art, books, culture, God, Henry Miller, literature, religion, spirituality, Tropic of Cancer
A seminal work, in every sense of the word. And very fitting for what I call The Birth of the New Age.
The latest Omphalos Cafe video (number 4) is a celebration of Henry Miller’s landmark eruption, The Tropic of Cancer.
During production, and I elude to it in the video, it dawned on me how much our Western Artists have hidden behind their work for so long. Subterfuge, disguise, a sort of symbolic secret language, was necessary for a thousand years lest the weight and wrath of the Church was brought down upon oneself.
Truth was couched in symbol, hidden beneath an acceptable surface. Underground.
In the opening pages of Tropic Miller sings be damned with the lies!
“This is not a book, in the ordinary sense of the word.” he exults, “No, this is a prolonged insult, a gob of spit in the face of Art, a kick in the pants to God, Man, Destiny, Time, Love, Beauty… what you will.”
A New Age Proclamation!
Let the dead bury the dead, take hold of your own life and live!
Ah, but who has the courage? Who the strength of character to step out from beneath the weight of eight thousand years of civilization?
We seek answers to the mystery of Life when it is flowing through us every moment of the day. We externalize it because our Artists, who felt it coursing through their veins, hid the truth in their art so as not to incur the wrath of the priests and ministers.
The Artists, who should have been our Priests, remained merely artists, while the priests served a foreign master.
“A year ago,” Miller sings, “six months ago, I thought that I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am.”
“There are no more books to be written, thank God.”
Only Life to be lived!
Wow! Another of my favorite books and authors! I love Miller’s anti-intellectualism – and yet his books erupts with love towards “words” and other books. Contradiction? So what… “Contradiction” is yet another word we came up with… Life is bigger then that. I remember when I read all of his books (literally) available to me one by one in a space of few months years ago… and books such as both “Tropics”, “Black Spring” and especially “The Colossus of Maroussi” made me feel dizzy and drunk!
Anti-intellectualism? Erupt? Dizzy and drunk? Totally! For nearly thirty years through the widest range of reading I’ve always returned periodically to Miller for that jolt of raw energy and enthusiasm. Not to mention between the covers of his books I discovered others who have completely rocked my world and share space on the shelves in the Cafe: Henri Bergson (Creative Evolution), Oswald Spengler (a world of its own), and Elie Faure. What a ride it’s been!
Thanks for reading and thanks for such a fantastic comment.