Miller, Henry


Miller, Henry

▪ American author

born Dec. 26, 1891, New York City
died June 7, 1980, Pacific Palisades, Calif., U.S.
 U.S. writer and perennial Bohemian whose autobiographical novels achieve a candour—particularly about sex—that made them a liberating influence in mid-20th-century literature. He is also notable for a free and easy American style and a gift for comedy that springs from his willingness to admit to feelings others conceal and an almost eager acceptance of the bad along with the good. Because of their sexual frankness, his major works were banned in Britain and the United States until the 1960s, but they were widely known earlier from copies smuggled in from France.

      Miller was brought up in Brooklyn, and he wrote about his childhood experiences there in Black Spring (1936). In 1924 he left his job with Western Union in New York to devote himself to writing. In 1930 he went to France. Tropic of Cancer (published in France in 1934, in the United States in 1961) is based on his hand-to-mouth existence in Depression-ridden Paris. Tropic of Capricorn (France, 1939; U.S., 1961) draws on the earlier New York phase.

      Miller's visit to Greece in 1939 inspired The Colossus of Maroussi (1941), a meditation on the significance of that country. In 1940–41 he toured the United States extensively and wrote a sharply critical account of it, The Air-Conditioned Nightmare (1945), which dwelt on the cost in human terms of mechanization and commercialization.

      After settling in Big Sur on the California coast, Miller became the centre of a colony of admirers. Many of them were writers of the Beat generation who saw parallels to their own beliefs in Miller's whole-hearted acceptance of the degrading along with the sublime. At Big Sur, Miller produced his Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, made up of Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus (U.S. edition published as a whole in 1965). It covers much the same period of Miller's life as Tropic of Capricorn and, together with that book, traces the stages by which the hero-narrator becomes a writer. The publication of the “Tropics” in the United States provoked a series of obscenity trials that culminated in 1964 in a Supreme Court decision rejecting state court findings that the book was obscene.

      Other important books by Miller are the collections of essays The Cosmological Eye (1939) and The Wisdom of the Heart (1941). He was also a watercolourist; he exhibited internationally and wrote about art in To Paint Is To Love Again (1960). Various volumes of his correspondence have been published: with Lawrence Durrell (1963), to Anaïs Nin (1965), and with Wallace Fowlie (1975).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Miller, Henry — (1860 1926)    Actor and producer Henry John Miller was born in London, moved with his family to Canada, and began acting in Toronto at 18. He made his New York debut at Booth s Theatre in 1880. Subsequent engagements included a stint with… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Miller, Henry — (12/26/1891 New York 6/7/1980 Pacific Palisades) (USA / France)    Writer, printmaker, and painter. Major figure in 20th century literature, famous for a number of controversial novels, including Tropic of Cancer. Also produce some erotic art.… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

  • Miller, Henry — ► (1891 1980) Novelista estadounidense. Su obra tiene un trasfondo rabelesiano y entronca con Céline, cuyo vitalismo crítico del mundo moderno prosigue Miller. Su primer libro Trópico de Cáncer (1934) fue un escándalo; siguió luego la trilogía… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Miller, Henry —    см. Миллер, Генри …   Писатели США. Краткие творческие биографии

  • Miller,Henry Valentine — Miller, Henry Valentine. 1891 1980. American writer whose novels Tropic of Cancer (1934) and Tropic of Capricorn (1939) were banned in the United States because of their sexual content. * * * …   Universalium

  • Miller, Henry (Valentine) — born Dec. 26, 1891, New York, N.Y., U.S. died June 7, 1980, Pacific Palisades, Calif. U.S. writer and perennial bohemian. Miller wrote about his Brooklyn, N.Y., childhood in Black Spring (1936). Tropic of Cancer (1934), a monologue about his life …   Universalium

  • Miller, Henry (Valentine) — (26 dic. 1891, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.–7 jun. 1980, Pacific Palisades, Cal.). Escritor y eterno bohemio estadounidense. Miller escribió sobre su infancia en Brooklyn, N.Y., en la obra Primavera negra (1936). Las novelas Trópico de Cáncer (1934) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Henry Miller — Nombre completo Henry Valentine Miller Nacimiento 26 de diciembre de 1891 Nueva York Defunción 7 de junio de 1980 (88 años) Pacific Palisades, Lo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Henry S. Miller Company — is one of the largest independent brokerage and property management firms in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Founded in 1919, the business and the metroplex seemed to grow together. In a 1999 editorial naming the leading 20 Dallasites of the 20th… …   Wikipedia

  • Miller — Miller, Arthur Miller, George A. Miller, Glenn Miller, Henry Miller, índices de * * * (as used in expressions) Mary Boykin Miller Hemingway, Ernest (Miller) Miller, Arthur Miller, George A(rmitage) Miller, (Alton) Glenn Miller, Henry (Valentine)… …   Enciclopedia Universal