Tropic of Capricorn (Modern Classics) Paperback – 12 Jul 1993
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'The world of Capricorn is peopled by eccentrics and nymphomaniacs, to say nothing of the incorrigibly eccentric Miller himself. There is also a memorable portrait of his father, a delicate account of childhood, and savage, humane comedy in the bedlam of an employment office. The rest: fornication and anarchism, sometimes very funny, always rich, exultant and honest.' Sunday Times 'In the course of Tropic of Capricorn, Miller as a Miss Lonelyhearts of the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, hires and fires an inexhaustible queue of ex-convicts and whores who turn the office into a hive of degradation. Miller lives constantly at the flashpoint of violence, which he manages to convert to comedy without undermining the anger' Observer 'Tropic of Capricorn is a teeming frieze of fights, copulations and epiphanies. The emphasis is on the mysterious value of ordinary life, not its futility' New Statesman 'A superb entertainment' New York Times
From the Back Cover
A riotous and explosive mixture of joys and frustrations, 'Tropic of Capricorn' chronicles Miller's early life in New York, from his repressive Brooklyn childhood spent amongst 'a galaxy of screwballs' to frantic, hilarious years of dead-end jobs and innumerable erotic adventures. Irreverent and ironic, 'Tropic of Capricorn' is both a comic portrait of the irrepressible Miller himself and a scathing attack on respectable America, the very foundations of which he hoped to shatter.
Publication of 'Tropic of Capricorn' and its sister-volume 'Tropic of Cancer' in Paris in the 1930s was hailed by Samuel Beckett as 'a momentous event in the history of modern writing'. The books were subsequently banned in the UK and the USA for nearly thirty years.
"The world of Capricorn is peopled by eccentrics and nymphomaniacs, to say nothing of the incorrigibly eccentric Miller himself. There is also a memorable portrait of his father, a delicate account of childhood, and savage, humane comedy in the bedlam of an employment office. The rest: fornication and anarchism, sometimes very funny, always rich, exultant and honest"
"In the course of 'Tropic of Capricorn', Miller as a Miss Lonelyhearts of the Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, hires and fires an inexhaustible queue of ex-convicts and whores who turn the office into a hive of degradation. Miller lives constantly at the flashpoint of violence, which he manages to convert to comedy without undermining the anger"
"'Tropic of Capricorn' is a teeming frieze of fights, copulations and epiphanies. The emphasis is on the mysterious value of ordinary life, not its futility"
"A superb entertainment"
NEW YORK TIMES
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Top Customer Reviews
"We hide from the face of reality: it is too terrible, we think. Yet it is we, we, only we, who have created this hideous world. And it is we who will change it- by changing our own inner vision."
I should also say that Miller's prose style is virtuosic and NOT 'stream-of-consciousness'. Miller does not present us with the inner thoughts of characters written in such a way as to reflect the processes of thought. He writes mostly from the first person, but with such freedom and virtuosity as I have never come across. Like a bird trapped in a cage, Miller sings his heart out for the pure joy of it. Reading this book for the first time was the most moving experience I have ever had when engaging with a work of art.
This being said, I am surprized - particularly given this is a Penguin edition - by the poor quality of the text printed here. Typos abound on nearly every page - even gross errors like incomplete sentences. It looks to me like some poor beast at Penguin was assigned to re-type the whole novel based on a previous printed edition, and were not all that into what they were reading... and nobody else bothered to read it again after they were done.
The 'Overture' - the first 60 or so pages, provide examples of some of the best writing I've yet encountered; but once we get into the book proper it often feels as though Miller does not really know where he intends to take us ... The 'Glorious Moments' are still there, but in-between these there are volumes of self-indulgent writing, usually related to historical figures/themes that do not always relate closely to the supposed idea of the book - growing up and being thoroughly disillusioned by life in the USA.
I think it's hugely misogynistic. Sad. Why insult and attempt to degrade the one thing one supposedly adores? To be this way hurts me as surely as it must hurt every woman on the planet. As a result of this it fails miserably in the arena of 'Erotica'. (I think it's as sexy as standing in the queue of a Salvation Army Soup Kitchen) It's called 'demystifying the female parts'. Really? Tell me; which man on this earth finds the female 'parts' a mystery? (Oh, for the fumbling, bungling day it once was) Having said all that, I believe the 'Glorious Moments' to be wonderful examples of genius at work - particularly the sections concerned with writing (page 32/3/4)- or the Dostoyevsky references (189) etc. and I also believe that, for anyone who is a writer or a writing student, then this book is a treasure trove of ideas and 'how to say it'. How sad it is that it is so uneven, and for that reason alone the Star system of reviewing simply does not work - hence my pathetic 3 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really like it and I found it very useful for my personal interests in arts and literature. It comes as it is described, so very satisfactory.Published on 7 April 2014 by sandra
These days, with precious few minutes left after work and family to sit down and read, I'm sad to say I rarely finish a novel. Read morePublished on 18 Jun. 2013 by London Sceptic
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So many influences bubbling under the surface, nods to the metaphysicals at every turn and equally prequelling current and not so current writers.Published on 8 Nov. 2012 by Wedds
On one hand, there are some stream of thought bits that are superb. Some of the inner monologue about the world, some of the insights about mankind and the many different peoples... Read morePublished on 11 May 2011 by Miguel
I first picked this book up in Australia when I was travelling up the east coast, I was in Surfers Paradise at the time. Read morePublished on 18 April 2011 by Nathan Strange