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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Henry miller : a definition of the art and the artist Irwin, Rodney 1970

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HENRY MILLER: A DEFINITION OF THE ART AND -THE ARTIST oy RODNEY IRWIN B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of E n g l i s h We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the requ i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA December, 1970 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l umbia Vancouver 8, Canada ABSTRACT T h i s t h e s i s attempts to e x p l a i n some e s s e n t i a l a s p e c t s of the l i t e r a t u r e o f Henry M i l l e r by c o n c e n t r a t i n g on an e x p l i c a t i o n o f three tlerms as they apply to M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s . The t h e s i s does not take a stance i n v o l v i n g a c e r t a i n c r i t i c a l " d i s t a n c e " , that i s , i t does not d e a l w i t h an e v a l u a t i o n of the success o r f a i l u r e of h i s v i s i o n , nor with the v a l i d i t y or i n v a l i d i t y of h i s w o r l d . T h i s , I m a i n t a i n , has been done to excess by most c r i t i c s o f Henry M i l l e r . The t h e s i s i n d i c a t e s i n the opening chapter the major o u t l i n e s o f the l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n t o which M i l l e r belongs, s p e c i f i c a l l y the American r o m a n t i c - t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t t r a d i t i o n . Further, though not speci f i c ^ r eference i s made to t h i s t r a d i t i o n i n subsequent chapters i n d e s c r i b i n g the movement toward m y s t i c i s m apparent i n M i l l e r ' s l a t e r n o v e l s . The main p o r t i o n of .'the t h e s i s d e t a i l s the s i g n i f i c a n c e of three major terms, apocalypse, c r e a t i o n , and pr o c e s s , as elements which encompass the o v e r a l l development of M i l l e r ' s l i t e r a t u r e . The t h e s i s attempts to show t h a t these terms i n d i c a t e an unconscious development i n the author of a m y s t i c a l v i s i o n or i n s i g h t where the works themselves serve as a working out of the author's growing understanding of h i s inner awakening. The f i n a l chapter accounts f o r M i l l e r ' s l a t e r n o n - f i c t i o n as i l l u s t r a t i v e of h i s a r r i v e d p o s i t i o n . M i l l e r has reached a p a r t i c u l a r k i n d o f "cosmic consciousness" and he regards his l i f e as a parable of the progress of everyman from unconscious u n i f i c a t i o n with a l l - t h i n g s (childhood), through knowledge (manhood), to a new stage of conscious u n i f i c a t i o n with the world (maturity). The period intervening between childhood and f i n a l s p i r i t u a l insight i s that detailed by h i s six major novels, which might generally be characterized as a t r i a l by f i r e or a t r i p through the h e l l of the alienated modern world. This thesis, then, i s an exposition of the development of the a r t i s t through his a r t . I INTRODUCTION 1 I I APOCALYPSE 16 I I I CREATION 36 IV UNIVERSAL PROCESS 64 V CONCLUSION f i n a l p o s i t i o n , o f the a r t i s t as d e f i n e d by The World of Sex, The  Colossus of Maroussi, and B i g Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch 92 FOOTNOTES 101 BIBLIOGRAPHY 108 T h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n serves as more than a statement of purpose f o r the chapters that f o l l o w . I t i s an attempt to acknowledge b r i e f l y the r e l a t i o n s h i p of Henry M i l l e r to the l a r g e r t r a d i t i o n s of l i t e r a t u r e which t h i s t h e s i s g e n e r a l l y a v o i d s c o n c e n t r a t i n g upon as they f a l l o u t s i d e the scope of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . Some i n d i r e c t j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r the approach taken i n the main body of the t h e s i s i s given here through a few i l l u s t r a t i o n s o f M i l l e r c r i t i c i s m . I am sure the e f f o r t s made here to avoid the p i t f a l l s o f some k i n d s of c r i t i c i s m has r e s u l t e d i n other, h o p e f u l l y l e s s s e r i o u s , errors.. The attempt, though, has been to present a r e a d i n g of M i l l e r that takes as l i t t l e support as p o s s i b l e from h i s c r i t i c s , i n order to a v o i d l o s i n g the works themselves i n s u p p o r t i n g and c o u n t e r i n g c r i t i c a l arguments. The b a s i c theme i n Henry M i l l e r ' s major group of a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l s i s the development of the a r t i s t , and, i n t h i s case, of a p a r t i c u l a r s o r t of romantic s e n s i b i l i t y . The a r t i s t here i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of romanticism i n i t s t w e n t i e t h century v e r s i o n and i n a p a r t i c u l a r l y M i l l e r i a n form. The form which romanticism takes i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d by an understanding of i t s own time, which i s o n l y to say t h a t M i l l e r ' s c o n t i n u a t i o n i n the romantic t r a d i t i o n r e f l e c t s not o n l y h i s own p e r s o n a l i t y , mind and predecessors i n American and Romantic l i t e r a t u r e , but the contemporary world. F o r example, the obvious s i n g u l a r i t y o f M i l l e r ' s r e a c t i o n to h i s own time might be h i s well-known use of what i s commonly thought of as obscene language and d e s c r i p t i o n . In those terms, M i l l e r can be viewed as the great a n t i - P u r i t a n , a n t i -middle c l a s s r e b e l . The deeper, more important r e a s o n i n g behind the use of a number of these f e a t u r e s i n M i l l e r ' s w r i t i n g , which take us somewhat f a r t h e r past these general c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , w i l l be d e a l t with i n g r e a t e r depth l a t e r i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , M i l l e r does r e p r e s e n t a t t h i s g e n e r a l l e v e l a t r a d i t i o n o f American romantic w r i t e r s whose r o o t s t r a c e back to Walt Whitman. That i s , M i l l e r w r i t e s i n a k i n d of a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l t r a d i t i o n o f the poet who s i n g s the "song of myself", who attempts to embrace the world i n a great expansive f i r s t person account of h i m s e l f . a c c e p t i n g a l l l i f e . Some of the p h i l o s o p h i c a l r o o t s o f t h i s romanticism d e r i v e from Emerson's f o r m u l a t i o n of the "Oversoul", where the poet i s u n i f i e d w i t h nature by an inn e r sense of a mysterious encompassing f o r c e . ^ Emerson put forward, and Whitman e x e m p l i f i e d i n h i s p o e t r y , the n o t i o n that the a r t i s t a c t s as a s o r t o f transparent e y e b a l l which sees, a c c e p t s , and r e l a t e s a l l experience. In t h e i r l i t e r a r y works, Whitman and M i l l e r c r e a t e c e n t r a l f i g u r e s , i n c o r p o r a t i n g that n o t i o n of both the "eye" and " I " , who experience s e n s u a l l y a l l t h i n g s and t r y to accept a l l t h i n g s . Other a s p e c t s of the romantic t r a d i t i o n which appear i n M i l l e r are the o r g a n i c metaphor, as opposed, to that of the machine, and what Morse Peckham p o i n t s out as a f e a t u r e o f the Romantic Movement i n the e a r l y E n g l i s h Romantics: "the s p i r i t u a l death and r e b i r t h , or s e c u l a r c o n v e r s i o n . " ^ Some other i n t e r e s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s between M i l l e r ' s romantic themes and the main body of E n g l i s h romanticism are drawn i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l i n W i l l i a m Gordon's d o c t o r a l d i s s e r t a t i o n . * ^ For example, connections are made between the general method of M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s , as they d e t a i l the development of the author h i m s e l f toward an understanding of h i s world, and the g e n e r a l l y s i m i l a r t a l e of the poet's l i f e i n Wordsworth's P r e l u d e : Both w r i t e r s r e t u r n to an examination o f major moments i n t h e i r childhood as key touchstones i n t h e i r l i v e s . These elements of a p a r t i c u l a r t r a d i t i o n which can be seen i n the l i t e r a t u r e of Henry M i l l e r are mentioned i n order to i n d i c a t e o n l y b r i e f l y the connecting l i n e s to the main t r a d i t i o n of E n g l i s h l i t e r a t u r e t h a t are apparent i n M i l l e r ' s works. But the purpose of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s not to d e a l w i t h Henry M i l l e r the Romantic. As has been so f a r shown, the general o u t l i n e o f that t r a d i t i o n does a l l o w him a p l a c e , as perhaps i t does f o r a l a r g e and v a r i e d number o f t w e n t i e t h century E n g l i s h and American w r i t e r s . A l s o , t h a t k i n d of c a t e g o r i z a t i o n of M i l l e r has been thoroughly and s u c c e s s f u l l y s t u d i e d i n Gordon's d i s s e r t a t i o n . I t i s indeed u s e f u l to see the w r i t e r i n the general p e r s p e c t i v e of the e x i s t i n g l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n s . But my i n t e r e s t i n t h i s a n a l y s i s i s to move toward another k i n d of understanding of M i l l e r ' s work, which to a l a r g e e x t e n t t r i e s to ignore a d e t a i l e d placement of the works i n any h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n o r s t r u c t u r e . Rather, I want to d e a l w i t h the problems of understanding the a r t i s t -hero as M i l l e r develops that and other r e l a t e d themes i n the n o v e l s themselves. That i s , t h i s d i s c u s s i o n w i l l attempt to d e a l w i t h the problems and themes of M i l l e r ' s l i t e r a r y works i n t h e i r own more l i m i t e d c ontext. As the s t o r y o f the development of the a r t i s t and the man, M i l l e r ' s works d e a l with a number of r e l a t e d major themes, one of which i s the n o t i o n of u n i f i e d p e r c e p t i o n ; that i s , the way the a r t i s t ' s mind understands h i s world, and how he makes 'sense' of i t i n h i s a r t . T h i s a l s o i n v o l v e s an understanding of how the a r t i s t i n t e r p r e t s the whole range of h i s e x p e r i e n c e s , and, i n M i l l e r ' s books, i s important i n terms o f the s e l e c t i o n of m a t e r i a l and e x p e r i e n c e s and events that l e a d h i s c h a r a c t e r to becoming f i n a l l y a s u c c e s s f u l a r t i s t . The experiences and a t t i t u d e s M i l l e r expresses a l s o i l l u s t r a t e a g r e a t d e a l about the world view at which he e v e n t u a l l y a r r i v e s . T h i s i s , i n a sense, a p h i l o s o p h y of l i f e and a theory of the r o l e of the a r t i s t . And, i n the form of h i s works, M i l l e r i m p l i e s a p a r t i c u l a r theory o f a r t . In many of h i s l a t e r essays, he s t a t e s q u i t e e x p l i c i t l y some asp e c t s of these t h e o r i e s that appear t o be o p e r a t i n g i n h i s n o v e l s , though he does not make those statements i n terms of any d i r e c t d i s c u s s i o n about h i s e a r l i e r n o v e l s . 4 What M i l l e r i s p r e s e n t i n g then, i s a k i n d of modern c h r o n i c l e of the man and the a r t i s t * , or a t l e a s t the man who reaches h i s heavenly goal i n becoming the a r t i s t . The nature of the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and perhaps the scope of the d e f i n i t i o n of the word are such that the man i s an a r t i s t a t the end of h i s journey. What he comes to mean i s that every man should become an a r t i s t of t h i s s o r t , i n the sense t h a t he must become a completely rtunified man". The u n i f i c a t i o n means a t t a i n i n g a s e c u l a r v e r s i o n of s p i r i t u a l s a l v a t i o n , and r e a c h i n g an e a r t h l y p a r a d i s e , or r a t h e r coming to r e a l i z e t h a t p a r a d i s e i s i n n e r , i s to be found here i n t h i s l i f e , i n t h i s world. The M i l l e r hero r e a l i z e s that the journey i t s e l f , the process i t s e l f , can a l s o be the end, a t l e a s t a t a c e r t a i n p o i n t a l o n g the way: Somehow the r e a l i z a t i o n that nothing was to be hoped f o r had a s a l u t a r y e f f e c t upon me. For weeks and months, f o r y e a r s , i n f a c t , a l l my l i f e I had been l o o k i n g forward to something happening, some e x t r i n s i c event t h a t would a l t e r my l i f e , and now suddenly i n s p i r e d by the a b s o l u t e hopelessness of e v e r y t h i n g , I f e l t r e l i e v e d , as though a great burden had been l i f t e d from my shoulders. 5 There are no e x t r i n s i c m i r a c l e s ; the burden l i f t e d i s an i n t e r n a l s a l v a t i o n . The journey i s one of f i n d i n g one's s o u l ; i t i s a s p i r i t u a l t r i p i n v o l v i n g the u n i f i c a t i o n of l i f e and a r t , where a r t comes to r e p r e s e n t a process of both becoming, i n i t s attempted p r o d u c t i o n , and u l t i m a t e l y , a s t a t e of being, a t i t s moment of f u l l i n s i g h t . The problems M i l l e r r a i s e s are ones o f the nature o f a r t and a r t i s t , the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the two, and the wider problems of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of man to the world. H i s p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s o l u t i o n s to these problems a r e , i n a g e n e r a l s o r t of way, romantic, but more p a r t i c u l a r l y , they are presented i n a unique f a s h i o n t h a t connects w i t h those a s p e c t s of o r g a n i c s e n s i b i l i t y of the world. They r e l a t e to D. H. Lawrence's understanding of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of man to h i s world. M i l l e r h i m s e l f has s a i d that he c o n s i d e r e d h i m s e l f to be c o n t i n u i n g i n a Lawrentian t r a d i t i o n . 6 And some o f the p a r t i c u l a r l y American a s p e c t s of h i s w r i t i n g and h i s t h i n k i n g connect him with the stream of w r i t i n g of people such as Whitman and W. C. W i l l i a m s . The great t o r r e n t of words, the acceptance of a l l l i f e , and the m y s t i c a l sense of union w i t h a l l t h i n g s relate,., him to Whitman. That o r g a n i c view of the world and o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of nature and man i n i t , as p a r t o f i t , put him i n tune w i t h much of what W i l l i a m s has to say. And c e r t a i n l y , there are a number of other p a r t i c u l a r s of M i l l e r ' s speech and thought which r e l a t e him to the l a r g e r American r o m a n t i c - t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t t r a d i t i o n as w e l l . M i l l e r ' s connections to other w r i t e r s and t r a d i t i o n s serve t o p l a c e him i n the context of these l i t e r a r y groupings, p r e s e n t i n g him i n a g e n e r a l p e r s p e c t i v e . Those connections have o n l y been b r i e f l y i n t i m a t e d here, and r e l a t i v e l y few r e l a t i o n s h i p s have been drawn since our main i n t e r e s t i n M i l l e r i s i h the works themselves, the d e t a i l e d themes he d i s c u s s e s and the way i n which he develops them, r a t h e r than i n the l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n that c i r c u m s c r i b e s h i s a r t . Often the i d e a s expressed by M i l l e r seem t r i t e and over-s i m p l i f i e d when read at the s u r f a c e l e v e l f o r idea content a l o n e . T h i s appears to be so mainly because he i s t a l k i n g about a depth of f e e l i n g , understanding and consciousness t h a t we are not normally attuned t o . H i s statements have the r i n g of B i b l i c a l i n j u n c t i o n s , behind which there i s a tremendous weight of deeper meaning i n v o l v e d . The problem, then, i n approaching M i l l e r and making sense of what he i s saying beyond the s u r f a c e i n j u n c t i o n s to l i v e r i g h t and the s u r f a c e c r i t i c i s m s of the modern world, i s to know something of the range of h i s a r t , of h i s i n s i g h t , of h i s understanding, which w i l l give these statements s i g n i f i c a n c e . There i s more than l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of those surface-seeming statements r e q u i r e d , though there i s t h a t as w e l l i n what he says. G e n e r a l l y , the u n d e r l y i n g import of what M i l l e r i s d r i v i n g at has to do with the s p i r i t u a l w e l l - b e i n g o f man. He transforms some of the o l d , well-known, and u n f o r t u n a t e l y c l i c h e d and hackneyed teachings of the standard r e l i g i o n s . The important e x c e p t i o n here i s that he i s p r e s e n t i n g the "teachings' 1 i n contemporary terms, both i n the language, and i n the p a r a b l e s or metaphors and i l l u s t r a t i o n s . And h i s s p i r i t u a l "appeal" r e p r e s e n t s a wider, l e s s e x c l u s i v e humanism than one f i n d s i n most r e l i g i o u s p r a c t i c e . Moreover, one can miss the meaning of the s t o r i e s and the r e a l r e l e v a n c e o f what i s being s a i d through a too l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the words, and through a long, i n g r a i n e d , misbegotten h a b i t of t r y i n g to p e n e t r a t e the "meaning" o f the words i n terms of " i d e a s " a l o n e . To a l a r g e degree, the o l d k i n d s o f i d e a s t r u c t u r e s are not t h e r e . The c u l t u r a l p a t t e r n s , or r a t h e r , the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d modes of t h i n k i n g , j u s t do not a p p l y to what M i l l e r i s t a l k i n g about. M i l l e r ' s t r a d i t i o n i s a l s o that of the underground man, the underground w r i t e r s . T h e i r form, t h e i r words have d i f f e r e n t meanings. When he t a l k s about the r e l i g i o u s , the s e x u a l , about s p i r i t , truth, and enlightenment, he means something r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t from what we normally understand by those concepts. Here, Lawrence f i t s t h a t t r a d i t i o n o f w r i t i n g , and here perhaps i s where M i l l e r sees h i m s e l f as c o n t i n u i n g i n the L a w r e n t i a n mold. They are w r i t i n g i n another language. So, when M i l l e r uses those words i n some of h i s l a t e r essays e s p e c i a l l y . ^ : they may seem to make no r e a l sense; they appear as t r i t e , e g o t i s t i c , s e l f - i n f l a t e d p h i l o s o p h i c a l ramblings i f we a r e not aware o f the context of h i s attempt to develop the understanding of what he means, as i n f a c t h i s n o v e l s attempt to do. M i l l e r ' s e a r l y novels s t r u g g l e to circumvent the l i m i t a t i o n s of language and t r a d i t i o n a l modes of t h i n k i n g i n an attempt to set up the context o f what he i s " g e t t i n g a t " . T r o p i c of Cancer, T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n , Black S p r i n g , and the Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n t r i l o g y of Sexus, Nexus, and Plexus c r e a t e the consciousness of a new world, which i n v o l v e s a new k i n d of understanding. The method by which t h i s i s accomplished i s through the journey o f the a r t i s t which the c o n t i n u i n g s t o r y of a l l the n o v e l s i s o s t e n s i b l y "about". The s t o r y of the a r t i s t deals with the way': i n which he r e l a t e s t o a l l the t r a d i t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s of h i s world, such as work, marriage, s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s with f r i e n d s and other women, and the g r a d u a l process of h i s understanding of l i f e . A second major f e a t u r e of the method of h i s n a r r a t i v e as i t takes shape as t h i s journey t o consciousness i s the form i n which i t i s r e l a t e d . I t i s presented i n the f i r s t person, present tense; i t i s p l o t l e s s , u n s t r u c t u r e d and e x t e r n a l l y r e p e t i t i v e i n terms of i n c i d e n t s and e x p e r i e n c e s . The n o v e l s , then, are a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l and move i n a c i r c u l a r p a t t e r n . The t h i r d method through which t h i s new vocabulary of t h i n k i n g i s i n t r o d u c e d i s i n the language and i n c i d e n t s of the n a r r a t i v e and hov/ they are recounted. Form and language themselves p a r a l l e l the s u r f a c e s t o r y of the b i r t h , or r r e b i r t h of the a r t i s t i n t h e i r departure from conventions and t r a d i t i o n s of l i t e r a t u r e ; they form a t r i p a r t i t e a t t a c k on that s e t of standards which re p r e s e n t the contemporary way of l i f e i n the i n d u s t r i a l i z e d , western, t w e n t i e t h century world. A l l three methods r e p r e s e n t an attempt to r e - s t r u c t u r e the context of our understanding of t h a t world and of l i t e r a t u r e ; t h a t i s , they are p a r t o f an i n t e g r a l attempt to reshape the background or r o o t s of what l i t e r a t u r e means, what a r t means. These novels r e - d e f i n e a whole set of terms, i n ways that have e x i s t e d before, though, and i n ways t h a t other w r i t e r s , such as Lawrence, Whitman, and W. C. W i l l i a m s , among many o t h e r s , have d e a l t w i t h . To understand M i l l e r , one must know what he i s s a y i n g i n terms of that t r a d i t i o n , p a r t l y romantic, t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t , American i n f e e l i n g , thought, and language, as w e l l as something of the r e l i g i o u s m y s t i c that exceeds t h i s c ontext. These terms a p p l i e d to M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s can be expanded i n r e l a t i o n to what some oth e r t h i n k e r s whom M i l l e r was f a m i l i a r with, such as the p s y c h o a n a l y s t , Otto Rank, and the mystic, N i c h o l a s Berdyaev, 9 might he able to add as t h e o r e t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s o f consciousness and experience which M i l l e r i s d e a l i n g with as he combines n o v e l and biography, i l l u s i o n and r e a l i t y , i n an attempt both t o r e c r e a t e h i s pas*t (by i m a g i n a t i v e l y r e l i v i n g i t ) , and to f i n d i n t h a t r e c r e a t i o n the meaning of l i f e . P a r t of the purpose of t h i s t h e s i s i s to e x p l a i n the "meaning" or k i n d o f consciousness a t which M i l l e r f i n a l l y does a r r i v e . Most l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m o f Henry M i l l e r , what l i t t l e t here i s , e i t h e r s c r a t c h e s the s u r f a c e of M i l l e r ' s r e a l meanings, or completely misses the s i g n i f i c a n c e of what he i s saying, u s u a l l y as the r e s u l t of a p a r t i a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the meaning of h i s n o v e l s . These 1 nits-readings d e r i v e p a r t l y from a s e l e c t i v e r a t h e r than a complete r e a d i n g o f M i l l e r ' s works. That i s , they are not considered as a r e l a t e d whole. And these c r i t i c s are then i n an even poorer p o s i t i o n when attempting to d e a l w i t h h i s other prose essays, s i n c e those works, I ma i n t a i n , r e q u i r e an understanding of the p o s i t i o n from which M i l l e r i s speaking, one that can be gained o n l y from the group of h i s e a r l i e r n o v e l s . Without that k i n d o f background, which i s the minimal p r e r e q u i s i t e , the c r i t i c simply cannot •• know the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the c u l m i n a t i n g u t t e r a n c e when he has no r e a l sense o f i t s c o n t e x t . K i n g s l e y Widmer's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of M i l l e r demonstrates j u s t such a l a c k of i n s i g h t i n t o the whole of M i l l e r ' s work. While M i l l e r once i n a while turns a phrase, p e r c e p t i o n or whimsical response i n a cu r i o u s way, most of h i s v a s t w r i t i n g i s mere verbiage-paraphrase, not p a r t i c u l a r l y apt q u o t a t i o n , cranky f a s h i o n , p e r s o n a l b l u r b , d i s o r g a n i z e d autobiography, or j u s t d r i f t i n g r u m i n a t i o n i n which M i l l e r demonstrates h i s contempt f o r d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , standards, a n a l y s i s c o m p l e x i t i e s , and even awareness of r e a l i t y . 1 0 Though I t h i n k h i s most s e r i o u s c r i t i c a l f a u l t i s h i s attempt to impose h i s own r i g o r o u s s t r u c t u r a l a n a l y s i s on M i l l e r , Widmer f a s t e n s on one f e a t u r e o f M i l l e r ' s w r i t i n g , the f i g u r e of the r e b e l - b u f f o o n , and then a p p l i e s that i n t e r p r e t a t i o n to a l l h i s n o v e l s , judging t h e i r success or f a i l u r e as they conform to that a r b i t r a r y measure. T h i s i s a f a l s e method o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n where the c r i t i c searches f o r c a t e g o r i e s with which t o blanket the works of a w r i t e r . The c r i t i c ' s r e a d i n g becomes an a n a l y s i s by comparison to h i s own chosen, f a v o u r i t e l i t e r a r y y a r d s t i c k . And where no u s e f u l measure e x i s t s i n the works, he c r e a t e s one, or he f a s t e n s on one aspect i n the work which most n e a r l y conforms to what l i t e r a r y a n a l y s i s expects as a measuring r o d , and i n f l a t e s t h a t . In oth e r words, many c r i t i c s do not appear to be r e a d i n g a l l o f what i s there being said by the author, o r they r e j e c t a l a r g e p o r t i o n of i t because they cannot make sense of i t w i t h i n the terms of the c r i t i c a l standards they are imposing on the a r t i s t ; : . I n t h i s regard, an even b e t t e r example of good m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i s the j o u r n a l review o f M i l l e r by John W i l l i a m s , which i n many ways i s q u i t e sympathetic and c e r t a i n l y w e l l - i n t e n t i o n e d . 1 1 W i l l i a m s attempts t o e x p l a i n M i l l e r i n terms of American P u r i t a n t h e o l o g y and i t s c o n f l i c t s , a comparison which i s p r o b a b l y v a l i d i n p a r t , at l e a s t as a minor aspect o f M i l l e r ' s a t t i t u d e , though i t i s o n l y o c c a s i o n a l l y v i s i b l y manifested i n the n o v e l s . W i l l i a m s draws p a r a l l e l s i n a great d e a l o f t h i s theology to elements of M i l l e r ' s works. In the excitement of p r o v i n g h i s theory, what he says tends to become a r a t h e r f o r c e d matching of the s o r t that can be made to any number of t h i n g s , once one decides t o f i n d the e q u i v a l e n t s t h a t f i t h i s theory. One cou l d , I am sure, perform the same k i n d of a n a l y s i s o f M i l l e r i n terms o f any number of t h e o r i e s i n t h a t f a s h i o n , e x t r a c t i n g from the a u t h o r ' s work the necessary support f o r one's argument. The f a l l a c y i n t h i s k i n d of a n a l y s i s l i e s i n i t s fragmented, p a r t i a l and a r b i t r a r y approach t o the author. Widmer's category of the r e b e l - b u f f o o n f o l l o w s a s i m i l a r a n a l y t i c a l l i n e , i n terms of h i s a r b i t r a r y s e l e c t i o n o f one theme and h i s r e j e c t i o n of a l l e l s e , though he a p p l i e s h i s r e a d i n g - o f M i l l e r to the whole range o f h i s works. But what s e t s W i l l i a m s a p a r t i n h i s c r i t i c i s m i s an innocuous, but i n c r e d i b l e statement which e x e m p l i f i e s r a t h e r w e l l the c r i t i c ' s b l i n d n e s s to what i s t a k i n g p l a c e i n the w r i t e r ' s works when the c r i t i c becomes completely enmeshed i n the a p p l i c a t i o n of h i s own t h e o r i e s to the work he i s h a n d l i n g : In d i s c u s s i n g the Colossus of Maroussi, W i l l i a m s says, "we soon become p a i n f u l l y aware that M i l l e r i s r e a l l y concerned o n l y w i t h h i m s e l f . " 1 2 S u r e l y he could not have overlooked the f a c t that t h i s i_s the c e n t r a l pervading theme o f the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l s t o r y i n the s i x major n o v e l s . of Henry M i l l e r as w e l l as that of p r a c t i c a l l y e v e r y t h i n g e l s e M i l l e r has ever w r i t t e n ! L i k e many M i l l e r c r i t i c s , h i s t u n n e l -v i s i o n o f M i l l e r has o b v i o u s l y allowed him to see one a s p e c t of the works, and a r e l a t i v e l y i r r e l e v a n t one a t t h a t . He has focused, u n f o r t u n a t e l y , on an attempt to f o r c e the works t o f i t h i s i d ea of P u r i t a n elements of success and f a i l u r e i n the American unconscious. Even the most competent, sympathetic reviewers of M i l l e r i n d i c a t e , by the g e n e r a l i t y of what they say, t h a t they do not r e a l l y come to terms w i t h M i l l e r ' s work. They do not demonstrate the s i g n i f i c a n c e of what he says, what he does, or what the use of c e r t a i n techniques he uses a r e intended t o a c c o m p l i s h . ^ 3 P h i l i p Rahv can b l i t h e l y say, on the b a s i s of t h e i r treatment of sex, that Miller.and Lawrence are completely unconnected, though he speaks i l l u m i n a t i n g l y and i n t e l l i g e n t l y about M i l l e r ' s a t t i t u d e as a r t i s t to h i s a r t . 