Read Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller Online

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Banned in America for almost thirty years because of its explicit sexual content, this companion volume to Miller s Tropic of Cancer chronicles his life in 1920s New York City. Famous for its frank portrayal of life in Brooklyn s ethnic neighborhoods and Miller s outrageous sexual exploits, The Tropic of Capricorn is now considered a cornerstone of modern literature. "...

Title : Tropic of Capricorn
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780802151827
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 348 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tropic of Capricorn Reviews

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2019-02-02 11:58

    "I am so thoroughly healthy and empty. No dreams, no desires. I am like the luscious deceptive fruit which hangs on the Californian trees. One more ray of sun and I will be rotten."Henry MillerThe first thing, if you are lucky, that you discover about Henry Miller is that you shouldn't introduce him to your wife, your sister, your mother or any other female that you care to leave unsullied. He is like a bloodhound once he catches the scent of a female that he has not had carnal knowledge with. It wasn't that Henry made the best of first impressions, but give him time, give him an evening with a nun, and she'll be at the altar the next morning, still trembling from a night of degradation, renouncing or reaffirming her vows. Henry fought with his wife, the first wife, the one with the shovel face, like two piranhas caught in a barrel. If you have read any of Henry's books you know that he shares his life, everything, even the stuff that makes him look like a lout."When I got home my wife was awake and sore as hell because I had stayed out so long. We had a hot discussion and finally I lost my temper and I clouted her and she fell on the floor and began to weep and sob. The girl upstairs came running down to see what was the matter. She was in her kimono and her hair was hanging down her back. In the excitement she got close to me and things happened without either of us intending anything to happen. (I didn't believe that part for a second.) We put the wife to bed with a wet towel around her forehead and the while the girl upstairs was bending over her I stood behind her and lifting her kimono. I got it into her and she stood there a long time talking a lot of foolish soothing nonsense. Finally I climbed into bed with the wife and to my utter amazement she began to cuddle up to me and without saying a word we locked horns and we stayed that way until dawn. I should have been worn out but instead I was wide awake, and I lay there beside her planning to take the day off and look up the whore with the beautiful fur whom I was talking to earlier in the day. After that I began to think about another woman, the wife of one of my friends. Henry is a man that is never satiated. One conquest launches him on a quest for the next one. With a clap on my shoulder and a squeeze Henry always has a new story that has me shaking my head. By comparison, I feel like my life is as boring as a Methodist sermon. Henry is living for all of us. Like every other fool I know...I've lent Henry money. Lent, that is rich, I'm still deluding myself. He doesn't repay a loan. He makes you forget you lent it to him in the first place. I remember one night when a mutual friend of ours explained the circumstances with Henry. "If you need a little money I'll raise it for you. It's like throwing it down a sewer, I know, but I'll do it for you just the same. The truth is, Henry, I like you a hell of a lot. I've taken more from you than I would from anybody in the world." Henry just grinned as our friend's hat passed around, and even people that had known him less than an hour tossed in a bit of green. It wasn't until we were leaving, weaving our own snake trail out the door, that my friend discovered that along with the money, Henry had also absconded with his hat.I was with Henry the night he met the nymphomaniac Paula. "She has the loose jaunty swing and perch of the doubled-barreled sex, all her movements radiating from the groin, always in equilibrium, always ready to flow, to wind and twist, and clutch, the eyes going tic-toc, the toes twitching and twinkling, the flesh rippling like a lake furrowed by a breeze. This is the incarnation of the hallucination of sex, the sea nymph squirming in the maniac's arms.", Needless to say I left by myself, but not before Henry touched me for a Jackson. I have never figured out if Henry is a coward or the bravest of the brave. He rejects the life that I spend so much of each day trying to build for myself. He didn't tell me this, but I found it in one of his books. "I realize quietly what a terribly civilized person I am-the need I have for people, conversation, books, theatre, music, cafes, drinks, and so forth. It's terrible to be civilized, because when you come to the end of the world you have nothing to support the terror of loneliness. To be civilized is to have complicated needs, And a man, when he is full blown, shouldn't need a thing." The thing of it is Henry couldn't be Henry except for the existence of people like myself who are always willing to buy him a drink and marvel at his stories. He is living off the efforts of "civilized" men and women. He doesn't have to own anything, because someone will always give him what he needs. "He had neither pride, nor vanity, nor envy. About the big issues he was clear, but confronted by the petty details of life he was bewildered."The Nasty GeniusThe thing of it is, despite his best efforts, Henry Miller became a useful member of society. He published books describing a life so unencumbered that even those of us perfectly satisfied with our soft lives, eking out a possession laden life of soulless corporate kowtowing, have doubts that we have chosen our lives wisely. Henry met this woman named June who hauled him off to Paris. JuneI don't get to hear his stories first hand anymore. I have to buy his books to find out what he has been up to. I miss Henry. He had me gaze upon the greener pastures on the other side of the fence, but he couldn't convince me to jump over and stay over. Every so often, despite his better financial circumstances, I still get a note from him with a plea for a few dollars for old time's sake. I, the dutiful enabling friend, always send him what I can spare. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at: https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  • Jana
    2019-02-05 09:10

    All throughout this book I was thinking about one thing: when was Cancer and when was Capricorn written. The first one was published in 1934, and the second in 1938. Four years made this huge progression – Miller really evolved as a writer, he became more concentrated and maybe a bit humbler. He is still unconventional, but although he's a mad man (I even felt sorry for him, which I think he would hate the most), I've found so much mellowness, wisdom and truth in his words that I found myself having goose skin. He still has neurotic shifts and he writes about so many people, but in the beginning he described as a hypothesis, what would happen if he wrote thousands of stories. Would they collapse, would they kill each other, would a reader die suffocating in overwhelming – ness? He’s passionate. Inconsiderate, definitely – his wife was having a second abortion while he was screwing his secretary who borrowed them money for the hospital. But, maybe I like this book more than Tropic of Cancer because he instead of talking about actual physical sex, sorrowness and how high he is, he writes about retrospection, perception and introspection of his own life and people around him. Yes, sometimes too much gibberish psycho-philosophical rambling, but at least he was honest. And inspiring in this inner struggles and rawness. I mean, he’s trying to be this ultimate brute, and he is, oh definitely don’t underestimate him, but when he shows his soft spots, empathy and sensibility, man, then you’re in trouble, because then he really shines out. But I guess that’s that diabolic thing about someone’s intelligence and emotions - actions. More you understand yourself, more you are prone to go deeper with yourself. And heavy self evaluating analysis are always bordering with the dark side. This topic is endless.

