Category Archives: Literature

Telling It

“I see the boys of summer in their ruin “Lay the gold tithings barren, “Setting no store by harvest, freeze the soils …” Great store is set today by grit: telling it like it is, calling it as you see … Continue reading

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Henry Miller’s Christmas

Unexpected Cheer Henry Miller always said that he couldn’t write stories: his books are huge spiral-formed stream-of-consciousness works that can’t really be called novels. And he tends to depict the grim and obscene realities of life rather than giving a … Continue reading

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Notes on Nexus, Part 3: Finding Love

Chapter Three of Henry Miller’s Nexus is about despair. Miller describes his desperate state, trapped in a harmful relationship with Mona. He spends his days doing nothing, letting “events pile up of their own accord.” He knows he needs a … Continue reading

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Notes on The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

Thesis: “As soon as you stop wanting something you get it.” Andy Warhol says that he has found this rule to be “absolutely axiomatic.” He was always lonely and desperately wanted a friend, until one day he decided he was … Continue reading

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Henry Miller: Soul and Mind

In Chapter Two of Nexus we see the limits of Henry Miller’s patience with abstract arguments. His friend, a lawyer called John Stymer, is, like Miller, fascinated by Dostoevsky, and thinks that a “new phase of existence” arrived for humanity … Continue reading

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Notes on Gogol’s Old-Fashioned Farmers

The world is all “in an uproar,” says Gogol. And yet here is peace and quiet: the house of the owners of a small village in the Ukraine, with its bright garden full of trees and hanging fruits, and the … Continue reading

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Notes on Gogol’s The Overcoat

Gogol’s The Overcoat is a story of a lowly government official in Tsarist Russia. His job is to copy out documents. There’s a curious ambiguity in the narrator’s feelings for the official: on the one hand he is described as … Continue reading

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