Sunday, August 28, 2016
I had a literary allusion in mind for this image— I was thinking Henry Miller as a woman. I gathered up some old items and arranged them a bit. I told Katy to pretend to be him, which wasn’t hard since she worships the author (she has a tattoo of him on her arm). To be honest, I thought that it was going to be a kind of lame image, but I love it! Speaking of Henry Miller, for anyone remotely interested in him but have been put off by the intense going off on a tangent/rambling (and crudeness) in the Tropic books, I would suggest picking up a lesser-known writing— Quiet Days in Clichy. Miller, in a masterful way, gives us an account of Paris like it once was. Far from the visual images of a saccharine city as portrayed in films like Amelie (not that I don’t love that film), Quiet Days in Clichy mingles the picturesque with the down-and-out for a wonderfully grimy portrait of the underbelly of a city. Whores and cafes, breakfasts of Roquefort and white wine, poetry, and squalid prose, Miller dissects Paris in the brilliant way Émile Zola writes of it in Thérèse Raquin... presenting a city that is a filthy beast, but deserving not less than all your love and praise. It's straightforward, hilarious— and at times shocking, but undoubtedly it will continue to be an inspiration to those who long to live life to the fullest. I've been a big Henry Miller fan since I was a teenager, but his infamous and banned books (the Cancer and Capricorn ones) are not my favorites. I far prefer this one, along with The Colossus of Maroussi and Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. Quiet Days is a memoir; a nostalgic story of life in Paris before WW II; a celebration of the Bohemian life Miller lived when he was a poor unknown writer. It's rollicking, hysterical, and introduces fans to a whole cast of characters who became Miller's lifelong friends— people who influenced his writing and his art forever.