Aller Retour New York

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Aller Retour New York

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First edition
Author Henry Miller
Country United States
Language English
Publisher Obelisk Press
Publication date
1935, reprinted 1991
Media type Print
Pages 77 pp
ISBN 978-0-8112-1226-7
OCLC 26853956
818/.5203 B 20
LC Class PS3525.I5454 Z462 1993
Preceded by Tropic of Cancer
Followed by Black Spring

Aller Retour New York is a novel by American writer Henry Miller, published in 1935 by Obelisk Press in Paris, France.

Henry Miller American novelist

Henry Valentine Miller was an American writer. He was known for breaking with existing literary forms and developing a new type of semi-autobiographical novel that blended character study, social criticism, philosophical reflection, stream of consciousness, explicit language, sex, surrealist free association, and mysticism. His most characteristic works of this kind are Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, Tropic of Capricorn and The Rosy Crucifixion trilogy, which are based on his experiences in New York and Paris. He also wrote travel memoirs and literary criticism, and painted watercolors.

Obelisk Press was an English-language press based in Paris, France, which was founded by British publisher Jack Kahane in 1929.

Published after his breakthrough book Tropic of Cancer , Aller Retour New York takes the form of a long letter from Miller to his friend Alfred Perlès in Paris. In the book Miller describes his experiences on a trip back to New York City, his birthplace, in pursuit of his sometime lover Anaïs Nin, who had left Paris for New York in the company of psychoanalyst Otto Rank. When Nin returned to Paris after a few months, Miller did so as well, with this book as his record of the visit. [1]

<i>Tropic of Cancer</i> (novel) novel by Henry Miller

Tropic of Cancer is a novel by Henry Miller that 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 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the book non-obscene. It is regarded as an important work of 20th-century literature.

Alfred Perlès (1897–1990) was an Austrian writer, who was most famous for his associations with Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, and Anaïs Nin.

Anaïs Nin writer of novels, short stories, and erotica

Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell, known professionally as Anaïs Nin was a French-American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica. Born to Cuban parents in France, Nin was the daughter of composer Joaquín Nin and Rosa Culmell, a classically trained singer. Nin spent her early years in Spain and Cuba, about sixteen years in Paris (1924–1940), and the remaining half of her life in the United States, where she became an established author.

Literary critic Shaun O'Connell describes the book as "a litany of [Miller's] disenchantment with America," and Miller's view of New York as "the symbolic center of American corruption." Miller paints an unpleasant picture of a New York that, in Miller's eyes, is distinctly inferior to Paris. [1] The book contains many negative comments about women and New York's many ethnic groups, especially Jews, leading to concerns that the book was antisemitic. [2] In his preface to a later French translation, Miller noted that he had modified some of the book's "harsh, seemingly unjustified references to the Jews", which he explained as a function of his "extravagant and reckless" youthful prose. [3] On the other hand, in a 1971 letter to his publisher, Miller rejected any charges of antisemitic content, although he also suggested delaying any reprint of the book while it "might rightly or wrongly create a bad impression". [4]

The book went out of print after 1945, but was reprinted by New Directions Publishing in 1991 (and in a 1993 paperback edition). A critic for the British newspaper The Independent commented on the book's "blustering misogyny" and "racial swipes of the kind common to much pre-war American literature" but also observed that it had "some arresting moments." [5] Writing for Entertainment Weekly , critic Margot Mifflin described the book as a "springboard" for Miller's 1939 novel Tropic of Capricorn , "an uproarious critique of America" presaging Miller's 1945 book The Air-Conditioned Nightmare , and "a central document of Miller's picaresque life." [6] Critic Gerald Stern found the book, and its bigotry, to be "an attack on any kind of social action, even on hope", in which Miller "seems actually to hate everything, or really not to love anything" except a few people he meets. [2]

<i>The Independent</i> British online daily newspaper

The Independent is a British online newspaper. Established in 1986 as a politically independent national morning newspaper published in London, it was controlled by Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media from 1997 until it was sold to Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev in 2010. The last printed edition of The Independent was published on Saturday 26 March 2016, leaving only its digital editions.

<i>Entertainment Weekly</i> American entertainment magazine published by Meredith Corporation

Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by Meredith Corporation, that covers film, television, music, Broadway theatre, books and popular culture.

<i>Tropic of Capricorn</i> (novel) novel by Henry Miller

Tropic of Capricorn is a semi-autobiographical novel by Henry Miller, first published by Obelisk Press in Paris in 1939. A prequel of sorts to Miller's first published novel, 1934's Tropic of Cancer, it was banned in the United States until a 1961 Justice Department ruling declared that its contents were not obscene.

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Quiet Days in Clichy is a novella written by Henry Miller. It is based on his experience as a Parisian expatriate in the early 1930s, when he and Alfred Perlès shared a small apartment in suburban Clichy as struggling writers. It takes place around the time Miller was writing Black Spring. According to his photographer friend George Brassaï, Miller admitted the title is “completely misleading.”

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References

  1. 1 2 Shaun O'Connell, Remarkable, Unspeakable New York: A Literary History (New York: Beacon Press, 1997), pp.219–220, excerpt available online at Google Books.
  2. 1 2 Gerald Stern, "Henry Miller's New York" in Stealing History (Trinity University Press, 2012), ISBN   978-1595341167, pp. 270-272. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  3. Robert Ferguson, Henry Miller: A Life (Faber & Faber, 2012), ISBN   978-0571294848, p. 248. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  4. George Wickes, ed., Henry Miller and James Laughlin: Selected Letters (W. W. Norton & Company, 1996), ISBN   9780393038644, pp. 246-247. Excerpts available at Google Books.
  5. "Paperbacks: Sea Stories: New Writing from the National Maritime Museum; Wish Her Safe at Home; Aller Retour New York, By Henry Miller; The Private Lives of the Impressionists; Nobody's Home, By Dubravka Ugresic, The Independent on Sunday , October 14, 2007.
  6. Margot Mifflin, Book Review: Aller Retour New York, Entertainment Weekly , January 17, 1992.