1 4 The p o i n t i s t h a t unless he is implying t h a t the c e n t r a l f e a t u r e o f the Lawrentian world view i s Lawrence''^ a t t i t u d e toward sex and t h a t a t t i t u d e i s r e v e a l e d only i n h i s s e x u a l d e s c r i p t i o n s , then l i n k i n g the two a r t i s t s i n any major way i s a l e g i t i m a t e and v a l u a b l e comparison. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to b e l i e v e that Rahv could be s e r i o u s l y t h i n k i n g of the works of Lawrence or M i l l e r as p r i n c i p a l l y focused upon sexual a t t i t u d e s or j u s t because t h e y d i f f e r i n methods of t r e a t i n g the s u b j e c t they are thus u n r e l a t e d . What i s r e q u i r e d , then, i s a somewhat more comprehensive d e f i n i t i o n of M i l l e r the a r t i s t and M i l l e r ' s a r t , i n order r e a l l y to a p p r e c i a t e what he i s saying. That i s , one&cannot l e g i t i m a t e l y begin to c r i t i c i z e a work without f i r s t coming to know i t s terminology. And terminology here means more than vocabulary. I t i s nothing short of an understanding of the world of which the a r t i s t i s speaking and the world i n which he i s s i t u a t e d . B r i e f l y , i t i s as l a r g e a sense of the a r t i s t ' s context as one can a r r i v e at from a d i s c u s s i o n of the works themselves. The purpose of t h i s t h e s i s , then, i s t o examine the world of Henry M i l l e r i n h i s novels i n order to e s t a b l i s h h i s context, h i s vocabulary, h i s "eye" and h i s " I " . T h i s , i t seems to me, i s a necessary p r e l i m i n a r y to l i t e r a r y c r i t i c i s m , i f not the main f u n c t i o n of c r i t i c i s m i t s e l f . My purpose here i s a l s o an attempt to reach through to some sense of the s p i r i t u a l wisdom of the . a r t i s t , which i t s e l f i s perhaps the c e n t r a l feature of the s u c c e s s f u l work of a r t . The task of c r i t i c a l a p p r e c i a t i o n i n l i t e r a t u r e must t r y to be something more than the r a t h e r academic a n a l y s i s of forms, s t y l e s , and ideas mechanically a p p l i e d from outside the work of a r t , and a l l measured i n the object more or l e s s f o r t a b l e s of whether i t conforms to or deviates from the c u l t u r a l y a r d s t i c k s of " t r a d i t i o n " . C r i t i c i s m must attempt to be something more i f i t i s ever to perform a u s e f u l f u n c t i o n i n i l l u m i n a t i n g what i t i s that l i t e r a t u r e , p a r t i c u l a r l y the new and perhaps r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t , i s "about". I suspect that l u c i d i t y may no longer be wholly adequate to the ambitions of c r i t i c i s m . We i n c r e a s i n g l y f e e l that c r i t i c i s m should do more than c l a r i f y ; i t should a l s o possess the wisdom of the senses and of the s p i r i t . We want i t to endanger i t s e l f , as l i t e r a t u r e does, and to t e s t i f y to our c o n d i t i o n . We even hope that i t can s u s t a i n the burden of r e v e l a t i o n . This hope has l e d me to suggest that c r i t i c i s m may have to become a p o c a l y p t i c before i t can compel our sense of relevance. 15 T h i s t h e s i s i s h a r d l y a p o c a l y p t i c or r e v e l a t o r y i n the sense that Hassan c a l l s f o r , but, as an e x e r c i s e i n e x p l a n a t o r y a n a l y s i s , i t does attempt to convey t h a t "wisdom of the senses and of the s p i r i t " t h a t i s the e s s e n t i a l Henry M i l l e r . One way o f a c c o u n t i n g f o r M i l l e r ' s main a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l s would be to t r a c e p a t t e r n s o f development which might l i n k them together. Rather than work through some s o r t o f a b l u e p r i n t o u t l i n e of M i l l e r ' s novels which might on l y r e s u l t i n f i t t i n g t o g e t h e r a haphazard and a r b i t r a r y s t r u c t u r e to which they do not o b v i o u s l y belong, i t would perhaps be most u s e f u l to approach the works i n terms of some key words. H o p e f u l l y , these terms w i l l form the b a s i s of a general u n i f y i n g framework i l l u s t r a t i n g the o v e r a l l cohesiveness o f M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s . These words a r e : apocalypse, c r e a t i o n , and u n i v e r s a l p r o c e s s . From a d i s c u s s i o n of these terms I t h i n k the s t r u c t u r e of the works w i l l make i t s e l f apparent. The main boundaries of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n are the s i x nove l s of M i l l e r which run c h r o n o l o g i c a l l y from T r o p i c of Cancer through Black S p r i n g , T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n , Sexus, Plexus, and Nexus. These novels form a u n i f i e d whole i n many ways, i n that they comprise a series o r p l a n which M i l l e r set out about the time he began the f i r s t o f them i n 1931. 1 I t w i l l be u s e f u l to d e a l b r i e f l y w i t h some of M i l l e r ' s other w r i t i n g s Y/here they serve t o i l l u s t r a t e the p o s i t i o n a t which the author has a r r i v e d i n his. l a t e r work, as t h a t p o s i t i o n r e l a t e s to the movement of the a r t i s t d e p i c t e d i n the s i x major n o v e l s . To begin with the n o t i o n of apocalypse i s to grapple w i t h an e s s e n t i a l problem i n a l l of what M i l l e r says: the seemingly p a r a d o x i c a l and c o n t r a d i c t o r y meaning of the terminology i n h i s w r i t i n g s . The d i f f i c u l t y i s t w o f o l d . I t i s f i r s t t h a t of making the d i s t i n c t i o n between the two worlds M i l l e r wants to speak about, one of which must be d i s c u s s e d i n terms which a p p l y to the o t h e r . That i s , he must t a l k of an i n n e r , s p i r i t u a l world o r c o n d i t i o n of f e e l i n g which i s e s s e n t i a l l y unparaphrasable because f e l t d i r e c t l y r a t h e r than thought about. He must speak, l i k e the poet, i n ways which w i l l somehow approximate, and thus, r e c r e a t e , the sense o f that i n n e r f e e l i n g and that i n n e r movement or development which the hero of h i s n o v e l s moves through. At the same time, he wants to l o c a t e the e x t e r n a l world, the e s s e n t i a l background a g a i n s t which the i n n e r man develops r e l a t i v e ; t o t h a t i n n e r movement; p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h a t placement i s a l s o the metaphor i n terms o f which the i n n e r man must be d e s c r i b e d as moving. The metaphor i s necessary i f only because there i s no other way and no other words with which to p a i n t the p i c t u r e . G e t t i n g behind the i d e a content of words, i n a sense, i s what r a i s e s the c e n t r a l and r e c u r r i n g d i f f i c u l t y which the a r t i s t , who has more than that to say, f a c e s . And M i l l e r i s that s o r t of a w r i t e r . He i s , i n as many ways as p o s s i b l e , a t t e m p t i n g to break through the r e s t r i c t i o n s which words, as e x p r e s s i o n s of ideas about t h i n g s , as l i m i t i n g , p a r t i c u l a r meanings, p l a c e on speech. "Behind the word i s chaos. Each word a s t r i p e , a bar, but t h e r e enough bars to make the mesh." 2 r e a c t i o n to the i n h i b i t i o n s and i s an a t t a c k on idea i t s e l f , as render some o f the teeming l i f e s e l e c t e d , arranged sense of what There a r e two t h i n g s to be done world must be p e r c e i v e d as i t i s men i s to be made; t h i s world i s are not and never w i l l be T h i s f i r s t of many forms o f p r o s c r i p t i o n s o f t r a d i t i o n i t i s a l s o an attempt to that l i e s behind the o r g a n i z e d , i s commonly l i t e r a r y f i c t i o n , i n t h i s r e g a r d : f i r s t , the before any progress among a r e a l i t y M i l l e r sees with r a t h e r v i o l e n t and i n c i s i v e i n s i g h t : the monstrous t h i n g i s not that men have created r o s e s out of t h i s dung heap, but that, f o r some reason or other man looks f o r a m i r a c l e , and t o accomplish i t he w i l l wade through b l o o d . He w i l l debauch h i m s e l f w i t h i d e a s , he w i l l reduce h i m s e l f to a shadow i f o n l y f o r one second o f h i s l i f e he can c l o s e h i s eyes to the hideousness o f r e a l i t y . E v e r y t h i n g i s endured . . . i n the b e l i e f that o v e r n i g h t something w i l l occur, a m i r a c l e , which w i l l render l i f e t o l e r a b l e . And a l l the while a meter i s running i n s i d e and there i s no hand t h a t can reach i n there and shut i f o f f . . . . And out of the endless torment and misery no m i r a c l e comes f o r t h , no m i c r o s c o p i c v e s t i g e even of r e l i e f . Only i d e a s , p a l e , attenuated ideas which have to be f a t t e n e d by s l a u g h t e r ; i d e a s come f o r t h l i k e b i l e , l i k e the guts of a p i g when the c a r c a s s i s r i p p e d open.3 The second i n s i g h t about a r t i t s e l f i n v o l v e s an understanding of the purpose of a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n as t r a n s f o r m i n g and r e n d e r i n g the s i g n i f i c a n c e of l i f e i t s e l f : Standing on the t h r e s h o l d of that world which M a t i s s e has c r e a t e d I r e - e x p e r i e n c e d the power of t h a t r e v e l a t i o n which had p e r m i t t e d Proust to so deform the p i c t u r e of l i f e t h a t o n l y those who, l i k e h i m s e l f , are s e n s i b l e to the alchemy of sound and sense, are capable o f t r a n s f o r m i n g the n e g a t i v e r e a l i t y of l i f e i n t o the s u b s t a n t i a l and s i g n i f i c a n t o u t l i n e s o f a r t . Only those who can admit the l i g h t i n t o t h e i r g i z z a r d s can t r a n s l a t e what i s there i n the h e a r t . . . . He i s a b r i g h t sage, a dancing seer who, w i t h a sweep of the brush, removes the u g l y s c a f f o l d to which the body of man i s chained by the i n c o n t r o v e r t i b l e f a c t s of l i f e . He i t i s , i f any man today possesses the g i f t , who knows where to d i s s o l v e the human f i g u r e , who has the courage to s a c r i f i c e an harmonious l i n e i n order to d e t e c t the rhythm and murmur of the blood. . . . 4 The a t t a c k on the word, then, i s r e a l l y a movement a g a i n s t a form of a b s t r a c t i o n , away from the a s p e c t s of l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n which impel the w r i t e r to b u i l d l i t e r a r y " s t r u c t u r e s " t h a t c o n t a i n h i s " i d e a s " about l i f e . M i l l e r , of course, has h i s i deas and h i s p h i l o s o p h y about which he o f t e n speaks. But the problem he f a c e s i n i t i a l l y i s one of f i n d i n g a context f o r p r e s e n t i n g them c l e a r l y and d i s t i n c t l y apart from what he f e e l s i s r e p r e s s i v e i n the l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n . He i s an a r t i s t ; t h e r e f o r e he i s c r e a t i n g and he i s attempting to communicate i n doing so. He i s a w r i t e r ; t h e r e f o r e , h i s communication i s through speech. But what he has to communicate is of :the nature o f the s p i r i t , the inner man, not j u s t the man i n the head, that world of thought, but the whole i n n e r man, where the words must c o n t a i n body and thought worlds. He wants t o p r e s e n t the l i v i n g man, not a p i c t u r e o f man, a l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n e q u i v a l e n t t o, s t a n d i n g f o r , i d e a ; but man t o t a l l y i n v o l v e d i n the a c t o f l i v i n g , g e n e r a t i n g ideas o n l y as a p a r t of h i s complete range of human g e n e r a t i n g a c t i v i t y . S t i l l I can't get i t out o f my mind what a discrepancy there i s between i d e a s and l i v i n g . A permanent d i s l o c a t i o n , though we t r y to cover the two w i t h a b r i g h t aiming. And i t won't go. Ideas have to be wedded t o a c t i o n ; i f there i s no sex, no v i t a l i t y i n them, there i s no a c t i o n . Ideas cannot e x i s t alone i n the vacuum o f the mind. Ideas are r e l a t e d t o l i v i n g . . . . The a e s t h e t i c s of the idea breeds f l o w e r p o t s and f l o w e r p o t s you put on the window s i l l . But i f there be no r a i n or sun of what use p u t t i n g f l o w e r p o t s o u t s i d e the window?5 His vision is explosive and violent, as are his feelings &bout the condition of the world around him. As he reacts to that world, so he reacts to the tradition in which he works. He has to break from the structural forms of expression, the l i terature of the novel, in every way possible and as radical ly as possible. I f l i t e r a r y tradition impedes the presentation of the development of the whole man, then the presentation as novel must destroy the l i t e r a r y tradition of the novel as well: Up to the present, my idea i n collaborating with myself has been to get off the gold standard of l i t e r a t u r e . My idea briefly has been to present a resurrection of the emotions, to depict the conduct of the human being in the stratosphere of ideas, that i s , in the grip of delirium. To paint a pre-Socratic being, a creature part goat, part Titan. In short, to erect a world on the basis of the omphalos, not on an abstract idea nailed to a cross. 6 This negative attitude toward the accepted concept of l i terature is part of the means that are to be used to bridge the gap that separates the inner man from the external world of r e a l i t y as M i l l e r sees i t . M i l l e r takes the stance of the writer in revolt, against the world, against l i terature i t s e l f , and he t e l l s the story of his revolution in order to present the progress and development of his own s p i r i t u a l struggle; that i s , to t e l l the inner truth. The second major d i f f i c u l t y in understanding the nature of M i l l e r ' s terminology is the problem of what is true and what M i l l e r means by truth. Again, of course, the meaning of truth is connected with the necessity to pass through the factual and the logical structures of surface events, to a r r i v e a t some h i g h e r l e v e l of meaning. The f a c t s a c t u a l l y get i n the way of the t r u t h i n M i l l e r ' s s t o r y of h i m s e l f , because the t r u t h i s r e l a t e d to the s t o r y of h i s i n n e r s t a t e and t h a t p r o g r e s s , not the outer c y c l e o f events which he seems to be r e c o u n t i n g i n such a confused, c i r c u l a r manner. The r e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f the events and experiences i n the l i f e o f the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l hero Henry M i l l e r i s r e p e t i t i v e and c o n t r a d i c t o r y , and o b v i o u s l y exaggerated i n many p l a c e s . Those " f a c t s " are n o t important i n t h a t sense because the t r u t h or the e s s e n t i a l nature o f the s t o r i e s l i e s not i n t h e i r f a c t u a l v e r a c i t y , but i n the s t a t e of being o f the c h a r a c t e r s i n v o l v e d which they r e v e a l . For M i l l e r , h i s t o r y , the journey o f the a r t i s t , i s always a t bottom an inner one, and the circumstances of the t r a d i t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e , such as time, p l a c e , p l o t , chronology, and c h a r a c t e r s , have d i f f e r e n t usage, d i f f e r e n t development here. Those t r a d i t i o n s o f the s t o r y are not used inlte f a m i l i a r p a t t e r n s to which we are perhaps accustomed. For there i s only one great adventure and that i s inward toward the s e l f , and f o r t h a t , time nor space n o r even deeds matter. . . . I f the s e l f were not imperishable, the " I " I w r i t e about would have been destroyed l o n g ago. To some t h i s may seem l i k e an i n v e n t i o n , but whatever I imagine to have happened- d i d a c t u a l l y happen . . . . even i f e v e r y t h i n g I say i s wrong, i s p r e j u d i c e d , s p i t e f u l , )•'. malevolent, even i f I am a l i a r and a poisoner, i t i s never-t h e l e s s the t r u t h . . . . 7 The journey of the M i l l e r hero, "then, i s i n a d i r e c t i o n and o f a magnitude that encompasses more than our understanding of the o r d i n a r y n a r r a t i v e appears to Callow, i t i s c o n t r a d i c t o r y i n so many ways because M i l l e r wants to t e l l a s t o r y , the development of the a r t i s t , present a philosophy and view of a e s t h e t i c s , a p e r s p e c t i v e of the world and of a r t , a l l o f which form p a r t of what we understand, i n i t s a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l o u t l i n e as l i t e r a r y c r e a t i o n . The view put i s one which negates a r t as the merely necessary appendage to c u l t u r e . A r t becomes f o r him a p r e s e n t a t i o n of the way of l i f e ; i t i s the e x p r e s s i o n o f a s e c u l a r r e l i g i o n . I f there i s a l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n which he f o l l o w s , i t i s t h a t of the development of the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t , the ou t c a s t not the spokesman, the man r e b e l l i n g a g a i n s t the requirements of the human s o c i a l world, the a r t i s t r e j e c t i n g accepted forms, c r e a t i n g new forms, l e a d i n g from h i s l i t e r a r y p r e decessors r a t h e r than f o l l o w i n g t h e i r l e a d . H i s s t o r y i s the s t r u g g l e o f the aliena-ted man to come to terms w i t h h i s own l i f e i n h i s own way. One doesn't become an a r t i s t o v e r n i g h t . F i r s t you have to be crushed, to have your c o n f l i c t i n g p o i n t s o f view a n n i h i l a t e d . You have to be wiped out as a human be i n g i n order to be born again an i n d i v i d u a l . . . . You have to get beyond p i t y i n o r d e r to f e e l from the very r o o t s of your b e i n g . One can't make a new heaven and e a r t h w i t h " f a c t s " . There are no " f a c t s " — t h e r e i s only the f a c t t h a t man . . . i s on h i s way to o r d i n a t i o n . 8 The s t r u g g l e and the a l i e n a t i o n are the i n i t i a t i o n fee of the a r t i s t , p a r t of a s p e c i a l k i n d o f death undertaken i n order to be reborn i n t o a new, u n i f i e d world. M i l l e r wants to u n i f y a r t and l i f e , to create an a r t o b j e c t which e s s e n t i a l l y d e s t r o y s a r t by somehow tr a n s c e n d i n g , through the a r t i s t i c v i s i o n i t s e l f , both a r t and l i f e . He wants to encompass e v e r y t h i n g i n h i s v i s i o n o f l i f e , through h i s a r t . And one a s p e c t of t h a t g r e a t , a l l - e n f o l d i n g magnanimity of view i s M i l l e r ' s t r a g i c and v i o l e n t , yet j o y f u l v i s i o n of the apocalypse. That v i s i o n i s somehow q u i t e c o n s i s t e n t , though i t does encompass d i s p a r a t e imagery, though i t i s j o y f u l i n i t s happy c a l l f o r the c a t a c l y s m i c end of the world: Nobody t h i n k s any more how marvellous i t i s that the whole world i s d i s e a s e d . No p o i n t of r e f e r e n c e , no frame of h e a l t h . God might j u s t as w e l l be t y p h o i d f e v e r . No a b s o l u t e s . Only l i g h t years of d e f e r r e d p r o g r e s s . When I t h i n k of those c e n t u r i e s i n which a l l Europe grappled with the Black Death I r e a l i z e how r a d i a n t l i f e can be i f only we are b i t t e n i n the r i g h t place'. The dance and f e v e r i n the midst of that corruption'. Europe may never again dance so e c s t a t i c a l l y . And s y p h i l i s ' . The advent of s y p h i l i s l There i t was, l i k e a morning s t a r hanging over the r i m o f the world. . . . Aye, the great sun of s y p h i l i s i s s e t t i n g . Low v i s i b i l i t y : f o r e c a s t f o r the Bronx, f o r America, f o r the whole modern world. Low v i s i b i l i t y accompanied by g r e a t g a l e s o f l a u g h t e r . No new s t a r s on the h o r i z o n . Catastrophes . . . o n l y catastrophes'. . . . I see America spreading d i s a s t e r . I see America as a black curse upon the w o r l d . I see a l o n g n i g h t s e t t l i n g i n and that mushroom which has poisoned the world w i t h e r i n g at the r o o t s . . . . I am d a z z l e d by the g l o r i o u s c o l l a p s e o f the world'. 9 The u n i f i c a t i o n of the a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n i s not obvious w i t h i n the context of the d e s c r i p t i o n of the v i s i o n i t s e l f , although one k i n d of u n i f y i n g f o r c e i s q u i t e apparent t h e r e . That f o r c e i s the sense o f time i n which t h e r e i s brought together the view of the end. The n o t i o n of catastrophe and a black curse u n a l l e v i a t e d by the e c s t a s y of "the dance and the f e v e r " that accompanied the Black Death of the Middle Ages, i s combined with the v i s i o n o f the moment, the present world as d i s e a s e d and c a t a s t r o p h i c . The v i s i o n of the end and the p r e s e n t are u n i f i e d i n what i s r e a l l y a suspension of time, that i s , a v i s i o n of e t e r n i t y i n the moment. The sense of time which M i l l e r works with throughout h i s n o v e l s i s c l o s e l y related, to t h i s n o t i o n of the present moment. The r e l i g i o u s m y s t i c , Berdyaev, whose w r i t i n g M i l l e r was f a m i l i a r w i t h , 1 0 d e s c r i b e s the idea o f e t e r n i t y as approachable i n two ways: "through, the depth of the moment and through the end of time and o f the w o r l d . " 1 1 One of the c e n t r a l f e a t u r e s of M i l l e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s of the apocalypse i s the attempt to u n i f y these two concepts of e t e r n i t y i n one v i s i o n . And he c o n s t a n t l y d e s t r o y s the time p e r s p e c t i v e by b r e a k i n g the b a r r i e r s of past and f u t u r e , i n c o r p o r a t i n g the past i n t o the present by t e l l i n g and r e t e l l i n g the s t o r y of h i s l i f e i n the present and by i g n o r i n g the more mundane sense o f the f u t u r e completely. He r e f u s e s to look beyond the events and experience of h i s s i t u a t i o n a t the present moment. The f u t u r e i s present at the moment o n l y i n terms of the i m a g i n a t i v e v i s i o n . And i n terms of the p a s t , he c i r c l e s about the events of h i s e a r l i e r l i f e , d e s c r i b i n g them always i n the p r e s e n t tense, jumping o c c a s i o n a l l y to even e a r l i e r p e r i o d s oj£ c h i l d h o o d and coming back agai n , as the connections which make these i n s t a n c e s r e l e v a n t o c c u r . Any p r i m i t i v e man would have understood me, any man of a r c h a i c epochs would have understood me: only those about me, t h a t i s to say, a c o n t i n e n t o f a hundred m i l l i o n p e o p l e , f f a i l e d to understand my language. To w r i t e 1•" i n t e l l i g i b l y f o r them I would have been o b l i g e d f i r s t of a l l to k i l l something, secondly, to a r r e s t time. I had j u s t made the ^ r e a l i z a t i o n that l i f e i s i n d e s t r u c t i b l e and t h a t there i s no such t h i n g as time, o n l y the present.12 To render the world i n the p r e s e n t , to encompass a l l d i r e c t i o n s i n one sweep, and to negate the k i n d o f order that c h r o n o l o g i c a l e x p o s i t i o n imposes on the e x t e r n a l world i s what M i l l e r wants to accomplish. That k i n d of achievement w i l l then be an approximation of the m y s t i c a l i n s i g h t which he f e e l s . He works to give the sense o f continuous immediacy without f e e l i n g t h a t t h i s i s a s t o r y of what was, so much as what i s . M i l l e r thus pres e n t s a g r e a t e r sense of the c h a r a c t e r a l i v e i n the moment r a t h e r than i n the p a s t . Indeed, the whole s e r i e s of h i s n o v e l s i s a c h r o n i c l e of the process of a r t i s t e v o l v i n g toward that s t a t e of understanding. And the movement which he undergoes i s a mo t i o n l e s s movement of the mind; m o t i o n l e s s i n the sense that he i s going nowhere, yet moving, as i n growing, as i n expanding, as i n b e i n g a l i v e , because the mind r e - l i v i n g the past r e c r e a t e s the p r e s e n t : i t i s an e x p l o r a t i o n of the past , but a d i f f e r e n t p a s t from t h a t of the memorial s t r e e t . T h i s past i s an a c t i v e c l u t t e r e d with s o u v e n i r s , but souven i r s o n l y s k i n deep. The other p a s t , so profound, so f l u i d , so s p a r k l i n g , made no s e p a r a t i o n between i t s e l f , p resent and f u t u r e . I t was t i m e l e s s , and " i f : ' I speak o f i t as a past i t i s only to suggest a r e t u r n which i s not r e a l l y a r e t u r n but a r e s t o r a t i o n . The f i s h swimming back to the source of i t s own being.13 The s t o r y i s e s s e n t i a l l y about the a r r i v a l at t h a t s t a t e and the process of how t h a t a r r i v a l was accomplished. I t i s the great e x p r e s s i o n of the growth of the s e l f , which i n M i l l e r ' s terms, i s not contained i n time a t a l l . E v e r y t h i n g that happens, when i t has s i g n i f i c a n c e , i s i n the nature o f a c o n t r a d i c t i o n . . . . I found that what I had d e s i r e d a l l my I f e was not to l i v e — i f what o t h e r s are doing i s c a l l e d l i v i n g - - b u t to express my-. self.I r e a l i z e d that I had never the l e a s t i n t e r e s t i n l i v i n g , but only t h i s which I am d o i n g now, something which i s p a r a l l e l t o l i f e , of i t a t the same time, and beyond i t . What i s t r u e i n t e r e s t s me s c a r c e l y a t a l l , nor even what i s r e a l ; o n l y "that i n t e r e s t s me which I imagine to be, that which I had s t i f l e d every day i n ord e r to l i v e . 1 4 In these terms, what i s true and what i s r e a l are i n f a c t of i n t e r e s t to M i l l e r , as he o f t e n makes c l e a r , but t r u t h and r e a l i t y become something d i f f e r e n t from the p e r j o r a t i v e sense of those words which he means h e r e . The plumb-line of t r u t h i s drawn p a r a l l e l t o an in n e r r e a l i t y , the e x a c t r e v e r s a l o f the f a m i l i a r P l a t o n i c v e r s i o n of a r t i s t i c c o n c e p t i o n . The r e v e r s a l has other important i m p l i c a t i o n s too, as i t p o i n t s the d i r e c t i o n of where the " r e a l " man r e a l l y l i v e s , where paradise i s to be found, and, i n terms of the a r t i s t , what the nature of c r e a t i o n i s . F o r the moment, though, we must come back to the n o t i o n of apocalypse, which i s M i l l e r ' s s t a r t i n g p o i n t , i n order to f i l l out the background of the v i s i o n t h a t l e a d s out toward these r e l a t e d concepts. Again, Berdyaev p r o v i d e s the t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n of the c i r c u l a r path i n t o the e t e r n a l present, the i m p l i c a t i o n s of which M i l l e r seems t o develop as p a r t of the journey of the a r t i s t hero: But p a r a d i s e i s not i n the f u t u r e , i s not i n time, but i n e t e r n i t y . E t e r n i t y i s a t t a i n e d i n the a c t u a l moment, i t comes i n the p r e s e n t — n o t i n the present which i s p a r t of the broken up time, but i n the prese n t which i s an escape from time. E t e r n i t y i s not a c e s s a t i o n of movement and c r e a t i v e l i f e ; i t i s c r e a t i v e l i f e o f a d i f f e r e n t order, i t i s movement which i s not s p a t i a l and temporal but inward, symbolized not o n l y by a s t r a i g h t l i n e but by a c i r c l e , i . e . i t i s an i n n e r mystery p l a y , a mystery p l a y of the s p i r i t which embraces the whole tragedy of the cosmic l i f e . 