  • Perry
    2019-02-21 10:07

    Prolix Hyperbolics by an Existentialist Sexaholic on His Manhattan Frolics"Sex. In America, an obsession. In other parts of the world, a fact."Marlene Dietrich. Mainly, I read this to broaden my horizons and experience first-hand the text underlying the fuss that was made over Henry Miller when his two Tropic novels were finally published in the U.S. in 1961. Tropic of Capricorn, a semi-autobiographical prequel to Tropic of Cancer (set in 1930s Paris), though published a few years after, is set mostly in Manhattan of the 1920s. It's not chronological; rather, it skips around to revisit Miller's hetero-development and sexual high jinks in the Big Apple, including his sexual relationship with his 30-year-old piano teacher when he was 15, and a blunt description of nearly every other first encounter with a very diverse legion of women.The world of men and women are making merry in the cemetery grounds. They are having sexual intercourse, God bless them, and I am alone in the Land of Fuck.Call this brusque erotica with a literary bent, a pre-Crash lascivious bash, merit-worthy filth for those of that ilk, or prickly porn for cunning linguists. Your choice.I could take it or leave it. For one thing, it's too damned wordy. Another, I hate the "c" word for female genitalia and Miller peppers this book with it.Horizon expanded by maybe half a foot.Do NOT read the below hidden quote if you are sensitive to vulgar language.(view spoiler)["This is all a figurative way of speaking about what is unmentionable. What is unmentionable is pure fuck and pure cunt; it must be mentioned only in deluxe editions, otherwise the world will fall apart. What holds the world together, as I have learned from bitter experience, is sexual intercourse. But fuck, the real thing, cunt, the real thing, seems to contain some unidentified element which is far more dangerous than nitroglycerine.”(hide spoiler)]

  • Jeremy
    2019-01-24 12:25

    ...and Cancer is separated from Capricorn only by an imaginary line.Henry Miller’s second book is a strange and sometimes bewildering but often exhilarating exploration of his early years, before heading to Paris. He pays homage to Dadaism and Surrealism, but not as influences so much as discoveries after-the-fact; discoveries of like-minds who he never knew existed until he was already like-minded.The narrative is dense, compacted, sometimes a single paragraph will extend over several pages, and stylistically shifts gear, sometimes mid-sentence, between a kind of almost traditional yarn-spinning story-telling mode and rambling inner monologues on the idea of the self and society and almost anything, where metaphors and similes crash one upon the other in waves and spurts ... ejaculation after ejaculation; and there is an orgasmic variety of exultation to these moments which does become overwhelming. I mean, an orgasm that goes on too long can become painful... I admit to preferring the periods of this book that were in the more traditional mode, and sometimes had to will myself to stop beginning to scan through the more heavily internalised moments, but there’s also a sense that these moments are meant to wash over you, that the thrusts of Miller’s narrative hips can also rock you to sleep as much as fuck you.Nobody understood what I was writing about or why I wrote that way. I was so lucid that they said I was daffy.The ‘Miller’ of the ‘I’ of this story is facing a kind of existential dilemma, a process of self-discovering, but not in a very typical manner. Late in the novel, Miller uses a metaphor to describe his process as going from skating to swimming to being a stone. The ‘self’, as learned by-product of ‘otherness’—something we are taught to be—is regarded with great suspicion and like of living, or vitality. This is the skating along the surface, something he used to do as a child to get by. Coming to some sort of realization of this allows one to swim, to be in it and of it. But, finally, in a Zen-like nirvanic construction, the self becomes free from its exteriors and knowledge of itself. The stone, a motif Camus’ early work also plays with. ...He (Roy Hamilton/Macgregor) was appealing ... to the germ of the self, to the being that would eventually outgrow the naked personality, the synthetic individuality, and leave me truly alone and solitary.Some interesting and heavily counter-intuitive (and Dadaist) developments occur through this. To be selfish in the ordinary sense is to be overly concerned with others, since it is to others that you bring yourself to be selfed, for example. An ethics begin to form around the individual as singular biological event that is in itself an ethic, at least, that’s what it demands by not demanding anything. To be ‘...fixed in a reality which permits the thought that nothing is fixed...’Living is more important than life.It’s a challenging proclamation in our times maybe even more so than his own. This kind of dehumanising/humanising project that Miller proclaims is more important than saving lives or eating. It is the opposite of Polonius in ‘Hamlet’, which is the kind of standard product we are brought up with, where we are given an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts that change with the tides of the Twittersphere, and end it all with a rounding ‘to thine own self be true’. This is the spell that is put upon you, that must be broken. It’s all these details that bewilder this Miller, and all the rest of us in our more lucid moments, I suppose, and part of the expression of this bewilderment is in the substance, and part in the style. Far from being nihilistic, and at least influenced to some degree by Nietzsche and Dostoevsky, there is a great celebration of what it is to be completely real and in the moment of human life. To say Yes. To not desire other than through your immediate need and craving. Miller makes it clear in his denouement that his essential concern is not to do with eternity or God or justice, but that it’s human vitality, and the capacity of man to express that vitality....what a man does is of no great importance, it’s what he is that counts.There is only an imaginary line between the Tropics, that is, how we name them, how we make them be. It is tempting to think otherwise, because we can imagine how the world would still circle the sun in the same way if we ceased to be here drawing our lines all over the place to track such things, but the tracks are our tracks. And Miller is not reductive of this, in the end. When he is despairing of his urban landscape at one point, he suddenly realises that the landscape is just as human as he is. The lamp post he was staring dismally at is......not a thing of iron—it is a creation of the human mind... It is a human lamp post.Optimism and delight in the most ordinary aspects of man stripped down to his core is the end point, and a kind of acceptance of the idea of humanity in all its frailties. You can even says Yes and No at the same time ... just do ‘more than is expected of you.’

