Saturday, 14 May 2016

Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller

"But the food of the body is champagne and oysters; feed it then on champagne and oysters; and so shall it merit a joyful resurrection"

Well the cover promised some purple prose and yes you will find snippets within its much banned pages. This was another tick off the 1001 novels list and I do so love progress. Admittedly I read this one on iBooks so I did get a little distracted by its rambling prose.
I remember Tropic of Cancer being far more easy to follow and far more enjoyable in general.
This novel had brilliant phrases throughout but a narrative was somewhere in the ether. It was a little like reading drunk. The salacious pieces are interspersed within the work and in between there are rambling sentences that I'm still not sure have reached their destination. Miller remains eminently quotable, as there are such brilliant lines hidden within this confusion of a novel. Every time I'd consider putting it down, a standard paragraph would drag me in and I'd push on. Miller also seems at his best when he is at his most ban-able, case in point the dalliance  finally described as "Just a couple of quiet maniacs working away in the dark like gravediggers.". He seems to reduce women to their sex organs be they "miscellaneous","laughing", "glacial", "made of pure joy" or "super" and  sex takes on a somewhat removed state, devoid of real intimacy.
If you wanted to play a drinking game and take a shot each time the c bomb was unleashed, you would no doubt be passed out on the floor in no time.

Yet, for all its faults, there are compelling aspects.

4 out of 5 banned books are hard to ignore.

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