1 5 M i l l e r ' s attempt to reach t h i s k i n d of a s t i l l p o i n t i s a c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n terms of what t h a t n o t i o n of e t e r n i t y means, but the l i m i t a t i o n i n e x p l a i n i n g or d e f i n i n g the concept appears as c o n t r a d i c t o r y as a l l of M i l l e r ' s deeper meanings. T h i s i s so because of the boundaries of the words he i s f o r c e d to use, and because the attempt to d e f i n e and to d e s c r i b e i s at l e a s t one remove from the a c t u a l sense of the process he i s t r y i n g to cfescribe. M i l l e r i s a step c l o s e r when we understand the whole of what h i s c h a r a c t e r s say and what they r e p r e s e n t as metaphors of the process, the understanding and the f e e l i n g he i s r e a c h i n g f o r . That i s , he i s c l o s e r t o e x p r e s s i n g the sense of the s p i r i t u a l growth or consciousness as the a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n becomes p a r t o f h i s l a r g e r p e r c e p t u a l sense of the world. M i l l e r ' s v i s i o n s are p a r t of h i s attempt to reach past the conceptual meanings which l i m i t speech. In f a c t , i t i s these l i m i t s , of word as concept, t h a t form so much o f the apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n what M i l l e r has t o say. I t i s important to note t h a t the words e v e n t u a l l y become something of a c u r r e n t upon which M i l l e r swims, and t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e i s re v e a l e d i n the l a r g e r p e r s p e c t i v e of the g e n e r a l d i r e c t i o n i n which he moves with them, as well as through the c o n t i n u a l washing over, the r e i t e r a t i o n o f , the sense that t h e i r meaning conveys. T a l k i s o n l y a p r e t e x t f o r other, s u b t l e r forms of communication. When the l a t t e r are i n o p e r a t i v e speech becomes dead. I f two people are i n t e n t upon communicating w i t h one another i t doesn't matter i n the l e a s t how b e w i l d e r i n g the t a l k becomes. People who i n s i s t upon c l a r i t y and l o g i c o f t e n f a i l i n making themselves understood. They are always sea r c h i n g f o r a more p e r f e c t t r a n s m i t t e r , deluded by the s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t the mind i s the o n l y instrument f o r the exchange o f thought. When one r e a l l y begins to t a l k one d e l i v e r s h i m s e l f . Words are thrown about r e c k l e s s l y , not counted l i k e pennies. One doesn't care about grammatical or f a c t u a l e r r o r s , c o n t r a d i c t i o n s , l i e s and so on.16 P a r a d o x i c a l l y , the s u b t l e r forms of communication of which M i l l e r speaks here are the most d i f f i c u l t to present i n l i t e r a t u r e . T h i s can perhaps be a t t e s t e d to, a t l e a s t i n M i l l e r ' s case, by the c r i t i c a l n§glect and m i s r e a d i n g under which he work seems to have s u f f e r e d f o r so l o n g . C e r t a i n l y , these forms are the most d i f f i c u l t to t a l k about or to attempt to paraphrase, because, as M i l l e r p o i n t s out, the meaning of the words themselves i s a t once unimportant and i s i g n i f i c a n t to a degree fa-r-beyond t h e i r o r d i n a r y semantic and s y n t a c t i c c ontent. They r e q u i r e a s p i r i t u a l t u n i n g between speaker and l i s t e n e r , i n v o l v i n g o t h e r than a merely sympathetic r e a d i n g . The requirement i s f o r an i n n e r ear and eye which l i s t e n s and sees with the body and the mind a t a l l l e v e l s ; that i s , the l i s t e n e r must capture f a r more of the t o t a l sense of what the w r i t e r i s s a y i n g ; he must, i n f a c t , be i n v o l v e d a t a l e v e l of communication f a r deeper than the normal sense of the word. I t i s that sense of communication which Tate d i s t i n g u i s h e s as communion, 1 7 which i s o n l y to say, s p i r i t u a l communication. The a p o c a l y p t i c image, then, i s an attempt to communicate f a r more than a v i s i o n of the f i n a l end o f the world. I t i s the device by which M i l l e r s i g n a l s the s t a r t o f h i s r e v o l t a g a i n s t the present order of the s t a t e of a f f a i r s , the t r a d i t i o n of l i t e r a t u r e , the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . I t i s i t s e l f the method of e n t e r i n g a new world o f time, l i f e , s t r u g g l e , and : r e g e n e r a t i o n . I t i s the means through which the accepted h i e r a r c h i e s of time and reason w i l l be negated, where l i f e and b i r t h w i l l be sung, c h a o t i c a l l y , e c s t a t i c a l l y , i n the midst of d e s t r u c t i o n and death. The p h i l o s o p h y i s one of l i f e i n death. In a sense, i t i s both the beginning and the end f o r M i l l e r . He begins i n v i o l e n t , c h a o t i c r e v o l t a g a i n s t the world i n h i s a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n and he r e t u r n s to make of i t a p a r a d i s e o r v i s i o n of e t e r n i t y i n the p r e s e n t . The n e g a t i o n o f the ordered world i m p l i c i t i n that v i s i o n becomes a l s o an a f f i r m a t i o n , a t o t a l acceptance of a seemingly c h a o t i c d i s o r d e r . But e s s e n t i a l l y the m i l i e u i s a n a t u r a l chaos of the c r e a t i v e world o f l i f e i t s e l f , the l i f e of the v i b r a n t , mysterious, l i v i n g organism. M i l l e r u l t i m a t e l y r i s e s f a r above the p a s s i v e sense of the apocalypse to an a c t i v e , c r e a t i v e a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n , though the c e n t r a l d o c t r i n e he c o n t i n u a l l y p r oclaims i s one of acceptance. And t h a t d o c t r i n e o f acceptance i s i n no r e a l way a pas s i v e one; r a t h e r , i t advocates a joyous, v i b r a n t acceptance of l i f e : Do a n y t h i n g , but l e t i t produce j o y . Do an y t h i n g but l e t i t y i e l d e c s t a s y . So much crowds i n t o my head when I say t h i s to myself: images, gay ones, t e r r i b l e ones, maddening ones, the wolf and the goat, the s p i d e r , the crab, s y p h i l i s with her wings o u t s t r e t c h e d and the door of the womb always on the l a t c h , always open, ready l i k e the tomb. L u s t , crime, h o l i n e s s : the l i v e s of my adored ones, the f a i l u r e s o f my adored ones, the words they l e f t behind them, the words they l e f t u n f i n i s h e d ; the good they dragged a f t e r them and the e v i l , the sorrow, the d i s c o r d , the r a n c o r , the s t r i f e they c r e a t e d . But above a l l , the e c s t a s y ! 18 The r e v o l t i s f i r s t a g a i n s t the e x t e r n a l t r a p p i n g s o f i n t e l l e c t , the man of thought, and a g a i n s t the s o c i a l o r d e r , the i n s t i t u t i o n s : there has been a constant and steady d e c l i n e of man i n a r t , i n thought, i n a c t i o n . The world i s pooped out: there i s n ' t a dry f a r t l e f t . Who t h a t has a desperate, hungry eye can have the s l i g h t e s t r e g ard f o r these e x i s t e n t governments, laws, codes, p r i n c i p l e s , i d e a l s , i d e a s , totems, and taboos? . . . i f anyone had the l e a s t f e e l i n g of mystery about the phenomena which are l a b e l e d "obscene", t h i s world would crack asunder. I t i s the obscene h o r r o r , the dry fucked-out aspect of t h i n g s which makes t h i s crazy c i v i l i z a t i o n look l i k e a c r a t e r . . . . I t i s no use p u t t i n g on rubber g l o v e s ; a l l that can be c o o l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y handled belongs to the carapace and a man who i s i n t e n t on c r e a t i o n always d i v e s beneath, to the open wound, to the f e s t e r i n g obscene h o r r o r . 19 T h i s k i n d o f d e n u n c i a t i o n o f the accepted order o f t h i n g s i s parallelled, by the a c t i v i t y and way of l i f e o f the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l hero i n M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s . The n o v e l s d e t a i l the p r o g r e s s o f the Henry M i l l e r c h a r a c t e r as he f a i l s i n h i s s o c i a l r o l e and as he r e j e c t s a l l the t r a p p i n g s of the man of s o c i e t y . He never succeeds i n f i n d i n g permanent work, or s e t t l i n g i n t o some s o r t of a c a r e e r that i n v o l v e s a c c e p t i n g the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of working a t an o r d i n a r y job . The e x c e p t i o n to t h i s almost continuous l i f e of ,;a";:j-ob-seeker i n h i s e a r l y manhood i s M i l l e r ' s c a r e e r a t the Cosmo-demonic Te l e g r a p h Company, which i s d e t a i l e d i n the p e r i o d of h i s l i f e covered by the T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n ' n o v e l . But that p o s i t i o n as personnel manager serves mainly to i l l u s t r a t e more comprehensively the demonic i n f e r n o of the mad, everyday world i n which he l i v e d , s u f f e r e d through, and f i n a l l y r e j e c t e d . Other a s p e c t s o f t h a t l i f e , which a l s o made up t h a t i n f e r n o , were h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h h i s f i r s t w i f e , Maude, and h i s f r i e n d s , such as MacGregor, K r o n s k i and S t a n l e y , a l l of whom he was subsequently to shed as he shed that l i f e . The r e j e c t i o n of the-.ordinary e x i s t e n c e and the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and e x p e c t a t i o n s i t imposes on the i n d i v i d u a l to conform to the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e i s one of the main tasks the M i l l e r hero must undertake i n order to " f r e e " h i m s e l f f o r b i r t h i n t o the other world, the i n n e r world of h i s own c r e a t i o n . He undergoes what M i l l e r c a l l s a death and r e b i r t h p r o c e s s , which p a r a l l e l s the i n t e l l e c t u a l development of the complete s e r i e s of these n o v e l s . The death i s the o b l i t e r a t i o n of the mechanical man l i v i n g as a cog i n the system of the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e , h e l d i n p l a c e by the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f work, f a m i l y and f r i e n d s . The mechanical e x i s t e n c e becomes a k i n d o f l a b o u r o f a n t s , a deadly a c t i v i t y because i t i s o n l y a c t i v i t y of the mind, or a c t i v i t y of the body, but never a c o n s c i o u s l y u n i f i e d working of the two. J u s t as the c i t y i t s e l f had become a huge tomb i n which men s t r u g g l e d t o earn a decent death so my own l i f e came to resemble a tomb which I was c o n s t r u c t i n g out of my own death. I was walking around i n a stone f o r e s t the c e n t e r of which was chaos. . . . 20 The sense of t h i s deadly e x i s t e n c e , of l i f e i n motion which i s yet a s t e r i l e l i f e l e s s n e s s , i s symbolized by the tomb-image of the c i t y and the mechanical a c t i v i t y of i t s i n h a b i t a n t s . But M i l l e r a l s o .picks up the death atmosphere i n almost every aspect of the experience t h a t surrounds him. Hi s own t o t a l l y abandoned sexual a c t i v i t i e s are a f f a i r s o f complete, a c t i v e acceptance of c a r n a l , b o d i l y a p p e t i t e , as w e l l as being desperate attempts to abandon the t h i n k i n g a s p e c t o f the mind to p u r e l y s e n s u a l , p a s s i o n a t e , t h o u g h t l e s s a c t i v i t y . These a c t i v i t i e s M i l l e r c o n t r a s t s with those of some of h i s f r i e n d s , whose outward a c t i o n s appear e s s e n t i a l l y the same as M i l l e r ' s own; the s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i s t h e i r t o t a l l y mechanical, inhuman p e r s p e c t i v e and m o t i v a t i o n : As I watch Van Norden t a c k l e her, i t seems t o me that I'm l o o k i n g a t a machine whose cogs have s l i p p e d . L e f t to themselves, they could go on t h i s way f o r e v e r , g r i n d i n g and s l i p p i n g , without ever a n y t h i n g happening. U n t i l a hand shuts the motor o f f . The s i g h t of them coupled l i k e a p a i r o f goats without the l e a s t spark of p a s s i o n . . . washes away every b i t of f e e l i n g . . . . As l o n g as that spark of p a s s i o n i s m i s s i n g there i s no human s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the performance. The machine i s b e t t e r to watch. 21 The d i s t i n c t i o n s M i l l e r makes about the a c t i v i t y o f l i f e which i s p u r e l y f r a n t i c j i g g l i n g o f the organism, f i l l i b r a t i o n , r a t h e r than rhythm, always stand i n o p p o s i t i o n to the r e a l l i f e o f the body. The a n t - l i k e a c t i v i t y o f men i s the wrong rhythm, one out of tune w i t h the music which i s l i f e ; one ..which i s dancing f o r death i n s t e a d . The l i f e - d a n c e i s a u n i f i e d movement of body and mind i n tune with s o u l . Perhaps the c e n t r a l p o i n t of the f i g u r e of M i l l e r ' s f i r s t w i f e , Maude, i s to i l l u s t r a t e an a s p e c t of that s e p a r a t i o n i n one of the areas of b a s i c human a c t i v i t y : She d i d so want to be independent . . . . She d i d n ' t want .:: the in-between realm, the surrender, the f u s i o n , the exchange. She wanted to keep that l i t t l e t i g h t core o f s e l f which was hidden away i n her b r e a s t and only a l l o w h e r s e l f the l e g i t i m a t e p l e a s u r e of s u r r e n d e r i n g the body. That body and s o u l could not be separated, e s p e c i a l l y i n the sex a c t , was a source o f the most profound i r r i t a t i o n . 22 The problem of the tunes t o which men should dance i s one of the c e n t r a l themes of T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n . T h i s n o v e l i n a sense gets some of the themes and symbols o f the group of M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s , f o r i t i s here a l s o that the two meanings of " l i f e " are approached and made most e x p l i c i t : The o v a r i a n world i s the product o f a l i f e rhythm. The moment a c h i l d i s born i t becomes part o f a world i n which there i s not only the l i f e rhythm but the death rhythm. There i s not only no need t o keep a l i v e a t any p r i c e , but,* i f l i f e i s u n d e s i r a b l e , i t i s a b s o l u t e l y wrong. . . . A c t i v i t y i n i t s e l f means n o t h i n g : i t i s o f t e n a - s i g n of death. By simple e x t e r n a l pressure, by f o r c e of surroundings and example, by the very c l i m a t e which a c t i v i t y engenders, one can become part of a monstrous death machine . . . . What does a dynamo Snow of l i f e , of peace, of r e a l i t y ? 23 The a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n o f t h i s world of death contains both movement and f i r e . But the movement, the l i f e i t c o n t a i n s , p r e c i p i t a t e s i n M i l l e r the b l a c k e s t d e s p a i r and b i t t e r n e s s . The l i f e there i s r e a l l y a parody o f the word, the dance a b i t t e r p a i n f u l movement, the music a s bleak as wind over sand. The t e r r i b l e j i g of l i f e l e s s n e s s i s that symbolized by the commercial dance h a l l s : Again the;dance h a l l , the money rhythm, the love that comes over the r a d i o , the impersonal, w i n g l e s s touch of the crowd. A d e s p a i r that reaches down t o the very s o l e s of the boots, an ennui, a d e s p e r a t i o n . In the midst of the h i g h e s t mechanical p e r f e c t i o n to dance without joy, to be so d e s p e r a t e l y alone, to be almost inhuman because you are human. 24. F i n a l l y , the f i r e c ontained i n that v i s i o n of the world d e t a i l s i t s most hollow core. The f i r e i s the v i s i o n o f h e l l , the burning, d i s e a s e d i n n e r world of t h i s k i n d of e x i s t e n c e . Cancer, the t i t l e o f M i l l e r ' s f i r s t , b o o k , stands as the symbol of the empty, dry f i r e t h a t has consumed the l i v i n g man. In a sense, h i s inn e r core, h i s s o u l , has been burned out by the di s e a s e of a c i v i l i z a t i o n which generates and e n s l a v e s the d i s i n t e g r a t e d , p a r t i a l man. Wherever there are w a l l s , there are p o s t e r s with b r i g h t venomous crabs h e r a l d i n g the approach of cancer. No matter where you go, no matter what you touch, there i s cancer and s y p h i l i s . I t i s w r i t t e n i n the sky; i t flames and dances, l i k e an e v i l p o r t e n t . I t has eaten i n t o our s o u l s and we are nothi n g but a dead t h i n g l i k e the moon. 25 The r e b i r t h i n death that M i l l e r c a l l s f o r i s i n f a c t a r e j e c t i o n o f t h a t l i f e , a shedding of those r e t r a i n t s i n order to become a new man, f r e e and c r e a t i v e ; f r e e i n the sense of a p a r t from that hollow f i r e - e a t e n world, and c r e a t i v e i n now being a b l e to w r i t e , conscious of and p a r t of another continuous, expanding world of l i f e . The man who i s r e b o r n i s always the same man, more and more h i m s e l f w i t h each r e b i r t h . He i s only shedding h i s s k i n each time, and with h i s s k i n h i s s i n s . . . . And as the darkness f a l l s away the wound comes out of i t s h i d i n g p l a c e : the wound which i s man, man's l o v e , i s bathed i n l i g h t . The i d e n t i t y which was l o s t i s re c o v e r e d . Man walks f o r t h from h i s open wound, from the grave which he had c a r r i e d about with him so l o n g . 26 M i l l e r speaks here of many r e b i r t h s ; he i s p u t t i n g forward the i d e a o f the reawakening of the i n d i v i d u a l to new awareness of h i m s e l f and the world as a slow process o f develop-i n g stages of consciousness. That l o s t i d e n t i t y man r e c o v e r s i s p a r t l y the c h i l d h o o d awareness of the world and of s e l f as p a r t of an unseparated p r o c e s s . As M i l l e r p o i n t s out, the c h i l d , though aware of h i m s e l f , i s not i n any r e a l sense s e l f -c o n s c i o u s . He does not r e a d i l y separate the r e a l world from h i s dream world, nor does he d i s t i n g u i s h e i t h e r of these from h i s thought world. The demarcations are b l u r r e d , and f o r M i l l e r that kind of u n i t y i s extremely important i n terms of a l l o w i n g a t o t a l awareness of a l l l i f e . I t i s an awareness where none of the modes of the mind or the body are separated out and r e j e c t e d o r sublimated by g u i l t f o r c e d by s o c i a l p r e s s u r e s f o r co n f o r m i t y . The world o f chi l d h o o d to which M i l l e r keeps r e t u r n i n g i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n s has that s i g n i f i c a n c e , as a u n i f i e d e x p e r i e n t i a l i m a g i n a t i v e e x i s t e n c e : [As c h i l d r e c j l e f t to o u r s e l v e s there were no l i m i t s to what we might imagine. F a c t s had l i t t l e importance f o r us; what we demanded o f a s u b j e c t was that i t a l l o w us o p p o r t u n i t y to expand. . . . The l e a r n i n g we r e c e i v e d o n l y tended to obscure our v i s i o n . From the day we went to school we lear n e d n o t h i n g ; on the c o n t r a r y , we were made obtuse, we were wrapped i n a f o g of words and a b s t r a c t i o n s . 27 The r e b i r t h o f the i n d i v i d u a l i s p a r t l y a connection w i t h that sense of c h i l d h o o d i m a g i n a t i o n ; I t i s a r e - c o n n e c t i n g with the awareness of l i f e which was l o s t when the childhood p e r s p e c t i v e of the world was i n t e r r u p t e d by the s o c i a l p r e s s u r e s of parents and schools as they a c t to change the c h i l d view. The a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n , then, as w e l l as p o i n t i n g to a new world, a re-awakening, an e t e r n a l moment of r e g e n e r a t i v e l i f e , h e r a l d s the death of man as machine. The v i s i o n c o n t a i n s the o r g a n i c r e b i r t h , the d e s t r u c t i o n of the mechanical, and the t e r r i b l e s u f f e r i n g which must take p l a c e i n the s p i r i t i n the movement from the one mode of e x i s t e n c e to the ot h e r . In that sense, i t contains the complete c y c l i c a l progress o f M i l l e r ' s s i x major n o v e l s . The v i s i o n serves a l s o as a means of r e c o n c i l i n g and. encompassing the journey M i l l e r ' s hero must make between the two worlds. I t adumbrates the whole motion of the n o v e l s , as the development which the hero's l i f e i s to take, and symbolizes the br i d g e that M i l l e r i s b u i l d i n g to l i n k body with s o u l a g a i n : The g u l f between the dawn man, who p a r t i c i p a t e d m y s t i c a l l y , and contemporary man, who i s unable to communicate except through s t e r i l e i n t e l l e c t , can only be br i d g e d by a new type of man, the man w i t h cosmic consciousness. The sage, the prophet, the v i s i o n a r y , they a l l spoke i n a p o c a l y p t i c terms. From e a r l i e s t times the "few" have been attempting to break through. 28 M i l l e r , the hero who i s a l s o , or a t l e a s t becomes, the c r e a t i v e a r t i s t , i s of course, j u s t t h a t s o r t of f i g u r e . He i s that v i s i o n a r y - a r t i s t who speaks the language of the a p o c a l y p t i s t . The i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f what that apocalypse r e p r e s e n t s i s a l l -important. Berdyaev's m y s t i c a l d e f i n i t i o n o f i t c o i n c i d e s remarkably w e l l with M i l l e r ' s : Apocalypse i s not merely the r e v e l a t i o n of the end of the world and of h i s t o r y . I t i s a l s o the r e v e l a t i o n of the end w i t h i n the world and the h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s , w i t h i n human l i f e and every moment of l i f e . . . . I t i s p o s s i b l e to i n t e r p r e t i t a c t i v e l y as a c a l l to c r e a t i v e a c t i v i t y , to h e r o i c e f f o r t and achievement. 29 That c a l l i s the s t o r y which M i l l e r t e l l s almost c o n t i n u o u s l y a l l h i s w r i t i n g l i f e . A t the same time, h i s own l i f e s t o r y , a t l e a s t i n the a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l n o v e l s , i s the e f f o r t to answer f i n a l l y that c a l l . The concept of c r e a t i o n becomes, f o r M i l l e r ' s hero, the l i n k which connects him back with l i f e , t h a t l i f e i n which body and s o u l are u n i f i e d . In terms of h i s journey through the world, h i s s p i r i t u a l death and r e - b i r t h are culminated by an a b i l i t y to c r e a t e . And that a b i l i t y i s , i n a sense, the achievement of l i f e . When he has found h i m s e l f , he f i n d s a l s o the freedom from what M i l l e r c a l l s the " i l l u s o r y world of r e a l i t y " which g i v e s him the freedom to w r i t e as w e l l as to l i v e s u p e r c o n s c i o u s l y . Again, i n terms of major thematic elements of h i s no v e l s , T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n expresses a number of times that b r i d g e s y m b o l i z i n g the c o n t i n u i n g process o f development o f the i n n e r man: every time I walked over Brooklyn Bridge and looked down toward the Navy Yard I f e l t as though my guts were dropping out. Way up ther e , suspended between the two shores, I f e l t always as though I were hanging over a v o i d ; . . . . Instead o f j o i n i n g me to l i f e , to men, to the a c t i v i t y o f men, the b r i d g e seemed to break a l l c o n n e c t i o n s . I f I walked toward the one shore or the other i t made no d i f f e r e n c e : e i t h e r way was h e l l . . . . There could be no end, and there was none, u n t i l i n s i d e me a b r i d g e began t o form which u n i t e d me again with the c u r r e n t o f l i f e from which as a c h i l d I had been separated. 1 He has to l i v e i n the h e l l of the d i s i n t e g r a t e d world where mind and body remain i s o l a t e . The bridge which does u n i t e M i l l e r i s the world of the body. And the connection that saves him i s h i s g r e a t , i n i t i a l l y p a s s i v e acceptance o f f a t e , of l i f e , of whatever happens to him. Through the sensual world, through complete abandonment to that world, he u l t i m a t e l y moves t o a r e b i r t h o f the s p i r i t and h i s own r e g e n e r a t i o n as an a r t i s t . In f o l l o w i n g through t h i s p o r t i o n of the great journey of the h e r o i c M i l l e r , the s i x novels take on t h e i r major c i r c u l a r form: The s t o r y of the events of h i s l i f e from e a r l i e r c h i l d h o o d i n Brooklyn to mature, impoverished w r i t e r i n P a r i s , p a r a l l e l s the s t o r y of h i s s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h as the newly c r e a t e d and c r e a t i v e a r t i s t . Here, a r t i s t e v e n t u a l l y comes to mean every man who achieves union o f body and s o u l . The s u b - t i t l e of C a p r i c o r n , On the Ovarian T r o l l e y , d e a l s a l s o w i t h the theme of c r e a t i v e r e b i r t h . In t h i s n o v e l , though, the a r t i s t has not yet been reborn, nor does he a c t u a l l y a c h ieve that complete d e l i v e r a n c e from the symbolic womb of death, the normal, s o c i e t a l l i f e , from which h i s journey here begins. In terms of the r e b i r t h metaphor, C a p r i c o r n i s M i l l e r ' s s t a r t i n g p o i n t . T r o p i c of Cancer, w r i t t e n f i r s t , d e a l s more with the achieved b i r t h o f the a r t i s t who has a r r i v e d i n P a r i s , and who has a r r i v e d a t the end p o i n t i n terms of the s t r u g g l e , and the c y c l i c a l journey he has undergone. Beginning h i s f i r s t p u b l i s h e d book, he can h a p p i l y t a l k of h i m s e l f i n the usual apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n s : I have no money, no r e s o u r c e s , no hopes. I am the h a p p i e s t man a l i v e . A year ago, s i x months ago, I thought t h a t I was an a r t i s t . I no l o n g e r t h i n k about i t , I am. E v e r y t h i n g that was l i t e r a t u r e has f a l l e n from me. There are no more books to be w r i t t e n , thank God. 2 M i l l e r i s a b l e to stop t r y i n g to become an a r t i s t , secure i n h i s sense o f what he now i s . The books that are not to be w r i t t e n are the s p e c i f i c a l l y " l i t e r a r y " c r e a t i o n s which he s t r u g g l e d f o r so l o n g to w r i t e . I t i s that sense of w r i t i n g as c r a f t which M i l l e r has abandoned, now that he has found h i m s e l f as an a r t i s t . The books he now w r i t e s are, f o r him, not books; r a t h e r , they are c r e a t i o n s out of h i m s e l f , h i s own s t o r y . The d i s t i n c t i o n he i s making i s t h a t between c r a f t or maker and c r e a t i o n or a r t i s t . The d i s t i n c t ionniinvolves the nature of c r e a t i o n which i s c l o s l y r e l a t e d to the r a t h e r p e r j o r a t i v e sense of such words as " a b s t r a c t " , " t r a d i t i o n " , ^ i d e a " , and " l i t e r a t u r e " t h a t M i l l e r f r e q u e n t l y uses. There are two problems i n v o l v e d here that are not e a s i l y s e p a r a b l e : one has to do with the nature of the a r t o b j e c t i t s e l f . The q u e s t i o n to be answered here i s t h i s : At what l e v e l of remove i s the a r t i s t e x p r e s s i n g h i m s e l f i n h i s a r t ? The o t h e r d i f f i c u l t y has to do w i t h the source of the a r t i s t i c e x p e r i e n c e . Perhaps the most s a t i s f a c t o r y way of d e a l i n g w i t h them both i s through the standard one of drawing some of the d i s t i n c t i o n s , u n f a i r l y perhaps, and a l i t t l e a r b i t r a r i l y too, between C l a s s i c a l and Romantic l i t e r a t u r e . M i l l e r can o b v i o u s l y be c l a s s e d w i t h the Romantic p o s i t i o n , and f o r purposes of c l a r i f i c a t i o n , we can say t h a t what he i s r e a c t i n g to i n h i s a n t i - l i t e r a r y p o s i t i o n i s r e p r e s e n t e d by C l a s s i c i s m . What that t r a d i t i o n i n i t s worse sense has r e p r e s e n t e d , and i t i s t h i s which M i l l e r i s c r i t i c i z i n g , i s a m e n t a l i z i n g o f the p rocesses of the i m a g i n a t i o n . The l i m i t s there are s e t i n the realm of reasoned ideas o f a p a r t i c u l a r l y shaped orde r , where the r e a c t i o n of f e e l i n g to them has been a r e a c t i o n to an " i d e a " o f t h i n g s , of persons, o f the human s i t u a t i o n . That i s , we r e a c t , and are t r a i n e d to r e a c t to an a r t s t r u c t u r e which i s a c o n s t r u c t of mind where f e e l i n g has been t r a n s l a t e d i n t o reasoned idea about f e e l i n g . F o r M i l l e r , a r t i s not an ex p r e s s i o n of a detached idea about something. At l e a s t , i t i s not detached i n the sense that i t i s o n l y i d e a . Rather i t i s a complex, both as a complex s t r u c t u r e , the a r t e x p r e s s i o n i t s e l f , and a complicated r e l a t i o n t o u c h i n g at many p o i n t s the human s e n s i b i l i t y . The concept o f l i t e r a t u r e which M i l l e r i s speaking a g a i n s t i s one t h a t accepts a s e p a r a t i o n ' o f p a r t s . I t works a t a l e v e l of p e r c e p t i o n that c o n c e p t u a l i z e s w i t h i n a d i f f e r e n t i n t e l l e c t u a l framework. I t s pro c e s s i s a s e l f -c o nscious, s p e c i f i c a l l y reasoned working out of ideas about forms, a compartmentalization of f e e l i n g s and imagin a t i o n i n t o a b s t r a c t thought, with the emphasis on mentalizing,V;:, r a t h e r than f e l t s t r u c t u r e s . For him, t h i s i s the s e p a r a t i o n of r e a l i t y from a r t ; the a r t becomes f o r m a l i z e d s t r u c t u r e or t r a d i t i o n with a " l i f e " of i t s own, r e l a t e d to the human s e n s i b i l i t y only as i n t e l l e c t u a l thought r a t h e r than as a complex o f thoughtand f e e l i n g . The t r a d i t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e i n a sense emasculates experience by r e d u c i n g i t s dimensions, both i n terms o f what i t repr e s e n t s as i m i t a t i o n , and i n terms of what the a r t experience i t s e l f can be. I n other words, the C l a s s i c a l a r t i s t i s p r e s e n t i n g a view of the world at one remove from the sense of the world which the Romantic t r i e s to a c h i e v e . Both the Romantic and the C l a s s i c a l a r t i s t want to present a u n i f i e d p e r c e p t i o n of the world, but they do so from q u i t e d i f f e r e n t d i r e c t i o n s , a t separate l e v e l s of understanding, and with d i f f e r e n t background m o t i v a t i o n s . The Romantic attempts to do the i m p o s s i b l e : to move toward the u n i f i c a t i o n of'innocence or unconscious understanding, when, i n f a c t , he i s no longer innocent, because he does kno?