  • وائل المنعم
    2019-01-28 12:16

    Although this novel less famous than tropic of Cancer - for example 8,174 ratings, 309 reviews against 26,082 ratings, 1,465 reviews in goodreads - But it's the better one.When i read Tropic of Cancer i were prepared to all the beauty in it, I read it many years ago translated into Arabic, read many articles about it, But with Tropic of Capricorn - as i thought that Miller is a one work artist - it was like an aesthetic shock. Again the beautiful language, again the charming prose, I'm ready now to read Miller's writing about anything even an advertising catalog.As in Tropic of cancer Miller talking about a lot of nonsense matters, But it is always how you talk about something not the thing itself that makes the great literature and art.Some of the most amazing parts which delighted me are:- The employees of the telegraph company that he wrote his worst work about them.- The beautiful description of a day in his life.- kronski's expecting him to be a great writer, And here i must express my admiration of Miller's believe in himself.- All events related to Curley.- His description of the real friendship when talking about Roy Hamilton.- How Dostoyevsky and Bergson's book "Creative Evolution" effect his life.- How his friend lend him money with love and lecture.So why i didn't give it the 5 stars, because sometime Miller seems to lost the concept which he discuss and only remain the beautiful language which isn't a small element but not every thing.

  • Cecilia
    2019-02-21 11:25

    I read the first few chapters...it was boring....then I skipped chapters hoping he would get more interesting..he didn't....kept going...it was still boring...towards the end...he is pathetically sentimental, self-indulgent and boring...I think it is because he was mooching off his wife while trying to shag someone else's wives in order to mooch off them too...and too much mooching off the labours of women while being an annoying left bank Parisian bum, made him go "cunt, cunt, cunt" a lot...but it did not make him an interesting writer with a plot or indeed a man whose rant an intelligent thinking, post-modern woman could stand...given his misogyny and his endless rants....without a plot.Like Bukowski, rather Bukowski copied him...he tried to give the impression of being good in bed and all that....but uses too many words and in short, I consider this genre of writing ...EARLY Dick-lit.!However if you randomly pick out a phrase or two ...he had very interesting way of using the english language fusing it with Americanism. But not enough synergy to make this pulp of a Dick lit. interesting....Oh henry...a freaking socialist croissant commie cliche? zzzz...at least you were not a puritan protestant prude...I suppose we should we grateful for that...but lets call a spade a spade....he giggolo-ed himself....so his socialism came into good use!Those were the days, when simple not-so-well-travelled women got impressed by some guy who got his book banned (in Turkey? big whoppie!) just by using the word "cunt"...in modern times mediocre writers have to at least get a Fatwah...something that the wimpy croissant munching Henry probably wouldn't be able to handle....it would require commitement and conviction that he prided himself on not possessing an ounce of! Zzzz. lol.:)

  • Julie Rylie
    2019-01-29 12:05

    Everything I ever said about Henry Miller is NOT true. I was a senseless child when I read The Tropic of Cancer and I thought he was a machist and so on and you know what? I want to read the freaking Tropic of Cancer again! And now I sole it so I have to buy it again! damn youuuuuuu. But I had the book in Portuguese though and I want to read it in English, so it was not so bad after all. Anyway, it was one of the happy moments of 2014: recognizing that Henry Miller is an intelligent, sensitive human-being and that I want to read more from him. There was so many beautiful sentences in this book and brilliant thoughts and ways of living your life. It was very introspective for me. I am normally a fast reader but this book took me 3 weeks or something and it was only because it was so dense and profound for most of the time. loved it! really really loved it. Thanks for your insights Mister Miller! It doesn't feel so bad anymore to think of yourself as kind of alienated and for wanting more out of life and for not fitting into boxes. I think the quotes I added from this book speak for themselves.

  • Rainbow Jaguar
    2019-02-22 09:02

    cunt cunt cunt. I hate this book. I love this book. At moments I'm completely swept away or disgusted. Lost in a bleakness and shaking my head in pity for Henry. At times his existence is loathsome like a bad acid trip. Other times it's over the top sexy. Juices tumbling out of groins. I feel like I'm in between those loins.

  • Laocoön
    2019-02-01 14:21

    Found it completely pointless. Maybe I dont get surreal style at all. Maybe this zig-zag approach to reality makes me dizzy.Point is, I am sure many of his admirers, if they missed the famous author name, would feel as I do about this book.

  • أحمد شاكر
    2019-02-11 09:08

    ومع أني لم أنتهي من الكتاب، إلا أني أجدني مدفوعا برغبة غامضة للكتابة. مع العلم أني لم أقرر بعد هل سأكمله أم لا..بالأمس، كنت في حالة من عدم الاتزان؛ حالة ذهنية ونفسية شديدة السوء، لم تداهمني من قبل، ربما الاكتئاب هو السبب. المهم وأنا في تلك الحالة، وبينما أجوب شوارع وسط البلد مع صديقة لي، ضاع الكتاب. نعم ضا ع مدار الجدي في مكان ما. سأحكي لكم: صليت الظهر في زاوية صغيرة، ثم قابلت صديقتي. سألتني: كتاب جديد؟ قلت: لا. قديم، لكني أقرأ فيه. هنري يلهمني وأنا أكتب. كلمتها عن أهمية الكتاب، ثم ذهبنا وتناولنا الغداء، ثم إلي المقهي، ثم إلي مكتبة شهيرة؛ نتنزه وسط الكتب، ثم وقعت عيني علي نسخة معروضة من الكتاب، فجأة تذكرت. أوه.. أين الكتاب؟ كان معك (أجابتني) وخرجنا نبحث عن الكتاب. وأنا في حالة من الضياع والتشتت. وكأن ابني تاه مني. كنت قد تجاوزت 65 صفحة فقط من الكتاب. كنت أقرأ بتأن واستمتاع بالغين. هنري يسب أم أمريكا ويلعن من خلفوها. هذه هي فاتحة الكتاب. ويبدو أن هذه هي تيمة الكتاب كله. هنري حزين جدا في مدار الجدي علي حال الانسان المنسحق من فوق، ومن الآلة، ومن الشغل، ومن المخدرات، والجنس..هنري يبكي حاله، وحال أميركا، وحال العالم..هذا أول كتاب يضيع مني يا هنري، ماذا أفعل؟ سأذهب لدلتا فينوس كتاب صديقتك نن..

