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Henry Miller TROPIC OF CANCER Grove Press 1961

Henry Miller TROPIC OF CANCER Grove Press 1961

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Grove Press edition, first print hardback of TROPIC OF CANCER, by Henry Miller and published by Grove Press Inc., New York, 1961. Introduction by Karl Shapiro, with preface by Anais Nin. Originally published by the Obelisk Press in Paris in 1934, and widely pirated, this book didn't legally appear in America until 1961.

The book is in good condition (Clean black quarter leather bound and cream colour leather boards, with red & gilt lettering on the spine and front). There is no dust jacket. With minor creasing to the spine edges and minor bumping to the top corners. Internally, the pages are clean and tight and there are no tears and no inscriptions. There is slight foxing to the top and side page ends and on front and back endpapers and a small black stain to the top page ends. There is a black stamp on the inside back board (publisher's?).

Tropic of Cancer is a novel by Henry Miller which has been described as "notorious for its candid sexuality" and as responsible for the "free speech that we now take for granted in literature." It was first published in 1934 by the Obelisk Press in Paris, France, but this edition was banned in the United States. Its publication in 1961 in the U.S. by Grove Press led to obscenity trials that tested American laws on pornography in the early 1960s. In 1961, when Grove Press legally published the book in the United States, over 60 obscenity lawsuits in over 21 states were brought against booksellers that sold it. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the book non-obscene. It is widely regarded as an important masterpiece of 20th century literature.

Miller wrote the book between 1930 and 1934 during his "nomadic life" in Paris. Miller gave the following explanation of why the book's title was Tropic of Cancer: "It was because to me cancer symbolizes the disease of civilization, the endpoint of the wrong path, the necessity to change course radically, to start completely over from scratch.” Anaïs Nin helped to edit the book.

Set in France (primarily Paris) during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Tropic of Cancer centers around Miller's life as a struggling writer. Late in the novel, Miller explains his artistic approach to writing the book itself, stating: "Up to the present, my idea of collaborating with myself has been to get off the gold standard of literature. My idea briefly has been to present a resurrection of the emotions, to depict the conduct of a human being in the stratosphere of ideas, that is, in the grip of delirium."

Combining autobiography and fiction, some chapters follow a narrative of some kind and refer to Miller's actual friends, colleagues, and workplaces; others are written as stream-of-consciousness reflections that are occasionally epiphanic. The novel is written in the first person, as are many of Miller's other novels, and does not have a linear organization, but rather fluctuates frequently between the past and present.

321 pages.

ISBN: n/a

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Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

 


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