/ and i s c o n s c i o u s . The C l a s s i c i s t approaches the problem having accepted that ^consciousness. He sees the o r d e r of the world as an acceptance of the s e p a r a t i o n of man from the n a t u r a l o r d e r . He, too, would accomplish a u n i f i c a t i o n , but i t i s one s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l a t e d to some h i g h e r o r d e r i n g p r i n c i p l e , achieved through the r e a s o n i n g f u n c t i o n s o f the mind. That i s , he might see man a c t i n g through reason as a r b i t e r o f nature, o r d e r e r of the world f o r god; h i s v i s i o n i s of man the instrument of d i v i n e w i l l . The o r d e r i n g p r i n c i p l e i s an imposed human one and the u n i f i c a t i o n i s the working out of a reasoned, l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f r e l a t i o n s h i p s . The Romantic, w h i l e u s i n g the same i n t e l l e c t u a l processes o f the mind, attempts to a r r i v e p r i m a r i l y a t a s p i r i t u a l understanding of experience, i n p a r t , through a r o u s i n g and c o n c e n t r a t i n g on the sensual aspects of the mind. As M i l l e r o f t e n e x e m p l i f i e s , he wants to u n i t e dreams, thoughts, and impulses i n a kind o f unconscious f e e l i n g of oneness, r a t h e r than a reasoned understanding of s p i r i t u a l connection to some s i n g l e f o r c e , which could then perhaps be a l e v e l of understanding at one remove from the u n i f i e d sense c f consciousness i t s e l f . The m o t i v a t i o n s of the two k i n d s of a r t i s t s are an aspect o f the d i f f e r e n c e s between the two which the psychoanalyst, Otto Rank, develops i n some d e t a i l . E s s e n t i a l l y , the d i s t i n c t i o n l i e s i n the f a c t that the C l a s s i c a l a r t i s t i s the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the c o l l e c t i v e c u l t u r e of the community. He i s i n a sense e x p r e s s i n g the c u l t u r e of the s o c i e t y i t s e l f , and i t s c o l l e c t i v e a s p i r a t i o n s . The Romantic though, i s r e a l l y e x p r e s s i n g h i m s e l f ; h i s own - i n d i v i d u a l experience i s b e i n g transformed as a r t . He i s working out h i s own d e s t i n y i n h i s a r t . 4 The C l a s s i c a l , Rank c a l l s the " p a r t i a l " type who works with and molds experience to form h i s a r t ; i n a sense he takes the outer experiences o f l i f e , that i s , the things he sees about him, and uses them c r e a t i v e l y , but very much as a c r a f t . The Romantic i s transforming h i s own experience i t s e l f i n t o h i s a r t ; he i s the " t o t a l " type. The two a r t i s t - t y p e s d i f f e r e s s e n t i a l l y in the source from which they take t h i s l i f e that i s so e s s e n t i a l to p r o d u c t i o n . The C l a s s i c a l type, who i s p o s s i b l y p o o r e r w i t h i n , but nearer to l i f e , and h i m s e l f more v i t a l , takes i t from without: that i s , he c r e a t e s immortal work from mortal l i f e without n e c e s s a r i l y h a v i n g f i r s t transformed i t i n t o p e r s o n a l experience as i s the case with the Romantic.5 The d i s t i n c t i o n s between the two k i n d s of a r t i s t s i l l u s t r a t e some-t h i n g o f the k i n d of a r t i s t M i l l e r i s d e p i c t i n g i n h i s n o v e l s and c l a r i f y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a r t and a r t i s t which he i s attempting to develop. M i l l e r was aware of Rank's theories here, and he is to some extent developing them as they relate to himself. And part of the d i f f i c u l t y of regarding the source of the art experience and the l e v e l of remove of the a r t i s t in M i l l e r are c l a r i f i e d by Rank's d i s t i n c t i o n s . M i l l e r i s attempting to transform his inner experiences and to unite h i s art with l i f e . The journey toward the creative r e b i r t h of the a r t i s t as M i l l e r sees him, begins in Capricorn, though the v i s i o n of where he was going was not completely clear to him at the time; he feels'he must centre on h i s own experience though for what purpose he has not yet formulated; has writing d i r e c t i o n was s t i l l in the generative process: Nobody understood what I was writ i n g about or why I wrote that way. I was so l u c i d that they said I was daffy. I was describing the New World. . . . It was an Ovarian world, s t i l l hidden away in the Fa l l o p i a n tubes. Naturally nothing was cl e a r l y formulated . . . . i t was the world of Chrenosand his' ovicular progeny. . . . I saw beneath the s u p e r f i c i a l physiognomy of skin and bone the indestructible world which man has always carried with him; i t was neither old nor new, r e a l l y , but the eternally true world which changes from moment to moment. 6 That cycle of the b i r t h process i s what is involved in the womb imagery and the Ovarian T r o l l e y journey. Otto Rank's psychoanalytical:, study of the development of the a r t i s t and his relationship to the world, states quite c l e a r l y the theory of the a r t i s t which M i l l e r uses as one of h i s themes. In the ceaseless struggle for l i b e r a t i o n of the s e l f from the moral, s o c i a l , and aesthetic ideologies and the people who represent them, the ind i v i d u a l goes through a disjunctive process of which I have regarded b i r t h as the prototype. But the process, though similar in p r i n c i p l e to, i s not a r e p e t i t i o n of, the trauma of b i r t h ; i t i s , broadly, the attempt of the individual to gain a freedom from dependence of any sort upon a state from which i t has grown. 7 One e f f e c t which that process of b i r t h was increasingly having on M i l l e r was to i s o l a t e him more and more from the world he was i n the process of escaping. And that e f f e c t was to be an increasingly p a i n f u l part of the struggle to be reborn. The i s o l a t i o n and a l i e n a t i o n from anyone who could understand or appreciate the process in which he was caught up also becomes a part of the development of the a r t i s t , involving the submersion of h i s ego. Here the a r t i s t i s less and l e s s able to feed his ego i n the mirror of h i s acquaintance's esteem. In the process of the r e b i r t h of the a r t i s t , he must eventually submerge that part of him which consists of f a l s e i n d i v i d u a l i t y , though paradoxically turning i n on himself to f i n d a new awareness of who and what he i s . But that new understanding requires p a r t i c u l a r d i s t i n c t i o n from the concept of what i t means to be an i n d i v i d u a l . What M i l l e r i s escaping from is the individualism that r e a l l y masks a s e l f i s h , eg6-centred world, where one asserts h i s own i n d i v i d u a l i t y at the expense of everything and everyone else. E s s e n t i a l l y , t h i s is that great material ethic which attaches so much to that notion of "inalienable r i g h t s " of the i n d i v i d u a l ; i t i s r e a l l y the freedom to set oneself apart from the world, from humanity, by i n f l a t i n g the materially-oriented sense of s e l f , the ego, equated with the greed f o r p r o p e r t y . I t i s a freedom which d e s t r o y s the i n d i v i d u a l ' s sense of an i n t e g r a t e d world without the mine/thine d i s t i n c t i o n s , and u l t i m a t e l y i t i s enslavement to t h a t concept of l i f e measured i n terms o f p r o p e r t y and c o n t r o l . T h i s egotism l e a d s to each man becoming h i s own god, m a n i p u l a t i n g the l i t t l e p o r t i o n of the world about him as m a t e r i a l . I t becomes an unconscious self - e n s l a v e m e n t to those f a l s e i n d i v i d u a l p r i n c i p l e s of l i f e . He thus reduces both h i m s e l f and o t h e r s to the s e r v i t u d e of the e g o - i d e a l s which are self-aggrandizement, p r o p e r t y , and the r e l a t e d l i f e - s t y l e t h a t expands one's sense of power. Man becomes s u b s e r v i e n t to the power p r i n c i p l e , and i n t h a t sense, he becomes reduced to some aspect o f - t h e f o r c e r e q u i r e d to f e e d the power s t r u g g l e . "Now we t h i n k l i k e machines, because we have become as machines. C r a v i n g power, we are the h e l p l e s s v i c t i m s of power . . . ," 8 T h i s e g o c e n t r i c view of the s e l f , r e l a t e d so c l o s e l y to a view of the world as matter t o be molded, manipulated, and used f o r p r i v a t e s e l f i s h ends, i s connected with a l l the i n s t i t u t i o n s , laws, and codes which M i l l e r sees as c o n s t i t u t i n g the whole process of d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the r e a l i n d i v i d u a l man. The " c o l o s s a l ego" o v e r r i d e s the o t h e r , s p i r i t u a l development of the s e l f . I t keeps t h e i n d i v i d u a l from s e e i n g h i m s e l f i n an u n d i s t o r t e d p e r s p e c t i v e . Norman 0. Brown s t a t e s a view s i m i l a r to the one M i l l e r s t r u g g l e s to make c l e a r : the r e s u r r e c t i o n of the body i s a s o c i a l p r o j e c t f a c i n g mankind as a whole, and i t w i l l become a p r a c t i c a l p o l i t i c a l problem when the statesmen of the world are c a l l e d upon to d e l i v e r happiness i n s t e a d of power, when p o l i t i c a l economy becomes a s c i e n c e of use-values i n s t e a d of e x c h a n g e - v a l u e s — a sc i e n c e of enjoyment i n s t e a d o f a science of accumulation. In the face of t h i s tremendous human problem, contemporary s o c i a l theory, both c a p i t a l i s t and s o c i a l i s t , has n o t h i n g to say. Contemporary s o c i a l theory has been completely taken i n by the inhuman a b s t r a c t i o n s of the path of s u b l i m a t i o n , and has no c o n t a c t w i t h concrete human beings, with t h e i r concrete bodies, t h e i r concrete though repressed d e s i r e s , and t h e i r concrete neuroses. 9 Brown wo r r i e s about the l a r g e r , s o c i a l r e l e v a n c e of the problem, which M i l l e r ignores, mainly because he seems to be convinced t h a t approaches t o g r e a t e r understanding of the s e l f can never u s e f u l l y e x i s t i n or be f i t t e d i n t o a l a r g e r s o c i a l - p o l i t i c a l c o n t e x t . I think M i l l e r i s aware that the wider p o l i t i c a l and economic i m p l i c a t i o n s of such a view as p o l i t i c a l p o l i c y , are e s s e n t i a l l y too d e s t r u c t i v e of the present systems to ever be e n t e r t a i n e d s e r i o u s l y as a system, s i n c e h i s p h i l o s o p h y i n f a c t c a l l s f o r a n e g a t i o n of systems themselves i n f a v o u r of people. Man, s e p a r a t i n g h i m s e l f , c e n t r i n g on the c o n s t r u c t i o n of the e g o - i n d i v i d u a l , has a conceptual view of the world r a t h e r than a p e r c e p t u a l one: F o r so long now the conceptual world has been man's • whole world. To name, to d e f i n e , to e x p l a i n . . . . R e s u l t : unceasing a n g u i s h . Expand or c o n t r a c t the u n i v e r s e ad i n f i n i t u m — a p a r l o u r game. P l a y the god i n s t e a d of t r y i n g t o be as God. Godding, Godding--and at the same time b e l i e v i n g i n n o t h i n g . Bragging of the m i r a c l e s of s c i e n c e , yet l o o k i n g upon the world as so much s h i t . F r i g h t e n i n g ambivalence'. E l e c t i n g f o r systems, never f o r man. 10 So M i l l e r r e j e c t s that n o t i o n o f man, t h a t view of the world; he p r e s e n t s h i s r e j e c t i o n i n t y p i c a l l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y sounding words, because not o n l y must he r e j e c t that a t t i t u d e , t h a t " f r i g h t e n i n g ambivalence", but those terms t h a t a p p l y to that "system", that o r d e r i n g a l s o : Today I am proud to say t h a t I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothi n g to do with creeds and p r i n c i p l e s . I have nothi n g to do wit h the c r e a k i n g machinery of h u m a n i t y — I belong t o the e a r t h ! . . . And I j o i n my slime, my excrement, my madness, my e c s t a s y to the g r e a t c i r c u i t which flows through the subterranean v a u l t s of the f l e s h . 11 T h i s i s o l a t i o n and a l i e n a t i o n o f the man, then, i s both symbolic r e b i r t h , to be t r a v e l l e d alone, and a ne c e s s a r y s e p a r a t i o n from a world b l i n d to the s p i r i t u a l v a l u e s of the r e a l i n d i v i d u a l . That i n d i v i d u a l must s e t h i m s e l f a p a r t from the f a l s e l y human world, the c o n t r o l - c e n t r e d s o c i o -p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e . The i s o l a t i o n i s a r e t u r n to a d i f f e r e n t k i n d of s e l f , s t i l l an i n d i v i d u a l i t y which r e c o g n i z e s a separate i d e n t i t y , yet somehow an i d e n t i t y that l i n k s the s e l f t o the e a r t h , t o the world as o b j e c t , and as pr o c e s s . I wanted something of the e a r t h that was not o f man's doing, something a b s o l u t e l y d i v o r c e d from the human of which I was s u r f e i t e d . I wanted something p u r e l y ', t e r r e s t r i a l and a b s o l u t e l y d i v e s t e d o f i d e a . I wanted to f e e l the blood running back i n t o my v e i n s , even a t the cost of a n n i h i l a t i o n . . . . To be of n i g h t so f r i g h t e n i n g l y s i l e n t , so u t t e r l y incomprehensible and eloquent at the same time. . . . To be human o n l y t e r r e s t r i a l l y , l i k e a p l a n t o r a worm or a brook. 12 M i l l e r wants to encompass two seemingly d i v e r s e realms: he wants to be both s u b j e c t i v e and o b j e c t i v e at the same time. That i s , he sees h i m s e l f as a l i v i n g , speaking i n d i v i d u a l separate from men, completely aware of h i m s e l f , and as a minute, i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l t h i n g i n the u n i v e r s e of the o b j e c t i v e w o r l d . The d e s i r e i s to be a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d u n i t i n the u n i v e r s e of i n t e r c o n n e c t e d p r o c e s s a l beings. A b r i e f , e a r l y f r i e n d s h i p p r o v i d e s him with an i n s i g h t i n t o what might be the true i n n e r nature o f the s e l f : "He was a p p e a l i n g . . . to the germ of the s e l f , to the b e i n g who would e v e n t u a l l y outgrow the naked p e r s o n a l i t y , the s y n t h e t i c i n d i v i d u a l i t y , and leave me t r u l y alone and s o l i t a r y i n order to work out my own proper d e s t i n y . " 1 3 M i l l e r ' s d e s t i n y i s to r e c r e a t e a new i d e n t i t y while d e s t r o y i n g f i r s t t h a t a l l too p r e v a l e n t i n d i v i d u a l i t y which now e x i s t s and which n o u r i s h e s the i n f l a t e d ego. The new M i l l e r i s t o be a man who has found h i m s e l f , and, i n so doing, has found h i s p l a c e i n a new k i n d of world. That world i s r e a l l y the p r i m a l world, and h i s p l a c e there i s r e a l l y an understanding o f h i m s e l f as p a r t of the p r i m a l o r d e r . To a r r i v e t h e r e , M i l l e r ' s a r t i s t - m a n has to make h i m s e l f a p a r t o f the mystery, l i v e i n i t as w e l l as with i t . Acceptance i s the s o l u t i o n : i t i s an a r t , not an e g o t i s t i c a l performance on the part of the i n t e l l e c t . Through a r t then, one f i n a l l y e s t a b l i s h e s contact w i t h r e a l i t y : t h a t i s the great d i s c o v e r y . . . . The world has not to be put i n o r d e r : the world is_ order i n c a r n a t e . I t i s f o r us to put o u r s e l v e s i n u n i s o n w i t h t h i s o r d e r , to know what i s the world order i n c o n t r a -d i s t i n c t i o n to the w i s h f u l - t h i n k i n g o r d e r s which we seek to impose on one another. 14 Here, i n p a r t , M i l l e r d e f i n e s h i s n o t i o n of a r t . The d i s t i n c t i o n he makes i s that one p e n e t r a t e s the mystery of l i f e , becoming p a r t of i t , through acceptance of l i f e . And t h i s acceptance i s i t s e l f an a r t , the a r t of l i v i n g i n the deepest sense o f of the word. These are important statements about the nature of• a r t and the k i n d of acceptance necessary t o understand and be p a r t of the world o r d e r . T h i s sense of a r t i s the avenue th a t connects M i l l e r ' s idea of the a r t i s t to everyman. That i s , to understand o n e s e l f p r o p e r l y , one must become an a r t i s t i n the sense that one has to l e a r n to l i v e c r e a t i v e l y and i n the sense t h a t the d i s c o v e r y o f the s e l f i s a c r e a t i v e s t r u g g l e . L i v i n g i n v o l v e s a c r e a t i v e sense o f awareness; i t i s b e i n g p a r t of a c r e a t i v e process i t s e l f ; i t i s not a c r a f t , a ma n i p u l a t i v e l e a r n i n g of how to arrange t h i n g s , a shaping towards ends. In M i l l e r ' s terms, when the i n d i v i d u a l breaks through to that concept o f h i m s e l f , he i s an a r t i s t , f o r he has l i v e d through bis own a r t i s t i c , t r a n s c e n d e n t a l e x p e r i e n c e . He has achi e v e d a s e c u l a r , s p i r i t u a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s i m i l a r t o the t r a d i t i o n a l , deep, r e l i g i o u s e x p e r i e n c e . F o r M i l l e r , p u t t i n g the s t o r y i n w r i t i n g i s merely r e t e l l i n g the experience a t one remove from the experience i t s e l f , u n l e s s , as he is d o i n g here, one r e l i v e s the whole p a i n f u l experience of s e l f - d i s c o v e r y a g a i n . I n many ways, that i s the meaning of the Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n t r i l o g y ; c e r t a i n l y , i t i s the i m p l i e d s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h a t t i t l e . Something d i e s , something blossoms. To s u f f e r i n ignorance i s h o r r i b l e . To s u f f e r d e l i b e r a t e l y , i n or d e r to understand the nature of s u f f e r i n g and to a b o l i s h i t f o r e v e r , i s q u i t e another matter . . . . At the l a s t desperate moment—when one can s u f f e r no m o r e l — something happens which i s i n the nature o f a m i r a c l e . The great open wound which was d r a i n i n g the blood o f l i f e c l o s e s up, the organism blossoms l i k e a r o s e . One i s " f r e e " a t l a s t . . . . 15 There i s i n v o l v e d as w e l l though, the sense of the s u f f e r i n g , i s o l a t e d a r t i s t mentioned e a r l i e r . Much of the complexity o f the themes o f the a r t i s t as s u f f e r e r are due to the f a c t t h a t the symbolism of the womb both as death and b i r t h p l a c e , the C h r i s t -l i k e p a s s i v i t y i n v o l v i n g both acceptance and s u f f e r i n g as p a r t of the r e s u r r e c t i o n o f the s p i r i t , a l l a p p l y to the s t o r y of the hero i n these n o v e l s . And that f i g u r e of the a r t i s t i s v e r y s p e c i f i c a l l y connected t o the s u f f e r i n g C h r i s t image; M i l l e r draws the p a r a l l e l i n d i s c u s s i n g Van Gogh at one p o i n t : What e x c i t e d me was V i n c e n t ' s f l a m i n g d e s i r e to l i v e the l i f e of an a r t i s t , to be n o t h i n g but the a r t i s t , come what may. With men of h i s s t r i p e a r t becomes a r e l i g i o n . C h r i s t long dead to the church i s born a g a i n . . . . The despised and f o r s a k e n dreamer re e n a c t s the drama of c r u c i f i x i o n . He r i s e s from h i s grave to triumph over the u n b e l i e v e r s . 16 M i l l e r o b v i o u s l y t h i n k s of h i s own s t o r y i n those terms a l s o , and he draws on the c r u c i f i x i o n imagery and i t s aftermath to convey the sense of the s t r u g g l e and r e l e a s e , or r e s u r r e c t i o n of the new man. The sense of a r t as r e l i g i o n i s i m p l i e d throughout h i s own d i s c u s s i o n s , where a r t i s the experience of the a r t i s t transformed by h i s l i v i n g through i t and e x p r e s s i n g i t . The d i s t i n c t i o n , a s p o i n t e d out e a r l i e r , i s that between a r t as c r a f t and a r t as c r e a t i v e expression o f the i n n e r man. The analogy to C h r i s t i s drawn i n the s p i r i t u a l s t r u g g l e of the a r t i s t , where the r e s u r r e c t i o n comes as p a r t o f the a r t i s t e s new v i s i o n of the world as w e l l as the sense of being reborn w i t h a new understanding o f h i s own exp e r i e n c e . I f one i s n ' t c r u c i f i e d , l i k e C h r i s t , i f one manages to s u r v i v e , to go on l i v i n g above and beyond the sense o f d e s p e r a t i o n and f u t i l i t y , then another c u r i o u s t h i n g happens. I t ' s as though one had a c t u a l l y died and a c t u a l l y been r e s u r r e c t e d a g a i n ; one l i v e s a supernormal l i f e , l i k e the Chinese. That i s to say, one i s u n n a t u r a l l y gay, u n n a t u r a l l y h e a l t h y , u n n a t u r a l l y i n d i f f e r e n t . The t r a g i c sense i s gone: one l i v e s l i k e a flower, a rock, a t r e e , one w i t h Nature and a g a i n s t Nature at the same time. 17 Though %he Henry M i l l e r hero i s o b v i o u s l y a cr e a t e d , l a r g e r than l i f e c h a r a c t e r i n terms o f the exaggerated and extreme range of experiences he undergoes, he i s , a t the same time, r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the author h i m s e l f , who seems to i n d i c a t e that i n r e t e l l i n g h i s own l i f e , he i s e x p e r i e n c i n g a f u r t h e r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n p a r a l l e l to the one he i s speaking about. That i s , the s t o r i e s themselves are a k i n d o f therapy f o r the author, i l l u m i n a t i n g new worlds f o r him i n r e l i v i n g the p a i n f u l p a s t , as he i l l u m i n a t e s new worlds f o r the r e a d e r . T h i s process i n v o l v e s the reader i n a t l e a s t two l e v e l s at once i n a way that approximates the whole experience being d e s c r i b e d by M i l l e r . That i s , t h e reader r e l i v e s the journey to the r e b i r t h of the a r t i s t , i n f o l l o w i n g the n a r r a t i v e , and i s a l s o aware of the c o n t i n u i n g development of the a r t i s t t e l l i n g the s t o r y , commenting on the nature of exp e r i e n c e , the c o n d i t i o n of the world as he now sees i t and as he saw i t p r e v i o u s l y , and the development of h i s s p i r i t u a l s t a t e then and now. Two l a r g e n a r r a t i v e modes are u n i t e d i n M i l l e r ' s s t o r y of the a r t i s t - h e r o i n ' s e a r c h o f h i m s e l f ; one i s the c o n d i t i o n of the a r t i s t as s o l i t a r y t r a v e l l e r to the inn e r world of man, to the s o u l , and the o t h e r i s the s t o r y of the great hero adventurer, the e x p e r i e n c e r of ou t e r l i f e , e n a c t i n g the g r e a t events w i t h which every l i t t l e o r d i n a r y man i d e n t i f i e s and dreams o f . And both modes t r a d i t i o n a l l y d e p i c t the hero's descent to h e l l and h i s s u f f e r i n g s or b a t t l e through whose f i r e he i s tempered. He r e t u r n s to the past or descends, where he experiences.sthe worst i n order to see w i t h new i n s i g h t and v i s i o n the world to which he must r e t u r n , i n which he must l i v e . He reascends or comes back to the world w i t h understanding m o d i f i e d by h i s e x p e r i e n c e s . Of course, t h i s too i s a l l p a r t of M i l l e r ' s t e r r i b l e , yet f o r t u n a t e , journey. The themes o f c r e a t i o n are p a r t of the s t o r y o f the a r t i s t , and the s t o r y of tithe journey to create i s the t a l e of the h e r o i c man a c c o m p l i s h i n g h i s m i s s i o n . That h e r o i c u n i v e r s a l i t y i s connected i n both M i l l e r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p s to the r e s t o f humanity, and i n t h a t sense, h i s n o v e l s are the s t o r y of the great romantic r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a l l men, as w e l l as being l i n k e d here w i t h the e x a l t e d r o l e o f the poet-sage r e l a t i n g the h e r o i c t a l e . My connections were . . . wi t h man and not with men..i . . I n d i v i d u a l i t y expressed i t s e l f f o r me as l i f e with r o o t s . E f f l o r e s c e n c e meant c u l t u r e - - i n s h o r t , the world of c y c l i c a l development. I n my eyes the great f i g u r e s were always i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the trunk of the t r e e , not w i t h the boughs and l e a v e s . And the great f i g u r e s were capable of l o s i n g t h e i r i d e n t i t y e a s i l y : they were a l l v a r i a t i o n s of the one man, Adam Cadmus, or whatever he be c a l l e d . My l i n e a g e streamed from him, not from my a n c e s t o r s . 18 And he i s the hero h i m s e l f , a c t i n g out the drama, making the symbolic c r o s s i n g of the r i v e r Styx, and r e t u r n i n g to the o l d but a l s o , f o r him, new world: the f l i g h t which the poet makes over the face of the e a r t h and then, as i f he had been ordained to re-enact a l o s t drama, the h e r o i c descent i n t o the very bowels of the e a r t h , the dark and fearsome sojourn i n the b e l l y of the whale, the bloody s t r u g g l e to l i b e r a t e h i m s e l f , to emerge c l e a n of the p a s t , a b r i g h t , gory sun god c a s t up •••on an a l i e n shore. 19 The poet i s changed f o r e v e r , i s returned to a new world by the v i s i o n granted him, by the experience through which he s t r u g g l e s , i n s h o r t , by h i s i n i t i a t i o n i n t o the m y s t e r i e s of c r e a t i o n , and the attempt to express the i n e x p r e s s i b l e . The v i s i o n achieved, the mystery penetrated, the triumph reached at the end of the h e r o i c journey, M i l l e r t e l l s over and over. L i k e the medieval s c h o l a r , he w r i t e s the exempla as the major t r a i n of what he i s s a y i n g , then i n c l u d e s , almost m a r g i n a l l y , the sentence or statement of r e c e i v e d 'Struth": He t e l l s h i s s t o r y and comments upon i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e along the way by speaking o f the r o l e of the a r t i s t and the nature of h i s a r t : s i n c e d i s a s t e r s are d i s a s t r o u s only f o r those e n g u l f e d i n them, whereas they can be i l l u m i n a t i n g f o r those who s u r v i v e and study them, so i t i s i n the c r e a t i v e world. . . . In the a r t i s t . . . c o n t r a s t i n g r e a c t i o n s seem to combine or merge, pr o d u c i n g that u l t i m a t e one, the great c a t a l y z e r c a l l e d r e a l i z a t i o n . . . . The a r t i s t ' s game i s to move over i n t o r e a l i t y . I t i s to see beyond the mere " d i s a s t e r " which the p i c t u r e of a l o s t b a t t l e f i e l d renders to the naked eye. . . . the p i c t u r e which the world has presented to the naked human eye can h a r d l y seem any t h i n g but a hideous b a t t l e g r o u n d o f l o s t causes. . . . and [ i t j w i l l be so u n t i l man ceases to regard h i m s e l f as the mere seat o f c o n f l i c t . U n t i l he takes up the task of becoming the " I " of h i s " I " . 