  • farida
    2019-02-18 10:23

    DNFthis is actually really sad for me, because i was so excited to read this book. in the beginning i thought it was exquisite with the narcissistic and arrogant tone of the author that i quite liked, to be honest. but then it contained offensive pieces. every black man is a "ni**er" and he constantly cheats on his wife and makes it look normal. i actually found reviews with people saying that he's "living more than us" to which i gagged. there were some parts that i actually liked, but the more you go on, the more offensive shit you'll see that will overweight the good parts. IM SO SAD. i thought it would talk more thoroughly about sex or lack of feelings between partners but this was like a big fat "meh". it took me a long time to read, and honestly... that time is wasted. i didn't complete this book. don't want to.

  • Ioannis Savvas
    2019-02-12 15:18

    Ένα καταιγιστικό βιβλίο, αλλόκοτο, χωρίς πλοκή, χωρίς ειρμό. Χειμαρρώδες, όμορφο, κολασμένο, ονειρικό, χλευαστικό, ανήθικο, διδακτικό. Ο Μίλερ είναι ένας άξιος εκπρόσωπος του υπερρεαλισμού. Αν και έχει γνωρίσει τον ντανταϊσμό, δεν τον ενστερνίζεται. Ακροβατεί ανάμεσα στο παραλήρημα και τη φτηνή αυτοβιογραφία. Φτύνει το κατεστημένο, την πραγματικότητα. Ταυτόχρονα ζει την πραγματικότητα, το τώρα, ως το μεδούλι. Υμνεί τη γυναίκα και τις ωοθήκες της, την ίδια στιγμή που τη φοβάται και τη λατρεύει σαν θεά.Ο Τροπικός του Αιγόκερω είναι ένα βιβλίο-μνημείο των ακραίων ατραπών που μπορεί να βαδίσει ο ανθρώπινος εγκέφαλος, χωρίς να χάσει το δρόμο του.

  • Zoey Heath
    2019-01-23 11:13

    Racist. Sexist. Let's move on.

