Les Clés de Tropic Books de Henry Miller
“I had just made the realization that life is indestructible.”
The Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn by Henry Miller were banned in the United States of America for obscenity reasons that deemed each book as pornographic. This essay opens his books (Les Clés-The Keys) for a brief review and cites the peril of halting freedom of speech and hindering freedom of expression.
When travelling abroad, I acclimate to the local environment and walk the streets of the city or town to return with written documentation about my experience—a literary mule. In the prolific and perverted pages of Miller’s aforementioned stories, his self-awareness provides you a place in New York and Paris with a roman à clef to open passages about his experiences.
Tropic of Cancer: A social timeline about a struggling writer with poverty, sex, and play in Paris’s bohemian culture. My advice on reading this story is to pour a pints of ale and be the best drunken bard you can be by reading aloud some passages of the book…alone.
Tropic of Capricorn: Like Tropic of Cancer, a social timeline but centered in New York and his dissatisfaction about working in the city. Adorned with raw dialogue and clear-cut conversations, the narrative rolls like a wave that pulls you into a rip current—hold your breath till the “Coda.”
Published in the thirties, these semi-autobiographical books entail a proximity to saturated belle-lettres of figurative and foul language that were banned in the Unites States.
The merit of Henry Miller’s material in these books is that his story in print provided a literary marker. No constable or congress should block people from learning about a storyteller’s fact or fiction. We can’t progress without reading!
Although both books were ultimately allowed to be read in the United States in the late 1960’s, the idea of literary censorship is incomprehensible in a country that fought for freedom only to redefine the thought of freedom.