20 In these statements about the nature of the i n s i g h t a t which one must a r r i v e and the purpose of the a r t i s t and h i s a r t , M i l l e r i s not merely i n s e r t i n g t r i t e h o m i l i e s or " p h i l o s o p h i z i n g " breaks i n the n a r r a t i v e of h i s c h a r a c t e r ' s sexual escapades. These are not extraneous, unconnected f i l l e r s . What he i s s a y i n g i s w e l l - k n i t and c a r e f u l l y cohesive a t one or more l e v e l s o f h i s n o v e l s . Moreover, one cannot simply e x p l a i n away these statements he makes by saying t h a t t h i s s e c t i o n "means" t h i s and that segment "means" t h a t . The sense of what he means i s not so e a s i l y a r r i v e d a t , or a t l e a s t , not the f u l l sense of what he i s t r y i n g to say. M i l l e r i s c o n t i n u a l l y r e i t e r a t i n g e v e n t s , e x p e r i e n c e s , p e r i o d s of h i s l i f e , the aims o f h i s n a r r a t i v e , h i s f e e l i n g s about h i m s e l f as w e l l as what i s or was happening to him. He i s c i r c l i n g round and round i n an e f f o r t to a r r i v e a t some ce n t r e .point; he i s e x p e r i e n c i n g a p r o c e s s of s u c c e s s i v e l y sharper and sharper i n t e l l i g e n c e s of his i n n e r s e l f , a r r i v i n g at a clearer and c l e a r e r understanding of the purpose o f h i s own l i f e , as w e l l as c l a r i f y i n g f o r h i m s e l f the purpose of the s t o r y he i s t e l l i n g . For the sense of h i s works i s v e r y much that of the a r t i s t who i s f i n d i n g h i m s e l f as he w r i t e s about f i n d i n g h i m s e l f . That i s , h i s awareness of h i m s e l f i s a process that i s s t i l l i n o p e r a t i o n as the n o v e l s are b e i n g w r i t t e n . The n a r r a t i v e t r a i n seems to move from the v i o l e n t anger and ialack d e s p a i r of an i s o l a t e d i n d i v i d u a l V e n t i n g h i s f r u s t r a t i o n and b i t t e r n e s s a t a d e t e r i o r a t i n g , h e e d l e s s w o rld, t e l l i n g that aspect of h i s t a l e . From the r e , though, the s t o r y moves i n each of h i s n o v e l s , but with i n c r e a s i n g confidence i n the l a t e r ones, to a slow growth i n the knowledge of the t e l l e r t h a t what he i s s a y i n g i s i t s e l f a process of c r e a t i v e and s p i r i t u a l growth; i t i s a l s o the means of r e j e c t i n g , e s c a p i n g and t r a n s c e n d i n g t h a t world of which he f e e l s no p a r t . In that sense, h i s n o v e l s take on an e x t r i n s i c , t h e r a p e u t i c v a l u e f o r the author, as w e l l as an i m p l i e d i n t r i n s i c value as work of a r t f o r i t s own sake. Hence, the meaning of p a r t i c u l a r events i n M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s change t h e i r c h a r a c t e r as the books p r o g r e s s . One becomes aware that the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f p a r t i c u l a r events s l o w l y grovfeas M i l l e r c i r c l e s on the main course that h i s l i f e took. The r e c o l l e c t i o n o f v a r i o u s events, and the repeated r e t u r n to c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of h i s past, mark t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r i t y , t h e i r growing s i g n i f i c a n c e , as they accumulate i n the n o v e l s . They are h i s magic touchstones, to which he r e t u r n s sometimes with almost c h i l d l i k e and perhaps naive awe. The • -episodes themselves and the remembrance of them seem to r e j u v e n a t e M i l l e r as he s p i n s out the l i n e s of h i s s p i r i t u a l connections to the p a s t , as he moves on through, what i s f o r him, the e v e r l a s t i n g p r e s e n t . As he r e t u r n s a g a i n and a g a i n t t o mention some event or aspect of that p e r i o d , i t becomes qu i t e c l e a r t h a t M i l l e r i s drawing ever s t r o n g e r emphasis to the p a r t i c u l a r r e l e v a n c e o f t h a t p e r i o d to h i s p r e s e n t l i f e . I t comes to r e p r e s e n t a p a r t i c u l a r aspect of the p a r a d i s e i n l i f e which M i l l e r hopes t o r e d i s c o v e r . The innocence of t h a t world can never be r e g a i n e d , but the u n i t y of v i s i o n , the complete l a c k o f consciousness of s e l f , n a t u r a l n e s s o f a c t i o n , the u t t e r openess%of mind, and of e x p r e s s i o n , are a few of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of c h i l d h o o d l i f e which M i l l e r r egards as extremely v a l u a b l e . So, throughout h i s n o v e l s , he touches back on some event o f t h a t p e r i o d , u s u a l l y to h i g h l i g h t o r compare i t to the present c o n d i t i o n of h i s a d u l t l i f e . The whole sense o f what M i l l e r means by c r e a t i o n then, i s l i n k e d to h i s development o f the b i r t h o f the a r t i s t through the senses. The Ovarian T r o l l e y aspect of the journey i s a c t u a l l y a f e a t u r e of n e a r l y the whole corpus of h i s w r i t i n g s . That i s , M i l l e r ' s descent i n t o "the bowels of the e a r t h " i n order to pass through to the c r e a t i v e sphere i s an immersion i n and a r e t u r n to b a s i c s ensual/sensory e x p e r i e n c e . The a c t i v i t i e s of h i s hero c h a r a c t e r center on food and sex. And the p o r t i o n s of each which he engorges are extreme, extravagant, exaggerated, comic, and sometimes v i o l e n t . The p i c t u r e drawn i s one of f r e n z i e d a c t i v i t y t h a t embraces extremes, the lowest extremes u s u a l l y , o f sensual a c t i v i t i e s . T h i s i s f i r s t a c a l c u l a t e d f e a t u r e o f the a t t i t u d e of t o t a l acceptance of a l l a s p e c t s of l i f e , i n o r d e r to exceed what we o r d i n a r i l y regard as l i v i n g , to become the cosmic "I"sand "eye" o f the human s t o r y ; i t i s a method of transcending l i f e by embracing i t a l l , moving on through l i f e , thus becoming l a r g e r than i t a l l . And i t i s a l s o a v i b r a n t , open, u n q u e s t i o n i n g a f f i r m a t i o n o f the l i f e of the body, which attempts to negate the n o t i o n of the w i l l . The p h i l o s o p h y i s one of a c t i v e p a s s i v i t y , c a l c u l a t e d i r r a t i o n a l i t y , a system negating systems and ccodes of m o r a l i t y and law. The c o n t r a d i c t i o n s implied i n these statements r e s o l v e themselves i n an understanding o f a r a t h e r simple but important d i s t i n c t i o n t h a t u n d e r l i e s what M i l l e r means by the p e j o r a t i v e n o t i o n s o f codes, systems and laws. These c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s M i l l e r sees as props which support p a r t i a l l i v i n g . H i s negations are merely a way of c a l l i n g f o r a complete consciousness of l i f e . He i s r e a c t i n g a g a i n s t s o c i a l p a t t e r n s that are e i t h e r i r r e l e v a n t as guides that might help people to enjoy a more abundant e x i s t e n c e , or they are a hindrance to the freedom o f the i n d i v i d u a l to expand h i s i n n e r h o r i z o n s through h i s o u t e r v i s i o n and a c t i o n . M i l l e r propounds a p h i l o s o p h y o f being r a t h e r than becoming, which i n v o l v e s , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , becoming something e l s e i n any event. The i n d i v i d u a l must become one w i t h the a c t i v i t y of l i f e i t s e l f , l i v i n g i n i t , i n the a c t i v i t y , r a t h e r than a t t e m p t i n g to l i v e a t i t , doing the a c t i v i t y . The p r o c e s s , f o r M i l l e r , i s p a r t of b e i n g f u l l y awake. As he e v e n t u a l l y comes to swim i n words, and as he indeed does i n a l l h i s w r i t i n g , M i l l e r d e t a i l s how he swam i n the c u r r e n t of l i f e : I too l o v e e v e r t h i n g that f l o w s : r i v e r s , sewers, l a v a , semen, blood, b i l e , words, sentences. . . . I l o v e the words of h y s t e r i c s and the sentences that flow on l i k e dysentery and m i r r o r a l l the s i c k images o f the s o u l . . . i. I love e v e r y t h i n g t h a t flows, e v e r y t h i n g t h a t has time i n i t and becoming, that b r i n g s us back to the b e g i n n i n g where there i s never end . . . . The great i n c e s t u o u s wish i s to flow on, one w i t h time, to merge the great image of the beyond wi t h the here and now. A f a t u o u s , s u i c i d a l wish that i s c o n s t i p a t e d by words and p a r a l y z e d by thought. 21 Much of the sensual a c t i v i t y of h i s hero i s r e l a t e d to .•; the sense of that childhood era, where the a c t i v i t y of l i v i n g was open, d i r e c t i n response to impulses and d e s i r e s , and g e n e r a l l y unencumbered by i n h i b i t i o n s l a t e r i n c u l c a t e d by s o c i e t y . M i l l e r ' s f a s c i n a t i o n with Freud's statement t h a t " i n t o the n i g h t l i f e seems to be e x i l e d what once r u l e d the day" 2 5 2 i s connected t o t h i s view of childhood and the a c t i v i t i e s of h i s hero"; That i s , M i l l e r ' s c h a r a c t e r seems to be l i v i n g out h i s repressed dream or " n i g h t " world, e x p r e s s i n g h i s impulses and d e s i r e s i n those exaggerated s e x u a l escapades. The attempt i s to b r i n g the e x i l e d n i g h t l i f e of the subconscious back i n t o the day, i n t o c onsciousness, through l i t e r a t u r e . Those a s p e c t s of the doctrine of acceptance are the e s s e n t i a l p r e l i m i n a r i e s to c r e a t i o n , as p a r t of the c r e a t i v e r e b i r t h of the a r t i s t i n the womb of the s e n s u a l world, as p a r t of the e x e r c i s e i n negation of w i l l or e g o c e n t r i c s e l f , and l a s t l y , a union of the mind and body w i t h the elemental forms of c r e a t i o n and the organic, p r o c e s s a l world. A l l o f the sensual a c t i v i t i e s , as r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t the i d e a - c o n t r o l l e d , r u l e -governed, s o c i a l man, are p a r t o f a movement toward o t h e r c e n t r e s o f a c t i o n i n man, toward o t h e r a s p e c t s of mind, i n an attempt to balance the preponderance of weight s o c i e t y and i t s l i t e r a t u r e p l a c e s on t r a d i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s of thought as the way man r e a l i z e s h i s h i g h e s t p o t e n t i a l as a t h i n k i n g a n i m a l . M i l l e r suggests t h a t the journey down the F a l l o p i a n tubes, the reawakening of the senses, the way of the body, i s the method of r e a c h i n g and reawakening the e s s e n t i a l s o u l of man. The vocabulary of s p i r i t u a l awakening and union i s couched i n terms of p h y s i c a l b i r t h and sexual i n t e r c o u r s e . And the p h y s i c a l e xperiences are presented as the means through which the s p i r i t u a l experience i s f i n a l l y a r r i v e d a t . Thus, the importance of the whole sexual aspect o f M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s i s not merely as metaphor f o r a l l sensory reawakening. Metaphor i t i s , but more s i g n i f i c a n t l y , i t d e s c r i b e s the body as the path t o the s o u l . That route to the soul p l a c e s M i l l e r i n the company of what he r e f e r s to as the "underground" men: "We were, without knowing it,members o f that t r a d i t i o n a l ' underground which vomits f o r t h a t s u i t a b l e i n t e r v a l s those w r i t e r s who w i l l l a t e r be c a l l e d Romantics, m y s t i c s , v i s i o n a r i e s or d i a b o l i s t s . " 2 3 A major p o r t i o n of the M i l l e r hero's journey, a t l e a s t i n terms of h i s outward l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s , c e n t r e s on the g r e a t female f i g u r e i n h i s l i f e : h i s second w i f e , Mona/ M a r a . 2 4 C a p r i c o r n d e a l s with a p e r i o d l e a d i n g up to M i l l e r ' s acquaintance with her; the Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n t r i l o g y d e a l s p r i m a r i l y w i t h the seven year span of h i s marriage to her, and the Cancer novel covers the end p e r i o d , where he has moved past his need f o r her, has escaped her. For M i l l e r , Mona seems to r e p r e s e n t a l l the feminine p r i n c i p l e s that e x i s t . She stands f o r e v e r y t h i n g t h a t men dream woman should be, as w e l l as what they i n f a c t a r e : She i s l o v i n g , b e a u t i f u l , charming, able to s a t i s f y h i s every s e x u a l d e s i r e ; she i s a l s o f i c k l e and treacherous i n her a t t e n t i o n s to him, d i s a p p e a r i n g f o r p e r i o d s of time, t e l l i n g h a l f - c o n c e a l e d s t o r i e s of other l o v e r s , other a f f a i r s , alltfeTrihile p r o t e s t i n g her innocence and f a i t h f u l n e s s . She stands as a mother f i g u r e i n p r o v i d i n g money and food f o r M i l l e r i n mysterious ways. Her s t o r i e s are c o n f u s i n g mixtures of t r u t h and f a b r i c a t i o n which he can never p e n e t r a t e through t o f i n d out what she does when not wit h him. In t h a t sense, she p r e s e n t s something of a c h i l d ' s view of the mother f i g u r e who i s always a v a i l a b l e when r e q u i r e d , always a b l e to s u p p l y the c h i l d ' s needs, but never wholly r e v e a l e d to the c h i l d ' s mind when he i s hot able to view and to touch her. She i s the mysterious source of l i f e . There i s o f t e n the sense, too, that though c u r i o u s about her ways, he a v o i d s d e l v i n g too f a r i n t o the f a c t s of what her l i f e might be f o r f e a r o f b e t r a y a l . M i l l e r i s both f a s c i n a t e d and j e a l o u s and so d e s p e r a t e l y i n need o f s e c u r i t y and reassurance that he dare not s t r i p away the v e i l o f mystery t h a t surrounds Mona's a c t i v i t i e s . Then, too, her s t o r i e s are such c o n f u s i n g mixtures of t r u t h and f a b r i c a t i o n that there i s some q u e s t i o n about whether he can ever p e n e t r a t e t h e i r c o n f u s i o n s anyway. So, as woman, as l o v e r , Mona i s mysterious and e l u s i v e . She seems to become whatever M i l l e r wishes her to be. And the c o n t i n u i n g mystery f o r him i s j u s t that e l u s i v e nature she r e p r e s e n t s . In a sense, she becomes the c e n t r a l f i g u r e of M i l l e r ' s c r e a t i v e r e b i r t h a s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the mystery o f c r e a t i o n i t s e l f . H i s great journey r e v o l v e s around h i s f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h not b e i n g able to know her, and with h i s attempt to a r r i v e at some knowledge of her. He f e e l s t h a t i f he can t e l l the s t o r y of Mona he w i l l not o n l y t e l l the process of h i s own major, i n n e r breakthrough, but he may a l s o be a b l e to reach and e x p l a i n the heart o f the mystery of c r e a t i o n i t s e l f i n d e t a i l i n g who Mona r e a l l y was. F o r i t was she who u l t i m a t e l y provided M i l l e r with the means of es c a p i n g the t e r r i b l e mechanical l i f e o f the o r d i n a r y s p i r i t u a l l y disembodied man, by a l l o w i n g him the means to escape a mundane working l i f e and to spend h i s time w r i t i n g . And i t was through the t r i b u l a t i o n s of h i s l i f e w ith Mona that he experienced e c s t a t i c high p e r i o d s o f l o v e and j o y , together w i t h h o r r i b l e , low moments o f b l a c k d e s p a i r , i s o l a t i o n and b i t t e r n e s s . She f u e l e d and tended the f i r e s through which. M i l l e r had to pass before he f i n a l l y achieved h i s s p i r i t u a l freedom to become a w r i t e r . He e v e n t u a l l y went past her and h i s need f o r her. He escaped the world i n which he was mired, which was New York c i t y , r e p r e s e n t i n g the t e r r e s t r i a l d i s i n t e g r a t e d world of the mechanical body. Moving to P a r i s , mainly as the r e s u l t o f another o f Mona's s e c r e t i v e m o n e y - c o l l e c t i n g e f f o r t s , he was ab l e to leave h i s past, f r e e d both from i t and from Mona. M i l l e r was then a b l e to r e t u r n a g a i n t o t h a t past i n h i s w r i t i n g , to work out h i s own true nature i n the p r e s e n t . And i n t h a t escape, M i l l e r must leave Mona behind, because, i n a sense, she i s the gre a t , e a r t h l y p r i n c i p l e , p a r t l y mechanical body. A l s o , she stands f o r the c r e a t i v e p r i n c i p l e i t s e l f , mysterious, e a r t h l y , s e n s u a l , demanding and tortuous f o r her v i c t i m yet l i f e - g i v i n g ; she r e p r e s e n t s that stage o f h i s development which he needed, used and moved p a s t . Mona set him f r e e to c r e a t e , to w r i t e ; thus, he moved away from Mona, t h a t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a p a r t i c u l a r form of ex p e r i e n c e . At l e a s t , t h i s i s the g e n e r a l sense of the Mona/Mara f i g u r e i n M i l l e r ' s l i f e . But i n w r i t i n g about her, i n h i s r e t u r n to Mona as the key f i g u r e and c e n t r a l symbol i n h i s w r i t i n g about the past and the d i r e c t i o n of h i s l i f e as a method i t s e l f o f p e n e t r a t i n g the nature o f the c r e a t i v e e x p e r i e n c e , M i l l e r pays h i s g r e a t e s t t r i b u t e to th a t strange and l o v e l y woman: C r e a t i o n : To c r e a t e the legend i n which I could f i t the key which would open her s o u l . . . . I t i s about twenty years now si n c e I began the study of the photogenic s o u l ; i n that time I have conducted hundreds of experiments. The r e s u l t i s that I know a l i t t l e more-?-? about myself. . . . One d i s c o v e r s n o t h i n g about the s e c r e t s of the u n i v e r s e : a t the best one l e a r n s something about the nature of d e s t i n y . 25 M i l l e r f i n a l l y can never f i n d her i n the way he wants, to l a y open a l l the " f a c t s " aboutt Mona, and to know who and what she was: The woman who had been Mara and was now Lfona, who had been and would be other names, other persons, o t h e r assemblages of appendages, was no more a c c e s s i b l e , p e n e t r a b l e than a c o o l s t a t u e i n a f o r g o t t e n garden of a l o s t c o n t i n e n t . 26 She i s too c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with t h a t which i s unfathomable i n a l l people, t h e i r s p i r i t u a l core; t h i s i s an admission M i l l e r makes when he says that a l l he has come to know i s a l i t t l e more of h i m s e l f , h i s own s o u l - c e n t r e . And she i s too c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d with the whole p r i n c i p l e of c r e a t i o n i t s e l f ; she i s both b e a u t i f u l and t e r r i b l e , mysterious and unreachable, though her outward, surface c h a r a c t e r appears c l e a r and p l a s t i c : The i r r e s i s t i b l e c r e a t u r e o f the other sex i s a monster i n process of becoming a f l o w e r . Feminine beauty i s a c e a s e l e s s c r e a t i o n , a cea s e l e s s r e v o l u t i o n about a d e f e c t ( o f t e n imaginary) which causes the whole being to gyrate heavenward. 27 And t h a t creative p r i n c i p l e , as i s obvious here., i s f o r M i l l e r a m y s t i c a l one, both Si:terms o f i t s p r o c e s s as feminine beauty, as p a r t o f and symbol f o r a l l n a t u r a l process, and i n i t s e f f e c t on the observer, when he f i n a l l y r e a l i z e s i t f u l l y , which i s of the nature of a v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e . I t i s mystic i n that i t can never be f u l l y d e s c r i b e d or d e t a i l e d ; he can t a l k "about" i t , but never a c t u a l l y "say" i t . What i s important here i s M i l l e r ' s equating o f the feminine with the c r e a t i v e p r o c e s s , i n the f i g u r e of Mona, who, as the name suggests, i s supremely b e a u t i f u l , enigmatic, and e n t i r e l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f woman. The c r e a t i v e process i s presented as l o s s of the e g o c e n t r i c s e l f , as h e r o i c journey, m y s t i c a l e x p e r i e n c e , and a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g l o v e a f f a i r . A l l of these modes together o r c h e s t r a t e a movement toward a slow growth of consciousness l e a d i n g to the super-awakened s o u l . These themes beat the rhythm of the mind's movement as i t slo w l y becomes aware of the dance of l i f e , the harmony of mind, body and s p i r i t aware o f i t s e l f as one f u l l y human being. The f i n a l a r r i v a l at the goal f o r which M i l l e r set out has been mentioned b r i e f l y in several places in t h i s discusssion as i t related to other aspects of M i l l e r ' s writing. It would be perhaps useful now to focus on that end-place in somewhat greater d e t a i l . William Gordon c a l l s M i l l e r ' s f i n a l achievement of insight "cosmic consciousness". 1 The term which Norman 0. Brown uses to describe the sort of consciousness that he finds common to certain writers and thinkers in psychoanalysis, poetry, mysticism, and philosophy, i s " d i a l e c t i c a l imagination": "By d i a l e c t i c a l I mean an a c t i v i t y of consciousness struggling to circumvent the l i m i t a t i o n s imposed by the formal-logical law of contradiction".^ This kind of d e f i n i t i o n helps to i l l u s t r a t e something of the nature of M i l l e r ' s contradictory and apparently confusing statements. As with his surreal dream vi s i o n s , what he says in d i r e c t statement i s part of an attempt to encompass the i r r a t i o n a l , the i l l o g i c a l , to accept that aspect of the world, and to circumvent the world of l o g i c and r a t i o n a l thought processes. The world M i l l e r i s presenting i s a t o t a l state of being which includes a l l aspects of the mind. Hence, what he says contains the range of mental, as well as of physical a c t i v i t y . This returns us to the question of what i s true, for in M i l l e r ' s terms, truth; in addition to being an inner and outer condition:.of harmony,is'jn r e l a t i n g the whole story of the man functioning i n and aware of h i s u n i v e r s e . That s t o r y i s c o n t r a d i c t o r y , p a r a d o x i c a l , and e s s e n t i a l l y i n e x p l i c a b l e i n t hat words only approximate the t e l l i n g of i t ; yet the words are a true d e p i c t i o n o f the c o n t i n u a l s t a t e of f l u x of l i f e when they do present that range of apparent u n i n t e l l i g i b l l i t y . G e n e r a l l y , what i s u n i n t e l l i g i b l e i n M i l l e r ' s n a r r a t i v e are those things which defy reason, a n a l y s i s , and l o g i c . They appear to make no sense because reason and order are the kinds of understanding, the procedures we attempt to apply to what he i s saying. The i r r a t i o n a l and the s u r r e a l are c l e a r when one p i c k s up the imagery of the d e s c r i p t i o n or senses the f e e l i n g i n the statements. Then, there i s no c o n t r a d i c t i o n , no r e a l d i s j u n c t i o n . The u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e s which apply, then, are outside the normal plane of "understanding"; they are p o e t i c a l and m y s t i c a l i n s i g h t s of a k i n d which take l i c e n s e w i t h our common conventions of order; h i s major p o i n t s of reference are not to " t h i n g s " as such, but to something a k i n to the st a t e of "thingness", which i s the s p i r i t u a l , yet o b j e c t i v e context of the world. The p o s i t i o n from which he n a r r a t e s i s both i n and out of the world, a t once r e l i v i n g the p a i n f u l experience of h i s l i f e c y c l e , and r e - e x p e r i e n c i n g a l l the s u f f e r i n g and unhappiness of i t , w hile s t i l l standing outside of i t , seeing through i t with detachment: I could see i t a l l c l e a r l y — m y e a r t h l y e v o l u t i o n , from the l a r v a l stage to the present, and even beyond the p r e s e n t . What was the s t r u g g l e f o r or toward? Toward union. Perhaps. What e l s e could i t mean, t h i s d e s i r e to communicate? To reach everyone, h i g h and low, and get an answer bade—a d e v a s t a t i n g thought I To v i b r a t e e t e r n a l l y , l i k e the world l y r e . 3 T h i s d e s i r e to t e l l a s t o r y to someone, to anyone, to the world, and t o move toward union are c e r t a i n l y p a r t of the g o a l >that M i l l e r sums up here toward the end of Nexus, the f i n a l book i n the Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n t r i l o g y . The k i n d of union he means though, i s s t a t e d more e x p l i c i t l y i n e a r l i e r n o v e l s , as he c i r c l e s around, r e s t a t i n g what he i s t r y i n g to do, c o n s t a n t l y attempting to c l a r i f y what he a t f i r s t f e l t o n l y vaguely to be h i s m i s s i o n i n w r i t i n g . As he becomes more aware, so he encounters g r e a t e r d i f f i c u l t y i n s t a t i n g h i s i n t e n t i o n c l e a r l y . The problem i s again one of e x p r e s s i n g the i n e x p r e s s i b l e . One sense of where he wants to a r r i v e i s given i n a d e s c r i p t i o n of the p i c t u r e of an e l d e r l y Chinese sage: "He has n e i t h e r r e j e c t e d the world nor renounced i t : he i s p a r t o f i t j u s t as stone, t r e e , beast, f l o w e r and s t a r are p a r t of i t . I n h i s b e i n g he i s the world, a l l there can ever be of i t . . . . " 4 The Chinese man i s a concept that M i l l e r uses to exemplify a s t a t e of understanding o f s e l f t h a t M i l l e r h i m s e l f hopes u l t i m a t e l y to r e a c h . The image of China, and b e i n g i n China, as a c o n d i t i o n of t o t a l freedom from the known world, and as being i n an a l i e n , d i s t a n t p l a c e , i s e a r l i e r developed by M i l l e r i n a h e a v i l y s u r r e a l i s t i c essay c a l l e d "Walking Up and Down i n China." M i l l e r t here d e s c r i b e s h i m s e l f as the completely detached, f r e e man, a l i v e and alone i n a d i s e a s e d , d e s t r u c t i v e world. Anais N i n r e l a t e s that concept of the world, as M i l l e r d e s c r i b e d i t to her, i n terms s i m i l a r to those which he a p p l i e d i n Plexus to the p i c t u r e of that Chinese sage: China seems to stand f o r a c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n of e x i s t e n c e . . . the u n i v e r s e of mere being. Where one l i v e s l i k e a p l a n t , instinctively, no w i l l . The g r e a t i n d i f f e r e n c e , l i k e that of the Hindu who l e t s h i m s e l f be p a s s i v e i n order to l e t the seeds inhimflower. Some-t h i n g between the w i l l of the European and the Karma of the O r i e n t a l . 6 The important d i f f e r e n c e i n what M i l l e r means when he d e s c r i b e s such a s t a t e of e x i s t e n c e i s not c l e a r i n the statement i t s e l f . For i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n to A n a i s N i n here, M i l l e r seems to imply a k i n d o f e x i s t e n c e which i s completely unconscious, a c o n d i t i o n of m a t e r i a l b e i n g that i s aware of n o t h i n g . Rather what he does mean i s that one have a completely u n i n f l a t e d view of s e l f , as p a r t of the cosmos, as r e l a t i v e l y i n s i g n i f i c a n t o b j e c t , and that one be aware of o n e s e l f a a an o b j e c t , not a' prime mover -in the' u n i v e r s e . That i s , the i n d i v i d u a l must operate from and l i v e f i r s t i n t h e knowledge of h i m s e l f as p a r t o f , r a t h e r a p a r t from the world. The sense o f detachment from the world i s p a r t l y the sense of s e p a r a t i o n from the u n i v e r s e of human d e s t r o y e r s , the idea of man the c o n t r o l l e r , r a t h e r than man the monitor or the t r a n s m i t t e r of the world p u l s e . The metaphor of rock or p l a n t a p p l i e s to an awareness of s e l f , as b e l o n g i n g to a n a t u r a l order, and an awareness of s e l f i n an u n e g o t i s t i c a l sense. I t does not a p p l y to h i s understanding of how one should l i v e , i n terms of what one should do; The acceptance of l i f e which M i l l e r c a l l s f o r i s an a c t i v e one, as the t i t l e makes c l e a r , and as the l a r g e r p o r t i o n of "Walking Up and Down i n China" i m p l i e s by i t s d e s c r i p t i o n of movement, a c t i v i t y , and l i f e . But the m y t h i c a l China and Chinese man do c o n t a i n t h a t a p p a r e n t l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y u n i f i c a t i o n of the a c t i v e man most i n and of t h i s world, p a r t a k i n g of i t j o y f u l l y , with abandon, and without d i s c r i m i n a t i o n . And i t c o n t a i n s a l s o the p a s s i v e man, not merely i n the sense of a c c e p t i n g a l l experience, but i n the sense of Yeats' O r i e n t a l wise men i n L a p i s L a z u l i . That i s , f o r M i l l e r , the s t a t e of mind to be u n i t e d with the u n s e l f c o n s c i o u s body i n v o l v e s the awareness and detachment of the wise man who sees through the s u r f a c e involvement o f the human c o n d i t i o n . I t i s that c l a r i t y of v i s i o n which a l l o w s the sage to smile i n the face o f tragedy, and i t i s something of t h a t same i n t e l l e c t u a l p o s i t i o n which M i l l e r assumes i n h i s a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n s ? when he c a l l s j o y f u l l y f o r the d e s t r u c t i o n of the m a t e r i a l w o r l d . I t i s a l s o t h a t p o s i t i o n which seems to govern h i s v e r y d i s i n t e r e s t e d , or detached a t t i t u d e about events that do not a f f e c t h i s own l i f e , f o r he i s both above the movement of the e x t e r n a l world and i n i t , d i v o r c e d from man's normal sense of r e a l i t y . And, of course, the c a l l f o r d e s t r u c t i o n i s a l s o a w i l d desperate d e s i r e to i n j e c t new l i f e i n t o men: L e t us have more oceans, more upheavals, more wars, more h o l o c a u s t s . L e t us have a world of men and women w i t h dynamos between t h e i r l e g s , a world of n a t u r a l f u r y , of p a s s i o n , a c t i o n , drama," dreams, madness, a world t h a t produces e c s t a s y and not dry f a r t s . . . . A n y t h i n g that i s capable of r e s u s c i t a t i n g body and s o u l . 