  • Dolly Delightly
    2019-02-20 10:11

    It is no mean feat to take-away from a book an erudition. Reading Henry Miller’s work schooled me into realising that there really is “only one great adventure and that is inward towards the self”. And, more importantly that inveterate boozing and smoking, carousing, quixotic philandering and riding life out “on the wind of the wing of madness” like one has “iron in the backbone and sulphur in the blood” is elementary in the success of that adventure; and the manumitting of oneself from the ne plus ultra drudgery of life. And for that, and the fact that his writing always remained "true, sincere" and "on the side of life" and he an old roué throughout, I love him: earnestly, completely. I read “Tropic of Cancer”, and subsequently the “Rosy Crucifixion Trilogy”, some years ago, and thus was ecstatic to find Miller in my favourite Oxfam. One of the things I discovered, by sheer coincidence, prior to reading “Tropic of Capricorn” was that both the aforementioned and “Tropic of Cancer” were Miller's choice sobriquets for his second wife June Mansfield Smith’s breasts. And for that I love him also. “Tropic of Capricorn” opens with a pronunciamento that, "Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos", a line of thought, that denotes the perspicuous resignation of the disillusioned. And Miller’s voice gets even more intractably dour a jot or two down the page when he confesses that, “Even as a child, when I lacked for nothing, I wanted to die: I wanted to surrender because I saw no sense in struggling. I felt that nothing would be proved, substantiated, added or subtracted by continuing an existence which I had not asked for.” The realisation about the innate lack of purpose and “the stupidity and futility of everything” reverberates throughout as Miller expounds at length about working dead-end jobs inimical to his creative freedom, being a myrmidon to his superiors at the redoubtable Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company of North America - a “hideous farce against a backdrop of sweat and misery… a waste of men, material and effort” - and ploughing against the “whole rotten system of American labour” while sitting behind his work-desk “hiring and firing like a demon”. Chronically impecunious despite full time employment with the Western Union and feeling no fealty to anyone or anything, Miller chronicles this time in his life, spent mostly with a retinue of factotums and waybills – all trapped in a system that was so rotten, so inhuman, so lousy, so hopelessly corrupt and complicated, that it would have taken a genius to put any sense or order into it, to say nothing of human kindness or consideration – with both animus and amity. Forced by his superiors to be “be firm, be hard!” instead of having “too big a heart”, Miller sticks it to the avaricious panjandrums and vows to be “be generous, pliant, forgiving, tolerant, tender”. Everything in “Tropic of Capricorn” is perched on a pedantically balanced scale, just as Miller’s prose, which jumps from fatalistic cynicism to Panglossian mirth, the sagacious to the fecund, the overzealous to the insouciant, the recidivistic to the enterprising, thereby mirroring his life which consists of nothing but “ups and downs…long stretches of gloom and melancholy followed by extravagant bursts of gayety, of trancelike inspiration.” And it is precisely this deft linguistic ability, albeit occasionally blemished by overindulgence in periphrasis and even unabashed flummery, to relay his variegated reminiscences so graphically and candidly that incites a sense of grandstand awe. Above all other subjects, however, Miller spends a lot of time lamenting and lambasting his homeland, the “monstrous death machine” where “nobody knows how to sit on his ass and be content.” His avid hatred of the US is documented with effusive graphic proclivity and an unapologetic conviction, for as he sees it he had never anywhere “felt so degraded and humiliated as in America”. Miller expectorates vehemently about the country he calls a “cesspool” where “everything is sucked down and drained away to everlasting shit”, before asserting that everything he had “endured was in the nature of a preparation for that moment when, putting on my hat one evening, I walked out of the office, out of my hitherto private life, and sought the woman who was to liberate me from a living death.” The woman sought was Miller’s second wife, June Mansfield Smith, the great nostrum who turned into an obsession leading to his emotional labefaction. June was the one who convinced Miller to jack-in his job and take up writing full time while she machinated a variety of schemes to support them financially, whether parading around dance halls, running a speakeasy or collecting money from services rendered. Writing of her elsewhere, Miller once noted: "I'm in love with a monster, the most gorgeous monster imaginable." And, she was a monster. Or to be more precise “a monstrous lying machine” one with a striking bloodless face, rouged lips, a penchant for Dostoyevsky and indiscriminate fucking. Intrepid, perfidious, prone to theatrical exaggeration and acidulous lies June became the archetypal femme fatal in Miller’s literary endeavours. Their connubial life was marked by volatility, mutual jealousies, June’s mercurial vagaries, and eventually their great big love was reduced to something like a “soft prick slipping out of an overheated cunt.” When the two first met, however, they were as one like “Siamese twins whom love had joined and whom death alone could separate.” But it was not to be. The inchoate despair comes to the surface in “Tropic of Capricorn” when Miller begins to realise that June is prone to “transformation; almost as quick and subtle she was as the devil himself”, later likening her to the “queen mother of all the slippery Babylonian whores,” for she was just as inconstant. Their love was intense, both in a spiritual and physical sense, with Miller once describing her in copulation like a wild creature “radiant, jubilant, an ultra-black jubilation streaming from her like a steady flow of sperm from the Mithraic Bull. She was double-barrelled, like a shot-gun, a female bull with an acetylene torch in her womb. In heat she focussed on the grand cosmocrator, her eyes rolled back to the whites, her lips a-saliva. In the blind hole of sex she waltzed like a trained mouse, her jaws unhinged like a snake's, her skin horripilating in barbed plumes. She had the insatiable lust of a unicorn,” but one he couldn’t tame. In turn, he became “possessed like a full blooded schizerino” while she taunted him by launching her powers “toward the fabrication of [herself as] a mythical creature” and whoring like a nymphomaniac on day release from AA because she simply didn’t “give a fuck about anything”. The two split eventually, and the ruptures in the relationship are documented toward the end of the book with melancholic retrospection, and thereafter in Miller’s later works. June remained a permanent fixture throughout Miller’s early years, indelibly looming over his life and his literature. Her spectres is firmly entrenched in the “Tropic of Capricorn”, but mostly the book is about Miller himself – the scatologist who is transfixed by shit, vermin, booze, fucking and disease, albeit one who has an inexorable knack for finding poetry in the grotesque. And he does, without fail, in “people's stories, the banal tragedies of poverty and distress, of love and death, of yearning and disillusionment”. Miller is not frugal with the scope of his subject matter either. He writes about everything from eating meat balls to eating pussy by way of St. Thomas Aquinas, who omitted from his opus “hamburger sandwiches, collar buttons, poodle dogs, slot machines, grey bowlers, typewriter ribbons, oranges sticks, free toilets, sanitary napkins, mint jujubes, billiard balls, chopped onions, crinkled doilies, manholes, chewing gum, sidecars and sour-balls, cellophane, cord tyres, magnetos, horse liniment, cough drops, feenamint, and that feline opacity of the hysterically endowed eunuch who marches to the soda fountain with a sawed off shotgun between his legs.” Not to mention the strip-teasers with nothing more than “a little patch to cover their twinkling little cunts”. And his turn of phrase remains truly unique with asides and observations such as: “The chaff of the empty soul rising like monkey chatter in the topmost branches of the trees,” and “...music is a diarrhoea, a lake of gasoline, stagnant with cockroaches and stale horse piss,” or “the black frenzied nothingness of the hollow of absence leaves a gloomy feeling of saturated despondency not unlike the topmost tip of desperation which is only the gay juvenile maggot of death's exquisite rupture with life,” and “We are of one flesh, but separated like stars” and “Look at your heart and gizzard - the brain is in the heart.” Gems like these stud his stream-of-consciousness prose from start to finish. You might scowl or snigger as he wrestles with the salacious and the sad, but you will not be unaffected. As a follow up to “Tropic of Cancer”, Capricorn ruminates over the same old grounds, “speaking about what is unmentionable” and according to Miller “what is unmentionable is pure fuck and pure cunt” and must not be mentioned “otherwise the world will fall apart.” But of course sex is not the only unmentionable subject that Miller mentions, in fact, he pontificates on every topic that springs to mind while “rubbing elbows with humanity”, realising “truth is not enough,” watching men “scurrying through a cunty deft of a street called Broadway”, and claiming that “heartbreaks and abortions and busted romances,” are nothing in comparison to lousy coffee; and the result is this sagacious irreverent hulk of a picaresque. But I think Miller’s work is summarised best by the thought that in any great book “Each page must explode with the profoundly serious and heavy, the whirlwind, dizziness, the new, the eternal, with the overwhelming hoax, with an enthusiasm for principles or with the mode of typography.” Henry Miller’s work certainly does. © Dolly Delightly 2011

  • Jeruen
    2019-01-23 11:14

    I suppose I should preface this review with a warning. This is an explicit book. This book has full of sex. And this book has no plot.Ten years ago, when I was a senior in high school, I read Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. It opened my eyes. It was the first book that I read that had no plot at all, and I was looking for a story in the book, and yet there were none. It was just a three-hundred page rant about the traipsing of the author. I liked it.This time, I read Tropic of Capricorn, ten years after reading the first book. And once again, I was amazed.Why did I pick this book? Well, it was first published in the 1930s, but it was banned here in the United States for about 30 years, due to the sexually explicit content of the book. However, I suppose I like this book due to the fact that this gave way to freedom of speech and expression.So, what is this book about? This is a narration of a character named Henry Miller and his escapades in New York City. He has sex with several women in the book, and it seems that he is the most virile character in literature that I have encountered so far. He describes in painful detail the encounters that he has with several women, Jewish women, secretaries, people he goes swimming with, and other women that intersect with his life. He describes how he is able to have sex with a woman who thinks that her genitals are too small for having sex, he describes how is has sex with a woman who has a fear of drowning in a lake, and he describes how he has sex with a woman who used to be his music teacher.He has a typology of "cunts" and describes what these various types are, with the "supercunt" as the most elusive of them all. He is perhaps the most sexed up person in literature I ever read. But, as the narrative ends, I realized that Tropic of Capricorn is about Henry Miller's image of women, as the book ends with saying that if you want women to last, you should turn them into literature. And after reading this book, I am glad that I did pick it up, even though it was ten years after I read the first book. 4 out of 5 stars.

