Sexus

Henry Miller

‘I was approaching my thirty-third year, the age Christ was crucified. A wholly new life lay before me, had I the courage to risk all.’ When Henry Miller left America for Paris in the 1930s to lead the life of a literary bohemian, he called this death of his former existence and his resurrection as a writer a ‘rosy crucifixion’. This dramatic transformation provided the leitmotif for some of Miller’s finest writing, embodying everything he felt about self-liberation and the true life of the spirit. ‘Sexus’, the first volume in the ‘Rosy Crucifixion’ trilogy, looks back in fictionalised form to Miller’s America life in the 1920s. Frantically seeking antidotes to his dreary job and life ‘in a morbidly respectable neighbourhood’ with his wife Maude, Miller becomes obsessed with the promiscuous and mysterious Mara, dance hall hostess, femme fatale and pathological liar. First published in Paris in 1949, this picaresque, extraordinarily candid tale of Miller’s sexual escapades amongst the low-life of Brooklyn was banned in Great Britain and America for nearly twenty years.

Reviews of Sexus

  • Praise for Henry Miller:

    ‘American literature begins and ends with the meaning of what Miller has done.’ Lawrence Durrell

    ‘I regard Henry Miller as a master.’ Colin MacInne

    Praise for ‘Sexus’:

    ‘A huge, sprawling narrative of Miller’s life in New York, “Sexus’”culminates in a description of an orgy as remarkable for its account of the author’s powers of sexual endurance as for its versatility. Interspersed are descriptions of his friends, some of them extremely funny and all of them lively. The lack of inhibition and genteel or moral restraint with which Miller describes these various characters gives “Sexus” a unique vitality. Miler cannot be pompous, a rare virtue, and his honesty is absolute.’ Spectator

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