7 The c a l l f o r t h i s k i n d o f a c t i o n , t h a t is*, o f any a c t i o n which i s a spontaneous, i m p u l s i v e , completely human expression, o f d e s i r e s , senses, a p p e t i t e s , i s M i l l e r ' s e x p r e s s i o n of a r e t u r n to the e a r t h l y l i f e of the body i n concert with the s p i r i t . He wants so much to r e t u r n to v i t a l human r o o t s , to a p u r e l y t e r r e s t r i a l l i f e a t one end o f the spectrum i n the senses, and i n the mind, to transcend l i f e , to be of the s p i r i t , to be e x t r a t e r r e s t r i a l . The c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n d e s i r i n g t o be t i e d to ear t h yet f r e e o f i t are again r e s o l v e d i n the n o t i o n o f p h y s i c a l i t y , of sensory r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t r e a l l y f r e e the s p i r i t . Overcoming p s y c h o l o g i c a l o r c u l t u r a l i n h i b i t i o n s to p h y s i c a l freedom w i l l f r e e the s p i r i t from r e p r e s s i o n and w i l l a l l o w man to reach some s o r t of transcendent consciousness. The theory i s to r o o t the body i n the s e n s u a l , the e a r t h l y , and i n so doing, f r e e the s p i r i t : Behind the gray w a l l s there are human sparks, and yet never a c o n f l a g r a t i o n ! Are these men and women . . . or are these shadows, shadows of puppets dangled by i n v i s i b l e s t r i n g s ? They move i n freedom a p p a r e n t l y , but they have nowhere to go. In one realm o n l y are they f r e e and there they may; roam at " w i l l — b u t they have not yet l e a r n e d how to take wing. . . . No man has been born l i g h t enough, gay enough, t o leave the earth'. 8 M i l l e r i s s a y i n g that people are r e a l l y f r e e i n s p i r i t , were they o n l y aware. People wander around i n apparent p h y s i c a l freedom, unaware of both t h a t attachment to e a r t h , t o the senses, and the means a v a i l a b l e to be p h y s i c a l l y a l i v e , which f o r M i l l e r is freedom. Again, h i s meaning here r e t u r n s us to the n o t i o n of awareness of s e l f , f o r the centre of the s e l f i s where M i l l e r u l t i m a t e l y wants to a r r i v e : the goal i s to f i n d God, where God i s an i n t e r i o r sense o f awareness: "My whole aim i n l i f e i s t o get nearer to God, th a t i s , to get nearer to myself."* T h i s , I take i t , i s not a simple e g o t i s t i c a l equating of h i m s e l f with God, r a t h e r i t i s the f e e l i n g that God i s a s t a t e o f consciousness, which i s i n n e r and of t h i s world. Repeatedly i n M i l l e r ' s w r i t i n g , both i n what he says and i n what he a c t u a l l y does i n h i s n o v e l s , there i s t r a c e d a c i r c u l a r movement i n a d i r e c t i o n that l e a d s toward the inner man. I t i s a movement inward toward the c e n t r e , as w e l l as a r e t u r n to beginnings, a f i n d i n g of t h e end po i n t i n the b e g i n n i n g . I t i s a l s o a working out of an encompassing theory o f u n i f i c a t i o n i n a u n i v e r s a l sense o f one great, l i f e process that i s i n e t e r n a l movement and change, yet which i s unchanging i n the sense of unending. And the movement i s f i n a l l y toward the e x p r e s s i o n o f the i n e x p r e s s i b l e , which i s t e l l i n g a s t o r y that approximates the r e a l s t o r y . What he wants to say cannot be expressed c l e a r l y , except i n the most c o n t r a d i c t o r y sounding terms. No man ever puts down what he intended t o say: the o r i g i n a l c r e a t i o n , which i s t a k i n g p l a c e a l l the time, whether one w r i t e s or doesn't w r i t e , belongs to the p r i m a l f l u x : i t has no dimensions, no form, no time element. In t h i s p r e l i m i n a r y s t a t e , which i s c r e a t i o n and not b i r t h , what di s a p p e a r s s u f f e r s no d e s t r u c t i o n ; something which was a l r e a d y there, something i m p e r i s h a b l e , l i k e memory, or matter, or God, i s summoned and i n i t one f l i n g s h i m s e l f l i k e a twig i n a t o r r e n t . Words, sentences, i d e a s , no matter how s u b t l e or i n g e n i o u s , the maddest f l i g h t s of p o e t r y , the most profound dreams, the most h a l l u c i n a t i n g v i s i o n s , are but crude h i e r o g l y p h s c h i s e l l e d i n p a i n and sorrow to commemorate an event which i s u n t r a n s m i s s i b l e . 10 I t i s necessary f i n a l l y to "see" what he i s t a l k i n g about by the f e e l of the sometimes f r a n t i c , almost desperate t o r r e n t o f words on which M i l l e r swims. M i l l e r works i n complex l e v e l s o f c i r c l e s , as p a r t of the c e n t r a l u n i f i c a t i o n themes he i s d e v e l o p i n g and as p a r t of t h a t d i r e c t i o n inward to the s o u l . The l a r g e s t , g e n e r a l , outward s t r u c t u r e which p r o v i d e s the b a s i c t h e o r e t i c a l frame f o r these themes i s the f a i r l y common view of the n a t u r a l c y c l e o f l i f e . H i s world view of the u n i v e r s e as process and as o r g a n i c , i s contained i n those many statements t h a t a l l i s f l u x , that there i s no death or b i r t h i n the cosmic sense, on l y metamorphosis o r renewal. A l l t h a t remains constant i s c o n t i n u i t y , the a c t i v i t y o f l i f e i t s e l f . W i t h i n t h i s u niverse of f l u x are those things which partake o f l i f e , death, and r e b i r t h i n t h e i r v a r i o u s and c o n s t a n t l y changing forms. Onto t h i s r a t h e r f a m i l i a r view of the l i f e p r o c e s s , M i l l e r appends h i s n o t i o n s of p a r a d i s e , e t e r n i t y , and the mystery o f c r e a t i o n . His i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of p a r a d i s e comes to be that s p e c i a l k i n d of acceptance o f l i f e which he p r a c t i c e s , or at l e a s t which h i s hero does: That heaven and h e l l are. p h y s i c a l l y , at any r a t e , i n one p l a c e , i n t h i s world. And the way to heaven i s , i n one sense, through an acceptance of a l l t h a t i s here i n l i f e , a r r i v e d a t through embracing e v i l and n e g a t i n g i t . One transforms the l i f e ' o f the body i n t o the l i f e of the s p i r i t . One a t t a i n s a k i n d of m y s t i c a l v i s i o n , which i s p a r a d i s e , by complete acceptance and by l i v i n g through the experience of t h e p h y s i c a l . In that sense, p a r a d i s e i s the j o y and e c s t a s y of the experience of the event i t s e l f . To penetrate the mystery of l i f e , i s to accept a l l p h y s i c a l l i f e . I t i s a l s o necessary to embrace a l l c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n o r d e r t o proceed beyond those c o n t r a -d i c t i o n s , where one can a r r i v e a t a m y s t i c a l ot.^teeling" s t a t e of; u nderstanding of the p r o c e s s a l u n i v e r s e , and completely f e e l an o b j e c t i v e p a r t of i t . The requirement M i l l e r i s p o s i t i n g i s that one must f i r s t experience a l l l i f e i n order to p e n e t r a t e the mystery. Berdyaev says the movement i s toward completion: The f i n a l completeness and wholeness i n c l u d e a l l the experience t h a t has been l i v e d through--the experience of good and e v i l , of d i v i s i o n and v a l u a t i o n , of p a i n and s u f f e r i n g . M o r a l i t y i n e v i t a b l y i n v o l v e s p a i n . There can be no b l i s s i n "the g o o d " — t h e r e can o n l y be b l i s s "beyond good and e v i l . " 11 And he d e s c r i b e s the nature o f p a r a d i s e , as w e l l as i n t i m a t i n g the c y c l i c a l nature of the process of a r r i v i n g t h e r e , both of which M i l l e r develops i n c o n s i d e r a b l e d e t a i l i n h i s n o v e l s : The p a r a d i s e a t the end o f the cosmic process i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from the par a d i s e a t i t s b e g i n n i n g . I t comes a f t e r a l l the t r i a l s and w i t h the knowledge o f freedom. I t may be s a i d indeed to be the par a d i s e a f t e r h e l l , a f t e r the experience of e v i l and a f r e e r e j e c t i o n of h e l l . The temptation o f r e t u r n i n g t o the primeval precosmic non-being i s f r e e l y overcome . . . . P a r a d i s e , i n which there i s as yet no awareness o f man's c r e a t i v e v o c a t i o n and the h i g h e s t idea of man i s n o t yet r e a l i z e d , i s re p l a c e d by a paradise i n which h i s v o c a t i o n and idea are r e v e a l e d to the f u l l . In other words, the n a t u r a l paradise i s r e p l a c e d by the s p i r i t u a l . 12 The d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the two p a r a d i s e s M i l l e r never f u l l y d e a l s with i n h i s s i x main n o v e l s . He. o f t e n r e t u r n s to the v i s i o n o f childho o d innocence, d e s c r i b i n g the u n i t y o f t h a t pre-conscious- world o f innocence with c o n s i d e r a b l e longing. But h i s f i n a l p o s i t i o n does i n v o l v e a r e a l i z a t i o n that the new p a r a d i s e i s a r r i v e d at through the world of experience, not by a v o i d i n g i t , o r, as i n chi l d h o o d , not yet e x p e r i e n c i n g i t a t a l l . And, asBstdyaev i n t i m a t e s , h e l l i s , l i k e p a r a d i s e , a p a r t of t h i s world. In M i l l e r ' s terms, i t i s i n f a c t the world of experience which must be undergone without awareness of one's d e s t i n a t i o n , that one w i l l break through to the superconscious realm o f understanding, a t which he f i n a l l y a r r i v e s . The p o i n t here, though, i s t h a t Berdyaev's m y s t i c a l r e l i g i o u s view of the world i s remarkably s i m i l a r to the concepts which M i l l e r expresses; that i s , M i l l e r ' s background framework co n t a i n s many elements of these r e l i g i o u s mystic a t t i t u d e s . In the two w r i t e r s , not onl y are t h e i r p r e c onscious and su p e r c o n s c i o u s : understanding of p a r a d i s e s i m i l a r , but, as one would perhaps expect, t h e i r views of the concept o f e t e r n i t y and c r e a t i o n are r e l a t e d . These connections would e x i s t i n p a r t perhaps because t h e o r i e s of an e a r t h l y heaven would somehow have to deal i n a q u i t e s i m i l a r f a s h i o n with the n o t i o n of e t e r n i t y . As has been p o i n t e d out e a r l i e r , M i l l e r ' s sense of the e t e r n a l i s the n o t i o n of the e t e r n a l p r e s e n t . I t i s l a r g e l y a view of the moment as i n f i n i t e l y expandable i n the presence of the e c s t a t i c e x p e r i e n c e : L i f e s t r e t c h e s out from moment to moment i n stupendous i n f i n i t u d e . Nothing can be more r e a l than what you suppose i t to be. . . . You l i v e i n the f r u i t s of your a c t i o n and your a c t i o n i s the h a r v e s t of your thought. Thought and a c t i o n are one, because swimming you are i n i t and of i t , and jLt i s e v e r y t h i n g you d e s i r e i t to be, no more, no l e s s . Every s t r o k e counts f o r e t e r n i t y . 13 T h i s view of e t e r n i t y i s a l s o the one that l i f e i s to be l i v e d i n the p r e s e n t moment, without too much r e g a r d f o r the f u t u r e , or, at l e a s t , without that concern f o r the f u t u r e where the body l i v e s now, separated from a mind that e x i s t s f o r some f u t u r e moment. M i l l e r c r i t i c i z e s t h a t k i n d of s e p a r a t i o n as he saw i t i n h i s p a r e n t s ' l i f e : A f t e r d i n n e r - t h e d i s h e s were promptly washed and put i n the c l o s e t ; a f t e r the paper was read i t was n e a t l y f o l d e d and l a i d away on a s h e l f ; a f t e r the c l o t h e s were washed they were ironed and f o l d e d and then tucked away i n the drawers. E v e r y t h i n g was f o r tomorrow, but tomorrow never came. The present was only a bridge and on t h i s bridge they are s t i l l groaning, as the world groans, and not one i d i o t ever t h i n k s of blowing up the b r i d g e . 14 M i l l e r ' s a p p r o a c h to the present i s an attempt to blow up the b r i d g e ; he wants to make the moment at hand the c e n t r a l f e a t u r e of l i f e - t i m e , to negate the c h r o n o l o g i c a l , time-bound sense of the l i f e p r o c e s s . He wants to l i v e the l i f e o o f the continuous p r e s e n t , where pas t i s only r e l e v a n t as i t i s r e l i v e d , r e -experienced i n the p r e s e n t . The past e x i s t s o n l y i n memory as the p r e s e n t , not as h i s t o r i c a l r e c o r d , but as the means of extendin g the moment forward and back, i n a sense, extending consciousness. Hence, h i s understanding o f the past , and h i s use o f the m a t e r i a l of p a s t experience, i s q u i t e u n s e q u e n t i a l i n d e t a i l ; ; he does not r e t u r n to i t as l i n e a r r e c o r d so much as he r e l i v e s p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t moments as they r e c u r • r a t h e r t i m e l e s s l y i n moments of memory. M i l l e r i s attempting, i n t h i s way,,to p r e s e n t a sense of the i n f i n i t e , o f time bending back connecting a l l events and experiences without c h r o n o l o g i c a l r e l e v a n c e , without s e q u e n t i a l , l i n e a r p r o g r e s s i o n . Berdyaev p r e s e n t s the dilemma of time which M i l l e r t r i e s to s o l v e : Time i s the nightmare and torment of our l i f e i n t h i s w orld. V/e are drawn towards the past i n memory and towards the f u t u r e i n i m a g i n a t i o n . Through memory the p a s t a b i d e s i n the pr e s e n t as the v i c t o r y over the death-b r i n g i n g flow of time, and i n order to do so we c o n s t a n t l y leave the pr.esen.t f o r the past and the f u t u r e , as though the e t e r n a l p r e s e n t c o u l d be .captured t h a t way. Hence, l i v i n g i n time we are doomed never to l i v e i n the p r e s e n t . 15 And M i l l e r attempts to s o l v e the paradox by remaining i n the pre s e n t alone, seeking to encompass past experience, as i t i s r e l e v a n t to h i s conscious moment, r e l i v i n g i t i n the present, and b r i n g i n g the f u t u r e toward the present i n h i s a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n s of the world. The triumph over time comes with consciousness of the value of the present as the moment o f s o l e importance i n l i f e , never i n the o r d i n a r y sense o f " l o o k i n g ahead" toward tomorrow, toward the next moment. He t e l l s h i s s t o r y as one continuous n a r r a t i v e of the p r e s e n t . The experience of w r i t i n g a t the moment, the t e l l i n g of the s t o r y , the expe r i e n c e s being recounted, and the memories of r e l e v a n t i n c i d e n t s o f childhood, t o g e t h e r with imaginative f l i g h t s of fancy, a l l blend i n t o one d e s c r i p t i v e c h a i n o f an e n d l e s s l y expandable s t o r y o f the author's l i f e as he f e e l s and remembers from moment to moment. The second c e n t r a l f e a t u r e of M i l l e r ' s c y c l i c a l - m y s t i c a l world view i s h i s n o t i o n of c r e a t i o n . Here a g a i n , the t h e o r e t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s p r o v i d e d by Berdyaev provide valuable i n s i g h t s i n h e l p i n g to e x p l i c a t e M i l l e r ' s f o r m u l a t i o n s . Berdyaev d i s t i n g u i s h e s two k i n d s of c r e a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n : the f i r s t i s one which i s i n n e r , and "primary c r e a t i v e i n t u i t i o n ; " t h i s i s a p e r s o n a l awareness or consciousness not i n v o l v i n g any e x t e r n a l r e a l i z a t i o n , as i n the p r o d u c t i o n of an a r t o b j e c t . I t i s p u r e l y i n n e r knowledge, which I i n t e r p r e t as an experience a k i n t o t h a t of m y s t i c a l r e v e l a t i o n . T h i s primary i n t u i t i o n i s what M i l l e r r e f e r s to as the i n e x p r e s s i b l e knowledge, which h i s w r i t i n g p a i n f u l l y attempts to approximate. And Berdyaev p o s i t s a second l e v e l or kind o f c r e a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n , i n terms s i m i l a r t o the f i r s t , as the outer o r "secondary c r e a t i v e a c t . " T h i s i s the r e a l i z a t i o n o f the c r e a t i v e i n t u i t i o n . The'primary c r e a t i v e f i r e i s not a r t a t a l l . A r t i s secondary and i n i t the c r e a t i v e f i r e c o o l s down. . . . There i s always a t r a g i c d i s c r e p a n c y between the burn i n g heat of the c r e a t i v e f i r e i n which the a r t i s t i c image i s conceived, and the c o l d o f i t s formal r e a l i z a t i o n . 16 In a sense, t h i s h e lps to e x p l a i n the b a s i s of M i l l e r ' s view of l i f e where a r t and l i f e become one, where the outward m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f the l i f e one l i v e s are a c r e a t i v e e x p r e s s i o n of t h a t "primary i n t u i t i o n . " M i l l e r can t e l l h i s l i f e s t o r y as a r t , where a r t here begins as a r e c r e a t i o n o f the l i f e he l i v e d and then becomes the l i f e he i s r e l i v i n g i n t e l l i n g the s t o r y , as w e l l as the experience of being a w r i t e r and the w r i t i n g i t s e l f . And the s t o r y i s a l s o c r e a t i v e , i s a r t o b j e c t , because i t d e t a i l s and attempts to approximate m e t a p h o r i c a l l y the inn e r v i s i o n o f l i f e which he has ach i e v e d . The s t o r y i s , i n the l a r g e s t sense, a kind o f s e l f - t r a n s c e n d e n c e i n v o l v i n g an "over-s t e p p i n g o f the c o n f i n e s o f one's i n d i v i d u a l b e i n g . . . where one becomes concerned w i t h v a l u e s that are above man." 1 7 The M i l l e r hero does i n f a c t p r e s e n t h i m s e l f as a l a r g e r - t h a n -l i f e f i g u r e , w i t h exaggerated and extreme a p p e t i t e s and c a p a c i t i e s , moving always toward something much g r e a t e r than a mere l i v i n g out o f e x p e r i e n c e . He s l o w l y becomes aware that he must transcend these a s p e c t s of l i f e , must move beyond a s t r i c t l y p h y s i c a l freedom, as he moves to f i n d that even g r e a t e r inner freedom l e a d i n g up to the c r e a t i v e i n t u i t i o n . "I no longer s c r u t i n i z e the world--the world i s Inside me." 1 8 F o r M i l l e r p a r a d i s e i s not simply i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of i t i n l i t e r a t u r e o r i n the t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s sense of i t , though the v i s i o n o f p a r a d i s e i s found i n l i t e r a t u r e , and the experience he i s t a l k i n g o f i s r e a l l y a r e l i g i o u s , m y s t i c a l moment of s p i r i t u a l i n s i g h t . And the i n s i g h t perhaps r e s u l t s i n the c r e a t i v e v i s i o n , the moment of i n t u i t i o n , which produces the a r t o b j e c t . M i l l e r has t r i e d to r e c r e a t e that sense of p a r a d i s e , the v i s i o n of e t e r n i t y and the sublime moment of i n s i g h t , i n the u n d e r s t a n d i n g h i s c h a r a c t e r comes to f e e l . He u n i t e s t h i s s p e c i a l sense of l i f e and c r e a t i v e v i s i o n i n h i s a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n , the purpose b e i n g to make the a r t o b j e c t , h i s l i f e s t o r y , and h i m s e l f as s t o r y - t e l l e r , i n s e p a r a b l e i n the l i t e r a t u r e . The c o n t i n u i n g l e v e l s of c y c l i c a l themes are apparent at the l e v e l of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s l i f e s t o r y . M i l l e r ' s l i f e s t o r y i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms of a movement from a c h i l d h o o d p a r a d i s e to an a d u l t , d i s i n t e g r a t e d world where he spends most o f h i s l i f e attempting to recapture that c h i l d h o o d c l a r i t y of v i s i o n . The'search of the man f o r a r e t u r n to p a r a d i s e i s , i n p a r t , an attempjt to r e t u r n to the s t a r t i n g p o i n t i n l i f e . In youth we were whole and the t e r r o r and p a i n o f the world penetrated us through and through. . There was no sharp s e p a r a t i o n between j o y and sorrow : they fused i n t o one, as our waking l i f e f u s e s with dream and s l e e p . We rose one being i n the morning and a t n i g h t we went"down i n t o an ocean . . . c l u t c h i n g the s t a r s andtthe f e v e r of the day. 19 P a r t of the n o s t a l g i a he f e e l s f o r that p a r a d i s a l world i s i l l u s t r a t e d here to be more than a sense of the world as golden i n that p e r i o d ; i t i s the idea of that p e r i o d i n l i f e when one's v i s i o n of the world was completely u n i f i e d , perhaps that i t _is golden because of the c l a r i t y and u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d wholeness of one's v i s i o n . That i s , the i n n e r processes of thought and dream are u n i t e d w i t h , because i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e from the e x t e r n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of l i v i n g and p l a y i n g i n that world. The main f e a t u r e of t h i s k i n d of e x i s t e n c e i s the f a c t that the c h i l d i s not so conscious of s e l f as separable from other a s p e c t s of h i s experience; nor i s he i n h i b i t e d i n h i s f e e l i n g and h i s understanding by p r e s c r i p t i o n s concerning what he sees and what he does. EeM i s not o b j e c t i f y i n g , c a t e g o r i z i n g the world w i t h the k i n d of v a l u e s that he i s l a t e r t r a i n e d to do, i n what M i l l e r c a l l s "the great fragmentation of m a t u r i t y , " where henceforward e v e r y t h i n g moves on s h i f t i n g l e v e l s — o u r thoughts, our dreams, our a c t i o n s our whole l i f e . . . . we walk s p l i t i n t o myriad fragments, l i k e an i n s e c t with a hundred f e e t , a centipede w i t h s o f t - s t i r r i n g f e e t that d r i n k s i n the atmosphere; we walk with s e n s i t i v e f i l a m e n t s t h a t drink a v i d l y of p a s t and f u t u r e , and a l l t h i n g s melt i n t o music and sorrow; we walk a g a i n s t a u n i t e d world, a s s e r t i n g our d i v i d e d n e s s . 20 In terms of the c y c l i c a l nature of man's l i f e s t o r y , the s t r u g g l e M i l l e r p r e s e n t s i s the movement to r e t u r n to a p a r a d i s e o f a k i n d which co n t a i n s f e a t u r e s of t h a t p r e - c o n s c i o u s world. And the s t o r y of h i s l i f e does move s l o w l y toward t h a t same sense of a completely u n i f i e d p e r c e p t i o n of the world. But the u n i f i c a t i o n i s made c o n s c i o u s l y , as the r e s u l t of complete awareness of s e l f as p a r t of the p r o c e s s of l i f e , death, and r e b i r t h , and as,a r e s u l t of a s p i r i t u a l , or s e c u l a r r e l i g i o u s c o n v e r s i o n a t which he a r r i v e s through concrete, sensory, f e l t e xperience i t s e l f , and f i n a l l y through consciousness of the meaning of experience. The adult converts his experience into a unified, transcendent vision of the meaning of existence. He transforms his understanding of himself and his relationship to the world into a deep sense of spiritual unity with the cycle of the l i f e process, with the circular, continuous movement of the universe. This f e l t perception of the world is one in which his whole l i f e process is unified with his understanding of a l l other l i f e processes. Rather than merely seeing the world in terms of a theory of nature, of organic cycles of continuous creation, dissolution, and recreation, he feels deeply and mystically an identity with that whole process; he not only rationalizes or ju s t i f i e s his own existence in those terms, but he satisfies to some extent his own desires and feeling for immortality. In the cyclical notion, he escapes death, or at least, the fear of i t . The circular journey of l i f e then becomes more than an objectified organic theory of material recirculation or a principle of conservation of matter. It takes on the spiritual nature of the man as part of the journey as well. For the transcendent insight i t s e l f and the rationale that i t posits, where one reaches a paradise through superconscious-ness, is really an accomplishment of the mind in i t s widest sense as receptor of feeling, thought, memory, and imagination. The journey of the soul to f u l l understanding as outlined in Miller's work is a spiritual trip which accepts the existent conditions of the world f u l l y , and moves to paradise t h a t way through acceptance, r a t h e r than through n e g a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l world o r r e j e c t i o n of i t i n order to proceed a l o n g the route of s e l f - d e n i a l or a s c e t i c i s m . This acceptance theory i s one of r e a c h i n g the g o a l by encompassing a l l experience, a l l of the outer l i f e of the body, as p a r t of one means of making the t r i p . In f a c t , t h a t is_ the journey. To l i v e i n t h i s world more f u l l y as p a r t of i t , i s what M i l l e r says more and more f r e q u e n t l y through the s e r i e s o f h i s n o v e l s . By t h i s , he does not r e q u i r e nor mean t h a t one j o i n or operate i n the s o c i a l a i f l p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s o f the day. He, h i m s e l f , i s a n o t o r i o u s a b d i c a t o r i n t h a t s e a s e . 2 ^ He does mean t h a t one i s to l i v e one's l i f e s t y l e i n the world o f ex p e r i e n c e , not n e c e s s a r i l y i n the world of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as p a r t of the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d l i f e , but as p a r t o f the world community o f men, r e s p o n s i b l e f i r s t to s e l f , not egocentric s e l f , but the f u l l y human, n a t u r a l s e l f , and then t o other i n d i v i d u a l s , never t o groups. The s p i r i t u a l transcendence which transforms concrete experience i n the world alsoabrings the i n d i v i d u a l back to the concrete i n the sense that i t u n i t e s him once a g a i n w i t h the e a r t h , with r e a l i t y , w i t h a new p e r c e p t i o n of h i s place as p a r t o f the c y c l e of l i f e , r a t h e r than w i t h the mechanical c y c l e s o f the s o c i o - c u l t u r a l n i c h e s . The moment o f new or renewed i n s i g h t M i l l e r puts as a form o f r e s u r r e c t i o n . Having f i r s t d i e d to a de a t h l y world o f s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d , d i s i n t e g r a t e d man, he i s reborn as a r e s u l t of the i n s i g h t gained i n the u n i f i e d mode of p e r c e p t i o n . One t h i n g i s c e r t a i n , t h a t when you d i e fLike this3and are r e s u r r e c t e d you belong to the e a r t h and whatever i s o f the e a r t h i s yours i n a l i e n a b l y . You become an anomaly of na t u r e , a being without shadow; you w i l l never d i e again but onl y pass away l i k e the phenomena about you. Nothing of t h i s . . . was known to me a t the time I was going through the change. E v e r y t h i n g I endured was i n the nature of p r e p a r a t i o n . . . . 