  • Eliana Rivero
    2019-01-29 09:18

    La oportunidad más maravillosa que ofrece la vida es la de ser humano. Abarca todo el universo. Incluye el conocimiento de la muerte, del que ni siquiera Dios goza (p.226).Trópico de Capricornio me ha gustado más que su antecesor. Aquí hay más espiritualidad, filosofía y reflexión. También hay más sexo, escenas repugnantes, sífilis, machismo, miseria, pobreza. Pero es una novela genial, intensa, absorbente, que te deja con un vacío y con muchas preguntas. Es una novela que te hace explotar la cabeza, porque es como una explosión.Seguimos la vida ficcionalizada de Henry Miller, su vida como jefe de personal en una compañía de telégrafos y de sus amistades, salidas, vida familiar, prostitutas, su odio por Estados Unidos, sus reflexiones sobre la vida que lleva, sus recuerdos de infancia, entre muchas otras cosas. Es divertido el relato que hace, pues en ocasiones resulta un tanto absurdo, irónico y estúpido. La pasión de Miller por el sexo es importante, porque aunque la novela no gire en torno al sexo, tiene gran relevancia en su vida y en las reflexiones que hace sobre la misma. Yo lo llamaría como una especie de sexo-místico, porque hay cierta espiritualidad en lo que quiere vivir Miller y en lo que es su filosofía de vida: decir sí a todo, porque es la única forma de poder vivir honradamente como hombre y ser humano. Darlo todo a la humanidad, entregarse desbocadamente.Si vieran el montón de post-its que utilicé, más los subrayados, se sorprenderían. Cada frase es más ¡wow! que la otra, es impactante. Como por ejemplo: A mi entender, el significado de un libro radica en que el propio libro desaparezca de la vista, en que se lo mastique vivo, se lo digiera e incorpore al organismo como carne y sangre que, a su vez, crean nuevo espíritu y dan nueva forma al mundo (p.218). O también: La delicia mayor, pero rara, era caminar por las calles a solas..., caminar por las calles de noche, cuando estaban desiertas, y reflexionar sobre el silencio que me rodeaba. Millones de personas tumbadas boca arriba, muertas para el mundo, con las bocas abiertas, que sólo emitían ronquidos. Caminar por entre la arquitectura más demencial que jamás se haya inventado, preguntándome por qué y con qué fin, si todos los días tenía que salir de aquellos cuchitriles miserables o palacios magníficos un ejército de hombres deseosos de desembuchar el relato de su miseria (p.66)..Miller es una figura importante de la literatura norteamericana. Escribió los dos Trópicos... en los años 30. Se nota su influencia en la generación beat, aunque creo que él es un poco más simple en lo que quiere expresar. También se siente un poco surrealista, pero sus escritos tienen más sentido que lo que se ve en la escritura automática de este movimiento. Estas son novelas para sorprenderse y dejarse llevar. Es para abrir la mente, porque es una explosión.

  • Deniz Balcı
    2019-01-28 16:27

    Zor bir kitap "Oğlak Dönencesi".Yazarın "Yengeç Dönencesi"ni okuduğum yakın zamanda, Henry Miller'ı keşfetmemin ne kadar geç kaldığını anladığımda büyük bir panik hali yaşamış ve en kısa zamanda "Oğlak Dönencesi"ni okuma kararı almıştım. Ancak "Yengeç Dönencesi"nde ki oburluğum burada kendini gösteremedi. Kitap yordu beni bir noktada. O yüzden yarısında ara vermek ve araya birçok kitap sokmak durumunda kaldım. Bu, aslında Miller'in değil, benim densizliğim. Zira Miller tempolu bir hayat içerisinde, dikkatinizi vermeniz gereken onca başka şey varken okunacak eserler yazmıyor. Haliyle ben zamanı yanlış seçmiştim. Henry Miller olay odaklı ve kronolojik bir anlatım benimsemediğinden okuması hayli zor ve meşakkatli oluyor. Okuyucusunu belirleyen bir yazar Miller. Proustvari bir edebiyattan da bahsetmiyorum. Çok daha başına buyruk, savruk, kavramsal bir dili var Miller'in. Altını çizebileceğiniz çok fazla pasajla karşılaşıyorsunuz. Düşüncesini anlatma şekli çok özel ve özgün. Okurken farkına varıyorsunuz, diyorsunuz ki 'bu adam boşuna çağın en önemli yazarlarından biri olmamış'.Tabulara karşı sanatın her dalında karşıtlık oluşturan eserlere hayranlık duyan benim için "Oğlak Dönencesi"ni beğenmem kaçınılmazdı. Bataille tarzı grotesk ve gündelik hayatın içine yedirdiği bir yaklaşımı var olaylara. "Oğlak Dönencesi" müstehcenlik gereğiyle uzun yıllar yasak kalmış bir kitap ancak bence tabulara, erk sistemin getirmiş olduğu genel-geçer ahlaka vurulmuş bir darbe olduğundan, korkudan yasaklanmış bir kitap. Yazarın dili bazı kesimlerce fazla erkek egemen bulunuyor. Ben buna katılmakla beraber kadınlarla bir sorunu olduğunu kabul etmiyorum. Zira yazar inanılmaz dürüst. Miller'in sadece kadınlarla değil, toplumla, erkeklerle, insanlarla, hayvanlarla, tanrıyla ve her şeyle benzer problemleri olduğunu gözden çıkarmamak gerek.Çeviriyi beğenmeyenlerle de karşılaştım daha önce ama yine bana göre Avi Pardo'nun Miller çevirileri, Roza Hakmen'in çevirileri ile yarışacak düzeyde. Çoğu noktada çevirmenin hakimiyetine ve gücüne hayranlık duydum.Kafanızın ve zamanınızın boş olduğu bir zamanda, kallavi bir edebiyat eseri okumak istiyorum diyorsanız, "Oğlak Dönencesi" güzel bir tercih olacaktır.10/8

