A Devil in Paradise by Henry Miller

By Henry Miller

“A ideal expression of Miller’s ethical point of view in addition to one among his impressive demonstrations of narrative ability. It offers an excellent cinematic view of 2 indomitable egotists in lethal conflict.” ―The Nation

The satan in Henry Miller’s monstrous Sur paradise is Conrad Moricand: “A good friend of his Paris days, who, having been financed and taken over from Europe as an act of mercy through Mr. Miller, seems as exacting, sponging, evil, crafty and ungrateful a visitor as are available in modern literature. Mr. Miller has continuously been a outstanding author of personality. Conrad Moricand is perhaps his masterpiece. . . .A satan in Paradise is the paintings of an exceptional novelist manqué, a novelist who has no stricter experience of shape than the divine writer. . . .Fresh and intoxicating, humorous and relocating. . .” ―The occasions Literary Supplement (London)

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As for me, I have a bellyache. The atmosphere is too rarefied, the stones too heavy to digest. Kali Yuga. Only 9,765,854 years to go and we will be out of the snake pit. ” Let us take a last look backward. The year is 1939. The month is June. I am not waiting for the Huns to rout me out. I am taking a vacation. Another few hours and I shall be leaving for Greece. All that remains of my presence in the studio at the Villa Seurat is my natal chart done in chalk on the wall facing the door. It’s for whomever takes over to ponder on.

Amazing how many young intellectuals were already dislocated, dispossessed, already being pushed about like pawns in the service of their unknown masters. Every day I was receiving visits from the most unexpected individuals. There was only one question in every one’s mind: when? Meanwhile make the most of it! And we did, we who were hanging on till the last boat call. In this merry, devil-may-care atmosphere Moricand took no part. He was hardly the sort to invite for a festive evening which promised to end up in a brawl, a drunken stupor, or a visit from the police.

He found it hard to accommodate himself to a light lunch, which is the American custom. Midday was the time for the big meal. Our big meal was at dinner. Still, the cheeses weren’t bad and the salads quite good, all things considered, though he would have preferred l’huile d’arachide (peanut oil) to the rather copious use of olive oil which we indulged in. He was glad we used garlic liberally. As for the bifteks, never had he eaten the like abroad. Now and then we dug up a little cognac for him, just to make him feel more at home.

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