22 The r e l i g i o u s analogy inherent i n the language of t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n . p o i n t s out the s p i r i t u a l nature of experience M i l l e r i s d e s c r i b i n g while m a i n t a i n i n g s t i l l t h a t connection with the world, t h a t n o t i o n o f l i v i n g i n the world which he wants to u n i t e with h i s sense of the co n v e r s i o n i n understanding. The idea of t h i s l i f e process as o u t s i d e of the world, a p a r t from i t s r e l i g i o u s nature, i s t h a t r e j e c t i o n o f the accepted i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d world of western i n d u s t r i a l c u l t u r e s : I f I am inhuman i t i s because my world has slopped over i t s human bounds, because to be human seems l i k e a poor, s o r r y , miserable a f f a i r , l i m i t e d by the senses, r e s t r i c t e d by m o r a l i t i e s and codes, d e f i n e d by p l a t i t u d e s and isms. 23 I t i s that aspect of the e x t e r n a l world which M i l l e r r e f u s e s to j o i n . And i t i s from t h a t l i f e i n America he escapes by going to P a r i s . The P a r i s m i l i e u i s one i n which he i s f r e e from t i e s , from the "human bounds', a b l e now to f i n d h i m s e l f . M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s , as the s t o r y o f the move away from America to rescue h i m s e l f from the smothering conformity o f a l l t h a t New York means to him as s o c i a l s i c k n e s s , i n order to f i n d i n P a r i s the freedom and i n d i v i d u a l i t y to d i s c o v e r h i m s e l f , and thus, f i n a l l y , to achieve c r e a t i v e i n s i g h t , are p a r t of the l a r g e r c i r c u l a r journey of the hero. And t h a t s t o r y has a l l the dimensions of the exaggerated hero f i g u r e of l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n . Here, though, the hero i s out to save h i m s e l f , r a t h e r than k i n g or country or f a i r damsel. The h e r o i c journey i s u l t i m a t e l y an i n t r o s p e c t i v e one. I t has the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f a t r i p through two worlds a t once, r e a c h i n g i t s c o n c l u s i o n i n a u n i f i c a t i o n o f them both i n the mind of the hero. And the triumphant u n i f i c a t i o n becomes a moment of self-awareness which i s the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the h e r o - t r a v e l l e r i n t o the c r e a t i v e a r t i s t ; i n a sense, he becomes the man who f i n a l l y f i n d s h i s v o i c e . That s t o r y p a r a l l e l s the c i r c u l a r motion of l i f e , o f time, o f nature, and o f the s p i r i t , which M i l l e r interweaves through those s i x major n o v e l s . At the most obvious l e v e l , M i l l e r ' s a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l t a l e deals with the events and experiences o f the body, of the great man who e x p l o r e s a l l the sensory avenues of the e a r t h l y world. The d e s c r i p t i o n s of that f u l l range of sensory experience are concentrated on the two p r i m a l a p p e t i t e s of food and sex. And i n f e a s t i n g on both, M i l l e r d e s c r i b e s h i s herd's a c t i v i t i e s as enormous, e x t r a v a g a n t l y exaggerated r e v e l s which range over extremes o f language and d e s c r i p t i o n comparable to the enormity of h i s a p o c a l y p t i c v i s i o n s of the w o r l d . T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n , which contains a l o n g d i s q u i s i t i o n c a l l e d "An I n t e r l u d e " ? 4 ranges over the great v a r i e t y of the hero's sexual e x p l o i t s with v a r i o u s women, i n a p a r t i a l l y s u r r e a l i s t i c f a n t a s y o f pure sexual a c t i v i t y . I t combines d e t a i l e d , d i r e c t d e s c r i p t i o n o f sexual encounters and p u r e l y i m a g i n a t i v e f a n t a s y . The sexual experiences d e s c r i b e d are presented as a t o t a l immersion i n the senses; " I t was l i k e t a k i n g a f l a t i n the land of F u c k . " 2 5 But the simple d e s c r i p t i o n o f the p h y s i c a l a c t i v i t y of " f u c k i n g " i t s e l f , u s u a l l y moves on to become b e a u t i f u l , s ensual f a n t a s y : I t was an enormous cunt, too, when I t h i n k back on i t . A dark, subterranean labyrinth f i t t e d up wit h divans and cosy corners and rubber t e e t h and s y r i n g e s and s o f t n e s t l e s and eiderdown and mulberry l e a v e s . I Used to nose i n l i k e the s o l i t a r y worm and bury myself i n a l i t t l e cranny where i t was a b s o l u t e l y s i l e n t , and so s o f t and r e s t f u l that I l a y l i k e a d o l p h i n on the o y s t e r banks. . . . Sometimes i t was l i k e r i d i n g the shoot-the-shoots, a steep plunge and then a spray o f t i n g l i n g sea crabs, the bulrushes swaying f e v e r i s h l y and the g i l l s o f t i n y f i s h e s l a p p i n g a g a i n s t me l i k e harmonica s t o p s . 26 The sexual e x p l o i t s o f the hero d e t a i l e d so prominently i n C a p r i c o r n and i n Sexus are c l e a r l y p a r t of the h e r o i c sensory and p h y s i c a l a c t i v i t i e s o f the Henry M i l l e r c h a r a c t e r , as i s h i s constant, o v e r r i d i n g concern w i t h food and d r i n k . And here a g a i n , some huge meals are d e t a i l e d with c a r e f u l emphasis i n the d e s c r i p t i v e language on the sensory and sensual s a t i s f a c t i o n the s u r f e i t p r o v i d e s . Here, too, M i l l e r ' s f l o w i n g , u n i n h i b i t e d speech and d i r e c t d e s c r i p t i o n provide much of the sense of the r i c h n e s s of the e x p e r i e n c e . The l o c a t i o n of these sense e x p e r i e n c e s which the hero undergoes, the preponderance of t h e i r occurrence i i i the two n o v e l s mentioned, (though by no means are they e x c l u s i v e to>those n o v e l s ) , i s s i g n i f i c a n t i n terms of the hero's journey. These two n o v e l s both d e a l , almost i n p r o p o r t i o n to the weight given to sensual e x p e r i e n c e s , w i t h the e a r l i e r adulthood of the c h a r a c t e r . In f a c t , C a p r i c o r n o v e r l a p s a c o n s i d e r a b l e p e r i o d of the l i f e span d e p i c t e d i n Sexus. And the c o i n c i d e n c e of the p a r t i c u l a r nature of these n o v e l s with the s t o r y of the hero has to do with the s o r t of journey he i s embarked upon t and the stage which t h i s p e r i o d d e p i c t s . As has been s a i d i n e a r l i e r p o r t i o n s of the d i s c u s s i o n , he i s moving through;, a g r e a t e x p e r i e n t i a l realm, toward a c r e a t i v e , i n n e r r e b i r t h . T h i s p o r t i o n o f e a r l y adulthood i s that d e t a i l i n g of h i s t r a v e l s where he begins to attempt t o be a w r i t e r and where he e n t e r s what seems to be l a r g e l y the world of i d e a s . T h i s e a r l y p e r i o d a l s o encompasses that p o r t i o n of h i s great journey through a l l the extremes o f l i f e , h i g h and low, mind and body, thought and f e e l i n g . He i s , i n a sense, the great e x p l o r e r ranging over the widest realms of experience, and, i t goes almost without saying, over the widest range of speech. T h i s heroic t a l e i s M i l l e r ' s a c c o u n t i n g f o r the outward movement toward s u c c e s s . He i s t r a v e l l i n g through these experiences to achieve an outward success, which i s r e a l l y a v e r s i o n o f complete freedom from r e s t r i c t i o n s and i n h i b i t i o n s , a transforming a c c e p t -ance o f e x p e r i e n c e . The attainment of that goal i s s i g n i f i e d by h i s becoming what he always wanted to be, a w r i t e r . Becoming a w r i t e r s i g n i f i e s a l s o h i s achievement of c o n t r o l over the shaping of h i s own d e s t i n y . H i s e a r l y l i f e , then, i s marked by h i s e f f o r t s to participate t o t a l l y i n e x p e r i e n c e , f o l l o w i n g impulse and d e s i r e , abandoning h i m s e l f to those a c t i v i t i e s i n which he can negate the mind-thought c o n t r o l a s p e c t s of h i m s e l f that f u n c t i o n o n l y t o r e s t r i c t and thus d i m i n i s h the sense p e r c e p t i o n s . I n terms of the journey of the hero, Plexus covers the p e r i o d i n M i l l e r ' s l i f e when he began h i s f i r s t r e a l attempt to be a w r i t e r . Here, circumstances, such as h i s marriage to the mysterious Mona/Mara f i g u r e , a l l o w him to q u i t h i s job, t o g i v e u p a l l h i s attempts to f i n d jobs, and a c t u a l l y begin to w r i t e on a f u l l - t i m e b a s i s . The n o v e l i s remarkably t r a n q u i l i n tone and jnthe pace and d e s c r i p t i o n of events. The calm, r e l a t i v e l y p l e a s a n t a i r of t h i s p e r i o d of h i s l i f e comes from the absence o f the v i o l e n t , almost c o n t i n u a l immersion i n a c t i v e experience, so p e r v a s i v e i n the e a r l i e r n o v e l s . The somnolence of t h i s book i s a l s o a r e s u l t of the absence o f the s u r r e a l i s t i c , v i o l e n t imagery which p a r a l l e l s the v i t a l i t y and a c t i v i t y of l i f e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of that e a r l i e r p e r i o d . T h i s short p e r i o d of calm seems a moment when the M i l l e r - h e r o found an atmosphere i n which c o u l d attempt to begin the l i f e of a w r i t e r , i f one can t h i n k of a w r i t e r as r e q u i r i n g a calm, u n d i s t r a c t e d k i n d o f l i f e . F o r M i l l e r , i t was a f a l s e s t a r t , as i s i n d i c a t e d by the s t o r y a t t h i s p o i n t . He e i t h e r daydreamed h i s time away or walked about town a l l day l o o k i n g f o r m a t e r i a l to w r i t e about; and what he d i d produce was so p e d e s t r i a n as t o be u t t e r l y u n p r i n t a b l e . Even the m a t e r i a l he p r i n t e d h i m s e l f as broadsheets to be peddled i n the s t r e e t was u n s a l e a b l e . The r e c o u n t i n g of that time as an introspective, p h i l o s o p h i c a l p e r i o d when he entered the world of thought c o n t r i b u t e s to t h a t sense of the c h a r a c t e r e x p e r i e n c i n g t h a t other, r a t h e r detached realm o f the mind. That i s , moving from the a c t i v i t y o f the body, he here e n t e r s the world of i d e a s , n a i v e l y b e l i e v i n g t h a t t h i s was the nature of what h i s c a r e e r as a w r i t e r was to be. As i n h i s attempts to f u l f i l l the e x p e c t a t i o n s of the more mundane s o c i a l conventions of a husband and a wage-earner, the M i l l e r c h a r a c t e r here i s a l s o a complete f a i l u r e . I n terms of the hero's s t o r y , Nexus p i c k s up and develops the b e g i n n i n g d i s o r d e r that reappears toward the end o f P l e x u s . The progress of the a s p i r i n g w r i t e r ' s l i f e changes d r a s t i c a l l y from t h a t momentary, i d y l l i c p e r i o d of Plexus, with i t s f a l s e , detached, m i n d - t r i p . The M i l l e r - h e r o now e n t e r s the t h i r d and f i n a l phase of h i s outward t r i p , as i t now turns to a b i t t e r i n n e r t r i a l of s p i r i t and body. He i s p h y s i c a l l y reduced by the a c t i v i t i e s of Mona who begins more and more to n e g l e c t him. She e n t e r s i n t o a l o n g l e s b i a n love a f f a i r which p h y s i c a l l y and s p i r i t u a l l y emasculates M i l l e r . C o i n c i d i n g w i t h these events, M i l l e r descends i n t o a long, dark n i g h t o f the s o u l . He e n t e r s a p e r i o d of black d e s p a i r and has no hope of ever escaping the world to which he i s bound, of ever becoming the w r i t e r he wants to be, or of ever f i n d i n g h i s true s e l f . A l l h i s attempts t o w r i t e are mi s e r a b l e f a i l u r e s . Most of h i s acquaintances have l o n g ago given up hope that he w i l l ever succeed, even i n the most minor way, and a l a r g e p o r t i o n o f them have r e j e c t e d him a f t e r y e ars of b e i n g c a j o l e d and coerced i n t o s u p p o r t i n g him with money and f o o d . Nexus d e p i c t s the tortuous b i r t h of the w r i t e r , a l i e n a t e d and i s o l a t e d from the world and from anyone who could understand him. I t covers the p e r i o d when he has f a l l e n to h i s deepest and worst moment o f s p i r i t u a l and p h y s i c a l impoverishment. He Is here s t r u g g l i n g to express h i m s e l f w i t h -out yet p o s s e s s i n g the t o o l s , the form or the words to do so, l a c k i n g even the knowledge of what he wants to say, not yet knowing who he i s h i m s e l f . Here, M i l l e r d e p i c t s h i s a r t i f i c i a l e f f o r t s to w r i t e , the c u l l i n g of m a t e r i a l from other sources, the search f o r the e s o t e r i c b i t of i n f o r m a t i o n , a l l without any r e a l i z a t i o n of what h i s aim o r s u b j e c t as a w r i t e r r e a l l y i s . He f i r s t attempts to w r i t e almost completely without purpose i n the l a r g e r sense of knowing what h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the world and to h i s . a r t i s . He co n c e n t r a t e s on technique and matter u n r e l a t e d to h i m s e l f . M i l l e r undergoes h i s l a s t p a i n f u l t r i a l p r i o r to being f r e e t o w r i t e . Here, he l e a r n s h i s most important l e s s o n — t h e nature of h i s whole s t r u g g l e i s r e a l l y r ooted i n s e l f - a w a r e n e s s . He can become n o t h i n g without f i r s t being h i m s e l f and without f i r s t r e a l i z i n g that "being" i s more than l i v i n g u n c o n s c i o u s l y i n an e x t e r n a l s t a t e of a c t i v e p a s s i v i t y r a n g i n g through an acceptance of a l l e x p e r i e n c e . He must both be a p a r t of the e x t e r n a l world and a p a r t from the man-made systems t h a t reduce the i n d i v i d u a l to l i t t l e more than an o b j e c t i n a great human mechanism. Here, one i s an o b j e c t used f o r ends more demeaning than the sense of o b j e c t i v i t y i n nature, because a charade and an h y p o c r i s y i s p e r p e t r a t e d i n the name o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y , while the true i n d i v i d u a l nature of man, the soul, the s p i r i t , i s d e s t r o y e d . O b j e c t i v i t y i n nature means onl y to be, to e x i s t i n i t s e l f , the purpose f u l f i l l e d i n the p r o c e s s . M i l l e r ' s p a i n f u l r e a l i z a t i o n i s t h a t of becoming co n s c i o u s of t h i s new p o s i t i o n he is moving to assume. He must become conscious of h i m s e l f i n the world p r o c e s s , and a p a r t from the world of mechanical cogs. The consciousness i s an understanding, a f e e l i n g , which w i l l u n i t e h i s i n n e r world of being, h i s whole, s p e c i f i c a l l y human, being, w i t h the nature of h i s outer experiences i n the w o r l d . The great escape from the r e s t r i c t i o n s o f h i s e a r l i e r l i f e i s provided by the o p p o r t u n i t y to l i v e i n P a r i s , which Mona arranges. I t i s there that he .begins anew and i t i s t h e r e that he does begin to a r r i v e at the necessary i n s i g h t which w i l l a llow him to reshape h i s l i f e : "Once we reached Europe I would grow a new body and a new s o u l . " 2 ? In terms o f the c y c l e , the hero i s reborn i n P a r i s . Here, he begins to w r i t e , having, f o r the f i r s t time, a sense of what the gr e a t saga w i l l be: the s t o r y of h i m s e l f . He w i l l t u r n back on h i s own past, r e - e x p l o r e h i s l i f e , and. i n w r i t i n g about i t , s a t i s f y h i s c r e a t i v e urge, becoming i n the process a w r i t e r making of a r t h i s l i f e . The triumph of the hero l i e s i n the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t the c r e a t i v e i n t u i t i o n i s i n f a c t an i n s i g h t i n t o the nature of h i m s e l f . And the i n s i g h t i s a c i r c l i n g one, i n that his triumphant end i s to t e l l about h i s journey toward that triumphant end. He comes to f i n d that h i s purpose i s to go back to the beginning to t e l l the s t o r y of how " j u s t a Brooklyn boy" becomes an a r t i s t , and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the journey i s i t s r e l e v a n c e to everyman as a way to the u n i f i e d s o u l . I t s s i g n i f i c a n c e as l i t e r a t u r e i s that i t d e t a i l s so p o i g n a n t l y the modern c o n d i t i o n of the world and of the i n d i v i d u a l i n our western s o c i e t y and o f f e r s i n s i n g u l a r l y contemporary symbols, language, and form, a s o l u t i o n which at the p r e s e n t time' a p o r t i o n of s o c i e t y seems to be p u r s u i n g as a k i n d of underground sub-c u l t u r e r e j e c t i n g f o r s i m i l a r reasons the ways and i n s t i t u t i o n s o f t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t y . T h i s i s not to say that the h i p p i e s are doing a n y t h i n g new, or that M i l l e r i s s a y i n g a n y t h i n g new; he i s t e l l i n g a f a m i l i a r s t o r y of man i n search 28 of h i m s e l f , of h i s own true nature, of man attempting to i d e n t i f y h i s world and a t t e m p t i n g to i d e n t i f y with i t . What he i s s a y i n g though, has i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the s u p e r b l y worked complexity of the problems he p r e s e n t s which i s contained i n the i n t e l l e c t u a l complexity, and the manner of w r i t i n g h i s language and imagery d e p i c t s , and which i s a l s o i n the emotional and sensory l e v e l s of h i s l i t e r a t u r e . The c i r c l e of the "Brooklyn boy" r e t u r n s to M i l l e r ' s f i r s t n o v e l , T r o p i c o f Cancer, the s t o r y o f the a r t i s t born, s e t t i n g out on the s t o r y of l i f e . We r e t u r n to a statement 29 quoted s i x t y pages e a r l i e r , which i s s i g n i f i c a n t of the c i r c l e one f o l l o w s i n working through an understanding of M i l l e r : A year ago, s i x months ago, I thought that I was an a r t i s t . I no longer t h i n k about i t . I am. E v e r y t h i n g t h a t was l i t e r a t u r e has f a l l e n from me. "There are no more books to be w r i t t e n , thank God. 30 He has u n i f i e d h i s c r e a t i v e d e s i r e s with h i s own l i f e s t y l e , h i s own l i f e e x p erience. The desperate attempts to become a w r i t e r , t o w r i t e " l i t e r a t u r e " are no l o n g e r n e c e s s a r y because, as he now r e a l i z e s , j u s t to be h i m s e l f , to e x p l o r e h i m s e l f , which f o r M i l l e r , i s not to w r i t e "a book", i s to be the a r t i s t he always searched a f t e r . He was l o o k i n g o u t s i d e f o r what was f i n a l l y found i n s i d e . The quest of the hero which s t r e t c h e s over s i x volumes r e t u r n s to the e x p r e s s i o n s of h i m s e l f J i n those opening l i n e s of the f i r s t book. The b e g i n n i n g i s both r e b i r t h as a r t i s t and the t a l e of the h e r o i c journey th e r e , the i n t i m a t i o n o f what i s to come: At the extreme l i m i t s of h i s s p i r i t u a l b e i n g man f i n d s h i m s e l f naked as a savage. When he f i n d s God, as i t were, he has been p i c k e d c l e a n : he i s a s k e l e t o n . One must burrow i n t o l i f e a g a i n " i n o r d e r to put on f l e s h . The word must become f l e s h ; the s o u l t h i r s t s . 31 What takes p l a c e i n M i l l e r ' s work i s a u n i f i c a t i o n o f the s t o r y o f i t s hero w i t h the form or s t r u c t u r e of the works themselves, i n a g r e a t c i r c u l a r p a t t e r n t h a t c o i n c i d e s with the l a y e r s of other c i r c u l a r themes throughout the n o v e l s . The f i r s t n o v e l begins, i n a sense, with the end, with the a r t i s t d i s c o v e r i n g and e x p r e s s i n g his c r e a t i v e v i s i o n . The subsequent n o v e l s , from Black S p r i n g and C a p r i corn on, c i r c l e back to the b e g i n n i n g of the process of the a r t i s t ' s ' development, and continue through to the time when he i s about to set o f f to become what, i n T r o p i c of Cancer,hhe s t a r t s out a s . The hero, then, i s an a r t i s t - h e r o who assures h i s i m m o r t a l i t y by v i r t u e of the e x p r e s s i o n of h i s c r e a t i v e v i s i o n . And that v i s i o n i s a l s o the transcendent f e a t u r e o f h i s s p i r i t which l i f t s him out of the o r d i n a r y world i n t o the realm of s u p e r - r e a l i t y . That world i s r e a l l y the i n n e r s t a t e of the awakened p e r c e p t i o n - - t h e awareness o f the u n i t y of a l l t h i n g s , as w e l l as the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the s e l f with that s t a t e of b e i n g . The a r t i s t belongs to the X r o o t race of man; he i s the s p i r i t u a l microbe, as i t were, which c a r r i e s over from one r o o t race t o another. He i s not crushed by m i s f o r t u n e , hecause he i s not a p a r t of the p h y s i c a l , r a c i a l scheme of t h i n g s . . . . He i s the c y c l i c a l b e i n g which l i v e s i n the e p i c y c l e . . . . e v e r y t h i n g i s j u s t and there i s no need to come out of the t r a n c e . . . . I was able to partake of an a c t i v e l i f e which would permit t h e ^ r e a l s e l f _to h i b e r n a t e u n t i l I was r i p e to be born. 32 Three n o n - f i c t i o n works h e l p c l a r i f y the sense of the a r t i s t l i v i n g h i s a r t , and give some f e e l i n g of the "cosmic consciousness" a t which M i l l e r e v e n t u a l l y a r r i v e s . These are The World of Sex, The Colossus of Maroussi, and B i g S u r  and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. In t h e i r c h r o n o l o g i c a l arrangement, they are not completely a p r e s e n t a t i o n of that supreme s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s which would f o l l o w upon the journey of the hero of the s i x n o v e l s . 1 But they do present a s p e c t s of that f i n a l v i s i o n that i s attempted i n the n o v e l s , and they do give a view of the s o r t of l i f e the a r t i s t , who i s s u c c e s s f u l i n M i l l e r ' s terms, e v e n t u a l l y comes to l i v e . The World o f Sex d i s c u s s e s the themes o f youth and the r e t u r n to childhood innocence p r e v a l e n t i n h i s f i c t i o n works. I t presents a loosely d e f i n e d p h i l o s o p h y of l i f e which i s comprised mainly of h i s ideas about what i s necessary In one's a t t i t u d e toward l i f e . The book i s p a r t l y an attempt to e x p l a i n some of those a s p e c t s of h i s works which have r e s u l t e d i n h i s r e p u t a t i o n f o r o b s c e n i t y and pornography. Here, M i l l e r paraphrases Lawrence's b e l i e f t h a t the two great modes of l i f e a re the r e l i g i o u s and the s e x u a l , though the bulk o f h i s d i s c u s s i o n c e n t r e s on h i s i n t e r s t i n sex as one avenue l e a d i n g to the s o u l . The sexual and r e l i g i o u s elements, f o r M i l l e r , are " s u s c e p t i b l e to c o n v e r s i o n " to other kinds of understanding; they i n v o l v e a l s o a m o t i o n of understanding and acceptance. "The e f f o r t to e l i m i n a t e the ' r e p u l s i v e * a s p e c t s o f e x i s t e n c e , which i s the ob s e s s i o n of m o r a l i s t s , p i s not only absurd but f u t i l e . " As f a r as M i l l e r i s concerned, these a s p e c t s of l i f e cannot be ignored or repressed without l o s i n g c o n t a c t with the e s s e n t i a l r e a l i t y of l i f e . M i l l e r ' s understanding o f the s e x u a l i s that the body as sensual device i s connector to the s p i r i t , And the body has l o s t i t s s p i r i t u a l centre when i t l o s t i t s c a p a b i l i t y to act f r e e l y as sense p e r c e p t o r ; i t has been deadened i n that aspect of i t s e x i s t e n c e by r e p r e s s i o n o f d e s i r e s , impulses, urges, f e e l i n g s . So too, M i l l e r defends the n e c e s s i t y to use the f u l l range of language and d e s c r i p t i o n , to f o l l o w impulse, urge, f a n t a s y , and dreams i n e x e r c i s i n g the f u l l range of human p o s s i b i l i t i e s . His e x i t p o i n t , the p l a c e where l i f e i s t o be re g a i n e d , the senses re-awakened, and the s p i r i t r e - e n t e r e d , i s through the body, through the world of sex. The " s e x u a l drama" i s p a r t of the s o u l o f man and, i n i n t e g r a t e d i n d i v i d u a l s , sex f a l l s i n t o i t s proper p e r s p e c t i v e , b e i n g n e i t h e r over-i n f l a t e d i n i t s importance nor repressed and ign o r e d . "The g e n i t a l s are impressed, so t o speak, i n t o the s e r v i c e of the whole b e i n g . . . . What i s new, o r i g i n a l , and fecund i s s u e s only from a complete e n t i t y . " 3 The c e n t r a l theme of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n again r e l a t e s to M i l l e r ' s i n t e r e s t i n the i d e a of the completely u n i f i e d man. And i t is i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n t h a t h i s concern with sex p o i n t s , both here i n h i s a b s t r a c t d i s c u s s i o n of the t o p i c and i n h i s n o v e l s . He never f u l l y e x p l a i n s what he means by u n i f i e d p e r c e p t i o n ; r a t h e r he p r e s e n t s i l l u s t r a t i o n s t h a t approximate t h a t c o n d i t i o n . The World o f Sex d r i f t s back i n t o the form o f h i s n o v e l s ; i t d e s c r i b e s a p a r t i c u l a r c h i l d h o o d e x p e r i e n c e . In order to e x p l a i n the sense of unified p e r c e p t i o n t h a t M i l l e r means, he goes back to r e c o u n t i n g the world as he saw i t i n c h i l d h o o d . That eye best approximates the i n e x p r e s s i b l e ?vis.on which he now sees. That p e c u l i a r t r a v e l n a r r a t i v e of M i l l e r ' s e x periences i n Greece, The Colossus of Maroussi, d e t a i l s more c l e a r l y the " a r r i v e d " p o s i t i o n o f the a r t i s t . I t conveys h i s s t a t e of m y s t i c a l peace aroused by h i s sense of the p l a c e . The tremen-dous s p i r i t u a l e xperience of the p^ace M i l l e r senses'"from h i s incomplete understanding of the Greek past, i n the atmosphere o f i t s p r e s e n t c o n d i t i o n : I do not pretend to know, but I f e l t , as I have seldom f e l t b efore the r u i n s of the p a s t , that here throughout the long c e n t u r i e s there r e i g n e d an e r a of peace. There i s something down to e a r t h about Knossus, the s o r t o f atmosphere which- i s evoked when one says Chinese o f French. The rel i g i o u s note seems to be g r a c i o u s l y diminished; . . . a s p i r i t of p l a y i s markedly n o t i c e a b l e . In s h o r t , the p r e v a i l i n g note i s one of j o y . . . . Knossus was w o r l d l y i n the best sense of the word. 4 As a t r a v e l book, M i l l e r ' s Colossus i s mainly a n a r r a t i v e of the e f f e c t of the Greek landscape, l o c a l people, and the Greek a n c i e n t past on h i s s e n s i b i l i t y . And t h a t e f f e c t seems to have been a genuinely s p i r i t u a l e xperience of peace and calm; i t i s a sense of a u n i f i c a t i o n of man and p l a c e i n harmonious e x i s t Greece i s what everybody k n o w s " . . . . I t i s what you expect the e a r t h to look l i k e given a f a i r chance. I t i s the s u b l i m i n a l t h r e s h o l d of innocence. I t stands, as i t stood from b i r t h , naked and f u l l y r e v e a l e d . I t i s not mysterious or impenetrable, not awesome, not d e f i a n t , not p r e t e n t i o u s . I t i s made of e a r t h , a i r , f i r e and water. ; I t changes s e a s o n a l l y w i t h harmonious u n d u l a t i n g rythms. I t breathes, i t beckons, i t answers.5 The book i s r e a l l y a p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s t a t e of the a r t i s t e x p r e s s i n g , o s t e n s i b l y i n h i s sense o f p l a c e , h i s f e e l i n g s of harmony, peace and f u l f i l l m e n t i n the world. The book i s , o f course, no travelogue a t a l l . M i l l e r i s rendering the s t a t e of the a r t i s t who has achieved the c o n d i t i o n of s p i r i t u a l i n s i g h t which h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l hero reaches a t the end of h i s g r e a t c i r c l e journey. Another p e r s p e c t i v e of the s t a t e of the a r t i s t i s presented i n B i g Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. T h i s time the l i v i n g out of t h a t s t a t e or c o n d i t i o n i s expressed i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the i n d i v i d u a l to the communal s e t t i n g . Here, the a r t i s t ' s communal l i f e s t y l e i s recounted i n an almost d i a r y n a r r a t i v e of b i t s o f everyday events a t B i g Sur, C a l i f o r n i a . T h i s book p r e s e n t s the a t t i t u d e and d e t a i l s of d a i l y l i v i n g t h a t compose the kind of.harmonious, i n t e g r a t e d l i f e M i l l e r f e l t he saw i n Greece. Again, i n r e c o u n t i n g the o r d i n a r y , M i l l e r communicates the sense of a l i f e t h a t i s e x t r a o r d i n a r y i n i t s range of f r e e , open, f u l l enjoyment. The mundane i s t r a n s l a t e d i n t o the wonderful by s e l f - r e a l i z a t i o n , and by s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s of what i t means to l i v e as one does, by savouring the process o f b e i n g a l i v e . M i l l e r develops here the i n s i g h t s o f the i n d i v i d u a l , which he d i s c u s s e s i n The World of Sex, t o g e t h e r with the f e e l i n g of harmony he experienced i n The Colossus of Maroussi i n t o a sense of a s i g n i f i c a n t community l i f e . The r e t u r n i s t o a renewed understanding o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . H i s theme i s an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the world, of the B i g Sur area where he l i v e s , i n terms o f the v i s i o n that the p a i n t i n g s o f Hieronymus Bosch p r e s e n t . "Seeing the world through h i s eyes i t appears to us once a g a i n as a world of i n d e s t r u c t i b l e o rder, beauty, harmony, which i t i