  • Adrian Anghel
    2019-01-28 14:58

    Ca un carusel. Un montaigne rousse pe care pleci agale, ridicându-te pe culmi și apoi coborând amețitor prin tot felul de rotații, alte șuișuri și coborâri adânci și abrupte. Asta aș putea spune despre Tropicele lui Henry Miller.Privind retrospectiv ambele lecturi, mă simt ca și coborât dintr-un astfel de monstru de distracții. Pline de adrenalină, de trăiri, de gânduri, de filozofie jucăușă, cu erotism dus la obscen, cu efuziuni de lirism și imagini puternice, printre care se strecoară diferite contradicții tipic dadaiste. Iată mașinăria milleriană.Pentru Miller, unde ai zice că-i autobiografie în cazul ambelor cărți, este de fapt o distorsiune a realității și ficțiunii, o punere a acestora într-un malaxor din care iese o compoziție cel puțin ciudată.Tropicul Capricornului vine în susținerea celuilalt tropic (Tropicul Cancerului) publicat în 1934. Apărut în 1939, după romanul Primăvara Neagră, după așezarea lui la Paris, Miller exploatează prima parte a vieții acestuia, cea de dinainte de marea mutare pe vechiul continent, unde descoperă marea menire, marea descătușare, marea plecare. Privind atipic modernismul și facerile modernității, naratorul se detașează prin trăiri intense, făcând uz de realitate pentru a o străpunge prin cele mai sensibile puncte, mai ales cele morale.Restul aici: http://adispune.ro/henry-miller-tropi...

  • Karen Cockerill
    2019-02-01 09:20

    In the contraversal debates on Fifty Shades of Grey this was one of the books suggested as being a better read. So I thought I'd try it. I'm almost halfway through the book after much skim reading - for me on the negativity of life - I'm ready to throw the towel in and move onto a more pleasant book.

  • Sean Wilson
    2019-02-11 14:13

    "I wanted to be wide awake without talking or writing about it, in order to accept life absolutely." More than just a 'companion piece' to his first novel, Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn is one of the purest, most intellectually stimulating works of spiritual, sexual and artistic awakening I've ever come across.

  • Jafar
    2019-02-19 16:20

    Henry Miller is mad. I’m not sure anymore that he’s mad in a good way. This book was more ranting and raving of a genius writer, but if you take it personally it can appall or depress you. I didn’t think it was as good as Tropic of Cancer. That book was a constant high for me, but this one faltered at many places and at times bored me. But boredom doesn’t last longer than a page or two when reading this book. Something really good will take you out of it and keep you out of it for a good while.Looking at some of the reviews here it looks like misogyny is a matter of contention regarding Miller. I think they’re missing the point. It’s like accusing him of anti-Semitism because of how he wrote about the Jews that he knew. Miller is just intense, and he writes with passion and bluntness. Personal hyper-sensitivities should be left out when reading Miller. I actually don’t find him misogynistic at all. He writes about his raw desires with zeal and intensity and he doesn’t see a need to post-script it with “oh, and I’m not saying that women should not be respected or don’t have anything else to offer other than sex.” Expecting every male writer to say or imply such thing is just another form of vanity. Some women need to get over their obsession to analyze every male write, looking for signs of “misogyny.”

  • Nicholas Moryl
    2019-02-07 10:01

    Worse than Tropic of Cancer. Vulgar for the sake of being vulgar, and no compelling plot, characters, themes--in short, nothing that warrants literary merit. Tropic of Capricorn, along with Tropic of Cancer, may have been groundbreaking at the time, but without the historical context they're just crude, misogynistic, violent, and ugly. When it is not that, it is boring to the point of punishment. Miller writes like a stoned undergrad, contemplating his place in the universe through endless oblique metaphor--basically, he's that guy who always used song lyrics as his status updates and then if you ask him what they mean, he would smugly say, "Oh, nothing."Not worth the time it took to read. Contemplated throwing it away multiple times while reading it but I wanted to give it a chance to see if it improved. It didn't. I want my time back.

  • henry
    2019-02-20 12:22

    This was the first Henry Miller book I ever read, and until I read The Rosy Crucifixion, I considered it his best. Most readers and critics seem to focus on the sexual aspects of Miller's work, or else the profanity, or that his work was autobiographical, and they tend to say that his work isn't relevant to a 21st Century audience. I disagree; while his language might be more suited to an audience from an earlier time, and his cynicism and sexual explicitness might put readers off (personally, I think his sex scenes were poorly written and the least important aspect of his work), his ideas, especially concerning his life as an artist, are more relevant and illuminating than anything the publishing industry has vomited out in the last twenty years.

  • Charly
    2019-02-04 12:19

    Miller is either a sheer genius or a madman; perhaps both. This is the companion work to Tropic of Cancer, and actually predates it in chronological time line. Miller exhibits an extra-ordinary ego, an inability to focus on much anything beyond sex and money both of which he seems to feel entitled, without commitment. There is certainly a bit of the pedagog in him, and he displays it often and distractingly.I read these two works because they are considered benchmark works in American Literature. This book and its content and language are not for everybody. As he says in this book there is nothing between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn but an imaginary line. Perhaps a bookmark?Three star rating includes a star for the stature of the work on both of these.

