Henry Miller, the Paris Years

Front Cover
Arcade Pub., 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 224 pages
5 Reviews
Miller didn't just inhabit Paris, he devoured it. Not the Paris of the guidebooks, but the City of Light's lurid backways and backwaters, the dens of vice where he could slough off the pale cast of American puritanism and embrace the hedonistic facts of life. The Parisian life of the "Happy Rock," as Miller liked to call himself, was a turbulent quest for new sensations and avenues, a roisterous, slumming exploration of the soul. This world Miller shared with Brassai, whose work, first collected in Paris by Night, established him as one of the greatest photographers of our century. Miller and Brassai's friendship was a recognition of kindred spirits, born of mutual admiration for each other's tireless, restless fascination with Paris and its inhabitants.
In Miller, Brassai found his most compelling subject. Using unpublished letters, recollected conversations, and references to Miller's work - and featuring sixteen unforgettable examples of Brassai's photography - Henry Miller: The Paris Years is an intimate account of a writer's self-discovery, seen through the unblinking eye of a master photographer. Brassai delves into Miller's relationships with Anais Nin and Lawrence Durrell, as well as his hopelessly tangled though wildly inspiring marriage to June. Brassai remembers Miller's favorite cafes and haunts, revives Miller's idols and anathemas (chief among which, a steady job), and evokes their shared passion for the street life of a Montparnasse and Montmartre captured, even during those depression years, in a dazzling moment of illumination.

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Review: Henry Miller: The Paris Years

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"I don't want to progress, I want to regress. [...] Do you know why I called my first book Tropic of Cancer? It was because to me cancer symbolizes the disease of civilization, the endpoint of the ... Read full review

Review: Henry Miller: The Paris Years

User Review  - Goodreads

I was expecting an immensely personal recollection of Miller by Mr Brassai, and it was that at times, but for long stretches it simply read like any competently researched biography. Even given that ... Read full review


On the Terrace at the Dome
Paris in 1930
Hotel des Terrasses

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About the author (1995)

One of the most important & influential photographers of the twentieth century, Brassai (1899-1984) moved to Paris from Hungary in 1924. He is best known for chronicling the city in the 1930s & for his portraits of artists such as Picasso & Matisse, & writers including Henry Miller. His fifty-year artistic career also encompassed drawing, sculpture, writing, & filmmaking.

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