s our p r e v i l e g e to accept as a paradise or convert i n t o a p u r g a t o r y . " 6 B i g Sur i s a ma r v e l l o u s book i n p r e s e n t i n g the f a s c i n a t i o n of each day as a new and e x c i t i n g experience f o r i t s e l f alone, with much of the d e l i g h t one imagines i s f e l t by a condemned man who has j u s t been pardoned. I t has no l i t e r a r y v a l u e i n i t s e l f , y e t i t very s u c c e s s f u l l y completes the l i t e r a r y works of M i l l e r . T h i s i t does because i t d e t a i l s the a r r i v e d p o s i t i o n of the a i t i s t l i v i n g an o r d i n a r y , yet s u p e r - o r d i n a r y l i f e . H i s l i f e i s o r d i n a r y i n the sense that he must s t r u g g l e to earn money, to l i v e , and to work, as perhaps does everyone e l s e . But i t i s s u p e r - o r d i n a r y i n d e s c r i b i n g M i l l e r ' s consciousness of what h i s l i f e i s about, what l i v i n g , i n g e n e r a l , i s about, and what the purpose i s of the p a r t i c u l a r k i n d o f e x i s t e n c e he l i v e s . The d e t a i l s of o r d i n a r y l i f e are i n t e r s p e r s e d with a c o n s i d e r a b l e amount of d i s c u s s i o n of i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e . However, the main d i r e c t i o n of the book i s p o i n t e d out i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n , which d i s c u s s e s the nature of communal l i v i n g . Here, M i l l e r ' s major i n s i g h t i s that " i t i s through the eyes of the soul that p a r a d i s e i s v i s i o n e d . " 7 The reason f o r d e s c r i b i n g l i f e a t B i g Sur i s to i l l u s t r a t e the nature of p a r a d i s e , which i s where M i l l e r now f e e l s he has a r r i v e d . Paradise i s f o r him a matter of c r e a t i v e v i s i o n , which i s u l t i m a t e l y an a t t i t u d e of mind and body. M i l l e r i s t r y i n g to say that p l a c e and d i r e c t i o n are not t o be c o n s i d e r e d i n the way that we commonly t h i n k of them: "One's d e s t i n a t i o n i s never a p l a c e but r a t h e r a new way of l o o k i n g a t t h i n g s . " 0 And the way of l o o k i n g which he wants to make c l e a r i s one that i n v o l v e s s e e i n g the world i n terms of a u n i f i e d p e r s p e c t i v e with an a t t i t u d e of a c t i v e acceptance: "To see t h i n g s whole i s to be whole. The f e l l o w who i s out to burn t h i n g s up i s the c o u n t e r p a r t o f the f o o l who t h i n k s he can save the world. The world needs n e i t h e r to be burned not to be saved. The wor]d.Is,we a r e . " 9 Always, the themes M i l l e r d i s c u s s e s r e l a t e to those of major concern i n h i s earlier n o v e l s . He never moves f a r from the b a s i c conception o f re-awakened awareness o f s e l f as p a r t o f a cosmic orde r , nor from the n o t i o n o f p a r a d i s e found i n conscious p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n that c o n t i n u i n g f l u x of l i f e and i n the acceptance o f a l l a s p e c t s o f t h a t p r o c e s s . M i l l e r ' s n o n - f i c t i o n w r i t i n g r e -emphasizes and r e i n f o r c e s those themes e x e m p l i f i e d i n h i s n o v e l s , with the important ex c e p t i o n t h a t h i s l a t e r prose w r i t i n g s i n d i c a t e the c u l m i n a t i n g s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s at which he has a r r i v e d . That i s , they r e p r e s e n t what were throughout h i s n o v e l s the goals o f the a r t i s t - e v e r y m a n : "A man w r i t e s i n order to know h i m s e l f , and thus get r i d of s e l f e v e n t u a l l y . That i s the d i v i n e purpose of a r t . . . . Toomake l i v i n g I t s e l f an a r t , t h a t i s the g o a l . " 1 0 F i n a l l y , the w r i t e r , f o r M i l l e r , i s w r i t i n g " t o communicate w i t h h i s fellow-man, and thereby e s t a b l i s h communion wit h him. . . , " 1 1 There are a t l e a s t two major f e a t u r e s of M i l l e r ' s w r i t i n g which c o u l d a l s o be d i s c u s s e d as p a r t o f an a n a l y s i s of the l i t e r a r y q u a l i t i e s of h i s language and w r i t i n g s t y l e . These af e the humour o r comic d e s c r i p t i o n s of h i s experiences, and the range of sensual imagery i n the d e s c r i p t i v e language. Both of these have been p u r p o s e l y overlooked i n t h i s t h e s i s s i n c e they r e q u i r e a study of g r e a t e r s i z e than can be a f f o r d e d here. The general d i r e c t i o n of t h i s paper has been toward an e x p o s i t i o n of the s t o r y of the development of the a r t i s t , t h a t i s , toward o u t l i n i n g what kind o f man he i s d e s c r i b i n g i n the n o v e l s , and what k i n d of world he means that man to l i v e i n . This s o r t of d i s c u s s i o n i s complicated by a f i c t i o n s t y l e which p u r p o r t s a l s o to be a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l , and which, by i m p l i c a t i o n a t l e a s t , has been accepted as g e n e r a l l y more c l o s e l y based on the author's l i f e e x p eriences than the g e n e r a l t r u i s m that a l l of what a writer says comes from h i s own experiences. M i l l e r ' s work i s more openly detailed as personal experience which has been elaborated upon. The d i s t i n c t i o n between creative f i c t i o n and autobiographical fact i s less than c l e a r i n many places. This b l u r r i n g of l i n e s I have also implied i s a deliberate process in the pattern of attempting to unify l i f e and a r t . I t was perhaps not deliberately planned at f i r s t , in some of M i l l e r ' s e a r l i e s t works, such as Tropic of Cancer and Black Spring, though I would argue that the idea became clearer from then onward. And the formulation of that approach with greater consciousness of exactly what he was doing quite possibly came as the r e s u l t of the i n d i r e c t influence of Otto Rank's psychoanalytical theories of the 1 2 creative a r t i s t . The point heife, though, i s that we can separate less and less M i l l e r ' s own outlook from that of his auto-hero in the novels. And what M i l l e r himself says in some of his more d i s t i n c t l y non-fiction works discussed here seems to me to have greater credence in explaining the position of the a r t i s t and of his novel hero in h i s "arrived" or reborn p o s i t i o n . That i s , M i l l e r ' s views in some of his other works present very well the u n i f i c a t i o n of the a r t i s t and l i f e which hi s novel character sought a f t e r , and, i n a sense, IheprosB works form part of a connected, continuing story which both illumine the novels and present the widest i l l u s t r a t i o n of the process of development implied by the novels. The art of the six novels becomes t r u l y the way of s e e i n g l i f e t h a t M i l l e r the author a c h i e v e s . A r t merges w i t h l i v e d exper ience i n the widest sense, where the a r t o b j e c t becomes l e s s and l e s s an a r t i f i c e and l i f e becomes more and more a c r e a t i v e experience i t s e l f . The c o n j u n c t i o n o f the two demonstrates man's supreme?consciousness o f s e l f , which i s h i s s p i r i t u a l awareness. L i k e the cowardly l i o n , the straw man and the t i n s o l d i e r , he d i s c o v e r s he always had the necessary q u a l i t i e s ; the d i s c o v e r y , the se l f -awareness i s the great awakening o r r e b i r t h . FOOTNOTES Chapter I Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature," "The American S c h o l a r " and "The O v e r s o u l " i n The American T r a d i t i o n i n L i t e r a t u r e , ( s h o r t e r e d i t i o n ) , eds. Bradley, Beatty, and Long,(New York: Norton & Co., 1967). Morse Peckham, "Toward a Theory of Romanticism," PMLA, LXVT (March 1951), p. 16. 3 W i l l i a m Gordon, "Henry M i l l e r and the Romantic T r a d i t i o n , " ( d i s s . Tulane, A p r i l , 1963). 4 I am t h i n k i n g here of M i l l e r ' s g e n e r a l a t t i t u d e toward l i f e and h i s concern with the problems of d e f i n i n g the nature o f a r t and a r t i s t . In t h i s r e g a r d , he speaks about the unified l i f e i n terms of an a t t i t u d e of acceptance and an understanding of l i f e as p r o c e s s i n " R e f l e c t i o n s on W r i t i n g " i n The Wisdom of the  Heart, New York, New D i r e c t i o n s , 1941,pp.242-251, an essay f i r s t a p p e a r i n g i n C r e a t i v e W r i t i n g , Chicago. And he p r e s e n t s h i s view of the p o s i t i o n at which the a r t i s t a r r i v e s i n the essay on D. H. Lawrence, "Universe o f Death." Other a s p e c t s of t h i s c o n t i n u i n g i n t e r e s t i n d e f i n i n g these terms appear i n "Of A r t and the F u t u r e " and a number of other essays c o l l e c t e d and p u b l i s h e d by New D i r e c t i o n s i n The Wisdom of the Heart, The Cosmologlcal Eye, Remember To Remember, Stand S t i l l L i k e  the Hummingbird, and The Henry M i l l e r .• Reader. 5Henry M i l l e r , T r o p i c of Cancer, New York, Grove P r e s s , 1961, ( P a r i s , 1934), p. 89. A l l subsequent r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s t e x t are taken from t h i s e d i t i o n . 6"My a f f i n i t y i s more w i t h Lawrence, o b v i o u s l y , My antecedents are the romantic, demonic, c o n f e s s i o n a i , s u b j e c t i v e types of w r i t e r . " Henry M i l l e r , The Books i n My L i f e , New York and London, New D i r e c t i o n s and Icon Books, 1951 and 1952, pp. 219-220. 7 M i l l e r spent at l e a s t two years i n the t h i r t i e s w r i t i n g a book on Lawrence. He e v e n t u a l l y abandoned i t , although some of h i s essays, " C r e a t i v e Death" and "The U n i v e r s e of Death" among them, are e x c e r p t s from that manuscript. Both of these works are very i n t e r e s t i n g i l l u s t r a t i o n s of M i l l e r ' s a p p r o v a l of Lawrence and h i s i n s i g h t i n t o Lawrence's a t t i t u d e . They a l s o draw some of the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n M i l l e r and Lawrence i n terms of d e f i n i t i o n s of a r t and the r o l e of the a r t i s t . C f . pp. 218-19 of The Books i n My L i f e f o r a d e t a i l e d e x p l a n a t i o n of how he began the Lawrence study and why he never completed i t . M i l l e r met and d i s c u s s e d t h e o r i e s of a r t with Otto Rank through A n a i s Nin, i n P a r i s , while M i l l e r was w r i t i n g T r o p i c  of C a p r i c o r n i n 1933. (Cf. A n a i s Nin, D i a r y , 1951^1934, ed. Gunther ktuhlmann, The Swallow P r e s s and H a r c o u r t , Brace and World: New Y o r k ) . Rank, a c c o r d i n g to :Nin, was a l s o extremely i n t e r e s t e d i n Lawrence, as w e l l as deeply i n v o l v e d i n d e v e l o p i n g h i s p s y c h o a n a l y t i c a l t h e o r i e s of a r t and a r t i s t s , some of which appeared i n h i s book A r t and A r t i s t , t r a n s . C h a r l e s F r a n c i s A t k i n s o n , New York, A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1932. 9 M i l l e r makes an i n d i r e c t r e f e r e n c e to Berdyaev i n a l e t t e r p u b l i s h e d i n The Books i n My L i f e , pp. 229-230. 1 0 K i n g s l e y Widmer, Henry M i l l e r , New Haven, Conn., Twayne P u b l i s h e r s , 1963, pp. 140-1. x John W i l l i a m s , "Henry M i l l e r : The Success of F a i l u r e , " VQR, 44 (1968), 225-245. 1 2 I b i d . , p. 234. 1 3 The o n l y s i g n i f i c a n t l y comprehensive and p e n e t r a t i n g d i s c u s s i o n of M i l l e r ' s works I have been able to l o c a t e i s that done by W i l l i a m Gordon: The Mind and A r t of Henry M i l l e r , Baton Rouge, L a . , L o u i s i a n a State U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967, and W r i t e r and C r i t i c : A Correspondence with Henry M i l l e r , Baton Rouge, La., L o u i s i a n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1968. Most o f the o t h e r c r i t i c a l p i e c e s on M i l l e r appear to be e i t h e r u n c r i t i c a l p r a i s e b o r d e r i n g on a d u l a t i o n , or piecemeal' and p o o r l y argued r e j e c t i o n . In t h i s r egard, a good sampling of these two a t t i t u d e s i s d i s p l a y e d i n the c o l l e c t i o n of c r i t i c a l essays on M i l l e r e d i t e d by George Wickes i n Henry M i l l e r  and the C r i t i c s , Carbondale, 111., Southern I l l i n o i s U n i v. P r e s s , 1963. Some r e c e n t a r t i c l e s of much b e t t e r q u a l i t y are appearing. (Cf. Ihab Hassan's "The L i t e r a t u r e o f S i l e n c e , " Encounter, v o l . 28 (1967), 74-82. Perhaps the best new s c h o l a r l y work that has emerged on M i l l e r i s Jane A. Nelson's Form and Image i n the F i c t i o n of Henry M i l l e r , D e t r o i t : Wayne State U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970. ( U n f o r t u n a t e l y , i t appeared too l a t e to be i n c l u d e d i n any major way i n t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . ) 1 4 P h i l l i p Rahv, "Sketches i n C r i t i c i s m : Henry M i l l e r , " Henry M i l l e r and the C r i t i c s , ed. G. Wickes, pp. 81-82. 1 5 I h a b Hassan, "The L i t e r a t u r e o f S i l e n c e , " p. 79. Chapter II •^•A C o l l e c t i o n of e a r l y notes and the f i r s t m a t e r i a l M i l l e r managed to have p u b l i s h e d i s r e p r i n t e d i n Henry M i l l e r  M i s c e l l a n e a , San Mateo, C a l i f : Bern P o r t e r , Greenwood Pr e s s , 1945. Page 22 i n d i c a t e s a p l a n o u t l i n e f o r the n o v e l s prepared i n 1932. In terms of a u n i f i e d group Black S p r i n g should be excluded s i n c e i t i s r e a l l y a c o l l e c t i o n o f p i e c e s of s t o r i e s , but i n f a c t i t does not a f f e c t our grouping very s i g n i f i c a n t l y . 2 M i l l e r , T r o p i c o f Cancer, p. 9. 3 I _ b i d . , pp. 88-89. 4 I b i d . , pp. 146-47 5 I _ b i d . , p. 219. 6 I b i d . , p. 220. 7 Henry M i l l e r , T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n , New York, Grove P r e s s , 1961, ( P a r i s , 1939), pp. 12-13. A l l subsequent r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s t e x t are taken from t h i s e d i t i o n . 8 I _ b i d . , p. 35. 9Henry M i l l e r , Black S p r i n g , New York,Grove P r e s s , 1963, ( P a r i s , 1936), pp. 20-21. A l l subsequent r e f e r e n c e s t o t h i s t e x t are taken from t h i s e d i t i o n . 1 0 C f . Chapter I,, f o o t n o t e 9. ^ N i c o l a s Berdyaev, The D e s t i n y of Man, t r a n s . N a t a l i e Duddington, London, G e o f f r e y B l e s j ( 1 9 3 7 ) , 1948, p. 290. 1 2 C a p r l c o r n , p. 287. 1 3 H e n r y M i l l e r , Plexus, The Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n , Book Two, New York, Grove P r e s s , 1963, p. 320. A l l subsequent r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s t e x t are taken from t h i s e d i t i o n . 1 4 C a p r i c o r n , p. 13. 1 5 B e r d y a e v , D e s t i n y of Man, pp. 288-89. 1 6 H e n r y M i l l e r , Sexus, The Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n , Book One, New York, Grove P r e s s , 1962, p. 404. A l l subsequent r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s t e x t are taken from t h i s e d i t i o n . 1 7 A l l a n T a t e , "The Man of L e t t e r s i n the Modern World," i n The Man of L e t t e r s i n the Modern World, S e l e c t e d E s s a y s : 1928-1955, New York, M e r i d i a n Books, 1955, pp. 11-22. 1 8 C a n c e r , pp. 227-28. 1 9 I b i d . , p. 225 c u C a p r i c o r n , p. 68. 2 1Can_cer, pp. 129-30. 2 2 S e x u s , p. 280. 2 3 C a p r i c o r n , pp. 288-89. 2 4 I b i d . , p. 120. 2 5 C a n c e r , p. 167. 2 6 C a p r i c o r n , pp. 230-31. 2 7 I b i d . , pp . 128-29. 2 8 P l e x u s , p. 630. 29 Berdyaev, D e s t i n y of Man, p. 290. Chapter I I I •*-Caprloorn, pp. 60-61. 2 C a n c e r , p. 1. A l l of the w r i t i n g which he has d e s c r i b e d h i m s e l f as doing i n the e a r l i e r n o v e l s was never p u b l i s h e d . A p p a r e n t l y , most of i t was a s e l f - c o n s c i o u s l y adopted l i t e r a r y s t y l e of one-of a number of authors whose work impressed M i l l e r most a t the t ime . 4 0 t t o Rank, A r t and A r t i s t , p. 83. 5 I b i d . , p. 48. C a p r i c o r n , pp. 286-87. 7 Otto Rank, A r t and A r t i s t , p. 374. 8 P l e x u s , p. 418. 9Norman 0. Brown, L i f e A g a i n s t Death. New York, Random House, 1959, p. 318. 1 0 P l e x u s , pp. 634-35. 1 1 C a n c e r ) p. 229. l 2 C a p r i c o r n , pp. 76-77. 1 5 I b i d . , p. 149. 1 4 S e x u s , pp. 269-70. 1 5 P l e x u s , p. 640. 1 6 I b i d . , p. 83. 1 7 C a p r i c o r n , pp. 63-64. l 8 P l e x u s t p. 313. 1 9 C a n c e r , pp. 163-64. 2 0 S e x u s , pp. 272-73. 2 1 C a n c e r , pp. 232-33. 22 Plexus, p. 384. He has a l s o w r i t t e n a s u r r e a l i s t i c s h o r t s t o r y e n t i t l e d " I nto the Night L i f e , " which i s part of Black S p r i n g (pp. 133-158). I t i s a combination of nightmare, dream, and f a n t a s y , a p p r o p r i a t e l y s u b t i t l e d "A Coney I s l a n d of the Mind." 23 Pl e x u s , p. 319. 24 Jane A. Nelson, i n Form and Image i n the F i c t i o n of Henry  M i l l e r , devotes a major p o r t i o n of her study t o a b r i l l i a n t , d e t a i l e d , s c h o l a r l y a n a l y s i s o f the women i n M i l l e r ' s n o v e l s ( c f . pp. 17-104) i n terms of t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e as emblems of the " t h r e a t e n i n g unconscious" (p. 55). 2 5 S e x u s , p. 268. 2 6 I b i d . , p. 266. 2 7 I b i d . , p. 318. Chapter IV 1 x W i l l i a m Gordon, "Henry M i l l e r and the Romantic T r a d i t i o n , " p. 146. Norman 0. Brown, L i f e A g a i n s t Death, pp. 318-19. Henry M i l l e r , Nexus, The Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n , Book Three, New York, Grove P r e s s , 1965,(Paris, 1960), p. 301. A l l subsequent r e f e r e n c e s to t h i s t e x t are taken from t h i s e d i t i o n . 4 P l e x u s , p. 632. 5 B l a c k S p r i n g , pp. 159-182. 6 A n a i s Nin, D i a r y , 1931-34, p. 256. 7 C a n c e r , pp. 231-32. 8 I b i d . , pp. 221-22. q C a p r i c o r n , p. 305. 1 Q S e x u s , p. 27. •^Berdyaev, Dest i n y of Man, p. 39. 1 S I b i d . , p. 286. 1 5 C a p r i c o r n , p. 331. 1 4 I b i d . , p. 11. x o B e r d y a e v , D e s t i n y o f Man, p. 295. 1 6 I b i d . , p. 129. 1 7 I b i d . , p. 130. 1 8 P l e x u s , p. 317. T!li'-X Black S p r i n g , p. 9. 20 I b i d . , 21 Cf . M i l l e r ' s l a t e r l i f e a t B i g Sur, There his l i f e s t y l e i s c l o s e to t h a t of contemporary dropouts from s o c i e t y . 22 C a p r i c o r n , p. 64. 23 Cancer, p. 231. 24 C a p r i c o r n , pp. 176-333, commonly c a l l e d an " I n t e r l u d e i n the Land of Fuck." 2 5 C a p r i c o r n , p. 181 2 6 I b i d . , pp. 182-83. 2 7 N e x u s , p. 304. 2 8 W i l l i a m Gordon, The Mind and A r t of Henry M i l l e r , p. 113. 2 9 Q u o t e d i n Chapter I I I , f o o t n o t e 2. Cancer, p. 1. 5 1 I b i d . , p. 90. 3 2 C a p r i c o r n , pp. 319-20. Chapter V -••They were w r i t t e n at r a t h e r widely spaced i n t e r v a l s ; World o f Sex was f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n 1941, then r e v i s e d and r e p u b l i s h e d i n 1948. Colossus came out i n 1941 and B i g Sur was p r i n t e d i n 1957. My p u t t i n g them t o g e t h e r as one u n i f i e d e x p r e s s i o n i s somewhat a r t i f i c i a l i n the sense that they cover a seventeen year p e r i o d o f time, though I t s t i l l t h i n k they r e p r e s e n t a c u l m i n a t i o n of M i l l e r ' s p o s i t i o n on a r t and a r t i s t . 2Henry M i l l e r , The World o f Sex, p. 13. 5 W o r l d of Sex, p. 107. 4 m Henry M i l l e r , The Colossus of Maroussi, New York, New D i r e c t i o n s , 1941, pp. 121-22. 5 C o l o s s u s , p. 153. • 6Henry M i l l e r , B i g Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, New York, New D i r e c t i o n s , 1957, p. 23. 7 I b i d . , P. 25. 8 I b i d . , P. 25. 9 I b i d . , P. 144. 1 0 I b i d . , P. 400. U I b i d . , P. 57. 1 2 C f . Chapter I, f o o t n o t e 7. A l s o the Henry M i l l e r M i s c e l l a n e a c o n t a i n s a notebook e n t r y w r i t t e n i n the e a r l y t h i r t i e s , r e f e r r i n g to Rank's A r t and A r t i s t which would seem to i n d i c a t e M i l l e r ' s f a m i l i a r i t y with those t h e o r i e s of the a r t i s t . SOURCES CONSULTED PRIMARY SOURCES M i l l e r , Henry. T r o p i c of Cancer. New York: Grove P r e s s , 1961. ( F i r s t p u b l i s h e d P a r i s : O b e l i s k P r e s s , 1934.) . Black S p r i n g . New York: Grove P r e s s , 1963. ( F i r s t p u b l i s h e d P a r i s : O b e l i s k P r e s s , 1936.) . T r o p i c of C a p r i c o r n . New York-:: Grove P r e s s , 1961. TParis: O b e l i s k Press, 1939.) , and M i c h e l F r a e n k e l . Hamlet. V o l s . I & I I . London: C a r r e f o u r , 1962. (Bruges, 1939.) . The Colossus of Ma r o u s s i . New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1958"^ (San F r a n c i s c o : The C o l t P r e s s , 1941.) . The Wisdom of the Heart. New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1960 (1941). . Sunday A f t e r the War. New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1944. . Henry M i l l e r M i s c e l l a n e a . Berkeley, C a l i f . : Bern P o r t e r , Greenwood P r e s s , 1945. . Remember To Remember. New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1947. . The Smile at the Foot o f the Ladder. New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1958. (New York: D u e l l , Sloan & Pearce, 1948.) . Sexus: The Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n , Book One. New York: Grove P r e s s , 1965. (New York: Grove P r e s s , 1965. ( P a r i s : O b e l i s k P r e s s , 1949;) . The Books i n My L i f e . London: Icon Books, 1963. fNew York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1951.) . P l e x u s : The Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n , Book Two. New York:*:. GTrove P r e s s , 1965. ( P a r i s : The Olympia P r e s s , 1953.) . The Time of the A s s a s s i n s : A Study of Rimbaud. New York:• New D i r e c t i o n s , 1962 (1956). . B i g Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1956. Quiet Days i n C l i c h y . New York: Grove Press, 1965. TPari s : The Olympia P r e s s , 1956.) _ . The World of Sex ( r e v i s e d e d i t i o n ) . New York: Grove P r e s s , 1965. ( P a r i s : The Olympia Press, 1957.) The o r i g i n a l e d i t i o n was p r i n t e d p r i v a t e l y i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s i n 1940. _ . Reunion i n B a r c e l o n a . Northwood, Eng.: The S c o r p i o n P r e s s , 1959. _ . The Henry M i l l e r Reader, ed. Lawrence D u r r e l l . New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1969 (1959). _ . Nexus: The Rosy C r u c i f i x i o n , Book Three. New York: Grove P r e s s , 1965. ( P a r i s : Les E d i t i o n du Chene, 1960.) _• Stand S t i l l L i k e the Hummingbird. New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1962. _ , and Lawrence D u r r e l l . A P r i v a t e Correspondence, ed. George Wickes. New York: E . P. Dutton, 1963. _ . Henry M i l l e r L e t t e r s t o Anais N i n , ed. Gunther Stumlmann. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1965. SECONDARY SOURCES Armitage, M e r l e . "The Man Behind the Smile: Doing Business wi t h Henry M i l l e r , " Texas Q u a r t e r l y , IV, i v (1961), 154-161. Bedford, R i c h a r d . " F u l l of the Old Harry," East-West Review, I I (1966), 115-123. Berdyaev, N i c o l a s . The D e s t i n y of Man, t r a n s . N a t a l i e Duddington. London: G e o f f r e y B l e s , 1948 (1937 ). Bode, S i r o y . "The World on I t s Own Terms: A B r i e f f o r S t e i n b e c k , M i l l e r , and Simenon," Southwest Review, 53 (1968), 406-16. Brown, Norman 0. L i f e A g a i n s t Death. New York: Random House, 1959. C h i l d s , J . R i v e s . C o l l e c t o r ' s Quest: The Correspondence of  Henry M i l l e r and~J. Rives C h l l d s . 1947-1965. C h a r l o t t e s v i l l e , Va.: U n i v e r s i t y Press of V i r g i n i a , 1968. Friedman, A l a n . "The P i t c h i n g o f Love's Mansion i n the T r o p i c * s of Henry M i l l e r , " Seven Contemporary Authors, ed. Thomas B. Whitbread. A u s t i n : U n i v e r s i t y of Texas P r e s s , 1966. G l i c k s b e r g , C h a r l e s I . "Henry M i l l e r : I n d i v i d u a l i s t i n E x t r e m i s , " Southwest Review, XXXIII (1948), 289-295. Gordon,, W i l l i a m Alexander. "Henry M i l l e r and the Romantic T r a d i t i o n , " D4_, XXIV (1964), 3335 ( T u l a n e ) . . The Mind and A r t of Henry M i l l e r . Baton Rouge, L a . : L o u s i s i a n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967. . W r i t e r and C r i t i c , A Correspondence with Henry M i l l e r . Baton Rouge, L a . : L o u i s i a n a S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1967. Greer, S c o t t , e t . a l . "To Be or Not: 4 Opinions on Henry M i l l e r ' s The B j i l e a t the Foot of the Ladder," T i g e r ' s Bye, 5, Oct. 20, 1948, 68-72. Hassan, Ihab. "The L i t e r a t u r e of S i l e n c e , " Encounter, 28, Jan. 1967, 74-82. H a v e r s t i c k , John, and W i l l i a m B a r r e t t . "Henry M i l l e r : Man In Quest of L i f e , " Saturday Review, XL, A U g . 3, 1957, 8-10. Hoffman, F r e d e r i c k J . F r e u d i a n i s m and the L i t e r a r y Mind. Baton Rouge, L a . : L o u i s i a n a State U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1945. Kermode, Frank. "Henry M i l l e r and John Betjeman," Encounter, XVI, i i i , March 1961. . Romantic Image. London: Routledge and Kegan P a u l , 1957. K l e i n e , Don. "Innocence F o r b i d d e n : Henry M i l l e r i n the T r o p i c s , " P r a i r i e Schooner, XXXIII (1959), 125-130. Lee, Alwyn. "Henry M i l l e r — T h e Pathology of I s o l a t i o n , " New  World W r i t i n g , Mentor, Nov. 1952, pp. 340-347. Lowenfels, Walter. "Unpublished Pr e f a c e to T r o p i c o f Cancer," Massachusetts Review, V ( S p r i n g 1964), 481-491. Maine, H a r o l d . "Henry M i l l e r : B i g o t r y ' s Whipping Boy," A r i z o n a Q u a r t e r l y , VII (Autumn 1951), 197-208. Marcuse, Ludwig. Obscene: The H i s t o r y of an I n d i g n a t i o n , t r a n s . Karen Gershon. London: MacGibbon and Kee, 1965 (1962). M i t c h e l l , Edward B. " A r t i s t s and A r t i s t s : The ' A e s t h e t i c s ' of Henry M i l l e r , " Texas S t u d i e s i n L i t e r a t u r e and Language, V I I I ( S p r i n g 1966), 103-115. Moravia, A l b e r t o . "Two American W r i t e r s (1949)," Sewanee Review, LXVIII, 473-481. Nelson, Jane A. Form and Image i n the F i c t i o n o f Henry M i l l e r . D e t r o i t : Wayne State U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1970. Neumann, E r i c h . The O r i g i n s and H i s t o r y of Consciousness, t r a n s . R.F.C. H u l l , New York: Pantheon Books, B o l l i n g e n Series 42, 1954 (1949). Nin, A n a i s . The D i a r y of A n a i s N i n, 1931-1954, ed. Gunther Stuhlmann, New York: The Swallow P r e s s and Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966. . The D i a r y of A n a i s N i n, 1954-1939, ed. Gunther Stuhlmann, ffew York: The Swallow Press and Ha r c o u r t , Brance and World, 1967. . The D i a r y of Anais N i n , 1959-1944, ed. Gunther Stuhlmann, Hew York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1969. Peckham, Morse. "Toward a Theory of Romanticism," PMLA, LXVI (March 1951), 5-23. P e r l e s , A l f r e d . My F r i e n d Henry M i l l e r . London: N e v i l l e Spearman L t d . , 1955. Rank, Otto. A r t and A r t i s t , t r a n s . C h a r l e s F r a n c i s A t k i n s o n . New York: A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1932. Read, S i r H e r b e r t Edward. "Henry M i l l e r , " The Tenth Muse:  Essays i n C r i t i c i s m . London: H o r i z o n P r e s s , 1957. Renken, Maxine. " B i b l i o g r a p h y of Henry M i l l e r : 1945-1961," Twentieth Century L i t e r a t u r e , V II (1962), 180-190. Rexroth, Kenneth. "The Neglected Henry M i l l e r , " N a t i o n , v o l . 181 (1955), 385-7. . "The Empty Zone," N a t i o n , v o l . 193 (1961), 15-16. Rose, Edward J . "The A e s t h e t i c s of C i v i l D isobedience: Henry M i l l e r , Twentieth Century T r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s t , " Edge, I, i (Autumn 1963), 5-16. S m i t h l i n e , A r n o l d . "Henry M i l l e r and the T r a n s c e n d e n t a l S p i r i t , " Emerson S o c i e t y Q u a r t e r l y , 43 (1966), 50-56. Traschen, Isadore. "Henry M i l l e r : The Ego and I , " South  A t l a n t i c Q u a r t e r l y , LXV (1966), 345-554. '•The T r o p i c Myth," Times L i t e r a r y Supplement, Nov. 1, 1963, 892. West, Herbert F a u l k n e r . "The Strange Case of Henry M i l l e r , " The Mind on the i ; Ying. New York: Coward-McCann, 1947, pp. 115-138. Wickes, George, ed. Henry M i l l e r and the C r i t i c s . Carbondale, 111.: Southern 111. U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1963. Widmer;uKingsley. Henry M i l l e r . New Haven, Conn.: C o l l e g e and U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1963. W i l l i a m s , John. "Henry M i l l e r : The Success of F a i l u r e , " V i r g i n i a Q u a r t e r l y Review, 44 (1968), 225-245. 

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