  • Doris Jean
    2019-02-08 13:23

    Quite an unusual book! There is no plot, no chapter, no format, few paragraphs. The author appears extremely well-read and knowledgeable in many fields from opera to history to religions and much more. He is extremely open about sexuality. He writes in a run-on style and often continues for seven or more pages without a single paragraph break. His style is very much a stream-of-consciousness. He relates everything to sex, maybe more than half the book relates to sex, often directly and often obliquely. He uses sexual language and sexual descriptions which are disapproved in polite society.He weaves in mythological, biblical, classical, philosophical, musical, historical, geographical, astrological, geological, astronomical, and botanical references which he intertwines with sex. Some of his references may detract from the reader's enjoyment if the reader is not also very well-read. For examples: the Biddenton maidens, a George Grosz idiot, the Fratellini Brothers, the Pearl of the Antilles, a mad Czolgosz, Dannemora, the warlike Ingorots, General Ivolgin, Joseph Conrad, Dostoevski, Babel, Immanuel Kant, Dante, the Hottentots, Lilith, Elie Faure, Weltanschauung, the lost Grimaldi men, the god Priapus, St. Hildegarde of Bingen, Lazurus, a William Morris chair, St. Vitus, Duyvil, Caligari, Admiral Dewey, Ixion on the wheel, Brucephalus, Strindberg, Oberon the Night Rider, Hamsun's "Mysteries", morganatic diseases, the Dadaists (Jarry), persimmon, catalpa, sassafras, sorrel, the Machineans in the time of the Pentecostal Plague, Absolam, the Mithraic bull, a Sargasso of impotence, the Meocene, the Pleocene, Lackawanna, the flatulence of Liszt (& Weber & Berlioz), Verdi, Czerny, Sonata "Pathetique", Sprudel baths, fango packs, and much, much more. I wondered if he had read so much that he could not write well anymore, or whether he was trying to impress with his intellectualism. Was he embellishing pornography with education, or embellishing his vast education with pornography?I liked and appreciated that the author seemed open and honest about himself, although his utter exposure of his life and his sexuality was sometimes jolting. The book has no plot, it is a random out-of-order recounting of his memories interspersed with back-and-forth sexual exploits and events. He speaks of his job at a telegraph company, a rock fight when he killed another boy when he was eight or nine years old, and then he jumps back and forth describing his buddies and girlfriends and their escapades, all with the sexual aspects blatantly brought forth.The author has many sentences abundant with nouns, such as: "it is the same: hunger, humiliation, ignorance, vice, greed, extortion, chicanery, torture, despotism....the fetters, the harness, the halter, the bridle, the whip, the spurs" and with long strings of adjectives or adverbs or verbs, such as: "saw them weeping, begging, beseeching, imploring, cursing, spitting, fuming, threatening".He also wields this descriptive abundance on entire subjects, such as the subject of his father sleeping in his chair and snoring. There are three pages describing "his lower jaw dropped like a hinge...much like the death rattle....like an accordion collapsing....lips gently flapping with the flux and reflux....."He writes openly honest descriptive phrases to describe forbidden subjects, as "dry fucks at the Roseland Dime-a-Dance" and "nuns studying music and the art of masturbation, lying in bed and masturbating each other" and his girlfriend coming to babysit for his wife who was having another abortion.There are passages just randomly dropped into the middle of a flow, relating to nothing, which I could not comprehend. Here is one: "It was here in the void of hernia that I did all my quiet thinking via the penis. There was first of all the binomial theorem, a phrase which had always puzzled me....There was Logos, which somehow I had always identified with breath...."There are philosophical moments interspersed with the sex as he talks of life, ("We're like a Jack-in-the-box perched on top of a spring and the more we struggle the harder it is to get back in the box....flotsam and jetsom whirling about me") and time and energy ("Chronos and his ovicular progeny"; "no such thing as time, only the present") and writing ("a mouthpiece for the ancestral race").Here (page 340) is a passage where he describes his overly talkative girlfriend and this passage also describes my feeling as I read this book: "Not knowing how or where she began, suddenly she is in the midst of a long narrative, a fresh one, but it is always the same. Her talk is as formless as a dream: there are no grooves, no walls, no exits, no stops. I have the feeling of being drowned in a deep mesh of words, of crawling painfully back to the top of the net, of looking into her eyes and trying to find there some reflection of the significance of her words....."I suspect that men will be more entertained by this book than women. "Drowned in a deep sexual mesh of words...."

  • Simona
    2019-01-23 14:23

    "Peccato che abbia dovuto usare Cristo come gruccia, ma dall'altra parte cosa importa come ci si accosta alla verità purché la si trovi, e si viva di lei?"Henry Miller coinvolge e sconvolge, non solo per la nudità delle immagini delle copertine, ma anche e soprattutto per la verità di quello che racconta. Ciò che colpisce è la disarmante verità di cui questa sua opera è intrisa.Tropico del Capricorno è un romanzo dove i dialoghi sono quasi assenti e dove la verità di Miller è cruenta e cruda. Ogni parola usata dallo scrittore è un pugno allo stomaco e un colpo in pieno petto. E' un lungo e, a tratti confusionario, flusso di coscienza ricco di elucubrazioni mentali riguardo vari argomenti: il lavoro, la corruzione, le condizioni di vita dei lavoratori, le sue esperienze sessuali raccontate senza inibizione, un'America allo sfacelo:"L'America pacifista e cannibalesca. Dal di fuori, sembra un bell'alveare con tutte le api che si scavalcano, ma da dentro è un macello, e ciascuno uccide il suo prossimo e gli succhia il midollo delle ossa".E' anche la storia di un uomo in balìa di se stesso, del suo essere e della sua condizione. Un romanzo che entra dentro le ossa, una lettura che necessita della massima concentrazione e attenzione e che alla fine vi lascia saturi.

  • Brent Legault
    2019-01-27 12:02

    Should have been banned for its banality rather than its sexual content. I recently reread the first page and counted five cliches.* I'd've found more had I the strength to continue. Miller had pluck, sure, and ballsful of bravado. But talent? I might've wanted to drink with him in some Dijon bordello, listen to one or two of his stories outloud (his novels certainly read like they were dictated) but his written words are weak and watery. Of course, he couldn't see that, blinded as he was by his outsized ego.*More than five, actually: "given up the ghost" "dead certainty" "I was my own worst enemy." "bored me to tears" "sympathetic to a fault" "a change of heart" "at first blush"There were many other soft cliches and tired turns of phrase, all on page one. I checked other pages, just in case he was making a pre-post modern comment of some kind, but no, no. His writing, in all of his books (the eight or so that I've read, anyway) is replete with laziness (intermingled with bits of careless genius).

  • Eva Luna
    2019-02-18 12:58

    Everything was for tomorrow, but tomorrow never came. The present was only a bridge and on this bridge they are still groaning, as the world groans, and not one idiot ever thinks of blowing up the bridge.Actually haven't picked this up again. I was enticed by the idea of reading about his life in America, pre-European days, after reading about him in Anais Nin's first diaries. However, the first chapter was one big whine-fest, full of pity and non-belief in the goodness of the human spirit. He writes like he'd rather be dead. Not my cup of tea.

  • Jack Rousseau
    2019-01-22 16:25

    Call me "puritanical", but when I read a line like "The sad thing about Valeska was the fact that she had n****r blood in her veins" (pg. 57) I lose interest in a book. Why do I want to read about a blatant racist/sexist? His musings aren't that interesting. Nelson Algren put it best when he said: "Henry Miller has one fault, he thinks he thinks."

  • Lynne King
    2019-01-30 10:21

    Seeing Jeffrey's excellent review reminded me how much I admired some of Miller's works, especially his letters to Lawrence Durrell and the Colossus of Maroussi.