that seems to define the essence of Miller, both the man and the mystique. Bohemian, interwar Paris had a liberating effect on the Francophile, penurious exile from New York, who wrote Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring and Tropic of Capricorn during those heady years. Brassai paints Miler as a manic-depressive with a fierce appetite for life, driven by feelings of being a pathetic failure, a great storyteller whose egocentric philosophy blinded him to social and political realities. Brassai provides an intermittently illuminating analysis of the triangle involving Miller, Anais Nin and Miller's estranged wife, June, who burst onto the Paris scene in 1932. There are piquant observations of Miller's friendships with novelists Lawrence Durrell, Blaise Cendrars, Raymond Queneau and Alfred Perles, as he moved from nihilism to a mystical phase. Sixteen of Brassai's photographs of Paris and of Miller perfectly complement the text.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Miller spent 1930-39 in Paris, years that were crucial to the formation of his autobiographical novels Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. In this memoir (originally published in France in 1975), the photographer Brassai (who also photographed and wrote on Picasso) recounts events that later appear, often in exaggerated or distorted form, in Miller's work. Miller's experiences and relationships were all fodder for his fiction, and it is fascinating to see these incidents and characters observed with another eye, especially one as practiced as Brassai's. He also presents a nonjudgmental interpretation of Miller's pornographic (and to some, misogynistic) moments. Brassai was clearly fond of Miller, and this is not a critical work, but there is something intriguing about one artist commenting on the life of another. Appropriately illustrated with 16 of Brassai's exceptional Paris photographs; recommended for literary collections.
--Janice Braun, Mills Coll., Oakland, Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Alan Ross on January 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a must-read for Henry Miller devotees who want to understand the genesis of this great writer. Written by his close friend Brassai a fascinating story is told about Miller's down and out days in Paris during the 1930's and how his vision of writing developed. It is replete with personal anecdotes about Miller's views of Paris, his hatred (ambivalent as it was) of his homeland and his relations with the women in his life. It more than anything shows Miller as the writer refusing to sell-out by having the essence of his writing edited away by the censorius literary status quo of his day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Neil The Unreel on April 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Only an artist can truly evaluate another artist. The photographer Brassai gives a street-level account of the years that made Henry Miller the writer that he was. This is one of the better biographies written about Miller. The real essence of Miller is captured in the cover photograph and in the pages. Miller was charming, intelligent and at times could be heartless and cruel - all of this is demonstrated by Brassai in a factual account of ten years. The women in his life, wife June and Anais Nin were as much of a driving force in his craft as the poverty and streets of Paris. Great account of Miller's life - nasty warts and all - as any I have read about him.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This last weekend I went to the Florida Museum of Photography showing an exhibit of photographs of Henri Brassaï (1899-1984) who created iconic photographs and produced several literary works. I picked up this book in the gift shop mainly because it featured many of the photographs from the museum. The total bonus was finding a biography of Miller and Paris written by his BFF, the photographer Brassaï, and in many cases using Miller's own words in conversation with Brassaï.

Miller (1891-1980) gained his fame for his erotic literature and surrealism and apparently never had more than enough money to cover a drink and a smoke. He spent the decade covered in this biography (from age 39 to 48) writing, scrounging for money, drinking in the Paris backstreet watering holes and having the time of his life. His most famous works, Tropic of Cancer (1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939), he wrote for love, the travel memoirs and literary pieces for rent. He could be horrendous to his wife June while at the same time deeply despairing of their failed marriage. He could pour on the charm for Anais Nin and speak intelligently on a wide range of subjects. Brassaï portrays Miller unapologetically while the reader is treated to the inside life of this fascinating, elusive and self-absorbed person.

From the back of the book:
"His years in Paris were the making of Henry Miller. He arrived with no money, no fixed address, and no prospects. He left as the renowned if not notorious author of Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Miller didn't just live in Paris--he devoured it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luca Graziuso and Marina Ross on March 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Henry Miller wrote works of astonishing verbal energy and wondrous gamy thematic bravado. A man of incorrigible faith in his talents, he devoted everything to the art of creating, writing and rendering the stuff of life into a pageantry of colors that break the spell of monotony to reveal the hidden treasures of sensual life. Brassai was a kinsman in artistic genius but much too reflective to become awed by Miller's instinctual and spontaneous energy. He did share a friendship with Henry Miller during the American's stay in Paris, years that were both the most lively and productive for Miller the novelist - which as Brassai would have it is indistinguishable from Henry Miller the man. Brassai gives us his memory of such days. Brassai is a photographer of canonical importance but he also proves to be a writer of distinct merit forgeing a verbal dossier of Miller's Paris years which make notable contributions to Miller scholarship, and what amounts to more importance, allows us to enjoy the books that much more. How could one write an autobiography of a man who fashioned a myth out of his savage and exhaustively exhilerating experiences as a starving artist in Paris? Brassai reports conversations, anecdotes and letters to define the character that lives in the books, and highlights those influences (Celine, Proust and DH Lawrence) that contributed to his writing texture. Inevitably June and Anais are part of the narrative, with an endearing description of Anais that is tender and soulful, whereas that of June remains enigmatic and rather vague. Brassai doesn't so much as try to set the record straight, as much as he is concerned with giving us his perceptive recollection of Miller's lifestyle.Read more ›
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