Aller Retour New York

Last updated

Aller Retour New York


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.

Related Research Articles

Lawrence Durrell British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer

Lawrence George Durrell was an expatriate British novelist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer. He was the oldest brother of naturalist Gerald Durrell.

Stephen Booth is a professor emeritus of English literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He was a Marshall Scholar and studied at the University of Cambridge and Harvard University. He first attracted attention with his controversial 1969 essays On the Value of Hamlet and An Essay on Shakespeare's Sonnets, in which he reread the works in a manner considerably different from contemporary Anglo-American readings. Frank Kermode praised the former essay in the New York Review of Books in 1970 as being worth several full books of Shakespeare studies.

<i>Henry & June</i> 1990 film by Philip Kaufman

Henry & June is a 1990 American biographical drama film directed by Philip Kaufman, and starring Fred Ward, Maria de Medeiros, and Uma Thurman. It is loosely based on Anaïs Nin's French book of the same name, and tells the story of Nin's relationship with Henry Miller and his wife, June.

<i>Incest: From a Journal of Love</i> book by Anaïs Nin

Incest: From a Journal of Love: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin (1932–1934) is a 1992 non-fiction book by Anaïs Nin. It is a continuation of the diary entries first published in Henry and June: From the Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin. It features Nin's relationships with writer Henry Miller, his wife June Miller, the psychoanalyst Otto Rank, her father Joaquín Nin, and her husband Hugh Parker Guiler. She also copied some of her correspondence with these people into her diary. Much of this book was written in English, although those of her letters which were originally written in French and Spanish were translated. Most of this diary takes place in France, particularly Clichy, Paris and Louveciennes.

June Miller dancer

June Miller was the much-written-about second wife of Henry Miller.

<i>The Rosy Crucifixion</i> novel by Henry Miller

The Rosy Crucifixion, a trilogy consisting of Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus, is a fictionalized account documenting the six-year period of Henry Miller's life in Brooklyn as he falls for his second wife June and struggles to become a writer, leading up to his initial departure for Paris in 1928. The title comes from a sentence near the end of Miller's Tropic of Capricorn: "All my Calvaries were rosy crucifixions, pseudo-tragedies to keep the fires of hell burning brightly for the real sinners who are in danger of being forgotten."

<i>Black Spring</i> (novel) novel by Henry Miller

Black Spring is a novel by the American writer Henry Miller, published in 1936 by the Obelisk Press in Paris, France. Black Spring was Miller's second published novel, following Tropic of Cancer and preceding Tropic of Capricorn. The book was written in 1932-33 while Miller was living in Clichy, a northwestern suburb of Paris. It is divided in ten almost independent sections. Like Tropic of Cancer, the book is dedicated to Anaïs Nin.

Surprise Lake Camp

Surprise Lake Camp is a non-profit sleepaway camp located on over 400 acres (1.6 km2) in Cold Spring, New York. It is one of the oldest Jewish summer camps in the United States.

Anthony Bailey (author) British writer and art historian

Anthony Bailey is a British writer and art historian.

Mildred Grosberg Bellin was an American cookbook author. She is most noted for her influential cookbooks Modern Jewish Meals and The Jewish Cookbook, which brought modern nutritional ideas into Jewish cooking.

<i>The Colossus of Maroussi</i> novel by Henry Miller

The Colossus of Maroussi is an impressionist travelogue by American writer Henry Miller that was first published in 1941 by Colt Press of San Francisco. Set in pre-war Greece of 1939, it is ostensibly an exploration of the "Colossus" of the title, George Katsimbalis, a poet and raconteur. The work is frequently heralded as Miller's best.

<i>Quiet Days in Clichy</i> (novel) novel by Henry Miller

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.”

The following is a bibliography of Henry Miller by category.

<i>Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch</i> book by Henry Miller

Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch is a memoir written by Henry Miller, first published in 1957, about his life in Big Sur, California, where he resided for 18 years.

<i>Tropic Zone</i> (film) 1953 film by Lewis R. Foster

Tropic Zone is a 1953 American crime film written and directed by Lewis R. Foster and starring Ronald Reagan, Rhonda Fleming, Estelita Rodriguez, Noah Beery Jr., Grant Withers and John Wengraf. It was released on January 14, 1953, by Paramount Pictures.


  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.